Party Like It’s 1991

by Matt Tuck

Darkhawk-1-197x300 Party Like It's 1991Remember Darkhawk? The most 1990s of 1990’s characters, his early appearances are seeing a resurgence as of late, and he’s not alone, either. The ’90s are coming back, and I’m not just talking about the explosion of variants.

It’s hard to mistake a ’90s comic. Every guy looked like he was on steroids (even Professor X looked way too jacked), and all the women wore the most over-the-top sexy outfits this side of Victoria’s Secret. And don’t forget the all-important Rob Liefeld pouches. The man seriously loved some pouches.

Being a kid in the 1990s, I bought pretty much everything Marvel had to offer. I had multiple variant covers of both X-Men #1 and Spider-Man #1. Every time I saw a new character or new series, I bought it. I picked up the utterly forgettable Nikki Doyle: Wild Thing #1 from 1993 (a comic so forgettable that it doesn’t even have its own spot in the GoCollect database), Darkhawk #1, and I’ve even got the first appearance of Maggott (bonus points if you remember him) in X-Men #345.

Like all ’90’s comic fans, I bought every Image Comics debut from Spawn, Savage Dragon, and Shadowhawk to Youngblood and even Supreme (which sounds like he comes with sour cream). For close to 30 years, they’ve all sat neatly stored in my comic boxes, hardly worth the cover prices save for a handful. Lately, I’m taking a closer look at those old comics because the ’90s are coming back.

Sometimes when I get bored, I look up the fair market values for random comics (I lead a dull life). What I was surprised to see was the bump in value for that aforementioned Darkhawk #1. I get that he has a following; enough so that Marvel included him in the Legacy titles with the one-shot Darkhawk #51. I wasn’t expecting what I saw. In the past year, this comic is setting new highs. Rewind things back to 2012. Up to that point, less than 10 graded 9.8s would sell in a year, which makes sense. Skip forward a year, and that number jumped to over 20 and was selling for as much as $160. By 2016, there were 47 near-mint plus copies sold, and 60 traded hands on eBay last year. What truly caught my attention was that the last sale of a 9.8 Darkhawk #1 was for $309 on July 25. This isn’t the only ’90s comic that is on the move.

Youngblood was one of the Image Comics flagship titles back in 1992, and it’s suddenly in demand. A graded 9.8 Youngblood #1 had never sold more than 14 times on eBay until now. So far this year, there have been 23 sales, and since February, only two graded 9.8s have brought less than $100. In fact, it’s already set a record with a $201 sale on June 12. Even Youngblood #2, which featured the first appearance of Shadowhawk in an attached flip book, has already sold for $190 in a graded 9.8. Before that, that same grade had never sold for more than $75.

I’ll give you more info on the old Image Comics #1s in my next post, but for now, check to see which ones you bought, shoved in a box, and forgot about.

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