The DC Universe platform has turned out to have some fairly decent content. On top of the access to DC back issues that come with the price of a subscription, the standalone animated and live action series have been much more of a hit than a miss.
Soon, the third live action series on the platform, ‘Swamp Thing’, will begin releasing episodes. How will this affect the classic Swamp Thing comics?
Although Marvel is the king of the big screen, they actually are more miss than hit when it comes to animated and small screen offerings (‘Inhumans’ anyone?). Unfortunately for poor DC, it’s the popular theatrical releases that seem to most strongly influence the price of related comics- with small screen and animated releases lagging, even if they still have an effect. Nothing has done more to raise the prices of Marvel keys, or to soften value for the corresponding DC books, than recent Hollywood cinematic releases.
When it comes to Swamp Thing however, his big-screen moment already happened. Although younger readers may not remember it, there was a theatrical version of DC’s Swamp monster released before the Superhero craze caught on, way back in 1982. I remember it; in fact I even watched the sequel in 1989 (‘Return of the Swamp Thing’). Although I liked them at the time, I was very young and, quite honestly, I’d be the first to admit today that they were far from perfect.
Enter Mr. James ‘Aquaman’ Wan. As more teaser trailers for the DC Universe ‘Swamp Thing’ series, due May 31st, become available, color me impressed. The tone is note-perfect, the special effects in these sneak peaks, good enough to make me forget the cheesy 80s incarnation of Alec Holland ever happened. So, if it’s a big hit, what will the new ‘Swamp Thing’ series do for his comics?
House of Secrets #92 (July 1971) – First appearance of Swamp Thing by Bernie Wrightson; Swamp Thing cover; Swamp Thing story; Classic cover
So far as DC Bronze Age keys go, HoS #92 is definitely near the top in terms of importance and desirability. What that means, therefore, is that whether a ‘Swamp Thing’ streaming show does well or poorly will most likely have little to no effect on this book. With its iconic Bernie Wrightson cover, plentiful 2,087 copies represented on the CGC census, and strong FMV of $58,000.00 in certified 9.8 grade, this is as close to a sure thing with DC Bronze Age as you can get. Still, even big keys go up and down in value. In the case of HoS #92, recent months have seen mixed returns on most sales. Over the last three months, 8.0’s are down negative -10% after 3 sales (most recent sale on eBay on 05/06/2019 going for a cool $3000.00). Balance this with positive +12.3% returns on 7.5 grades (after 5 sales) and bookend that with another negative of -11.9% on 6.5’s after 7 sales and you get the picture. All this, of course, has to be put in perspective: FMV of 8.0s are currently: $2, 800.00; 7.5 = $1,850.00 and 6.5 = $1,350.00. Long term, returns (since 2000) up in every grade and many collectors would die for a copy. A well made streaming series ain’t gonna hurt this book.
Swamp Thing #1 (October 1972) – First issue of titled series; Wrightson cover art begins; Origin of Swamp Thing
The self-titled first issue of the Swamp Thing is a different story. This was released almost immediately after the debut of DC’s version of Man-Thing. With 1,768 total certified copies on the CGC census, it’s also a popular book but as the numbers show, not as popular as HoS #92 (second appearances rarely are). However, its values are all over the map. While long term returns on ST #1 are also almost all positive, the three month averages here are more negative than not. 9.6 grades are down negative -2.2% after 6 sales, 9.4 grade is negative -4.9% after 6 sales and a bright spot can be seen on 9.0 grades positive +5.1% after 3 sales since February 17, 2019. Currently the FMV of ST #1 stands at:
9.8 = $2, 900.00
9.6 = $1,050.00
9.4 = $550.00
9.0 = $280.00
8.5 = $260.00
6.0 = $80.00
It will be interesting to see if the streaming show can pull these values up, the way Netflix did for the Umbrella Academy books.