It was a return to horror comics in the last month, as The Nice House on the Lake #1 took the title of the Hottest Comic on the market over the past 30 days.
What are the Hottest Comics? These are the top-selling single issues over a 30-day span. The data is measured by sales volume rather than fair market value, and most of this week’s entries showcase how lower prices can lead to more purchases. On that note, let’s dive into the hottest comics data.
James Tynion IV’s apocalyptic alien invasion story blew past the competition in this week’s Hottest Comics rankings. The Nice House on the Lake #1 stole the spotlight by surging ahead by nearly 60 spots.
For almost three years now, Tynion has been the hottest writer in all of comics thanks to his horror titles. Before he became the preeminent name in the business, he was penning the scripts for DC’s iconic Batman series. While he earned plenty of recognition for that high-profile run, it wasn’t until he created Something Is Killing the Children at Boom! Studios that he reached the next level of success. Following SIKTC’s popularity, he went on to create The Department of Truth and the belle of today’s ball, The Nice House on the Lake.
These days, everything in the collecting hobby revolves around movies and streaming. All it takes is a new announcement from a production studio, and suddenly we’ve got a new hot key issue on our hands. SIKTC already has been optioned for a Netflix series, and many expect a deal for Nice House on the Lake. That speculation is keeping this issue firmly cemented in the top-100 Hottest Comics, though it’s unusual for it to crack the top 20. Could there be rumors of an impending announcement? Considering Nice House was published under DC’s Black Label, it would not surprise anyone for the title to get an HBO Max movie or show.
The good news is that prices are still relatively affordable. The standard cover, which is the edition that has soared through the ranks, is still relatively cheap. Most recent 9.8s had been hovering in the $50 range, but March 7 saw one reach $89. Raw copies are staying in $20 territory, so adding one to your collection is not going to break your budget.
Anytime there is Wolverine talk, this issue gets a boost in popularity. MCP #72 is not overly expensive, and it has an iconic Weapon X cover. The story itself began the telling of Wolverine and Weapon X’s origin, revealing how he gained the adamantium skeleton under the watchful eye of the Canadian super-soldier program. While Logan’s history has been retold several times over the years, his Weapon X days generally remain the most consistent.
Since there aren’t any major first appearances in this issue, it helps keep the prices low. In fact, the values have been down compared to last year. In 2020, the graded 9.8 averaged $512, a hike in FMV by nearly $400 over the course of 12 months. Things have cooled as of late, and the most recent sale was for $380.
What caused the prices to vary so much? It all comes down to the MCU. Last year, there were ample rumors that Wolverine would soon make his Marvel Studios debut. There were Easter eggs in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and a popular rumor was that Logan would star in his own Disney+ series that would center on his origin story. That had ripple effects throughout the market, beginning with the holy grails Incredible Hulk #181 and Giant-Size X-Men #1. With the prices for those issues, collectors naturally looked for alternatives, including MCP #72.
When nothing came of those allusions and gossip, his key issues cooled off. Thanks to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a new wave of excitement has kicked into gear. Professor X has been confirmed for the movie, and that has led to theories that Wolverine will appear. It has led to an uptick in sales for all Logan’s key issues. That enthusiasm has caused MCP #72 to get a jolt which has propelled it to the top of the sales charts.
Investing in Miles Morales is practically a no-lose situation. Of course, nothing is a guarantee when it comes to comic investment speculation, and even the holiest of grails can potentially lose money. In the case of Spider-Miles, his first appearance has become a modern grail, and the allure of his MCU debut will take that key to new heights. At the moment, a graded 9.8 first print UF #4 hasn’t sold for less than $3k since February 12. Once he appears in live-action, that price could jump to $4K+ overnight. That is causing buyers to look for other Miles keys.
One of the most affordable options is the second print of UF #4. There’s no argument that it will never reach the heights set by the first print. Then again, that’s the appeal. By no means is the second print a cheap investment, but it is pennies on the dollar compared to the first print. Since the end of February, graded 9.8s have consistently sold for $600-$700. That is a much more gentle investment than the $3k needed for a first print of the same grade.
Miles is a future MCU star, no question. Kevin Feige and company know that better than anyone, and that’s why we haven’t seen him yet. There’s been allusions to him, and it is building the suspense for his inevitable arrival. On that day, that $600 investment may suddenly become a $1k comic.
The live-action effect had full hold of the secondary market this week. Then again, doesn’t it always? Here we have ASM #210, the first appearance of the original Madame Web, Cassandra Webb. Last month, this issue made huge waves when Sony announced that Dakota Johnson, who rose to fame in the Fifty Shades of Gray movies, would play the title role for the Madame Web movie. Of course, that raised more questions about what version of the character Johnson would be portraying. All the attention and intrigue over the upcoming movie has put the collecting crosshairs on ASM #210.
When it comes to cashing in on the Madame Web buzz, buyers put ASM #210 at the top of their lists. No matter which Madame Web we see on the silver screen, this remains the first time she appeared in a comic. In the collecting game, the first appearance is the one key to rule them all. Two years ago, the graded 9.8 was a $711 comic on average. In 2021, that FMV raised to $1,309 based on the reports of a Sony movie in development. The most recent sale was for $2,250 on February 13.
Ever since the X-Men MOM rumors have surfaced, collectors have taken aim at the 1991 X-Men #1. Although it is but a grain of sand compared to the entire beach that is 1963’s X-Men #1, that is part of volume two’s appeal. Who among us wouldn’t love to own even a 0.5 X-Men #1 from the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby era? Unless you have thousands of dollars at your disposal, that is a fantasy. On the other hand, ‘91’s X-Men #1 is a low-risk investment.
The major selling point for this issue is the Jim Lee artwork. The X-Men have had an all-star lineup of artists over the decades, and Lee’s work ranks among the very best. His art style heavily influenced the beloved X-Men: the Animated Series. With that show getting a continuation on Disney+ courtesy of X-Men ‘97, it is increasing interest for the iconic cover art.
This issue maintains the Guinness Book of World Records for the most copies of a single comic ever printed. That means there are literally thousands floating across the market, online and otherwise. Still, values for the collector’s edition has been on the rise. On March 8, a graded 9.8 sold for $100. Two years ago, that same grade averaged $66.