Hottest Comics for 3/31: Suicide Squad Keys On the Move

by Matt Tuck

Blog-300x300 Hottest Comics for 3/31: Suicide Squad Keys On the MoveFor the second week in a row, DC Comics led the charge in the Hottest Comics rankings, this time on the heels of its viral trailer for The Suicide Squad.

RISE OF THE DCEU

James Gunn has done it again. 

After Disney fired (and eventually rehired) him following his social media controversy, Time-Warner/DC wasted no time recruiting him. He brought credibility to a sequel that many were dreading after the release of 2016’s Suicide Squad. This time around, Gunn’s take on the team is more Deadpool and less… whatever that was the first try. 

Obviously, the excitement for The Suicide Squad is giving their key issues a major boost. There are two issues on today’s list, and even King Shark’s first appearance has climbed into the top 20. It also helps things that David Ayer, the director of the original Suicide Squad movie, is calling for fan support for an Ayer Cut of his movie after the success of the Snyder Cut.

This is all great news for DC collectors. For years, the lackluster performance of the DCEU kept those key issues in a distant second place to Marvel. Here we are for two straight weeks, and DC has the biggest movers in the rankings. 

What are the Hottest Comics? These are the 1,001 best-selling comics on eBay. Today’s post spotlights the five issues that had the most improvement in terms of sales volume compared to the previous week. 

On that note, here’s your top-five movers and shakers.

Suicide-Squad-1-195x300 Hottest Comics for 3/31: Suicide Squad Keys On the Move31. SUICIDE SQUAD #1 (+968)

I believe most collectors expected this one to ascend the rankings this week. This is the first appearance of the modern Suicide Squad, which would evolve into the team that is poised to conquer the box office. Keep in mind that the original Suicide Squad debuted in the Silver Age in 1959’s The Brave and the Bold #25.

Reportedly, Suicide Squad #1’s storyline is the inspiration for The Suicide Squad’s plot. “Trial By Fire” works through the first eight issues, beginning with this 1987 issue. 

What is great about DC keys is how affordable they are, for the most part. Even with the added attention from the movies, they are still well behind those MCU tie-ins, and that is a good thing. Suicide Squad #1 is a great example. Even at a 9.8, the fair market value has not changed that much in two years. In 2019, it averaged $145 with a modest bump to $152 last year. 

Despite the newfound popularity, it has a 90-day average of $175, though the most recent sale was for $226 on March 28.

Superman-4-1987-197x300 Hottest Comics for 3/31: Suicide Squad Keys On the Move60. SUPERMAN #4 (+939)

Once again, a 1987 key issue took home the gold this week. It does not hurt things that Idris Elba is bringing Bloodsport to life on the big screen. Judging by the full trailer, he will play a major role in the film. Would we have expected anything less from an actor of Elba’s stature?

Before the first rumors began circulating that Elba would portray the relatively unknown villain, hardly anyone cared about Bloodsport. Now that the character has clearly been elevated to star status, Superman #4 has been one of the hotter issues of the past year. Of course, this is typical of James Gunn. As he has shown with Guardians of the Galaxy, Gunn enjoys the obscure, off-beat characters just like Bloodsport.

After the casting was announced for the part in 2020, this issue swelled quickly, but it is still not too overpriced. Two years ago, the 9.8 was a $56 comic, but for the past 90 days, the 9.8 has averaged $141, but it did reach as high as $300 on March 27. The bargain is the 9.6, which has an FMV of just $62.

In the age of the MCU, we are used to even obscure characters’ first appearances taking off like a rocket, but it is not the same case with the DCEU. Just imagine what the values would be if Bloodsport were in the MCU.

Wolverine-8-195x300 Hottest Comics for 3/31: Suicide Squad Keys On the Move61. WOLVERINE #8 (+939)

This is one of my favorite covers. For those too young to remember, this is an homage to the poster art for the Danny DeVito/Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy, Twins. Aside from that, there is not much else happening in this issue, which makes it a minor key at best. However, as cover collecting becomes more popular, a comic does not necessarily have to be a first appearance or a major in-story moment to be a key issue. Wolverine #8 is a case in point for that precise argument.

What may be helping this one stay popular and make this appearance on the Hottest Comics list is the presence of the “Mr. Fix-It” version of Hulk on the cover. Although we have yet to see the grey goliath return in the comics, the “Mr. Fix-It” mob enforcer personality of Bruce Banner has been showcased in Al Ewing’s Immortal Hulk run. It is helping the ‘80s and ‘90s version of Hulk secure a growing following, and that could have collectors eyeing this particular issue.

Wolverine #8 is a great example of the MCU inflation and why the DC keys should be so appealing to collectors on a budget. Here we have a great cover, but essentially a non-key because there are no significant moments in the story itself. Yet, the 9.8 has more than doubled in FMV over two years, jumping from $134 in 2019 to earning $291 in the past 90 days. The last sale was for an impressive $330, which is more than a 9.8 Suicide Squad #1.

Youngblood-2-192x300 Hottest Comics for 3/31: Suicide Squad Keys On the Move63. YOUNGBLOOD #2 (+937)

It has been a long time since anyone cared about those old Youngblood issues. Lately, Rob Liefeld has been in the spotlight thanks to his co-creations, Deadpool and Cable and their potential under the MCU banner. There is also his work on the IDW Snake-Eyes series, which has received praise. All of that attention could be turning the focus to his work in those early days of Image Comics.

What is it about Youngblood #2 that is so special? This is the first appearance of the super-soldier, Prophet, who gained a small following in his Image Comics days. The word on the internet is that he will star in his own live-action film. It was even reported last May that one of the Arrowverse writers was being tapped to adapt Liefeld’s character for the silver screen. Whether or not this comes to pass is anyone’s guess, but it could be helping this issue find newfound popularity among collectors.

If you want a crisp, clean 9.8, now is a good time to buy as prices have been falling for two years. At the moment, you can have one for $74 on average. Keep in mind that it is showing signs of life after a copy sold for $93 on March 29.

ASM-55-second-print-variant-194x300 Hottest Comics for 3/31: Suicide Squad Keys On the Move85. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #55 VARIANT EDITION SECOND PRINT (+915)

Speaking of cover collecting, Patrick Gleason’s ASM #55 variants remain some of the most popular covers of 2021. It speaks volumes when the second print gains over 900 positions in the rankings to climb into the top 100 Hottest Comics. 

This is yet another of Gleason’s “negative” series that began with the white-on-black first print of ASM #55. The comic was an instant sellout and garnered two more printings, one in red and another in blue. In fact, the red second print was among the Hottest Comics just last week. Now there are Gleason negatives for both Venom and Carnage, and I suspect it will expand outside the Spider-Verse in the near future.

You know a comic is hot when even a subsequent printing gets its own variant. In those cases, the print runs are generally limited, so a second-print variant like the one for ASM #55 is highly collectible. In fact, this was a 1:50 variant, meaning comic shop owners could get one variant for every 50 copies of the second print they purchased. 

The 9.8 has sold for as much as $360 on February 28, and another brought $250 as recently as March 29. That gives it an average of $259 at the moment.

What are your opinions? Is this the Hottest Comics list you wanted to see this week? Let us know in the comments!

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