The first villain to have his own series title was the Joker. It debuted in 1975 with the title The Joker #1. Do you own a copy of the first villain under his own title? Well, if you don’t; then the joke is on you. The Joker #1 is flying up the charts lately. For a book from the Bronze Age, this is an accomplishment. This book has been scrambling up the rankings, passed some of the moderns and has gone up over 626 rankings to 97th most popular comic. The Joker #1 was created by Denny O’Neil (script) and the incomparable detail of Dick Giordano’s ink (inks and pencils) with Irv Novick as well. This book even has a catalyst: The Joker with Joaquin Phoenix due on the big screens on October 4th, 2019. Expect The Joker #1 to continue to tear into the competition even after the movie. If The Joker movie is successful then this book could see a continued resurgence. But as with all things, the numbers never lie, or tell a joke; but they can sometimes kill you. Is this book headed toward profit or loss?
In 1975 this character become the first villain to feature as the title character in a comic book series, The Joker. The premise of The Joker was to make the characters “villainy prevail over other villains” (Wiki). This was a contest of rival villain vs. rival villain, not a “struggle between good and evil” (Wiki). Due to the CCA making villain punishment a must, Joker was caught each and every story. The Joker audience at the time could not sustain this first villain book and it was canceled after nine issues. This Bronze Age book certainly perked up during the Dark Knight series and has since seen a standard Bronze Age price increase, though slowly.
- Grade 9.8 $650 FMV returns positive +72.1%
- Grade 9.6 $230 FMV returns positive +30.2%
- Grade 9.2 $160 FMV returns positive +79.7%
- Grade 8.0 $100 FMV returns positive +55.8%
- Grade 6.0 $50 FMV returns positive +46.7%
- Grade 9.8 $650 FMV returns positive +30.2%
- Grade 9.6 $230 FMV returns negative -8.8%
- Grade 9.2 $160 FMV returns positive +10.8%
- Grade 8.5 $100 FMV returns positive +126.5%
- Grade 7.5 $50 FMV returns positive +32.5%
With a small print run and abundance of fan obsession for this character, Joker will be with us for a long time. The numbers show The Joker #1 has solid returns over the long-term. This is a great long-term buy and simply hold. After all, “like property, they aren’t making any more of it!” These Joker issues #1-9 are hard to find because of the number of prints outstanding. The Joker #1 by CGC Census has 1155 outstanding comic books, with only 91 copies at the 9.8 grade.
The high-grade books have returned +72.1% in grade 9.8 and even the lower grades are participating with grade 6.0 returning positive +46.7%. If you have read my blogs in the past, this is a primary indicator that this book has a broad range of interest, not just the high-end and is a darn good omen. Be sure to include eBay or PayPal fees in your calculations.
The last six months have been equally encouraging. Obviously buoyed by the movie teaser trailers and premiere in October. Does Joaquin Phoenix have a hit? Who knows? I find it hard to believe that anyone will top Heath Ledger’s performance earlier in the century. Even Jared Leto was smart enough not to track Ledger’s Joker; he created a very original take on the character. In my book a more realistic version of the sociopathic Joker. Whatever comes of the movie, this book is a long-term hold for investors and a great short-term flipper for speculators. To quote Ledger’s Joker, “If you are good at something never do it for free.” This quote is especially true in speculating. Knowing when to sell books like The Joker #1 is a serious skill. These decisions can make for a profitable year, and to put it simply are “no joke.”
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