Hottest Comics: Year in Review ’22

by Matt Tuck

kkkkll-1024x536 Hottest Comics: Year in Review '22As New Year’s Day approaches, we take a look at the Hottest Comics of 2022 – and Jane Foster is bringing the thunder.

We’ve been watching the Hottest Comics like a hawk all year long. From one week to the next, we have seen the latest live-action trends send an assortment of keys from the top to the bottom of the rankings at lightning speed. As we get ready to welcome 2023, it’s time to reflect on the comics that made the most gains throughout the year.

As always, let’s take a moment to remember what the Hottest Comics are all about in the first place. Before anyone points out that other issues have made bigger leaps in terms of sales prices, that’s not what the focus is here. Instead, we’re looking at the sales volume. And these five issues were the ones that made the most noise, which is definitely worth noting.

21. THOR #1 (+76)

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Considering the massive fallout from all things connected to Thor: Love and Thunder, it may be hard to believe that the Thunder Goddess’ first cover appearance was the biggest comic of the entire year. Of course, having Jane Foster star in a major Marvel Studios production didn’t hurt things in the slightest. The only problem was that it fell so flat with audiences, but that doesn’t erase the enormous volumes of copies that were being bought and sold on eBay up to the movie’s opening weekend.

What will come of this issue in the future? The prognosis is negative, at least at this point. On the surface, it would appear that Lady Thor bit the proverbial dust in less-than-epic fashion at the conclusion of Love and Thunder. Then again, practically everything about the fourth Thor movie didn’t sit well with audiences. Still, with the Multiverse in effect, anything is possible. For now, the spec is basically dead.

Again, that’s why Thor #1’s inclusion on today’s list—not to mention it’s outperforming all the competition—is so impressive. In the words of the Silver Age Thor, verily it did hit rock bottom soon after the film’s release, but what a few months it was. Here we are at the end of the year, and Thor #1 has outshone them all.

After the standard edition graded at a 9.8 averaged $286 with a record high of $516 in 2021, this year has seen that figure deflate to $239. However, that is mostly due to the large figures it was earning prior to Love and Thunder. More recently, it’s stayed in the $100 area. 

19. X-MEN, VOL. 2, #1 (+74)

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If you are a regular follower of the Hottest Comics blogs, then you will have seen this one coming. All year long, those 1991 X-Men #1s have been littered across the eBay sales index. There’s hardly a week that goes by without one cover or more at least being in the running for either the Hottest or Coldest comic. Now that we’re at the tail end of 2022, it’s only fitting that the Magneto cover ranked just behind Thor #1 for the year’s biggest mover and shaker. 

Practically every 1990s Marvel collector has a trove of the X-Men #1s. It holds the record for the most copies ever printed, and I would imagine it also sold the most copies as well, though I haven’t been able to confirm that. There were numerous cover options that fit together to form what many feel is Jim Lee’s best work. That alone makes it worth owning for his fans and X-Men fans in general. 

Since practically everyone already owns a copy, it’s surprising that the 12-month average is $104. However, the past month has seen that figure come down to $76.


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Falling in line behind X-Men #1 is…X-Men #1. Only this time, we swap the Magneto cover art for Wolverine and Cyclops on the Collector’s Edition. This particular variant has been gaining plenty of traction over the past year, as evidenced by its inclusion in the year-end movers and shakers. With so many copies available, why has it been such a hot commodity in 2022?

It’s no surprise that the main culprit is Marvel Studios. We’re getting closer to the X-Men’s long-awaited arrival in the MCU, and fans can’t contain their excitement to see Hugh Jackman return as Wolverine. In fact, that is a contributing factor for three of the five entries on today’s list. However, when it comes to both the X-Men #1s, the animated universe may be more influential.

Earlier this year, Marvel revealed that it would be resurrecting the beloved X-Men: The Animated Series from the 1990s. In fact, it would retain all its ‘90s glory and aesthetic and be named X-Men ‘97. The original cartoon took its art cues straight from Lee’s early-’90s look, which is a big reason why the show was such a massive hit (although we all secretly wanted to see Wolverine’s yellow and brown ‘80s attire). Naturally, as collectors target key issues tied to the new cartoon, they lean toward the penultimate ‘90s X-Men comic.

Collector’s Edition or not, this isn’t a comic that will sell for ridiculous amounts. With so many copies available, getting a 9.8 is fairly easy. Still, the fact that it has averaged $97 for the year is impressive in itself. 


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Here’s another issue that was red hot in 2022 thanks to the Wolverine buzz. 

Let’s not forget that it started well before Jackman was confirmed for Deadpool 3. In fact, it started a year prior beginning with WandaVision. Sure, the joke was on us when Evan Peters’ character was not Quicksilver afterall, but Marvel wanted us to believe he was the first of many arrivals from the Fox-verse. That led to Wolverine speculation, naturally. After that fell through, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier had our backs with clear allusions toward Logan with Madripoor and The Princess Bar, both of which are directly tied to him. 

Those Easter eggs paved the way for a rumor that Marvel was looking to cast a new Wolverine for possibly an anthology series. Any show dealing with Logan’s history will inevitably be connected to the Weapon X program, and that is what sparked the fires underneath Marvel Comics Presents #72. Here you have the full history of Canada’s super-soldier program and how it transformed Logan into the adamantium-clawed Weapon X. If that’s not enough to get buyers on the bandwagon, Barry Windsor-Smith’s magnificent artwork will reel you in. 

The increase in popularity has directly impacted the fair market values as you might imagine. Two years ago, the graded 9.8 averaged $123. Last year is proving to be an anomaly of sorts since basically every key spiked with record highs all around. MCP #72, for one, jumped to an FMV over $500. After 2022, it’s come back to normal, relatively speaking, and this issue will end the year with a 12-month FMV or $301.

56. THE SANDMAN #1 (+44)

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We will close out the year with another issue that is bound to gain some traction heading into 2023, The Sandman #1. 

Despite persistent rumors that DC and Netflix were canceling the live-action series, the initial trailer blew minds and lit the beacons for Neil Gaiman’s famous work. No one knew what to expect from the show, though most fans were cautiously optimistic. Then came the first season, and minds were blown. It was true to the comics with just enough deviation from the source material to give the series its own personality. With that overwhelmingly positive reception came a jump in popularity for Dream’s first appearance in The Sandman #1.

Then came the anxiety-inducing question of whether or not Netflix would renew Sandman for a second season. At last, the news we had waited impatiently to hear came down from the mountaintop, and Morpheus will return for another round of adventures. As we approach that forthcoming release date, which has yet to be announced, it should keep The Sandman #1 in the collecting spotlight. 

Throughout the year, the graded 9.8 has averaged over $800. As the enthusiasm for season one began to wane, those prices began to dip. For the past 90 days, it’s earned $648, and the month of December has seen it hold close to that at $636.

Are you surprised by 2022’s top 5? Let us know in the comments below!

Annual_Membership_Footer Hottest Comics: Year in Review '22*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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