Zoom-Zoom-Zoom… yeah, Zoom-Zoom-Zoom! Now try to get that Mazda commercial out of your head. Catchy jingles aside, we are here to examine the market for the first appearance keys of DC Comics’ Reverse-Flash/Eobard Thawne and Zoom/Hunter Zolomon. Are their values going the distance? Or all gassed out?
Gracing one of the most iconic covers ever, Reverse-Flash (aka Eobard Thawne, Professor Zoom, and on occasion Zoom) made his first appearance in The Flash #139 (1963). The sales data for the book, graded on the high end of CGC 7.5/7.0 and lower 5.0/4.0 are shown below. This represents the top 15.2/22.0% and 52.5/74.9% of the CGC census.
The prevailing trend overall for The Flash #139’s sales prices is flat to slightly negative. Within this, it’s worth noting that the book at CGC 5.0 is actually slightly up, but again the bigger picture is at best flat. As a major villain’s key, The Flash #139 is tempting to hold on to; with this in mind, the good news is that the risk of a large and sudden downward movement is minimal; but at the same time, the bad news is that it’s a slow bleed in value. If a slow and steady long-term investment strategy is the goal, it’d be best to look elsewhere.
It is often easy to confuse Reverse-Flash and Zoom, which probably isn’t helped by both wearing matching yellow costumes or going by the same names/aliases at one point or another. Almost just as complicated as a conversation about Robin, without specifying which one. Things have been made a bit easier with the more recent black costume and logo changes to differentiate the two. Either way, the Hunter Zolomon/Zoom is an important inclusion in the overall Zoom collection.
Hunter Zolomon made his first appearance in Flash Secret Files #3 (2001), but didn’t make his first appearance as Zoom until two years later in Flash #197 (Vol. 2, 2003). Between the two books, the market is entirely focused on Flash #197, leaving Flash Secret Files #3 behind in the dust with a low volume of sales and value. So far behind in fact that copies of Flash Secret Files #3, graded CGC 9.8, have been stuck at a roughly $100 level for the last five years. It’s unlikely that its market will ever develop further. On the other hand, Flash #197 is up and running. Sales for the book, graded CGC 9.8 (the top 44.8% of the census), is shown below.
The highs for Flash #197 occurred in 2015, shortly following the charter’s premiere in the CW’s Arrowverse. Unfortunately, it has been on a steady decline ever since. The negative trend did slow down slightly mid-2018, but that’s just about it for the good news. Every few months, it makes new lower lows and lower highs. With no signs of reversal of sentiment insight, watch out for sales prices for Flash #197, graded CGC 9.8, to break below the $100 level by late next year.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- The Flash #139 (1963) – REDUCE
- Flash Secret Files #3 (2001) – SELL
- The Flash #197 (Vol. 2, 2003) – SELL
“Empty threats to a living paradox. There is no future. No past. Until I decide to put it back together.” – Reverse-Flash
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