The X-Men are poised to make a huge impact on the collectors market, and leading the charge will be the all-time favorite X-Man, Wolverine. Do you have these keys in your collection? If not, you’re going to wish you had.
The latest news regarding the world of cinematic mutants is that it could be another five years before we see them in the MCU, which you can read about at Heroichollywood.com. As the cliche goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the longer the wait, the bigger the impact this will have on your key issues. Of course, this goes along with my advice in “Rewarding the Faithful X-Men Fans.”
All this X-Men attention has particularly bolstered the Wolverine keys. Incredible Hulk #181, which was nothing short of a market nuke all last year, is once again at its blistering pace. In a two-year span, every grade of a complete copy (i.e., the Marvel Value Stamp is intact) has made huge gains, and some grades have nearly doubled in fair market value in that time. A complete 6.5, for instance, averaged $1,433 in 2017. On April 8, one sold for $3,000.
Even the low grades are ridiculously expensive. An incomplete 0.5 is ascending closer and closer to the $1k mark; last month, one sold for $772. For comparison, two years ago, a 3.5 with the MVS averaged $770. In other words, the Hulk #181 is likely out of reach for the average collector who doesn’t already have one.
So what’s left to choose from? When it comes to Wolverine, there are plenty of options.
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on the Wolverine keys that are outside the X-Men title since the two biggest keys, Giant-Size X-Men #1 and X-Men #94, which happen to be his second and third full appearances, respectively, are featured in “70s X.”
Purists will argue this is the true first appearance of the Canadian superhero. While it doesn’t have the lofty price tag as Hulk #181, the market for his first cameo appearance is nonetheless booming. As I like to say, look at the low grade values to truly gauge a comic’s popularity, and Hulk #180 doesn’t disappoint. An incomplete 1.5 last sold for $138 a month ago. Two years ago, you could have purchased a 4.0 for $140, which should give you an idea of where the market currently stands.
When it comes to Wolvie art, there’s no beating Frank Miller’s cover from this 1982 classic. I’m particularly drawn to the Jack Nicholson-inspired grin, but I digress.
While not in league with a Wolverine first appearance, this series features iconic artwork and Logan’s first self-titled series. The best part is that you can still get the first issue for a decent price.
At the moment, the higher grades have been losing ground, but that won’t last for too much longer. The 9.8, which had averaged $284 last year, has a 90-day FMV of $277 and last sold for $264. While that’s not a huge difference, it indicates that prices for Wolverine #1 will continue to dip in the coming months. No need to panic, however. When the inevitable news of a Wolverine casting becomes official, collectors will be all over this one.
I realize this isn’t necessarily a Wolverine key, but a hero is only as good as his villain. Wolverine needs Sabretooth, and these two have had many epic confrontations over the years. I would expect Marvel to incorporate Victor Creed into the mix to give Wolverine some competition, especially if he ends up with a solo flick, which I suspect he will.
Over the past 90 days, Iron Fist #14 has been outperforming Wolverine Limited #1. Nearly every grade of Sabretooth’s debut has been gaining value, including the lower grades. At the moment, a 2.5 is averaging $140, which is $5 more than the 6.5’s 2017 FMV.
MORE TO COME
By no means are these the only Wolverine keys you’ll want to add to your collection, but there’s not room in this particular post. I’ll be back to give you more Wolvie keys tomorrow.