With filming completed and anticipation building for the release of The Sandman on Netflix in late 2021 or early 2022, it’s time to take a look at some of the secondary characters who will be appearing throughout the series to gauge their potential as investments. Let’s check out some Sandman keys.
Cain & Abel
Everyone knows the story of Cain and Abel, a story of brotherly jealousy that leads to murder. Cain was the first to appear in an issue of DC Comics: House of Mystery #175. As the caretaker of the House of Mystery, Cain figures to play a prominent role in The Sandman.
While there are 66 copies in the CGC census, sales data is extremely slight. Only one copy – a 7.5 – shown as sold in 2021 for $290. In fact, the last sale of any copy above 8.5 was a 9.0 which sold in 2018 for $160.50. Sales 10 years ago were much for much higher dollar amounts, with a 9.4 selling for $1,705 back in 2009. The price dropped to a little over $1,300 just two years later. This could be a good comic on which to speculate, buying in the dip before a trailer drops.
Cain’s brother, Abel, made his first appearance in DC Special #4. He plays a similar role to his brother in the comics being the caretaker of the House of Secrets. Data points are fewer for this book – only 41 copies in the CGC census. However, sales are more current. Pricing, on the other hand, is all over the place. A 9.6 copy sold for $454 in September 2019. The next sale was for $700 in June 2020. We then see a quick softening to $400 just two months later. While worthy of speculation, as Abel will likely play a very visible role in The Sandman, don’t be foolish enough to pay 75% more than FMV.
For an even deeper investment dive for these two characters’ true first appearance in DC Comics, along with their mother, Eve, from the popular Lucifer Vertigo series and TV show, look no further than Picture Stories From the Bible (Old Testament) #3. This is a true golden age classic and is priced accordingly. A 9.8 copy sold for $3,777.75 in May, 10 times what it sold for in 2013.
Lucien, Dream’s faithful librarian and one of the more likable characters in the Sandman comics, is poised to become a more well-known figure once The Sandman series appears on Netflix. The character made his DC Comics debut in Weird Mystery Tales #18.
This is not an easy book to find. There are only eleven copies of this book in the CGC census! And none are below an 8.0 grade. Sales are even rarer, with the 8.0 selling twice – once in 2005 for $11. The same copy sold for the same price three years later. In the higher grades, a 9.4 copy sold for $33 in May 2008. If you’re looking to invest in this book, your best bet would be to find high-grade raw copies and get them graded and slabbed before a trailer hits for The Sandman. If the trailer generates excitement and the show is a hit, you could be looking at a serious return on your investment.
Not up for heavy-duty speculation like this? Then you might want to try Tales of Ghost Castle #1. It’s the first series to feature Lucien, albeit a short one – it only lasted three issues. There’s a lot more data on this book – 141 copies in the CGC census – and that makes for more predictability in the pricing. While there have been notable peaks and valleys over the years, a 9.8 with a current FMV of $190 has, on average, nearly doubled in value over the past five years. Should Lucien prove to be a popular character, a current relatively low price point could prove to be a worthwhile investment.
Sandman has been an immensely popular character over the years, one of the few to make it on to the New York Times Bestseller lists. With his first-ever TV series coming soon to Netflix, now is the time to consider investing in the secondary characters that Neil Gaiman imbued with so much life.