On Second Appearances

by Blaise Tassone

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When news breaks that a new character or comic is being developed (be it: Blade, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight or whoever) we all know that the comic featuring that characters’ first appearance is THE book to own.

The first appearance is almost always the book that will spike in price.

If you have it already, you can sit back and watch the value of your collection grow. But what if you don’t have it?

There are several options available: (1) you can buy the book at an inflated price (2) you can postpone buying the book right away, instead wait and then hope prices will soften, or (3) you can act to seek out related keys, especially the second appearance.

In this post, I’ll take a look at when you should seek out second appearances of popular characters focusing on Moon Knight.


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Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975) – First appearance of Moon Knight; Origin of Moon Knight

With the announcement of a Moon Knight series on the radar for development by Disney’s Marvel Studios, the price of Werewolf by Night #32 – which was already in demand- spiked even higher. Currently, a 5.0 graded copy has an FMV of around $625.00. For those not willing to accept a low or mid-grade copy, the prospect of obtaining a copy without shelling out large sums of cash is fairly dim. 9.0 copies start at $2,250.00 and, due to scarcity combined with high demand, if you want to own one of the 19 out of the currently 2,778 total of graded 9.8 copies, you’ll have to shell out upwards of $50,000.00.






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Werewolf by Night #33 (September 1975) – Second appearance of Moon Knight

In some ways, the Moon Knight character is an anomaly. Moon Knight’s keys were already up in price due to fan interest before any media-related announcement of an upcoming movie or TV show was made. In other ways, Moon Knight follows a familiar pattern. When the first appearance, or major key, spiked to new highs in terms of price levels, the average collector on a budget began to seek out the next best thing: the second appearance. The Moon Knight announcement was made on August 23. Since that time there have been no less than 27 sales of WWBN #23. Prices on most grades saw new highs before things calmed down and some dips appeared. Long-term value is off the charts, but short term, it would appear, most buyers are in a ‘hold and wait’ pattern.

Let’s look at Werewolf by Night #33. Unlike its companion book, there are only 497 copies of this comic on the CGC census. Again: a low number of 9.8’s is evident (only 6 out of 497). Current FMV of 5.0 = $34.00 [!]. Current value of a 9.0 = $210.00 and 9.8 = $3,200.00; a fraction of what a WWBN #32 would cost. Nonetheless, long-term values are strong as can be. Since August 23, sales have been far less (only 4), but ROI is very strong: of the two 8.5 graded copies that sold since on August 23: value jumped 39.5% after a $215.00 08/23/2019 eBay sale was followed by a $299.99 eBay sale on 09/11/2019. The only other sales (all eBay): a 6.5 on 09/03/2019 for $150.00 and a 9.2 on 09/01/2019 for $400.00 both far above FMV for those grades.

So, here we see that barring a great deal on his first appearance, the second appearance of Moon Knight after the August 23 announcement showed strong jumps in price.

Marvel Spotlight #28, the first solo Moon Knight story, is another good option but doesn’t have the same level of returns as WWBN #33.

We see, the same pattern with Blade, since his second appearance (Tomb of Dracula #12), also saw spikes after San Diego Comic-Con announcement.

But remember, sometimes you should actually either forsake or minimize investment in a character’s second appearance and instead seek out and invest in other related keys. In the case of Blade, Fear #24 (first Blade appearance outside ToD), would be a contender.

A much better example is Ghost Rider (first appearance Marvel Spotlight #5). Johnny Blaze’s first appearance is hitting new highs, but his second appearance, in Marvel Spotlight #6, while showing strong prices (FMV of a 9.8 = $875.00), is actually nowhere near as good an investment as Ghost Rider #1 (FMV of a 9.8 = $5,250.00). There are, of course, reasons for this, but they will have to be the subject of another blog post.

For now, the take away is: in most cases when a first appearance becomes out of reach- price-wise- a character’s second appearance almost always also sees spikes and can even occasionally make a good investment.

GoCollect is the #1 comic book price guide for tracking sales data of all graded comic books in real-time. Fair market values are now at your fingertips. Check out all the features at www.gocollect.com

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1 comment

jerome melton September 19, 2019 - 9:31 am

ASM 101 vs 102 is another example although 102 was initially thought to be the more valuable book I believe.


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