When Ryan Reynolds visited the Marvel Offices in October, the rumor mill began re-churning about a possible third Deadpool movie, one that might possibly be migrated into the MCU. Once word began leaking that Disney is willing to change their stance and allow an R-rated movie to invade their family-friendly empire, the Wade Wilson world seems more likely than ever to enter control of Feige & Co.
But what has always been baffling for the Merc With a Mouth is the indecipherable lack of sustainable key issues for the character. One would think that for as beloved a character as Deadpool has become (rising from cult hero to two blockbuster movies in 25 years), a solid number of issues would rise to the level of major keys. What we see as we wait for Deadpool 3, however, is the comic book version of Gladys Knight and the Pips: you’ve got New Mutants #98 and then everything else.
Perhaps the most iconic key issue/first appearance of the Modern Age? Maybe it’s competing with Amazing Spiderman #300? I don’t think that’s hyperbole considering its strength and stability in sales. Just in October alone, CGC copies of this book have sold more than 50 times on Ebay.
Perhaps most surprising about this constant demand for the first appearance of Deadpool is that prices in the high range remain stable despite SO MUCH SUPPLY. As a modern book, there is a strong proliferation of high-quality copies, with almost 10,000 copies existing at grade 9.4 and above. Still, there has been one example of a 9.8 grade New Mutants #98 selling below $600 in the past five weeks. This book looks like it ain’t going anywhere soon.
As Deadpool is introduced to potentially new audiences with a transition to the MCU, what are some other books that could gain value as future Deadpool keys?
[EDIT: As several have pointed out, this is not Colossus, but rather Kane. I completely regret the error. RK] This classic Colossus/Deadpool cover represents his second appearance, and begins a run where Deadpool develops into a recurring character. We have already seen Colossus appear on-screen with Deadpool in both Deadpool and Deadpool 2, so it’s somewhat surprising that a 9.8 copy of this book can be in your hands for about $30 based on recent sales.
Plenty has been written on these digital pages about the popularity of second appearances, so if there is a cheap, speculative move to make, grab one one these for the personal collection and wait for movement. There are about 2,400 available at grade 9.4 and above.
The first battle between Deadpool and Cable. These two famously dueled on-screen in Deadpool 2, but since that time the issue has cooled considerably. Since peaking at $115 on May 15, 2018 (the movie debuted on May 18), the cost to purchase a 9.8 issue has dropped to as low as $32 this past summer.
In fact, every 9.8 copy sold in 2019 has been at $50 or less. The staying power just never came for this issue, despite only 325 copies available at 9.4 and above.
This inaugural issue of the first Deadpool solo series (1993) has seen slightly better performance in recent years than the New Mutants and X-Force appearances, but not by much.
Several 9.8 copies of Circle Chase have sold for more than $100 in 2019, but the most recent sales have all been under $75. Yours truly recently purchased a PGX 9.8 copy for $40 in hopes of having it regraded by CGC and bumping the value. Any downgrade will result in a negative expected value for me, however, because prices below 9.8 rapidly descend into the $25-$30 range.
If you’re starting to speculate about a storyline for Deadpool, the first appearance of Slayback in this issue, as well as a battle with Weapon X, are reasonable possibilities for a plot in an upcoming movie. I don’t believe we have been introduced to these characters in the first two film projects.
The comical cover by Ed McGuiness from 2009 has developed into a significant collector’s item over the years. In this issue, Hulk recruits a number of heroes, including Deadpool, to track and capture Domino. This issue also features Red Hulk, Red She-Hulk, Wolverine, and X-Force. There is a lot going on here.
Due to scarcity and the unique cover art, CGC 9.8 issues of this variant frequently sell for over $400 (although no recorded sales in 2019). I’m not sure we can call this a Deadpool key, per se. Like the art, the supporting characters and the scarcity are more likely the variables driving up value.
It is interesting that the two most costly Deadpool issues after New Mutants #98 are both appearances outside of issues or series dedicated solely to him. In this case, we get the mashup of Venompool which is basically a retelling of various Marvel short stories, packaged with fantastic art by the brilliant Skottie Young.
Past 12 month sales of this book vary between $300 and $500 for a 9.8. More than 87% of the CGC census on this book lives from 9.4-9.8 so paying up is the only reasonable option for graded copies. This is likely not a spec book and there is seemingly not a coherent story to tell from the mashup.
So what do you think? Am I missing any Deadpool keys? Why are we not seeing a wave of keys develop for this popular character? Leave your opinion in the comments!
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