The Modern Age of comics is so vast it is hard to pick the best for 2019. The Modern Age runs from 1992 to the present day, basically the last 26 years. That creates a ton of possibilities for 2019 making one specific comic a difficult choice. With all the chaos that next year will bring it is important to bet on structurally sound comics that are tied into existing catalysts (movies). Which comics do we bet on? Will it be Carnage the scion of Venom? Can this psychopathic symbiont shine through during a year with absolutely zero movies devoted to him? Perhaps, it will be another Wolverine actor, after all, Hugh Jackman left Wolverine literally in a grave. Can Marvel now resurrect Wolverine to the delight of fans everywhere? If not, then maybe it will be the independent labels that breathe life into movies and comics in 2019 and beyond. Perhaps Image Comics with a Spawn movie on the horizon will stoke the speculative media hells. The answer is any one of these comic book characters could be the pick for the New Year. So, I did what any self-respecting speculator would do, “I bought ’em all!”
My first pick is Amazing Spider-Man #361 created by David Michelinie, and Mark Bagley in 1992. This is the first appearance of Carnage a foe of Venom. His book will drop in value at the beginning of the year due to the hype from Avengers and Captain Marvel. However, once those two movies are finished watch out; this Venom villain will resume a rapid pace of upward price momentum. The Venom 2 movie due out in 2020 supposedly has Woody Harelson as the villain (after all he did a cameo of this crazoid in the recent Venom movie). Woody will make a competent bad guy playoff against Tom Hardy’s dirtball good guy. Late next year we will get news on casting, directing, writing, and most importantly actors signed to Venom 2 due out the following year.
Most of this info will probably spew on us like a symbiotic tentacle, right after the big Spidey movie release in the summer of 2019. The Amazing Spider-Man #361 has a current FMV value in mint grade (9.8) of $400; I would suggest waiting for an extra drop down in the high $200’s before buying back in. Based on sales of (9.0) leading up to the last movie you could be looking at positive +48.2% return on investment. Best of all, you don’t have to bite anyone’s head off to get ahead!
This is admittedly a long shot, but I had to include it in the top Modern Age picks. Wolverine #1 the ongoing series has shown better numbers as far as return goes than Wolverine #1 limited series. I know it shocked me too, but numbers rarely lie. This comic book is the first appearance of Wolverine in an ongoing comic series; first appearance of the Cult of the Black Blade, the first appearance of Muramasa, and first Wolverine as Patch his Asian alter ego. The reason I like this series is three names: Chris Claremont, John Buscema, and John Byrne these three heavy hitters took Wolverine down a different cultural path and made him fun again. Chris Claremont drove the character in a different direction, having him meet all manner of truly evil criminal scum in the southeast Asian Madripoor (fictional name probably meant as a city in Indonesia). He fights the Silver Samurai, gets possessed by the Black Blade and destroys a host of pirates. All with some of the coolest penciling around from John Buscema. I love Buscema’s Conan, but some of the fight scenes in the first couple of comics in this series are awesome cool shots of Buscema brutality, pure fun.
Currently, the value for this comic in grade mint (9.8) is $170 FMV for this ongoing series of Wolverine. This comic has produced positive +34.9% return over 10,000 sales in mint condition (9.8). It is not as widely CGC’d as the limited series, and for that reason; I think it has more room to run as speculation. Imagine this scenario, the Marvel folks who have done an outstanding job find a good replacement for Hugh Jackman. I know that is not easy to do, but it could happen. At that point, several more movies, maybe even a Marvel rewriting of Wolverine’s origin story. This could spark huge hype for Wolverine #1 toward the end of 2019.
Last but certainly not least, is Todd MacFarlane and the team at Image recreating Spawn in a new movie. The movie is more of a horror detective story based around Twitch. This according to McFarlane’s fantastic YouTube interview last year. With just a small amount of movie news about Spawn, it has already sent a comic that was in the dollar bins shooting up in value substantially. The current valuation of Spawn #1 is $90 FMV for mint condition (9.8). The best return by grade in the near mint category is (9.4) which has returned a strong +38.4% ROI and if you can afford it the (9.9) grade has returned positive +81.4%. Todd McFarlane has reimagined Spider-Man, given us the modern version of Venom, birthed Spawn in being, and created a successful comic book company Image Comics. This guy has a multitude of capabilities and has had many successes in this pop culture business. Do you really want to bet against Todd McFarlane’s attempt to produce another Spawn movie? I don’t think so Cagliostro!
Each of these picks is for the entire year of 2019, based on a rather light movie schedule for Marvel after Avengers 4 hits the big screen. Toward the end of 2019, these comic books should produce solid gains. Especially, if there is movie hype for each of these in 2019 for their premieres in 2020. We will read about directors, actors, and writers signing. At that point, prices will jump and these books have a good chance to end 2019 with exceptional returns, and you don’t have to sell your soul to Malebolgia to profit in the Modern Age.