WandaVision’s epic cameo lit a fire under all things X-Men this week, and X-Men #94 led the pack, making nearly 1,000 gains in the Hottest Comics rankings.
ANOTHER WEEK OF RANKINGS
The collecting community, at large, had great taste this week. Among the biggest movers and shakers in the top-selling comics were legendary creators Chris Claremont, Frank Miller, Walt Simonson, and even Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Amazing key issues by some amazing talents in the industry. It is no wonder these were the favorites among the collecting and speculating crowds.
What are the Hottest Comics? These are the 1,001 best-selling issues over the past week. This particular series of blogs ranks the top five based on the number of positions gained in that span. Keep in mind that this is not an indication of a comic’s fair market value, though the sales volume and FMV tend to go hand-in-hand.
That being said, let’s take a look at this week’s top-five movers and shakers.
Evan Peters shook up the comic world when he appeared at the end of WandaVision’s fourth episode.
There are plenty of rumors floating on the internet (Is that really Quicksilver or Mephisto in disguise?), but the dominant theory is the most obvious: Peters just connected Fox’s X-Men movies to the MCU. Whether or not he will introduce the rest of the Fox cast into the world of Marvel Studios remains to be seen, but it definitely kick-started even more buzz around the X-Men.
For X-fans, this is one of the “big three” of keys. There’s the first appearance in X-Men #1 and the introduction of the new team in Giant-Size X-Men #1. Then there is X-Men #94, which kicked off Chris Claremont’s nearly-two decade run on the title. Clearly, Marvel will pull from the Claremont era for its future X-stories. Thus, collectors were putting their money behind X-Men #94.
All the major X-Men keys have been gaining fair market value ever since Disney bought Fox and acquired the X-Men’s movie rights. Just last week, an 8.0 X-Men #94 sold for nearly $1k when a Heritage auction netted $990. On eBay, a 7.5 brought just shy of $700 on February 6. The lowest grade to sell in February, as of this writing, was a 5.5. Even that mid-grade copy earned $432. I daresay that if X-Men #94 had a better cover (especially if it featured classic Wolverine artwork), then this issue would be worth even more.
Simonson’s brilliance was on display in this issue as he brought Beta Ray Bill to life.
With all the MCU Easter eggs for the intergalactic horseman, it is no wonder that Thor #337 stays at the top of the collecting list. It is inevitable that Marvel Studios will include Bill in a future MCU movie. It could even be as soon as Thor: Love and Thunder. After all, Thor will famously lose Mjolnir to Jane Foster. That could be the opening Marvel needs to incorporate Beta Ray Bill into the mix. With Gor the God Butcher entering the fray as the film’s primary antagonist, Thor Odinson could use all the help he can get. Since it appears the Thunderstrike may be part of the new movie, why not add Beta Ray Bill (maybe even Throg) and form the Thor Corps?
For all the above reasons, Thor #337 is a solid investment. Yes, the prices have been climbing since that original Guardians of the Galaxy Easter egg with a suspicious red cape seen inside the Collector’s chamber. It is only getting more expensive each passing year. But we have not seen the FMVs peek just yet. That will come when he makes his long-awaited MCU debut. Now is the time to get your hands on this issue.
Since January, the 9.8 has sold from anywhere between $700-$825, and the most recent sale was for $690 on February 10. A 9.4 may be a bit easier on the budget. Even that grade has seen its FMV rise with a $205 sale. This is the highest it has reached since October.
What brought this sudden surge from Frank Millers’ seminal work?
Back in 1986, Miller was the rising star of the comic book world. Over at Marvel Comics, he had resurrected Daredevil and penned what is still the most influential run in the character’s history. By the mid-1980s, comics were changing direction and becoming darker, grittier, and with adult themes. The tides were turning, and DC Comics needed a new direction for Batman, who had been plagued by light-hearted, campy stories since the heart of the Golden Age.
Enter: Frank Miller and The Dark Knight Returns. With the epic four-part limited series, Batman became the dark hero we celebrate today.
Considering the overall implications of TDKR, it goes without saying that it is a perennial favorite among collectors. What self-respecting collector doesn’t have TDKR in some form? However, it did strike me as odd that issue #3 ranked so high. Sure, this is the issue when the alternate timeline Joker died. That has never been a major selling point, however. I attribute this to the Justice League Snyder Cut. The word on the internet is that Batfleck will drive a Batmobile inspired by the tank Batman drove in TDKR. This has given all the Dark Knight Returns a push.
After prices began dipping below the $100 mark in December, 2021 has been a good year for TDKR #3. At a 9.8, it has not sold for less than $119. The last two sales have seen sales of $149.95 and $145.
Heading into Super Bowl weekend, the rumor was that Sony would debut the first full trailer for Venom 2. That sparked interest in all things Carnage this week. In addition to this issue cracking the top 10, the newsstand edition of Amazing Spider-Man #361 ranked first on the Hottest Comics.
It is likely that the plot to Venom 2 will pull liberally from the fan-favorite “Maximum Carnage.” After all, Sony already announced that Carnage will team with Scream to challenge Venom in the upcoming sequel. Where did Maximum Carnage begin? Spider-Man Unlimited #1, and that is why collectors were targeting this particular issue.
Graded at a 9.8, Spider-Man Unlimited #1 has been experiencing record sales as of late. After selling for $57 on December 29, the near-mint-plus has yet to bring less than $91 in 2021. In fact, the most recent sale on February 10 saw a 9.8 sell for $125.
When it comes to Marvel lore, this is the issue to have. Without Fantastic Four #1, there would be no Marvel Comics. On the back of the company’s first major hit title, Marvel built an empire that has now conquered Hollywood. It all began here. Talk about one of the hottest comics!
That alone makes this a key of keys in the collecting world. The FF’s introduction into the MCU has doubled that interest. With the speculation surrounding WandaVision’s “missing engineer” theories and whether or not that implies Reed Richards, collectors with plenty of money to invest put this issue at the top of their wish lists. Rightly so, because when the Fantastic Four make their way into the MCU, even if it is only a clear Easter egg, prices for their first issue will blow the roof off the collecting world.
Since this issue is a major “Holy Grail” key, naturally it fetches high prices. The most recent sale was for a 5.0. It earned a whopping $24,000 in a Heritage auction on February 8. That is nearly double the last sale from July 2020 when a 5.0 earned over $13k.
To put things into perspective, consider this. Last January, a lowly 1.0 sold for over $5k, and a 0.5 brought nearly $4k in December.
What do you think about this week’s Hottest Comics rankings? Do you have any of these books? Tell us about them in the comments!