Pre-Hype Books: the Key to Comic Investing

by Norman Robinson III

136243_a0893e0751c4e3bd715c5c473e994a214a6bed5b-194x300 Pre-Hype Books: the Key to Comic InvestingEveryone likes to get in on the latest hot fad in terms of comic investing. You may feel as if you are riding a wave of popularity and profit. Unfortunately, for most speculators and investors, this wave usually crashes on the beach of the “next best thing!” People keep trying though. That is comic book speculation, in a nutshell. The simple truth is that you might make some money, but most of the big money has already profited from the initial catalyst. How did these lucky few manage to get ahead of the trend and buy before anyone else? The answer is as simple as the type of comic book habit you have; a collector already owned a couple of pristine copies due to fanboy collecting of these issues. These collectors fall into the category of passive-investors who happen to hit a lucky streak.


Three Fun Tips for Pre-Hype Comic Investing:

If you are a pure investor or speculator; then the answer is truly very simple: you purchase before any hype. What does this mean? The hype of a new movie brings speculators and investors out of the word work. This inevitably raises prices as demand skyrockets. Everyone is fighting for the same $1200 piece of cherry pie, at higher and higher prices. The pre-hype speculator avoids all this. Now, the risk is higher but as with all things in the investment world, the higher the risk, usually the higher the rewards in comic investing. What are good targets for pre-hype comic book keys today?

  1. First, remember the comics you liked to read as a kid. Can you pull a character, story, and or key book that stood out and is still relatively cheap as an investment?
  2. Do the obvious and review comic book teams that might appear in a future movie or series. Then ask yourself does it make sense? I wouldn’t invest in the Mid-West Avengers but Alpha Flight is another matter.
  3. Look for second appearances or past keys for major superhero movies. The catalyst is over, has the book lost so much value that it may be worth a long-term initial investment? Is it relatively cheap, say under $100? Further, could they revisit that potential character at a later date creating a new initial catalyst?

Keys to Look Out For

thor-vs-beta-ray-bill-cover-300x148 Pre-Hype Books: the Key to Comic InvestingThor #338

This one is right out in the open with the upcoming appearance of Beta Rey Bill in a potential Marvel franchise movie. Maybe he will appear in Guardians, or another Thor movie, right now it is under $100. This comic is the second appearance of Beta Rey Bill a Walt Simonson creation that proves the imagination has no bounds. Walt Simonson’s Thor run was a labor of love and set its mark on my generational view of Thor. Walt did the script, pencils, and inks on this beast of burden back in 1983. In my opinion, this changed Thor forever and gave us the modern version we all know and love. This book is undervalued and barely on the radar screen despite the heavy hype for Beta Rey Bill. Good time to buy a copy…


151611_54d5c8d25dcade32cc58ccbe7cc60e4af44b2221-192x300 Pre-Hype Books: the Key to Comic InvestingBatman #497

The Chris Nolan Batman Dark Knight series was a tour de force for sure. Everything skyrocketed and even this overprinted copy was hugely popular at the time. The breaking of Batman was epic storytelling even though I maintain this was not the Batman we all know and love. Batman #497 was created by Doug Moench, Kelley Jones, and Jim Aparo on art. What could be bigger than Bane breaks Batman’s back? This book has multiple printings so don’t get too crazy but a 9.8 is going for under $50! That is a steal of a deal for this iconic piece. This is long forgotten during all the Marvel hype pick up a near mint copy as a long-term investment buy and hold.





131998_c3c6cfe9a2085430c74b78ff60180fb1abf6576a-199x300 Pre-Hype Books: the Key to Comic InvestingRom #1

Rom is a solid TV series just waiting for someone to make it. The Dire Wraiths that he fights are perfect enemies and everything would be easy to create in a believable sense. This key Bronze Age comic book is the first appearance of Rom and it is still cheap. It was created by Bill Mantlo (script) and the pencils of both Frank Miller and Sal Buscema. Didn’t think these two helped create the Space Knight huh? This book has the first appearance of Rom, his Spaceknights, and the dreaded Dire Wraiths.






Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census Return
Thor #338 9.8 $100 374 -1.7%
Batman #497 9.8 $52 1839 +14.7%
Rom #1 9.8 $264 351 -2.5%

Three Keys Compared

unnamed-300x137 Pre-Hype Books: the Key to Comic Investing

All three of these comics have the potential to increase in value. Thor #338 is cheap at $100 and for that matter, much of the Walt Simonson run of Thor is undervalued. Yes, there are many fans that own copies but the market for comics have expanded quite a bit since the 80s.

Batman #497 has a huge following, but it has been so many years since the Nolan Dark Night movies; they are all but forgotten. Remember they released Dark Knight Rises in 2012 eight years ago. Time for this character to reappear somewhere other than Gotham the series.

Finally, Rom is probably the most expensive of my three picks, with the right movie or series he could be as big as Transformers of the last decade. The risk here is minimal as a long-term investment in Rom #1. Get off the speculative surfboard, think out of the box ( just a little), and buy something you come up with. You might be surprised by the results. Don’t worry, I won’t let Rom neutralize you from the Dire Wraith speculative membership potluck diner.

Comic Investing Conclusion

Remember what you loved as a kid. Think ahead – what might be turned into a movie soon. And don’t forget about the second appearance of important characters. These are a few comic investing tips that I have. They have worked well for me over the years, and I hope they do the same for you. Do you have some tricks that you value? Share yours in the comments!

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Travis Bron June 17, 2020 - 10:01 pm

Great article?

Norman Robinson III July 3, 2020 - 8:40 am

Thanks for reading. Nam


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