Re-Valuating Ultimate Fallout #4: The Good, the Bad, & the Sales Data

by Joseph Overaitis

091123A-1024x536 Re-Valuating Ultimate Fallout #4: The Good, the Bad, & the Sales DataIt’s not about the hype – it’s about how the market is behaving.  This approach sometimes puts writers in conflict with readers who see only the good and ignore the bad.  Nowhere is this more true than with the first appearance of Miles Morales in Ultimate Fallout #4.

I have been watching this comic for years and questioned the sales prices for this issue and I’ve seen readers argue their side for why this book has success written all over it.  After another release of Miles Morales in an animated film and the announcement that a live appearance is in development, now is a good time for us to once again re-evaluate this issue’s investment potential. Here are the top reasons people say this issue is a sound investment with a lot of room for growth.

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Reason #1

Buyers: “This is a Spider-Man for Minorities”

One of the first reasons people say this book has great potential is because this is a new take on Spider-Man.  Fans will buy this book because they can now identify with the character. His problems are unique to him because of his ethnicity.  The fact that Spider-Man is now a mixed-race hero is where the country is now and this will facilitate more buyers’ interest in the character.  Once the masses find out about this and the current generation gets older, this will be the book they target.  That means the price for this book will only move upward. Right?

But… A timeless tale

Peter’s tale is of an orphan who feels out of place and must deal with powers that further isolate him. How he navigates that path is a story that most readers can relate to. That is why a good story is more important than a diversity change.

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The Rocky Balboa- Apollo Creed story is a perfect example of this rationale. A down-and-out fighter is given a chance to fight the world’s greatest boxer and get the brass ring.  Years later, the world’s greatest boxer’s son is trained by his father’s opponent to realize his own dream of being the man he wants to be without using his father’s legacy.

The characters’ races and ethnicity could be changed between the two families and the story still works. The story is so good that it does not need to create something artificial to make the plot exciting.

An easy fix is not always a good one

Many people suggest that a film with minority characters does not succeed because of a perceived prejudice.  The success of the first Black Panther film should have put that belief to bed.  A gimmick with a bad story is not a roadmap to success (female Ghostbusters!!!).

Changing a character cosmetically but not putting any emphasis on the substance of the character, story, and finished project is a bad way to make a film.  It is the equivalent of re-designing an automobile that drives poorly by offering the same car in new colors.  Fans can see through these tricks.

Investing in Ultimate Fallout #4 because it features the first appearance of a minority Spider-Man is not a valid reason to go all-in on this book.

Reason #2

Buyers: “Live-action films will bring in new buyers”

Many readers have stated the belief that a live-action film will bring in new buyers in the market.  They point to past price increases for other characters that have seen this movie bounce.  Mediocre characters like Star Lord, Polka-Dot Man, Rocket Raccoon, and others whose first appearances jumped in value because of a film.

The belief is that moviegoers and fans will want to have Miles’s first appearance and pay the price to get it. This influx of moviegoers along with current investors will result in an increase in the price of this book. If a movie can drive up the value of a mediocre hero, then imagine what it will do for this version of Spider-Man. Right?

But… A flawed premise

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Blue Beetle recently hit the silver screen.  An AP article provides a great review of the film.  The reporter chronicles how this is a perfect tale of a minority superhero who is trying to buck the downward superhero genre trend.  The journalist even mentions how the story features a spotlight on a minority family and superhero that was also present in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

All these high spots are mentioned and yet the movie only receives a C+ grade.  The low grade is not the only problem for the film.  In the whole review, the journalist only mentions in passing that this character is based upon a comic book character.

A reel problem

Many moviegoers do not care that Miles is a comic book character.  They care even less about what comic book contains his first appearance. Investors falsely believe that a new movie will create a demand among new and old comic book fans who will, naturally, seek out Ultimate Fallout #4.

Marvel and Disney are not concerned with how a live-action film impacts new or back comic book issues. They make more money from licensed products than comic books. Rarely do comic book-based movies try to get viewers to buy from the source material. Instead, they want them to buy jackets, shirts, toys, and other products.

A Miles’ live-action appearance is no guarantee that moviegoers will turn to comics. The only market for his first appearance will be from the existing comic book market, and most of them may have already bought their copy.

Reason #3

Buyers: “Miles is the Spider-Man for the younger generation”

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The Silver Age introduced new takes on old characters.  Jay was replaced by Barry while Alan Scott became Hal Jordan.  Comic book characters are always re-imagined to fit the new era.  These new characters were successes because they fit the new times.  Miles had to be introduced because he is the Spider-Man the next generation will identify as their own.

Past introductions rose in value and thus Ultimate Fallout #4 has the potential to explode in value.  Fans young and old will flock to this version of Spider-Man.  They will all want his first appearance. Right?

But… Past patterns aren’t guaranteed to repeat

The buyer’s point can be true and still not make Ultimate Fallout #4 a good investment.  The premise that younger fans will buy that issue because he is “their” Spider-Man is based upon a faulty model.

The hobby is not seeing an influx of younger comic book collectors.  Even rarer are younger new comic book collectors who can afford to drop a grand on this issue. Knowing the market is important.  Too many are projecting an outcome based on past models without actually looking at the data. There are too many things that draw younger fans’ interest. The competition to make these younger fans come to comics is made all the more difficult because again the movies do not make any connection to the comic books.

Investing 101

Comic book investors believe that film and television announcements are bringing in a vast majority of new hobbyists.  That is not true.  When CNBC announces news that a company has developed a new product, the majority of people who invest in that company are already investing in the stock market.  The same can be true in the comic book marketplace.

People who buy movie-related issues are already collecting.  They have only changed the targets that they are buying.  The change in targets is because these issues are now deemed to be keys among collectors and investors.  These individuals do not care about the cultural and historical importance of Miles Morales, only how much money they can generate from his book.

Reason #4

Buyers chant: “Ultimate Fallout is red hot!”

The greatest reason that investors state that people should buy Ultimate Fallout #4 is because of the gains the book has received.  This is something that one cannot deny.  In the past, this issue and the associated variants have seen great demand.  As a result, their sale prices had risen.  People wanted this book and were actively seeking it out.

Once found, they would pay whatever price they had to because FOMO on a future big payday drove buyers. The demand for this issue is not transitory and will thus exist for years.  Now is the time to get in on the ground floor.  One only needs to look at the FMV of this book to see how important it is in the market. Right?

But… The Big Short

download-43 Re-Valuating Ultimate Fallout #4: The Good, the Bad, & the Sales Data

In the early 2000s, the economy was booming and everyone was doing well. Michael Burry saw the future but dug deeper.  He realized that the real estate bubble would burst.  He attributed this to financial institutions investing in bundled subprime mortgages whose rates would adjust in the future.  Investors did not listen to him because they were making money hand over fist.

Burry bet against this continued success and shorted certain transactions. He was proven right and many of those financial institutions that invested in these subprime mortgage bundles either had to be bailed out or closed their doors.  Past successes built on a poor foundation will eventually crash when the right conditions are met.

Review the numbers

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A year ago, a 9.8 Ultimate Fallout #4  was selling for around $2,200.00.  On the date this article is being written, the FMV is only $1,750 with several actually-sold-price copies in August 2022 hitting the $1.500 range.  That is not good for the person who bought a 9.8 copy for $3,550 on March 22, 2022.

Roughly ten thousand of these books have a CGC grade of 9.4-9.6.  A website estimates that there were around 91,600 copies in the Bagley first Printing.  This was a revision from a previous article that Chromicron published with an estimate of 74,000 issues published.

That is not a good ratio in that roughly 1 in 9 has a very high grade.  High-grade raw copies are also readily available at shows and online.  A high population of books greatly will impact prices and sellers know this all too well.

Price Manipulation Exists

Take me out to the ball game

Many comic book collectors base their investment advice from within the confines of one medium.  That can be problematic because knowledge on other collectible markets can provide great examples of how a marketplace works.

The television show “Strange Inheritance” features finds that turn out to be worth more than what the heirs originally believed.  One such episode featured the Black Swamp baseball card collection, This was a massive find of pre-war baseball cards.  This collection came to market, to the delight of high-end card collectors.  Cards like these hardly exist and when they come to market they sell for large sums.  The problem was that too much of a good thing is not really a good thing.

Augustus Gloop Disease

Augustus-Gloop-1 Re-Valuating Ultimate Fallout #4: The Good, the Bad, & the Sales Data

Augustus was one of the main antagonists in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  He could not stop himself from eating too much.  Gluttony and lack of restraint led to his downfall.

The auction house that handled the Black Swamp baseball cards also realized gluttony would not be good in the “Strange Inheritance” episode. That meant that they gradually auctioned off some of these cards so as to control the market’s population rather than dump the collection all at once.

Buyers would only get a small taste of the collection over a longer period of time. Demand was up because the auction house manipulated the supply available for purchase.  The owners saw a great windfall, but this new influx of cards had a not-so-favorable effect on the rest of the pre-war card market.

Supply, supply, supply

The introduction of this collection into the market made valuable cards less valuable.  The rarity factor was now gone.  Instead of one card being the holy grail in a certain grade, there now existed several in that grade. Here is a great article on the impact of the collection on the value of other cards.

The same condition can exist with Ultimate Fallout #4.  This is a book that was rumored to have been sold in great volume to book and comic dealers so that suppliers would not be stuck with those extra copies.  Even if the rumor is false, this book is not rare.  The more books that will eventually come into the market will impact sales.

There are over 17,000 copies in the CGC census. A couple years ago, in another article I wrote examining this book, only around 8,600 copies were in the CGC census. That is a big jump in a little over 2 years. A book that was once rare is now at every booth and on most websites.  This hurts its value.

Final Thought

The concern that one cannot escape is that this book is quite common in higher grades because it is a relatively new book.  Once more of these books were graded and sent to market, prices dropped.  This was even true during another cartoon movie release as well as a live film development announcement.  Other comic books have seen price adjustments as well, but not with such a change in the census of graded books. This increase in the number of books out there is potentially dangerous to this issue holding its value.

Baseball cards have already seen how a major find of once-rare cards discombobulated long-established prices.  What once was rare was not anymore.  This same phenomenon is being seen with Ultimate Fallout #4.  Supplies went up to meet a perceived demand, and yet those new buyers were not found. Furthermore, a large number of speculators who have no passion for the hobby have left.  This means demand could be going down for this issue.  Many do not want to hear this because they own this book.

I can’t bring myself to be a mere cheerleader.  Even negative aspects of the hobby must be divulged so that the readers have a total view so that they can make an informed decision that is in their own best interest.  Ultimate Fallout #4 could pop and be even bigger than it is now, but that does not mean one should ever stop reviewing the numbers.  Big banks and financial institutions did that years ago and look at how that ended for some of them!

“Truth is like poetry. And most people f—— hate poetry”  The Big Short

What do you think about the long-term value of UF #4? Let us know in the comments?

AAAA-Footer-generic Re-Valuating Ultimate Fallout #4: The Good, the Bad, & the Sales Data*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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nicholas Dalessandro September 12, 2023 - 8:39 am

I think that UF4’s success has been extraordinary considering it spends a lot of time in your top 10 (20) and commands a decent price. It is a testament to its desirableness for collectors. Like anything else, however, its price peeked and has settled into a comfortable buying zone. I have a friend (of color) who states that his popularity is greater than ever, even more than I thought.
The days of increasing prices by leaps and bounds maybe over, but for those picking up a copy today will see some percentage increases over the long haul. IMO
Buy what you love and it will not matter as much about the fluctuations in pricing is my motto.

Joseph Overaitis September 12, 2023 - 8:56 am


The problem is that people had this as a better target than other books because they viewed it as a big time book when it was not going to hit where people thought it would. I do not disagree with people being interested in the character because of the diversity but would your friend drop several thousand on the book is the question. He moves the needle for story telling but I am concerned with the hype machine that investors and speculators created with it. I remember the same with Azrael as batman and Northstar coming out or Spiderman 2099 alter ego Miguel O’Hara. Once the hyped died down the books settled.

As for buy what you love and it does not matter. I am writing an article about that because I think we should dive into that further. It is a mantra that I talked to a few collectors about who lived by that code LOL. Great comments as always so keep them coming. The boards are better because of the different opinions of the readers.

Yanni September 12, 2023 - 4:35 pm

The anecdotal question if their friend would spend thousands on the book is inconsequential. There are about 20 sales a month of 9.8s.

Joseph Overaitis September 12, 2023 - 10:26 pm


Welcome to the boards!!!

The question was geared to those that say that they are new to comics or identify with the character and are drawn to him but maybe not into comics so much…that is why i believe the question is important. If the book was geared to a certain demographic and yet the book is being bought for thousands to an older crowd then it missed its demographic. Remember when New Coke was supposed to be geared to the younger did not resonate with them while the older crowd hated it as well. If you gear a product to a certain demographic and it misses then you have to wonder how sustainable it is to hold its value and market share.

nicholas Dalessandro September 12, 2023 - 11:37 am

Thanks Joseph!!
I do see that Miles has some legs and will dominate in his own right in movies and comic books.
My buddy may not shell out $1500 plus, but he could own a nice 8.0 to 9.0+ which may have a higher % upside value. That would be my recommendation for him. Everyone will have their buying sweet spot, of course.
There are some risks to the flave of the day hype characters, as you have pointed out.
As always, I keep a keen eye on your HOTEST COMICS list and the time that a book spends on it and how high a ranking it can achieve and sustain.
Like a good diamond or gem it depends on cut, clarity and carat, as a good friend jeweler once taught me, that gages the worth and desirableness.
In comics, it may be Key, Character and Continuity along with Rarity, Rating and Religious following.
In my book, Miles checks off all those boxes.
I think in time Gwen Stacey as “Spider Gwen” et al will show a similar path.

Joseph Overaitis September 12, 2023 - 12:12 pm


I believe you with Spider Gwen. The fact is that she is important but has not been hyped is that next big thing. That is one of the problems with comics, more so than speculators and flippers. Hyping books for the sake of hyping them. No data analysis…nothing but casual observations. That is what almost killed the hobby in the 90s. As writers on this site we try to present facts. We announce movie projects and potential keys but rarely do you see hyping to the point of FOMO inducement. I always say buy with your heart but think too with your head.

nicholas Dalessandro September 12, 2023 - 11:43 am

FYI, if a collector is shooting for rarity, and has a bit extra cash they can go for the Marko Djurdjevic Variant

As always, great article with all sides of the argument presented

Joseph Overaitis September 12, 2023 - 12:09 pm


That is the issue that everyone says to target. I always value your opinion but I have to ask…is it worth it or would you put your money someplace else? That is the million dollar question LOL

nicholas Dalessandro September 12, 2023 - 2:02 pm

That is the million dollar Q… But I think it is worth it, for the rarity of it and the exceptional cover artist name! I enjoy collecting his art just as much as the comics themselves.
I’m one of the lucky ones who picked up 2 9.6’s at $500 each way back, and am very happy that I shelled out the cash, of course!
I am holding them forever, because I’m a collector first. 😁

Steven Moore September 12, 2023 - 4:20 pm

Thanks for following up on UF4. So many great points! In particular, there’s a real lack of data on who collectors are these days. I wonder, for instance, if some of the buyers of this issue are hardcore collectors or just dabblers. It could be the case that collecting has just fundamentally changed, with fewer set collectors and more dabblers who own just a few comic trophies. It would not surprise me if the latter group is what is sustaining prices.

I bring this up because I agree that there are fewer young collectors but I am not totally sure that this will translate to lower prices for major key issues. We would have to know more about the collecting market to deduce that.

BTW, I am a hold on this issue. High supply will partly blunt high demand, resulting in some occasional price bumps but an overall appreciation of maybe 6% annually (in my option!)

Joseph Overaitis September 12, 2023 - 10:29 pm

Great comment about the buyers. I have gone to shows and talked to people who are targeting it and most were in their 40s who expected these books to jump in value once he appeared in the MCU. The Prowlers appearance in the MCU created a frenzy and they wanted to get in on the ground floor. What I have also been seeing is an influx of non graded and graded books coming to auctions more frequently. That is why I mentioned the baseball card approach. The more product and the the wrong type of buyers spells disaster for those who were betting big on this book. It will be a modern key, but not to the level many were betting it to reach.

Dane Hill September 12, 2023 - 8:57 pm

I think I’ve come to see UF4 much like Walking Dead #1. Steady growth for many years, then an explosion of immense hype and FOMO, then it’s slowed down into “just” a permanent steady seller.

It’s earned its reputation as one of the few widely popular Modern blue-chip keys that most Modern collectors would want in their collections, whether 9.8 grade or otherwise: WD1, UF4, and Batman Adventures 12. The crown jewels of the past 20 years. These are the top tier Moderns, and everything else falls below them to some degree or another, again, in terms of widespread popularity.

I don’t see that changing anytime soon, as all three characters / titles are fairly ingrained in popular culture at this point. They’ll have dips here and there, but by and large, they are the three most investment worthy books of the Modern Age.

Joseph Overaitis September 12, 2023 - 10:23 pm


Great comment. I believe you are correct that it will be a modern day key, but people were trying to make it as the next Silver Age Flash type of book. People were investing as if they were rare and that is what I just did not understand. your view makes a lot more sense but so may do not share it.

Brad Eugene Dawson September 13, 2023 - 10:54 am

Great article and research done….may make an old man like myself pick up a copy!!

Joseph Overaitis September 13, 2023 - 11:51 am


Welcome to the Boards!!! fossils like you are needed LOL.

Seriously this is one book that people have to do their research. There is so much FOMO out there and misinformation that seems to be more hype than right. This book can be a great one and a modern day key BUT people were hyping it up to such levels that seemed unsustainable. At one show a seller was stating that he would be dumping his old A.S.M. and pick up this new version if people wanted to make money. The irony was most of their books were great silver age stuff. We like to report stuff here but also dive deeper and look at the numbers. Review the Hot Lists and you will see sometimes the reason those books are moving is because people are dumping them with such frequency at a reduced price that they are Hot…as in don’t touch!!!

If you do purchase one now you know though that most of the books are high grade and dropping in price. You also know now too that raw books can still be found that might offer you a value…the key is do not over pay!!!

Michael McGroarty September 13, 2023 - 4:34 pm

Great article Joseph! I think earlier above it was mentioned in a post to read what you like, that is true. Your article is about making a sensible investment. Personally, I think it’s a FOMO more than anything.


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