The summer of 2018 will undoubtedly be marked by the weddings. You’ve got Batman and Catwoman tying the knot in Batman #50, and over in the Marvel Universe, Colossus and Kitty Pryde are preparing their nuptials.
Between the two events, you can quickly find yourself unloading hundreds of dollars if you are looking to collect every variant cover for both weddings, but is it worth it? History says no.
Batman marrying Catwoman is a big deal, no argument. From a development standpoint, Batman #50 is going to be an important key. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle have gone back and forth for decades, and putting the two together as a married couple will add a new dynamic to their stories and provide some fresh story arcs that will allow these old characters chances to grow.
The Colossus/Kitty Pryde wedding has lesser implications. We’ve already seen the two as a couple back in the 1980s, and having them married doesn’t change their dynamic. Plus, it’s not the first X-Men wedding Marvel has thrown at us, but I’ll discuss that one in more detail in a moment. Longtime X-fans will want this on their pull lists because it will be a minor key, especially for Colossus and Kitty fans.
If this were 30 years ago and only one or possibly two first print covers were going to hit the shelves, it wouldn’t be an issue of what to buy. The dilemma is that there are so many variants for both Batman #50 and X-Men Gold #30. Particularly in the case of Batman/Catwoman, it’s hard to keep track of the number of variants being released. In the end, if history repeats, neither of these wedding issues will be major, high-dollar keys.
SPIDER-MAN AND MARY JANE
Just like Batman and Catwoman, back in 1987 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 was hugely popular both in comic circles and mainstream media. Finally, after decades together, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson were going to be husband and wife. While it’s still a minor key and the most iconic of wedding issues, it’s not highly sought after or even hard to find.
There were two covers printed for this king-sized annual. Cover A, featuring him in the Spider-Man costume, has a respectable $103 fair market value over the past 12 months in a CGC 9.8. Realistically, you’ll be more likely to find one “in the wild” in a lower grade, and anything below a 9.0 doesn’t crack the $30 mark, which is not enough to offset the grading costs.
Cover B with Peter in a tuxedo has an FMV of $85 in a pristine 9.8. If you’re looking to sell your graded copy and turn a profit after those CGC grading and shipping fees, then you need at least a 9.0. Anything less than that, and you’ll end up losing money.
SUPERMAN AND LOIS LANE
Superman: the Wedding Album is comparable to the upcoming Bat-Wedding. Fans had been waiting almost 60 years when DC Comics decided to join the two in holy matrimony back in 1996. At the time, this was a huge event that crossed into mainstream as Superman and Lois tied the proverbial knot not only in comics but also on screen in the popular Lois and Clark television series. Here we are 22 years later, and it’s just not a collectible key except for genuine Superman fans.
The key fact about the Wedding Album is this: in the past four years, there have been only two recorded sales of graded 9.8s – one in 2014 and the other in 2016. They each brought $90, which is nothing to scuff at, but clearly this isn’t an issue most collectors are seeking. There have been seven collector’s edition 9.8s that have sold this year, but they’re only averaging $40. While there will be increased interest in this comic just for the juxtaposition with Batman, don’t expect to see much of a return.
CYCLOPS AND JEAN GREY
Lastly, we have the iconic X-wedding that took place in 1994’s X-Men #30. In this issue, Jean Grey and Cyclops/Scott Summers had their actual wedding. (Remember when Cyclops thought he was marrying Jean, but instead he married Madeylne Pryor, a Jean clone? Those were the days.) If you have this in a near-mint graded 9.8, then you may have something of value. While it’s averaging $62 in the past 90 days, a near-mint X-Men #30 sold for $123 in January. That spike in price is likely related to the excitement over the upcoming Colossus/Kitty wedding; last year, the highest sale was $89, and most copies brought $50 or less.
Marriage is hard, even fictional ones. Often the wedding issues are completely negated when a new creative team decides the main characters were better off single. Spider-Man got a complete timeline reset in Brand New Day to end his marriage and make him younger. Superman got a similar treatment when DC underwent the changes of the ill-fated New 52. And when those resets happen, they devalue the wedding issues similar. That being said, enjoy the stories, collect the covers if you like, but don’t expect to get rich in 20 years.