Hottest Comics: Most Wanted for 4/22

by Matt Tuck

042121E_Blog-300x300 Hottest Comics: Most Wanted for 4/22The Silver Surfer, Shazam, and Todd McFarlane set the collecting world ablaze this week, taking all five spots in the Hottest Comics’ movers and shakers list.

The Hottest Comics are the 1,001 best-selling issues over the past week. Based strictly on sales volume, today’s list spotlights the five comics that saw the biggest gains in the number of copies sold for the past seven days. This is not an indication of a comic’s fair market value, though being a bigger seller usually means a price bump.

Without further ado, here are your top-five Hottest Comics of the week.

FF-72-204x300 Hottest Comics: Most Wanted for 4/2245. FANTASTIC FOUR #72 (+954)

With all the Silver Surfer keys lighting up the market, I am not at all surprised to see one of the other Surfer books getting attention. By “other,” I mean anything outside the holy grail trifecta of FF #48-50. Those three have inflated massively over the past couple of years, starting with his first appearance in FF #48. These days, all three keys are highly collectible, even in the lowest of grades. That has pushed the fair market values to record-breaking numbers, and it is leaving many Surfer fans in the cold. 

What’s a collector to do when the originals are all too expensive? Go to the next best thing, and collect his other key appearances. While FF #72 is not considered a key, necessarily, it is one of his best covers and was drawn by the original Surfer artist, Jack “King” Kirby. This also is one of the more odd stories from the Surfer’s 1960s run, as he decides to attack multiple countries as a means to bring everyone together to stop a common enemy: him. Could it be that MCU theorists are wondering if this could be the avenue Marvel Studios takes to introduce the Surfer? I doubt it, but it is still a great book to add to any Surfer collection.

Like practically every other Silver Surfer comic from the ‘60s, the higher grades have been reaching new heights. At a 9.2, FF #72 sold for $950, surpassing last year’s record high by over $50. It won’t be long before this grade hits the $1k mark, which is absurd for what is not considered a key issue. Even a 4.5 is now selling for nearly $300. I see this as another indication that collecting is ever-shifting toward cover collecting.

Shazam-1-205x300 Hottest Comics: Most Wanted for 4/2248. SHAZAM! #1 (+951)

As the DCEU shifts further away from the Justice League and towards the Justice Society, look for this issue to become more important. While it is not the original Captain Marvel’s first appearance, it offers collectors an alternative as Shazam! #1 marked the character’s debut under the DC Comics banner.

The issue with collecting Shazam keys is the same for many of the classic DC characters. Because they are so old, they are ridiculously expensive, even for the second-rate characters. For a major star like Captain Marvel, those Golden Age keys are nearly impossible for the average collector to afford. That is why a Bronze Age key is so tempting simply because it is much more affordable.

Interest in this issue has risen this year, and its 90-day average has exceeded the 2019 mark, and that was the year the Shazam! movie hit theaters. The 9.8 is averaging $758, which is $14 above the yearend FMV from 2019. So far, no records have been broken, but it has reached the $1k mark three times. Last year, it did not sell for more than $710.

This comic is a great investment going forward because of the DCEU’s shift toward the JSA, of which Shazam/Captain Marvel will be a cornerstone. Black Adam will lay the groundwork for the JSA, and there is a Shazam! 2 in the works. That means we will see plenty of Billy Batson in the near future, and he is on the cusp of becoming one of the most important characters in all of the DCEU. That will serve to make his key issues that much more expensive.

New-Mutants-87-second-print-197x300 Hottest Comics: Most Wanted for 4/2258. NEW MUTANTS #87 SECOND PRINT (+941)

It was Todd McFarlane’s week on eBay. Here we have the first of three McFarlane-related comics to grace the top-five movers and shakers. Of course, he contributed to the cover art while Rob Liefeld handled the interiors and Louise Simonson took care of the script. Still, it falls into the McFarlane pantheon of classic covers, and that alone would make this issue worth collecting.

The bigger picture is the first appearance of Cable. The word on the internet is that the fan-favorite “Old Man Cable” is set for a return to the X-Men’s corner of the Marvel Universe, and he will replace “Kid Cable” in the near future. 

Another factor is the MCU. We know that Deadpool 3 is happening with Marvel Studios calling the shots, but we don’t know the cast of supporting characters. Could we see Josh Brolin return to the role? Here’s hoping.

This is not the typical red background for NM #87; this is the second print with the gold cover art. What could have this printing so popular this week is the price tag. At a 9.8, the first print last sold for over $800. On the other hand, the second print at a 9.8 nearly matched its own record-high sale, missing by just $3 after one brought $129 on April 20.

Spawn-6-191x300 Hottest Comics: Most Wanted for 4/2262. SPAWN #6 (+938)

There is not a lot of reason to specifically target this issue, but is it ever a cool issue. We have two Spawn issues from Todd McFarlane’s glory days on today’s list, and it is always a pleasure to spotlight those 1990s nostalgia picks. The highest-ranking of the two is Spawn #6, which featured the first appearance of one of McFarlane’s more intimidating characters, Overtkill, as well as the stereotypical mob boss, Tony Twist. 

Overtkill is a massive cyborg hitman (would that make him a hit-borg?) with enough gadgets and weaponry to make War Machine jealous. As with many of these interesting villains from the early days of Spawn, he had a much-too-short shelf life, only lasting a couple of issues. At this point in the series, McFarlane was establishing Spawn’s power, and Overtkill was basically fed to the protagonist to present Al Simmons’ dominance. Sadly, we didn’t see any more of Overtkill until the classic Todd McFarlane’s Spawn cartoon series on HBO. If you have never seen that one, it is worth an HBO Max subscription to check it out.

Two years ago, this issue set a record after a 9.8 sold for $125. So far this year, that grade has not reached triple figures, but the most recent sale was for a respectable $86.

Spawn-8-194x300 Hottest Comics: Most Wanted for 4/2264. SPAWN #8 (+935)

Back in 1993, the homage variants were not a common sight in comic stores. To have McFarlane homage his own classic Spider-Man #1 cover from 1990 with his newest creation had fans talking. As often as we see the Spider-Man #1 tribute art, Spawn #8 is significant because it was the first to use that trick.

The other part to this issue’s sudden hottest comics rise could be Vindicator. After Spawn first crossed paths with the evil clown who transforms into a monstrous, bloodthirsty bug-like demon, the Violator, he meets the creature’s brother, Vindicator. Here we have the latter’s first appearance, and I am sure there is speculation somewhere that the demon brothers could surface in the long-awaited (and much-delayed) Spawn movie reboot. 

With the newfound attention comes higher prices. Last month, a 9.8 set a record high with a $148 sale. While it is still very much affordable, Spawn #8 has been consistently selling in the $80-$100 range, and it has a 90-day FMV of $73.

What are your thoughts on this week’s Hottest Comics list? Let us know in the comments!

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