Black Cat returned to the Hottest Comics with a vengeance, climbing very nearly 1k positions to become the single hottest comic of the week.
It was a big week for Bronze Age Spider-Man. Not only did the first appearance of Black Cat make huge waves in the collecting world, but ASM #196 made strides of its own. Hanging with those two was an early Adam Warlock key, and his issues continue to sell as fans wait for him to join the MCU.
For the second week in a row, there were a couple of surprises on the Hottest Comics list, namely Vanguard Illustrated #2 followed by Witchblade #1. Here’s your weekly report card.
WHAT ARE THE HOTTEST COMICS?
These are the 1,001 best-selling, hottest comics on the market for the past week. They are ranked by sales volume, not fair market value. While an issue may not have the biggest price tag, it can still show up in the hottest comics depending on how often it sold in the past seven days. That can be valuable information for collectors keeping track of the stock market that is comic collecting.
Spotlighted for your reading pleasure are the five issues that saw the most sales growth.
Black Cat is the new queen of the collecting world, at least for one week.
What is helping propel this issue to new heights is the movie news. For years, Sony has teased a Black Cat/Silver Sable team-up movie. When the company announced plans for a Silk solo film, Silver & Black was put on the back burner and eventually canceled. Suddenly, Sony is back onboard the Black Cat bandwagon. Last month, the rumor circulated that, indeed, Silver & Black was once again in development, and this time it might just make it to the casting stage. That has caused a resurgence for Black Cat’s debut issue.
This is not just any copy of ASM #194; this is the famed newsstand edition. What makes these so special comes down to rarity, as all collectibles do. Publishers typically sent more direct copies to print than newsstands, and the unsold newsstands can usually be returned to the publisher. The other factor is that newsstands are especially hard to find in higher grades. As you can imagine, newsstand copies sitting in a grocery store magazine rack are not going to be handled with the care of a direct edition sold at a comic shop. That means finding a near-mint copy of a newsstand is a chore, which results in those higher prices.
Earlier this month, a 9.8 newsstand sold for a record $4,920. On July 10, a 9.0 brought $570. Even at its cheapest, a 4.0 newsstand copy of ASM #194 still earned $160. For comparison’s sake, that same 4.0 in a direct edition last sold for $95.
Whenever – or if – Sony casts Felicia Hardy for the big screen, then these sales will get a rocket tied to them and launch into the stratosphere.
Another blast from speculation past comes courtesy of Warlock #1. For years, fans have been waiting on Warlock to officially join the MCU. Ever since the end-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when he was name-dropped, it has been a certainty that Adam would appear in an upcoming movie or show. For that matter, fans have wanted to see him since the cocoon was seen in the Collector’s chamber in the first installment of GOTG. Yet, there has been no word on when he will arrive in live-action.
Recently, James Gunn has announced that he is working on the script for GOTG Vol. 3, and that could be part of the reason this issue has suddenly gained popularity. After all, this is not one of the bigger Warlock keys to own. Still, it does give readers his origin story along with the first appearance of another character, Kane.
Of course, being a lesser Warlock key has its advantages for collectors. The highest grade sold this year has been a 9.4 that brought $535 in May. So far this month, the highest grade sold has been a 7.0, which sold for $150 on July 10.
With all the cosmic adventures happening in the MCU, there is no question that Warlock would fit in perfectly. Even with the Multiverse taking center stage after the developments from Loki, Adam will be a great addition to the MCU. After all these years, it is understandable that fans are getting frustrated and wondering when or if it will ever happen. However, when he does finally make his live-action premiere, everything Warlock will take off.
ASM #196 is proof that a comic does not necessarily have to be a key to be worth adding to your collection. While there is not much that makes this issue even a minor key, it does feature the first appearance of Debra Whitman.
In the grand scheme of things, Debra does not play a major part. Back in 1979, she had a crush on Peter Parker, though her affections were not returned. She would later be one of the first characters to discover that Peter is Spider-Man, but that was written out of the story for all intents and purposes. While she has not been part of the comics much at all in 42 years, she did appear in the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon series. Who knows? Maybe she will appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home as a nod to the old cartoon.
Since this is not a key issue, prices are understandably low. All the way up to a 9.8, the last sale was for just $168. The most it has ever earned was $300 in 2017, which is a bit puzzling. Even so, having a Bronze Age issue at a 9.8 for close to $150 is a good deal.
Vanguard Illustrated #2 is one of the often forgotten treasures of the 1980s. Published in ‘84, this comic featured Dave Stevens cover art that introduced the world to the Stargrazers. Five years later, the team would have their own Legends of the Stargrazers title with Adam Hughes taking over the writing and penciling duties.
This issue has been quietly picking up steam in recent months. Although it has yet to reach last year’s record of $130, a 9.8 recently sold for $106, which is the most one has earned since last November’s high sale. The most recent copy to trade hands has been the 9.4. That particular grade sold for $43 on July 10 and $45 a day later.
Why this issue suddenly got a bump of nearly 1,000 positions is beyond me, but it will be interesting to see if it can retain the momentum by this time next week.
After making her debut in Cyblade/Shi #1, Witchblade was given the starring role in her first self-titled series. Since then, she has starred in her own television series as well as an anime and a manga.
Four years ago, there was word that a Witchblade feature film was in development, but all has been quiet on that front. Still, with so many comic properties being adapted to the screen, it would not be a surprise to see her return to either a movie or series.
Just last month, the 9.8 reached a record-high $210. Since then, it has sold for $179 and $180 three different times, including the most recent sale on July 13. What could be causing these rising prices? It’s most likely tied to the newest volume of Witchblade, which had a Kickstarter for Witchblade #1/2 last fall.