Carnage sells. That is a fact.
Back in 1992, Marvel was enjoying the popularity of Venom, which has yet to falter even after Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3” debacle, and they finally gave fans another symbiote. This one wasn’t drawn with the Todd McFarlane trademark bodybuilder physique but more along the lines of Spider-Man himself: smaller, leaner, and faster. Add in a Joker-style twinge of insanity, mix a little Clayface (they both can form knives and axes and such on their hands), make him a bloodthirsty serial killer, and you had Spidey’s newest hit villain.
The look, the attitude, the connection to Venom, and Carnage ranked high on the list of Spider-Man’s greatest adversaries. Considering the rogue’s gallery of opponents on that list, and that’s saying a lot. As I told you a couple weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before Carnage made his way onto the silver screen. Now that Sony has made the official announcement that Cletus Cassidy will be Eddie Brock’s antagonist in the solo Venom film, fans and collectors are raiding eBay in search of “Amazing Spider-Man” #361. Yes, I told you so, but I thought you might have at least another month or possibly until a Venom sequel (if Sony doesn’t drop the proverbial ball again) is announced to get hold of affordable copies of ASM 361. If you haven’t already bought yours, it’s too late.
Leading up to Sony’s announcement, eBay is being flooded with ASM 361 at inflated prices. The thing is, people are buying them at these higher prices. Earlier this month, a CGC graded 9.8 sold for $479.99. On the same day, another 9.8 sold for $350. As of the night of June 21, eBay “Buy It Now” listers priced a 9.0 and up anywhere from around $100 to over $200, depending on grade. What that tells me is that if you don’t already have your copy of Carnage’s first appearance, wait until the hysteria has died down somewhat before buying up all the copies you can find. Of course, now isn’t the best time to buy Spider-Man key issues. With “Spider-Man: Homecoming” premiering next month, not to mention that the early screenings for critics have received high praise so far, any Spidey keys are hot items at the moment, which already boosts the collectibility of the debut of a major villain. Put the two together, and you have a recipe for a seller’s market.
If you already have a higher grade copy of ASM 361, it will be worth the investment to have it graded. If yours is already in a slab, now is a good time to dust it off and look at making a quick buck, as the cliche goes. However, for the more patient investors, you may be looking at an even bigger payoff if you hold out for a few more months. My prediction is that when Sony launches the first “Venom” trailer with even a teaser of Carnage, the floodgates will open once more. At that point, it will become a seller’s market once again if you are prepared and get your comic listed quickly.