The Coldest Comics Returns: Young Avengers & Hawkeye Dip

by Matt Tuck

111121A-300x157 The Coldest Comics Returns: Young Avengers & Hawkeye DipWhere there are winners, there must be losers. Where there is hot, there must be cold, and that is where today’s blog fits in. Which comics took a tumble over the past month? The Coldest Comics has the answer.

From the ashes, the Coldest Comics blog has returned. For the uninitiated, the Hottest Comics tell the story of what buyers are looking for on eBay. Normally, I keep you up to speed on the fastest-rising comics in the top 100. This week, let’s try something a little different. Instead of focusing on the issues making gains, what about those issues that are getting the cold shoulder from collectors? Today, we take a closer look and examine possible reasons why these particular comics have fallen out of fashion.

Keep in mind, this list is all about sales volume, which will be a likely culprit for causing an issue to sink. On one hand, there may be hot comics in terms of rising fair market values. On the other? Those inflated price tags can dissuade buyers in favor of the key du jour. 

On that note, it’s time to dive into the rankings and see which issues are branded with the dubious distinction of being the Coldest Comics for the past month.

Marvel-Special-Edition-15-200x300 The Coldest Comics Returns: Young Avengers & Hawkeye Dip86. SPECIAL MARVEL EDITION #15 (-78)

Shang-Chi, where have you gone? This is an excellent example of the secondary market’s fickle nature. All year, this has been among the hottest of key issues. Back in the spring and into the summer, collectors were forking over increasingly larger sums to own those higher grades. While the market cooled somewhat heading into the fall, the weeks preceding the movie’s September 3 release date saw numerous copies of Special Marvel Edition #15 swapping owners left and right. 

It is normal for a key that is popular due to movie hype to plateau after the premiere. After all, it’s the excitement that drives the sales. Fans are anxious to see what new treat Marvel has in store. Marvel and DC properties are being teased practically by the week; it can be a full-time job to keep up with the latest trends. Thus, the fan interest is ever waning. As soon as a movie is released, the studios have more projects being thrown onto the fire. That shifting attention is what drives the comic market. Collectors must flow with the tide or be left out of the next wave. 

That is precisely what has happened with Shang-Chi and his first appearance. Since the movie hit theaters, so much has changed, and news travels so quickly that two months is like two years. The good news is that copies of SME #15 are more affordable than it’s been in months. For all the previously mentioned reasons, values have been steadily declining since the first of September. In the case of the 9.6, two of the past three sales have been for under $3,500, which are some of the lowest prices since March.

Young_Avengers_Vol_1_1-201x300 The Coldest Comics Returns: Young Avengers & Hawkeye Dip68. YOUNG AVENGERS #1 (-47)

The best part about the Hottest Comics rankings is the surprises. Whether it’s a sudden leap in sales volume or a massive drop-off, those eye-catching numbers are interesting to dissect. In this case, it’s not so much the downhill slide in the number of sales as it is the significance of this issue.

Here we have a modern classic that is gaining importance with every phase of the MCU, particularly on Disney+. The Young Avengers are coming to the live-action universe, and Marvel Studios is introducing the team one piece at a time. Naturally, that leads to an increased interest in Young Avengers #1. This issue marked their first team appearance as well as the first character appearances of Kate Bishop, Patriot, Hulkling, Iron Lad, and Asgardian. So far, Marvel Studios has introduced Patriot, and Kate is the co-star of the Hawkeye series on Disney+. She also is set to become the MCU’s official Hawkeye by the end of the first season, which should add even more collectability to Young Avengers #1.

Generally speaking, there is no way anyone can say this is not a hot comic. Many collectors are falling over themselves to get a copy, and that is not likely to change anytime soon. In terms of sales volume, this issue is simply too expensive for buyers looking for a smaller investment. The standard cover graded at a 9.8 has consistently sold for $1k basically all year, and there is no indication that is changing. With so many cheaper options on the market, it would seem that collectors and investors are taking their wallets elsewhere.

hawkeye_1_kate_bishop_now-195x300 The Coldest Comics Returns: Young Avengers & Hawkeye Dip67. HAWKEYE #1 (-44)

This is another surprise addition to the Coldest Comics blog. This issue had been red hot for months, and that intensified after the first trailer for the Disney+ show was released online. It caused a frenzy for both the classic Hawkeye keys and the early Kate Bishop appearances, and that resulted in inflated prices for basically all things Hawkeye regardless of the character in the costume. 

With so much attention on Hawkeye and Kate, in particular, I would not expect much of a drop in sales for this issue. Still, it is the most likely candidate of all her key issues. While this is notable for cover collecting, there isn’t much else that makes this comic a key unless Ramone Watts suddenly becomes a star. In the grand scheme, buyers are likely turning away from this issue in favor of issues with first appearances and significant moments. 

Lately, prices have been on the decline, at least for the 9.8. Granted we are not quite two weeks into November, but the values have been gradually dropping all month. It started with a $215 sale on November 2, which was followed by sales of $183 then $181. The most recent transaction resulted in a $172 purchase.

transformers-1-196x300 The Coldest Comics Returns: Young Avengers & Hawkeye Dip77. TRANSFORMERS #1 (-40)

It looked like buyers were ready to transform and roll out with the first Transformers comic. Then the well went dry. 

The initial spending spree for the latest in a history of ups and downs for Transformers #1 was built upon the hype for the next entry in the franchise’s line of movies, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. The word has spread that the upcoming film will feature the Autobots and Decepticons in their ‘80s style straight from the original cartoon series. We saw a bit of this in the Bumblebee movie in late 2018, and that was a hit with fans of the classic Transformers. 

All that fanfare sent Transformers #1 into the top half of the Hottest Comics rankings, but buyers have shied away from that coveted first issue over the past 30 days. This could be a combination of higher prices (a 9.8 is still selling for $2k and up) and competition. With all the current Marvel news, most collectors are focusing their attention on the latest keys to become fashionable thanks to the MCU. That can leave a comic like Transformers #1 on the outside looking in, and with a spot on our Coldest Comics list.

asm-252-196x300 The Coldest Comics Returns: Young Avengers & Hawkeye Dip54. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #252 (-39)

Is this the sign that buyers are experiencing a case of Venom fatigue? That is a possibility. After all, not only did ASM #252 fall by nearly 40 positions, but the behemoth of the market, ASM #300, lost six positions itself. While that may not sound like much, consider the issue’s popularity. It is rare that ASM #300 doesn’t rank either in the top five or very near it. For that issue to cling to the ninth spot is almost unheard of. 

That being said, it would make sense for an issue like ASM #252 to lose positions on the heels of ASM #300’s slight drop. Collectors love this issue because it is one of the early appearances of the black suit in the normal Marvel Universe. Fans know that suit would eventually become one of Marvel’s most popular characters, Venom. 

By no means is it time to abandon ship on ASM #252 or any other Venom key. The symbiote has been one of the most beloved characters in all of comics since his debut in 1988. With Venom now established in the MCU, there will be a massive wave of sales for all his key issues in the not-so-distant future when he and Spider-Man face off on the big screen. This simply suggests that, for the moment, collectors are taking a break from stockpiling all those symbiote keys. Considering the inflated prices for all things Venom and Carnage? That will be welcome news for buyers waiting for an opportune time to invest.

As we approach the Christmas season, fair market values generally take a backseat during the holidays. Earlier this week, a 9.8 direct edition sold for under $1,500 for only the second time since February. This could be an indication that a window to buy ASM #252 is beginning to open.

What do you think about this week’s Coldest Comics? Talk it up in the comments!

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2 comments

Dave Stevens November 12, 2021 - 12:50 am

Your rankings have the issue of confounding sales with price increases. This means, by necessity, all hot comics are also common and the rare books slip through the cracks and surprise you when they sell for bigger and bigger money

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Sarah Lee November 12, 2021 - 8:58 am

Hey Dave! Our Hottest and Coldest comics rankings are based on sales volume alone, not sale price. Check out the Chartbusters lists on the site for rankings based on sale price!

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