Investment Ramifications from Wonder Woman 1984

by Joseph Overaitis

Wonder-Woman-300x157 Investment Ramifications from Wonder Woman 1984I hope Patty Jenkins reads this article.  Every comic book hobbyist owes her a debt of gratitude.  This is not because of the success of Wonder Woman 1984.  Instead, the reason is that Wonder Woman 1984 reminded comic book hobbyists that resting on one’s laurels is not a way to invest.

Wonder Woman was a success

Past Success

Patty Jenkins is a successful film producer, director, and screenwriter.  Please notice I did not use the word female toRoss-Andru-Wonder-Woman-98-194x300 Investment Ramifications from Wonder Woman 1984 lessen her accomplishment.  Wonder Woman was a movie that demonstrated that a female character could be the lead of a superhero film franchise. This movie hit all the high water marks for moviegoers.  The movie provided key action scenes involving characters that the viewer cared about.  In addition, the main antagonist was a Machiavellian villain who was only revealed at the end of the film.  Wonder Woman was the hero of the film.  She was strong, but her inner strength is where her true power resided.

Comic book investors took notice and were ready to invest in key books.  DC Comics were not in vogue with investors, but investors I talked with believed Wonder Woman books may be the exception.  The next film would introduce new books to speculate and invest in.  Then came Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 is a flawed movie

Villains Define Our Heroes

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImFmOTZjZjhjLTFiMDMtNDdlZi04MzE5LTIxOGI4MzlmODdlYi5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-195x300 Investment Ramifications from Wonder Woman 1984In Wonder Woman 1984 viewers saw a film that had all the potential for success but deviated from what made the first film a good one.  The film had two antagonists.  Max Lord could never be compared to Lex Luthor.  His plans for world conquest depended on the actions of others.  Lex is proactive.  In contrast, Max Lord was reactive to the point fans felt sorry for him.  Before the film, investors sought out his first appearance in Justice League #1 hoping he would be the big bad.  Instead, his character was just bad.

The second villain was Barbara Minerva, aka the Cheetah.  Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman’s main villains.  I expected her transformation and drive for power to deal with something more than a wish to be one of the “cool kids.” Instead, she seemed only concerned with preventing our hero from interfering with her popularity.  Again fans sought out her key appearances in Wonder Woman #7 and  Wonder Woman #9.  These issues were inexpensive and speculators hoped that maybe these books would take off.  Sadly, after the movie, they lost all their popularity.

A Diminished Hero

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6Ijg2YmMxMWEwLWE4NjAtNDM4Ny1iNjNiLWNkOTEyNDlhZWViNi5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-199x300 Investment Ramifications from Wonder Woman 1984Wonder Woman is an Amazon warrior.  She was an inspiration for little girls watching her on the screen.  We cared because she was a character put in an “alien” world in the first film and her inner strength gave her the ability to succeed in that society.  She was a hero.  Wonder Woman lacked that strength in Wonder Woman 1984.  Wonder Woman seemed to be more concerned with a man rather than realizing her inner power and potential.  In the first film, Bruce Wayne gave our hero Trevor’s watch. It reminded her of a loved one lost because of war.  That touching scene lost its importance because of the sequel’s plot. Now the watch is a reminder of how the sequel lost its way from what made a truly great first film.  The watch told hobbyists that the time may be up to invest in Wonder Woman keys.

Films Driving Speculators and Investors

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImFmZTE3Y2E3LWY1YTctNGJlNS05MzQzLTFhYjhiYzA4MmVlOS5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-192x300 Investment Ramifications from Wonder Woman 1984The Marvel and DC Comics cinematic universes now drive our hobby.  The mere rumor of a character’s film appearance influences our industry.  Cheetah and Maxwell Lord became hot picks when Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal were announced to play those characters. The movie was delayed and these picks soon were getting colder.  Reviews of the movie have since made these characters ice-cold investments. Is the importance of comics only being valuable because of movies something that should concern speculators and investors?

Patty Jenkins again taught hobbyists a lesson that I think is very important.  Even with all her success, she got to comfortable in her work. Picking two established villains without fleshing them out doomed this movie.  It also made investing in Wonder Woman keys very difficult.  Demand for these books does not exist out here in live auctions.  There are opportunities out here that the successful investors should capitalize on, and they owe it to Patty Jenkins.

Investors and speculators should stop focusing only on television, movie, and game news to base their investments.  Patty Jenkins lost her voice and followed every other comic book movie formula.  Her film suffered as a result.  How many other investors and speculators are following the same formula of investing in multimedia comic book keys in hopes of striking it rich? You can swim in this red ocean with the sharks, but also remember other books do exist.  Look to the blue ocean of comic books that investors and speculators are ignoring although they have great potential.  Following the paths of others is one method for success but it comes with no guarantees.

Learning from Patty Jenkins

Successful individuals make mistakes. What makes these people successful is that they learn from those mistakes.  Wonder Woman 1984 is not great. That does not mean Patty Jenkins can not salvage the final film or even the Cheetah character to make them better. This is a lesson that you, the speculator, and the investor should learn from the movie.  Many investors get burned following the same past path of success and continue to follow it to their own detriment.

Try to find your honey hole in that blue ocean of books.  Your chances of success are much greater if you follow your own path instead of trying to only mimic the paths of others. In addition, diversify your investment.  This will allow you to maximize opportunities and minimize the risk of the one-basket investment approach.  Finally, if you are investing in movie comic books, realize that not all movies will be winners.  This can affect your investments.  Knowing when to get in on these books is good,  but knowing when to get out is even better.

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12 comments

Clay February 17, 2021 - 8:47 pm

Of all the terrible advice dispensed on this corporate blog on a regular basis, “follow your own path instead of trying to only mimic the path of others” may be the all-time winner.

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Joseph Overaitis February 18, 2021 - 10:57 pm

Clay

I was going to say

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

But someone beat me too it.

I value all input because I believe knowing what the marketplace is saying is important. One thing I would point out though is that what you posted was a factually incorrect. The blog is one that is not corporate in nature. I am not an employee of the corporation nor are any other bloggers. Instead I work at my law firm where I am both attorney and founding partner.

I went my own way with my firm and I am happy and successful. I believe it is better to follow your own path and find happiness and success rather than following others because it will limit your chances for success. I guess though some will follow the paths of others and try to mimic what makes them successful. I believe most of the people who come on these boards and read these articles want to educate themselves on what others in the marketplace are thinking and to thus give them an advantage. Collecting comics has helped me in professional life and I guess when you are asked to represent clients in a case with a comic book collection that sold for $400,000 maybe I am not as terrible at giving advice as you would give me credit Clay. Again welcome to the boards though with your first post. I may not agree with your comment but it is yours to give. Next time though please present why you disagree with the advice so that an open dialogue can be created. I encourage anyone who disagrees with what I posted to write down their position so that it can be discussed. I am not ashamed to admit that I have actually learned from others who sometimes disagree with me. So again welcome to the boards and feel free to present your opinions so we can learn from the different views everyone here has on comics.

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Clay February 18, 2021 - 11:26 pm

Appreciate the long reply.

I guess I was just frustrated because there are so many people coming to these blogs who are new to this hobby and starving for any bit of knowledge to help them make good choices.

My point was that even with the benefit of hindsight, it would be nearly impossible to select a portfolio of 25 comics from the last 10 years that could beat the gains from 25 comics that were tied to movies and shows.

My fear is that by telling people to go their own way, they’ll lose the only surefire opportunities they have to be successful, enjoy themselves and stay in the hobby. What if they decide their path is only buying run issues of Freedom Fighters, Arak, Tor and Arion?

Comics only gain in value when they are popular and lots of people buy them and pay more and more for the next one available. We all lust for the best issues of the most popular characters of all time. That’s the very definition of following the pack to success.

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Joseph Overaitis February 19, 2021 - 10:35 am

Clay

Then I must agree with you in part. Yes if you are a newbie you can follow the path but again no when to get in and when to get out is also important and where newbies could get burned compared to the experienced collector. There are also blogs that play upon those newbies who invest in ANY character as long as they are attached to a film or tv series. It is hard to write a blog for everyone. Where the blogs get fleshed out is through these type of open dialogues that you just contributed to in a very meaningful way. Clay you are smart. Add your comments to the blogs. It helps readers get more insight into advice and helps those people realize how others see the information presented. Through your commments we now know that maybe it might be wise to follow the path of success for a time and for a certain reader. That newbie should also realize there will come a time when you might not want to follow the path because you might be led off the cliff. Following in movies maybe a a good buy, but equally important is knowing when to get out?

Clay These boards and blogs are made better by people like you. Do not stop posting ok? Bring your wisdom to help pinpoint positives and negatives in the blogs. That way the readers can also benefit from the wisdom and experiences you bring to the table. Great first comment!!! I now expect there will be more to come on other articles as well!!!

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popsequentialism February 18, 2021 - 12:06 pm

DC is not Marvel cinematically. With the exception of the Nolan trilogy (and the very investible Harley Quinn) the DC cinematic universe has yet to match the collector mindset the way that Marvel has. Aquaman and Wonder Woman keys are still very undervalued just as historical collectibles. James Gun’s forthcoming projects could well be the catalyst to change that for DC, but TV has always been a tepid motivator for sustained value.

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show (the best of the non-Netflix Marvel shows until Disney+) did little to nothing for the value of any characters it introduced, and the CW shows are not just a rollercoaster in terms of quality, their impact on comicbook keys is less stable than third tier crypto currencies for investment potential. The only motion media that has had an impact on the value of comics has been the MCU movies, one or two video games, a couple Netflix shows and, now, Disney+ which (aside from Mandalorian, which is a Star Wars cottage industry unto itself) is as-yet unproven since everything from Wandavision onward is rising on spec at this point.

DC’s Titans series is excellent, but did the price of Deathstroke #6 get much of a boost -even though Rose/Ravager is a good character on a great show? Hawk & Dove #1, which introduced Dawn Grainger is still a $4 book. Spectre #54, the first appearance of Mr. Terrific (Michael Holt) frequently sells for less than FMV in spite of five seasons on Arrow. Anyone who invested in any Doom Patrol books has seen the tide rise and fall, too, but an uneven second season certainly didn’t help. John Constantine keys have all risen on spec and in spite of prior TV incarnations.

I agree that Patty Jenkins worked magic with the first Wonder Woman film and with the pre-credits sequence of 1984, but Gal Godot is the only good thing to come out of them. Villain spec is always risky, and both Wonder Woman #1 and Justice League #1 from 1987 are important Bronze Age book aside from reintroducing Mars and introducing Maxwell Lord, respectively.

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Joseph Overaitis February 18, 2021 - 10:38 pm

Pops

I have to respectfully disagree with some of our posts. Daisy has had her first appearance sought after by collectors because of her first appearance. Her first appearance is now a “key” in some auctions. The Cheetah books all regularly appeared on the hot lists here at GoCollect because people tried to invest in characters related to the DCU. People keep chasing the MCU formula and that formula was in full force with WW84. Lately people invest in villains (Taskmaster, Cheetah, and others) because they sometimes are come at a cheaper cost than the heroes. In addition look at how Wandavision has so many people scrambling at easter eggs to find books to invest. To me WW was the movie that should be the lesson that investing in characters only because they are mentioned in movies without studying any of the other numbers is a a risky endeavor.

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David Miller February 18, 2021 - 12:14 pm

As Dirty Harry said opinions are like a**holes.

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Joseph Overaitis February 18, 2021 - 10:26 pm

David Miller

Yes everyone has opinions. Yours was posted. On these boards though maybe you could have fleshed out more about what you thought of the blog. These boards are for people to comment on the blogs so that we can educate ourselves on what the marketplace thinks. I may not agree with everything said but that does not mean I do not want to know what people think. Knowledge is power and money in this marketplace.

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octoberland February 18, 2021 - 12:48 pm

Agreed with this. I’m on a decent stack of those WW books. I bought them inexpensively (sub $3 each) years back, but now it seems like it’s all lost money. I still have nice high grade copies but it’ll be harder to make them “not” mine.

– Craig Coffman

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Joseph Overaitis February 18, 2021 - 10:25 pm

Octoberland

One has to hope that the next movie might be the time to move. Watch the trends too with the Justice League HBO Cut to see if renewed interest falls onto the movie.

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Aaron Stechesen February 18, 2021 - 6:39 pm

The thing about “investing” now is that people think that there is an actual formula. There isn’t. Yes there are your blue chip books but most of those are out of reach of most people. The bulk of books out there will always be slow to increase in value.. The thing is they will eventually increase in value. So given enough time, like many investments, the real money is accrued over time. So my suggestion is always buy what interests you. Comics were made to entertain and, unlike much other entertainment you have the benefit of some return in the end. Buying what interests you allows you to get in on the ground floor and maximizes your return in the end. Instead of buying based on what a book might do or buying on speculation where you likely have to give up more to get a return.

Several years back when I was actively collecting silver and gold age Wonder Woman books they were far more affordable BUT those issues were particularly hard to find and they were all well above guide and as such most were garnering two times guide at a minimum and in almost every grade. That changed long before there were even whispers of a movie. If I had not sold off those books back then I would have made substantially more since appreciation for the title increased for it as Batman, Superman, and all Timely books had passed out of range of most collectors.

Now the WW movies might have boosted many of the prices since but to think the fact that the most recent movie has hurt the values of early appearances of the Cheetah is a bit of a joke since the first appearance of Cheetah way back in #6 is exceedingly hard to find even back in the time when I was buying them. That is a blue chip, just one that is still within reach.

If you want in on the ground floor, you go through the Previews and order what interests you and you should be able to pay less than cover at many stores and if your picks take off then all you have to worry about is when to sell it. Nowadays, you can get some amazing return in a very short period of time sometimes more, percentage-wise, than you can on some blue chips which you may have to wait quite awhile to double (or more) your initial costs. the rest you are just going to have to wait for time to to have it’s effect. It may take decades but you can make that money back and more. Bull markets like now will end but the one thing that never changes is that time will slowly increase the nostalgia factor and that increases your return…if making money is the goal.

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Joseph Overaitis February 18, 2021 - 10:19 pm

Aaron
Great comments. The problem I see is that people now invest by buying comics based upon what is announced on variety or tv guide and then it is assumed these properties will take off. It is not that easy but a vast majority of people think it so. I got rid of my WW modern and bronze age keys when the movie was announced because buyers wanted those books. For me I saw them as books I could sell to get even better books. I have to disagree with you about WW #6. I could find tons of WW #6. What was really hard…finding a sensation comics #22. That was the hard task.

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