Modern Keys: Are We in a Buyer’s Market?

by Don

010923F-1024x536 Modern Keys: Are We in a Buyer's Market?In three previous blogs, I reviewed sales data for Silver, Bronze, and Copper Age key issues to determine if we’re currently in a “buyer’s market.” In this blog, I review the sales data from the Modern Age. The Great Comic Crash of 2022 definitely had an impact on the Modern Age, but less than you might think. There are some good deals out there though, especially through auctions hosted by eBay and Heritage.

Personally, I think most first-tier Modern Age keys still have further to fall. For example, in most grades, issues like Ultimate Fallout #4, Nyx #300, and The Walking Dead #1 are still selling for roughly 50% more than they did before the comic boom. Invincible #1 is selling for approximately three times as much. I’ve heard some speculators say that a “new floor” has been established for first-tier Modern Age key issues, but I only see evidence of a sideways drift for a few such as The Walking Dead #1 and Harbinger #1.

On the other hand, I see some indicators that some second and third-tier Modern Age key issues may have overcorrected. These may not be the most important keys of the Modern Age, but they’re worth a look at these prices.

A CGC 9.6 Inhumans #5 Sold for $96 on December 13th, 2022.

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Personally, I prefer the Black Widow #1 variant that has Yelena front and center on its cover, but the market still seems to prefer Inhumans #5 even though this is more of a cameo appearance, in my opinion.

Recent sales data suggests that this book may have over-corrected. Like most Marvel key issues, Inhumans #5 went to the moon in 2020 and 2021. For example, a CGC 9.6 reached its all-time high of $429 in November 2021. 13 months later, this key has crashed back to earth with a 9.6 selling for a mere $96 on eBay on December 17th. This is considerably less than what this issue was selling for before the comic boom in 2019 (around $125). It also seems like most MCU fans thought Florence Pugh did a great job portraying Yelena in the Black Widow film and in the Hawkeye Disney+ show. Personally, I thought she did an amazing job and I’m looking forward to seeing her again in Thunderbolts. Her positive reception bodes well for this book’s future.

In my opinion, I think this Modern Age key has hit bottom or has come very close to hitting bottom. If I received an offer for under $100, I’d accept the deal.

A CGC 9.8 X-Men #4 sold for $93 on December 25th, 2022.

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Whoever bought this got a great price during an eBay auction held on Christmas day. While I don’t consider the first appearance of Omega Red to be a top-tier key issue from the Modern Age, I remember this book being one of the first books to get really hot at the beginning of the comic boom in early 2020.

Just before the comic boom occurred, a CGC 9.8 copy of this book sold for around $125. During the comic boom, this same book reached an all-time high of $391 in April 2021. Since then, this book’s value has fallen below what it sold for in 2019. If you look at this book’s historical return over the longer term (roughly 13% annually), you’d expect this book to be worth around $191 today. I’m not sure if we’ll ever see Omega Red in the MCU, but whoever got this book for $93 last month did really well.

Have you noticed any other third-tier Modern Age keys that have overcorrected? If so, please name them in the comments section below!

Upgrade2_Footer Modern Keys: Are We in a Buyer's Market?*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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2 comments

T La Ross January 17, 2023 - 8:56 am

I highly recommend investing some time into looking at census growth. The lower prices seem more indicative of the supply far exceeding the demand than a drop in interest to me.
Using X-Men #4 as an example…. at the start of 2019, there were 1,020 universal label 9.8s on the CGC census. Now there are 4,466.
Use cgcdata.com to track census growth and you’ll be surprised at what you see from bronze age to modern in regards to census climbs and possibly rethink the whole “buy on the dip” idea.

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Steve M January 17, 2023 - 6:39 pm

The king of currently undervalued modern books is (in my opinion) Amazing Spider-Man 546. I picked up a CGC 9.6 in 2021 for $100. Lately, I have been buying them at $25-30 and one copy for $14. This issue is the start of a historically great run of ASM, with two first appearances (Mr. Negative, 2nd Jackpot).

I also picked up a 9.8 of the sketch variant for $300 recently. This used to sell for $800+

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