Wolverine and those rare newsstand editions are trending this week. Let’s dive into the data for a closer look.
WOLVERINE LIMITED SERIES
A few weeks ago, I noted a trend in Wolverine’s minor key issues, specifically his 1988 ongoing series and the origin of the Weapon X program. This week, a new trend has emerged, specifically for those four issues from the original 1982 limited series.
While it is easy to focus on the coveted first issue from the series, dig deeper and you will see impressive gains from issues #2-4. What this signals is an interest not only in #1, which happens to be the third-best-selling comic this week, but collecting the entire set. Take a look at these eye-catching numbers.
The second and third issues of Wolverine each gained over 950 positions. A major selling point for all these comics is the cover art, which is magnificent. These days, there is a trend in the negative space artwork. Clearly, this is not a new concept as these covers exhibit the technique perfectly with their blue, black, and green backgrounds.
Further down the list is Wolverine #4. Compared to the other three, this has always been the consolation prize. No one seeks out this issue on its own because there is not much value to it outside of a complete set. The fact that it made such huge gains is an indication that collectors are scouting for all four issues of this series. If you happen to have the complete set at high grades, hold onto them because they are heating up. In fact, issue #4 graded at a 9.8 sold for $221earlier this month, and it has an impressive 90-day average of $282.
Another trend that we see in the top 100 is the newsstand editions. What is a newsstand? Back in the old days of collecting, comics were readily available wherever books and magazines were sold, such as an airport newsstand or grocery stories. These had barcodes so that they could be scanned just like any other item. Then publishers began selling comics directly to comic shops, hence the term direct editions.
These days, almost all comics come from comic shops either in person or online. That has made finding the old newsstand editions highly collectible. They have been particularly big sellers this week, occupying five of the top 100 positions. Aside from ASM #252, which I noted in this week’s Hottest Comics blog, here are some other newsstand editions that are getting attention.
The first appearance of Beta Ray Bill has once again become a major force in the market. At the top of the heap, the direct edition gained 101 places to rank 11th this week. While the Thor #337 newsstand variant doesn’t compete with those sales figures, it gained over 900 positions in just seven days, meaning collectors are definitely eying this one. If you are in the market for one, expect to pay inflated prices. The most recent sales saw a 9.8 bring over $600 in October and the 9.6s were consistently selling for $200-$300.
86. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300 NEWSSTAND (+913)
The direct edition for Venom’s debut is always a top seller, but it is worth paying attention to that barcode at the bottom of the comic. The overlooked newsstand edition of Amazing Spider-Man #300 picked up the pace, gaining 914 spots in the past week. It was a month ago that a 9.6 newsstand sold for $2,850, which is over $1k more than what the direction editions earned for the same grade in October.
Spawn #1 is a case in how rarity elevates a comic’s value.
Since October, the 9.8 newsstand of Spawn #1 has been seeing huge figures. On October 8, one brought $1,226. By the end of the month, another sale garnered $800 followed by a $700 sale on November 10.
Compare those numbers with the far more common direct edition, which has averaged $141 over the past 90 days for a 9.8. You get the picture.
I don’t see any of these issues cooling off anytime soon. Sure, they will take a slight dip from one week to the next, but these are all proven market performers. The newsstands may fall behind in terms of volume due to those being harder to find. As far as the Wolverine Limited Series, as long as that first issue stays in the top-10 Hottest Comics, the other three will ride the coattails.