New Interest in the New Gods

by Blaise Tassone

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We’ve known since January that Ava DuVernay (‘A Wrinkle In Time’) has been given the reins to direct a DC ‘New Gods’ movie – currently in production. The latest news from the grapevine is that Tom King (Batman, Heroes in Crisis) has been selected to write the script (see here).

What does that mean for those Kirby New Gods comics?

One thing it means, apparently, given the spike in sales of New Gods comics this week, is that Tom King still has fans out there. This, in itself, is a bit surprising. Like many, let’s just say that I was a bit disappointed with King’s recent work for DC. Much like Bendis before him on Superman, King took an iconic DC hero (in his case Batman) and tried to change the formula.

This rarely goes well.

The big three at DC (the Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman trinity) are popular for a reason: they embody the archetype of heroism.

Sure, they are dynamic and have depth but while you can do a lot with those characters and the situations you place them in, when you mess with the formula (I’m looking at you Zack Snyder) don’t be surprised if you lose your audience.

In the case of the ‘New Gods’ there’s some hope for optimism. The New Gods were Kirby’s ambitious attempt to start a new mythology for the twentieth century. Part of Kirby’s enigmatic ‘Fourth World’ the New Gods are not superheroes in the traditional sense so much as immensely powerful celestial beings. Apokolips and New Gensis, the realms from which the New God’s hail, are not even said to exist in our own dimension. So what we’re dealing with here are extra dimensional beings who are more powerful than most of the DC heroes (see my post, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World is Heating Up for more on Kirby’s Fourth World).

That said, there are many possibilities that a film version of these characters can actualize with fruitful results. Even the announcement of Tom King is not completely bad news. Before taking over Batman, King won an Eisner Award for his Mister Miracle run produced with illustration help from Mitch Gerads.

So, while it may not be as highly anticipated as the next ‘Wonder Woman’ or James Gunn’s ‘Suicide Squad’ film, many appear to be giving Warner the benefit of the doubt that ‘New Gods’ won’t be a step backwards in the DCEU’s continuously bright output.

Okay, so if you’re still with me, which New Gods issues are showing movement after the recent news?

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New Gods #1 (February 1971) – 1st appearance of Orion, Highfather, Metron, Kalibek, Lightray, New Genesis, Apokolips, and the Parademons

Holy cow has this book spiked. Sales have surged over the last two weeks. This is confirmed in the three month averages on returns.

With a total of only 376 copies on the CGC census and a FMV of $2, 150.00 for 9.8 copies after two recent sales, I can’t remember a time when this comic was more widely sought out than right now. To say sales have spiked is not to say that all have broken records. The general trend is positive on returns but over the last three months, the numbers are mixed with most sales happening for 9.6 grades (9 sales) with slightly negative returns of -0.5%. The last three eBay sales, on 05/01/2019, 05/09/2019 and 05/24/2019, went for: $649.95, $624.95 and $600.00, giving this grade a current FMV of $600.00. As mentioned 9.8’s are spiking with a positive +56.2% roi and also doing well are 7.0 grades with a positive +40.5% return after 4 sales, with the last copy selling on eBay on 05/31/2019 for $155.33.

 

 

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New Gods #2 (April 1971) – Second appearance of Darkseid

213 copies of this issue have been submitted to CGC. Although this is often called the second appearance of Darkseid, that should be qualified to ‘second full’ appearance and first ever cover appearance. Darskseid is a bit like Adam Warlock in that he has many cameos and then pops up all over the place. His first cameo appearance may actually be worth more than this if Darkseid ends up playing a central role in the upcoming movie. That would be Jimmy Olsen #134, with Darkseid’s first full appearance happening in Forever People #1, so these should also be mentioned. But this is a post about the New Gods comics. Insofar as they go, NG’s #2 is the third most valuable issue in the run at the moment with a 9.8 certified FMV of $725.00.

 

 

 

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New Gods # 7 (February 1972) – Origin of Orion. First Steppenwolf, first Tigra, First Heggra (Darkseid’s mother)

Remember when this book was hot? Many have forgotten, but before the ‘Justice League’ movie, people wanted the first appearance of Steppenwolf. After the movie: not so much. This may actually make NG’s #7 the sleeper pick of the run. It’s so low right now, compared to where it was, that it may be a bargain at the moment. Unlike the first two issues moreover, see above, this one has not spiked quite so high in the last two weeks. That’s not to say it’s not selling at all. With 376 copies on the CGC census, you can get lucky and pick up a copy of this comic on the cheap right now. Sellers are still offloading them after the ‘Justice League’ disappointment that was CGI Steppenwolf. Proof that some have not given up on this: three month returns on 5.5 grade. After only two sales, up +415.8%. That said, the last sale went for $79.95. Will a successful ‘New Gods’ film give this book a bump as well? Are you a gambler?

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