As we should, comic collectors have often focused their attention on sales volume as a leading indicator, or predictor, of increasing value. This makes sense; if many collectors have purchased or sold these books, changes in sales volume provide insights into what the market thinks about future values. My blogging colleague at GoCollect, Matt Tuck, does a great job at this with his weekly blogs regarding the hottest (and coldest) books according to sales volume.
A lagging indicator that we all observe is changes in fair market value (FMV). Trends in sales volume should predict trends in FMV, but that isn’t always the case. This is the first in a series of hottest and coldest comics as measured by changes in FMV. We won’t discuss the obvious; for example, we all know that Incredible Hulk #181 and Amazing Spider-Man #129 are “hot” in terms of rising FMV. We’ll choose issues that have surprisingly hot or cold FMVs.
One book that has a surprisingly hot FMV over the past few years is Uncanny X-Men #169. Published late in the Bronze Age, the FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy of this issue has risen by nearly 57%. On March 7th, one 9.8 sold for $200 on eBay. In comparison, late in 2018, several 9.8s sold for around $100. That being said, you can still buy raw, high-grade copies of this book for $15.00 or less on eBay. There are likely two reasons driving up the FMV of this book which I’ll discuss below.
Reason #1: This Book Has Multiple 1st Appearances.
Unless you’re rich, we all need a comic collecting strategy since we can’t buy EVERY hot comic. Just to focus my collecting so I don’t go broke, I pretty much only collect first appearances. In my opinion, this is the best way to go if you have limited resources since a first appearance is generally the most highly sought-after characteristic in a comic.
UXM #169 contains multiple first appearances of: (1) Morlocks; (2) Masque; (3) Plague; (4) Sunder; and (5) Callisto. It’s rare that a book contains so many first appearances. While none of these characters are household names, as we all know from WandaVision speculation, even if Disney teases the appearance of one of these minor characters, this book could jump in value. Could Callisto?
Reason #2: MCU Speculation
We also have reason to believe the Morlocks will appear in the MCU. The Morlocks, mutants who live beneath New York City in abandoned tunnels, live as outcasts, shunned by the rest of humanity and unable to blend in with the rest of society like most of the X-Men can. In other words, they provide a perfect opportunity for Marvel to display the painful consequences of being hated for reasons outside of one’s control.
In addition, many have speculated that Mr. Sinister will play the role of a major villain for upcoming X-Men films. As many know, Mr. Sinister directed the Marauders to slaughter dozens of innocent Morlocks during the “Mutant Massacre” because the Morlocks polluted the mutant gene pool. This brutal act led to his first conflict with the X-Men and we shouldn’t be surprised if this epic storyline plays itself out on film.
What do you think? Will we see Callisto? What other budget spec books are out there? Please let us know in the comments below!
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