Marvel reclaimed this week’s top spot thanks to Pip the Troll while the Thundercats broke records on the heels of their movie announcement. Welcome to this week’s Hottest Comics.
Things returned to normal this time around. Following DC’s surge to the top, MCU news and rumors ruled this week’s sales rankings. We had Eternals gossip, and some new cartoon news that helped shake up the Hottest Comics rankings. The only exception to that was in the case of Knull, whose first crossover event is wrapping up, though his name is on some MCU radars.
What are the Hottest Comics? These are based on sales volume, not sales prices. While a comic may not be the most expensive on the market, it can still be a hot seller, and that’s what this list is all about.
Come with me, and let’s break down the top-five comics that made the biggest moves over the past week.
1. STRANGE TALES #179 (+998)
After two weeks’ hiatus, Marvel reasserted its sales dominance this week with a surprise key issue that took over the #1 position. Oddly enough, the most traded comic happened to be the first appearance of Pip the Troll.
For mainstream fans, Pip is an obscure character. Before this week, no one really cared for his debut. After all, it was barely inside the top 1,001 sales only seven days ago. Yet here we are, and Strange Tales #179 is not only the biggest mover of the week, but it is the single most-traded comic, according to the eBay sales data.
To quote Jerry Seinfeld, what is the deal? This change in the pecking order is thanks to some MCU rumors making the rounds. As the story goes, there is an Eternals “leaked plot” floating around the internet that claims Pip will be part of the upcoming film. This is completely unconfirmed, so take it for what it is: gossip. Nevertheless, it has given Pip’s debut a huge boost in popularity.
Keep in mind, all this fervor for Pip is happening without a confirmation that he will be part of the Eternals cast. Imagine what will happen once he is officially announced for the film. No question, this is impacting more than just the sales volume, although prices are not quite out of hand just yet.
Graded at a 9.6, which was the highest grade sold so far this month, Strange Tales #179 brought a record-breaking $390 on April 4. Prior to that, it had never earned more than $300.
The most popular grade over the past year has been the 9.4, selling 16 times in the last 12 months. The average fair market value for that span has been $138, but the prices are on the way up. Just last week, one sold for $170.
28. VENOM #3 THIRD PRINT (+972)
A year ago, Knull’s first cover appearance in the third print of Venom #3 was the hottest comic in the land. It was succeeded that summer by Miles Morales’ debut, but Knull held fast and continued building his popularity. His momentum kept rolling as he appeared outside the Venom-verse and into his first massive crossover, “King in Black.” A 9.8 reached as much as $1,000. Then fans seemingly tired of the God of the Symbiotes. While this issue was still a popular key to own, the values and sales volume began to dip.
As “King in Black” readies for its epic conclusion, and Donny Cates prepares to exit the Venom-verse, it seems collectors are back on the Knull bandwagon, at least for now. The other factor is Russell Crowe’s mysterious casting in Thor: Love and Thunder, and there is speculation that he may portray the God of the Symbiotes for that film. I imagine some collectors are stocking up just in case that bit of rumor turns out to be true. This would send prices well over that record high.
So far in 2021, the 9.8 has sold for a high of $609, which is a much better deal than that $1k from last year. For the past 90 days, the FMV has dropped to $476 after earning $502 over the last 12 months.
However the crossover turns out, I feel sure that we have not seen the last of Knull. Not only has he been positioned as one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe, he also has a growing fan base. The trouble is there may be too much Knull exposure, and Marvel does have a tendency to do just that.
There is an old adage, how can I miss you if you don’t go away? Collectors have gotten their full dose of Knull in the past year. It would do the character some good to take a break. When he does return, the impact will be that much more significant. It will inevitably give his first cover appearance a B-12 shot.
46. THUNDERCATS #1 (+953)
Ever since the Transformers got their live-action movies, fans of 1980s cartoon and toy franchises have been wanting more. Specifically, they have been waiting for a Thundercats movie. That wish has finally come true.
Just last week, Deadline reported that Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard would be at the helm of a full-length, animated Thundercats film. The people did rejoice, and the collectors and speculators did rush to eBay and buy the T-Cats’ 1985 debut comic in bulk.
All that attention has given Thundercats #1 a mighty jump in FMV. Graded at a 9.8, this issue sold for less than $400 on average just last year. Now, Thundercats #1, at least in such a high grade, has sold for $1,600 or more twice since the news broke. Need one that is a bit easier on the wallet? Downgrade to the 9.4, which has a much more reasonable price tag. However, it is getting more expensive by the day and recently sold for a record-high $430.
56. MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #1 (+944)
It is old news that Moon Girl and her trusty Devil Dinosaur will be coming to Disney+. That was announced nearly two years ago. Now that the series is getting closer to becoming a reality, although it won’t premiere until 2022, collectors are feverishly grabbing copies of Lunella Lafayette’s first appearance.
This week, the standard cover made impressive gains. Cartoons don’t normally cause a huge spike in FMVs, but Moon Girl is proving to be the exception. After it earned $177 on average last year, it has been selling for as much as $800 in the past week.
In all, there were three different covers for the 2016 comic. Of those three, the real money has been in the 1:25 Trevor Von Eeden ratio variant. The last time one of those traded hands, it brought $1,300.
60. THE KING IN BLACK #1 SUPERLOG VARIANT (+940)
Speaking of Knull, the first issue of his crossover was a popular item this week. Like all comics these days, there are plenty of variants on the market for this premiere issue. If you are looking for one, you have a whopping 17 options at your disposal.
Judging by the sales volume, the one to own this week has been the Superlog variant, which climbed nearly 950 positions to not only crack the top 1,001 but rank as high as #60. With so many choices for King in Black #1, the budding popularity is a testament to Superlog’s impressive artwork. It doesn’t hurt that the price tag is still low, with most copies still selling for $40 or less even for a 9.8.
I am always amazed that comic books like Thundercats #1 see such high value based on a movie announcement. The comic book was based on the TV show, so it’s a derivative property already. I doubt any Thundercats movie will play off the comic books, when there was already a popular TV show to draw from. So really the movie announcement just reminds people that a one time comic series was published based on the same TV show. I say collect what you like for sure, but why in the long term would anyone see value in the comic series beyond what hardcore fans of the comics are willing to pay?