To quote Bob Dylan, the times, they are a-changing. This week saw a DC comic overtake Marvel’s elite issues to nab the top spot in the Hottest Comics rankings.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League has been a massive success for DC and HBO Max, and it was reflected in the Hottest Comics index. After fans witnessed Snyder’s reimagining of Steppenwolf, his first appearance gained the most spots of any comic.
What makes this so important is that New Gods #7 is a DC comic. If you have been following this blog series for any length of time, you know that the Hottest Comics are almost always dominated by Marvel keys. While Disney’s comic brand still held four of the top-five spots in these rankings, it is significant that a DCEU key took the top position.
What are the Hottest Comics? These are the top 1001 issues ranked by eBay sales for the past week. This is not an indication of fair market value, though the two figures do oftentimes overlap.
Steppenwolf may have lost his head at the end of Justice League, but he gained the respect of the DCEU fandom. After the 2017 version of Justice League, all of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World creations were on the cold list. Despite the prospect of a feature movie on the way, collectors were turning away from those New Gods and Forever People key issues. After Zack Snyder’s four-hour epic made its way to HBO Max, things have taken a sharp turn toward redemption.
Fittingly, Steppenwolf’s first appearance in New Gods #7 was the single hottest comic for the week. Normally, there is only a slight difference in positions gained between first and second places. This time, New Gods #7 was a firm 36 places ahead of the next-biggest seller. The real question will be the lasting effect the Snyder Cut will have not only on the Fourth World, but all of the DCEU keys.
The best part about buying DC keys is that they are generally cheaper than their Marvel counterparts. If you find those MCU issues are too expensive for your tastes, turn your gaze toward DC. The 9.8 sold for an impressive $1,900 this month, but that is relatively rare. The most copies sold in a given year since 2008 was just four in 2019. That helps explain the elevated price.
Even though Mysterio apparently died at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Marvel fans are questioning whether or not he will return in Spider-Man 3. Since we are dealing with the master of illusions, it is a distinct possibility. In the comics, there have been a number of characters to wear the fishbowl and call themselves, “Mysterio,” so it is not out of the question to think that someone else will pick up the mantle.
The other factor here is the speculation that Marvel Studios has been building the Sinister Six for two movies now. Adding Doctor Octopus and Elektro from the Sony-verse only solidifies that theory, and Mysterio is a traditional member of the villainous boy band. Put all of this together, and it explains why collectors propelled ASM #13 to the top of the sales chart.
There is no surprise that prices are vastly inflated for this issue. Why wouldn’t it be? This is the first appearance of an iconic Spider-Man villain in an early issue of his first solo series. Since this time last year, the biggest seller has been the 4.0. In 2020, that grade averaged $643, but it now has a 90-day average of $857, and the most recent sale netted $880.
With all the X-Men rumors floating across the internet, X-Men #129 is a sound investment. This Bronze Age issue gives us the first appearances of two very popular characters, Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat. Although both of these characters have been featured in Fox’s X-Men movie franchise, neither has been given the proper development and storytime that they deserve. Considering their importance in the modern X-Men comics and their combined popularity, these two are top prospects to be heavily featured in the MCU’s X-Men franchise.
Because of those two very reasons, X-Men #129 has been getting more expensive by the month. Then again, all the X-Men keys have been hot in the past year, and the latest movie rumor only raises the ante. The only surprise here is that there weren’t more X-keys in the top-five movers and shakers.
Every grade that has sold in 2021 has gotten a price boost thanks to all those X-Men rumors. The lowest grade to trade hands online was a 4.5, and it brought $80, which is impressive considering it was a $48 comic on average in 2020.
The real winner has been the 9.6. After selling 88 times in the past 12 months, it has jumped from a 2020 FMV of $407 to breaking the bank with a $1,750 sale on March 18.
The direct edition of Secret Wars #8 is a staple of any decent collection. After all, this is the first appearance of the alien symbiote that would evolve into Venom. We all know it’s one of Marvel’s all-time most popular characters. For those collectors outpriced for Venom’s first full appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #300, this is a suitable consolation prize. Truthfully, you’re still getting a first appearance in the alien costume, and the high grades are a fraction of the cost for ASM #300.
This, however, is not the direct edition. This is the newsstand copy, and they are much more difficult to find in a higher grade. That’s because newsstand editions were sold directly to stores that sold magazines, like supermarkets and, well, newsstands. They were often mishandled and left with bends and color breaks. That is what makes the higher grades of newsstands so valuable.
How valuable? On March 1, a 9.8 newsstand sold for $899. Then a 9.6 earned $399 on March 6. The last 9.8 direct edition to trade hands brought $670 on March 22. With the rise in newsstand collecting in recent years coupled with the price hike for all things Marvel, this issue will likely surpass $1,000 by the summer.
What is it about Iron Fist that is suddenly popular again? Before his Netflix show got the ax, the lackluster reception for both it and Defenders drove down values on Iron Fist’s key issues. In the past few months, there has been an uptick in sales for Danny Rand’s important moments. Not only has his first appearance in Marvel Premiere #15 received a steady bump in sales, but now the debut of his first solo series is one of the hottest comics on the market this week.
I attribute this burst in momentum to Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings. While nothing has been confirmed, the rumor has it that Danny Rand will be a supporting character in that movie. If that is remotely true, (and I am not so sure until Kevin Feige at least gives us a hint,) is there a possibility that we could see Netflix’s Finn Jones back in the role? We will find out in September.
When it comes to Iron Fist #1, collectors tend to aim for the near-mint grades. The 9.6 has been the most popular seller with 26 graded copies sold in the past 12 months. That has given it an FMV of $292 in that span. However, things are picking up. Over the past 90 days, its FMV has risen to $355, which is the highest it’s been in three years.