A space pirate team led by a human captain and complete with a superstrong green alien, a cybernetically enhanced alien, and a deadly female alien fighter whom the human captain loves… No, I am not talking about the Guardians of the Galaxy, but rather, the Starjammers. Despite being named after the fast windjammer sailing ships, the Starjammers were unfortunately beaten to the punch by the other aforementioned spacefaring team. Is there enough space for both of them? Here we look at the key comic books for this group of swashbucklers and their current market.
X-MEN #104 (1977)
The first cameo appearance of the Starjammers occurred in X-Men #104 (1977); with the brief appearance of the leader Corsair/Christopher Summers (father of Cyclops) and the reptilian Ch’od. Although not technically an official member, the Starjammer pet named Cr’reee also makes his first appearance in the same book.
For the market of X-Men #104, two points of interest occurred; a short-term spike in late 2015 and a change to a sustained positive trend in early 2018. The cause of the 2015 spike is a bit of a mystery; one possibility is that it’s tied to the Captain Marvel speculation with her once being a member of the Starjammers as Binary. Below are sales for X-Men #104 in grades CGC 9.6 and 9.4, the top 21.5% and 42.7% of the census.
The second and more permanent shift in the market for X-Men #104 occurred in early 2018. In just about two years, sales prices have grown by as much as +200% at both the 9.6 and 9.4 grades. This growth has occurred at a slower pace than the 2015 spike and has been sustained as of present. The cause of this change in sentiment could be due to a number of factors including a mention of the Shi’ar in the Legion TV series or the inclusion of Vuk and the D’Bari in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, both with connections to the Starjammers.
Overall, the recent and sudden growth in sales prices for X-Men #104 presents a good opportunity to take some money off the table. While it can be tempting to see how much longer the current positive trend can be sustained; just keep in mind the prior years of flat sales prices from 2013 to 2017, including the short-term spike. This risk is further evidenced in the next book to be examined.
X-MEN #107 (1977)
The first full appearance of Starjammers occurred just a few months later in X-Men #107 (1977), which also included the rest of the team members Raza Longknife and Hepzibah. Towards the end of the issue, the Starjammers appear in the nick of time to assist the X-Men in their fight against the Imperial Guard. Between the two books examined in this article, one thing is clear; the market has chosen the first full appearance of the Starjammers over their first cameo appearance with respect to market value at similar CGC grades and census representation.
While the trends are very similar, a major difference between the two books is that X-Men #107 has a bit more market stability. Instead of mirroring the spike in 2015, only one sale occurred at a much higher price in a similar time frame. Likewise, X-Men #107’s shift to a positive trend in 2018 trailed X-Men #104 by a few months. However, when it did occur, the growth rates at the 9.6 grade were considerably higher; increasing over +350% with one sale as high as $895 this past month of Nov 2019. Sales for CGC 9.6 and 9.4 are shown to the right.
Overall, as with the book above, the present elevated prices present a good opportunity to take some money off the table. X-Men #107 does compare more favorably with X-Men #104, but the downside risk is the same with both books. The market behavior for this book shows the years of flat sales from 2013-2017 much more clearly; keep that in mind.
At the moment, both books are indeed on a rather impressive positive trend; and along with it, a noticable divergence between the market values and growth rates between the 9.6 and 9.4 grades. The Starjammers’ similarities to the Guardians of the Galaxy presents a potential barrier to its key comic books to win the silver screen lottery. Interestingly, its chances prior to the Disney/Fox merger were probably much higher. Now they both fall under the same movie studio, who not only have the two Starjammers and Guardians of the Galaxy but also Star Wars and all the other spinoffs associated with that universe. Fox by itself at least would have had lesser options to turn to. Given this situation, it is rather peculiar that the recent positive trend has been sustained. Again, it is also because of this that it could be a good idea to take some money off the table.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve officially been boarded by the Starjammers, here on a mission of love!” – Corsair
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