In Memoriam 2019 – Comic Value We Lost

by Michael Vlachakis

245051_df02b45c9ce58fbcd8944b18793fb90ff5794daa-192x300 In Memoriam 2019 - Comic Value We Lost

Shed a tear for the ones we’ve lost, for they all can’t be winners.  Every year, I like to take a look back at the wild roller coaster ride that is the comic market.  Akin to a predictable comic book villain..for every dazzling gain that is had in a collection, there always seems to be a wild loss that not only hurts your bottom line but also takes a swipe at your ego.  You were sure you had a winner.  What happened?  Let’s take a look at some comics we hope to leave behind in 2019.

Rumors can be helpful for a speculator, but sometimes it is possible for a rumor to drive speculation off of sensible rails.  Amazing Spider-Man #212 was a perfect example of this dangerous speculation.  Someone decided that a water-cannon effect on set meant that the arrival of Hydro-Man was assured.  Prices for a 9.8 copy soared into the $500 range sending a flood of copies to be graded and then subsequently onto the market.  Things settled and prices dropped hard, currently leaving copies selling in the $200 range, even with the help of a Morris Bench name-drop in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

We keep hearing rumors of characters that never seem to come to fruition.  One character I am ready to move on from is Nova.  Although Nova #1 has seen an uptick on the market it feels like the character is not going to appear in anything significant going forward, and if he does, who cares at this point.  I feel that this character has peaked and is officially dead to me as of 2019.  Let’s shift our ineptly focused guidance on Spider-Woman now.

Captain Marvel was a success on the market thanks to Carol Danvers being a big solution to the Thanos storyline.  Issues of Ms. Marvel #1 had strong traction throughout the year.  If you were banking on a copy of Avenging Spider-Man #9, which is the first feature of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel, you probably did not have the same success. 9.8 graded copies have had a few sales peaks in the $400-$500 range, but prices have settled back into the $200’s.

X-Men books are always a proud addition for any collector to add to their stash.  So why is it that semi-older X-Men books are showing price declines?  For X-Men rookies, anything prior to issue #66 is the original run, and very desirable.  Reprints occurred until issue #94, which featured the new team introduced in Giant-Size X-Men #1.  Most issues after #94 were on a growth streak until recently and the growth has not only slowed but may be declining.  It is unknown if this is a correction in the title due to supply and demand, or if X-men titles are just undervalued on the market.  Stay tuned to find out more.

My biggest mule of the year has to go to Ronin, for two reasons.  New Avengers #11 and New Avengers #27.  One character, two duds.  Hard to beat that.  It seems like the speculation machine drove collectors to scoop up everything based on an image in a movie trailer rather than doing some background work on value, census, and stock.  Modern comics are plentiful and often risky being graded and marketed in a hurry.  Owning a copy pre-price pop was mostly beneficial, but many gains were probably shed on these books.

Did you have a spectacular dud this year?  Is there a comic that you are hoping turns into a Phoenix and rises from the ashes?  Drop your comments and join the speculation!

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1 comment

Ed Dee December 9, 2019 - 2:14 pm

Michael, from a few comics circles I hear that X-Men reprints are now desirable because nobody wanted them and there are few in the upper 9 grades. As far as duds in 2019. A few that come to mind:
Batman Damned
Spider-Woman ( I thought for a moment this was gaining popularity)
Immortal Hulk ( very hot but now seems to have cooled off)
Master of Kung Fu
Moon Knight ( outside of WWBN 32) his other comics seem to be stagnant

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