Once upon a time, CGC 9.8 slabs of Nova #1 sold for the low $100s level. It’s now easily valued at around $1,050. How did this book rocket to its current power-packed value? Let’s take a look back at the roller coaster of a market for Nova #1.
BEFORE THE FERVOR
For the entire five year stretch from 2009 to 2013, less CGC 9.8 slabs were sold in total than the single year of 2020. This even includes the first year of the large upward move, which we will get to in a moment. Sales prices tended to hang around the low $100s; with the higher end of the range unable to break $200.
THEN CAME THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY MOVIE
In the two years before the movie’s release, the hottest speculation outside of the guardians themselves was Nova. There was the casting of Rhomann Dey, Xandar, and the Nova Corps in the trailers, and the presence of Nebula who although didn’t destroy the original Xandar did destroy the reconstructed one. Helping further the rumors was the appearance of Nova in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. The stars were aligning for the Nova rumors; even more so after a fan-favorite TV star was thrown into the Nova rumor mill.
Sales prices for Nova #1 rocketed up. CGC 9.8 slabs went from the sub $200 level to a late-2014 high of $949. An easy 4-5x for those that got in early.
The problem was, there was no Nova cameo. Not in the body of the movie or the end credits. And another impediment was that Xandar wasn’t destroyed. Prices climbed for a few more weeks following the movie’s late 2014 release, but the lack of a Nova confirmation upended the speculation for N#1. At worst, there would never be a Nova; and at best, the timeline for the speculation was indefinitely extended.
FIRST NOVA DECLINE
Yes, the first decline; which means there was a second, but we’ll get to that later. After sales prices climbed for two years leading into the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, they dropped in the two years following. Phases were announced, never Nova. The title reveal for GotG 2 didn’t offer much help. Sales prices ultimately hit their lows around winter 2016; selling in the $400-500 range.
2017 offered some relief for N#1 with renewed hope for Nova surrounding that summer’s release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Sales prices reversed from the downtrend and hit a short-term peak of just over $700 by late summer. Unfortunately, the hope for Nova was deflated with the mid-credits Adam scene. N#1 retreated to the low $500s by the end of the same year.
At the time, it seemed that the cosmic side of the MCU was never going to give us a Nova. The bulk of speculation shifted to the Adam Warlock/Him keys of Fantastic Four #66, Fantastic Four #67, and Marvel Premiere #1. Woe was anyone who held onto N#1 and got in at any of the high prices; that is until…
Within the first few minutes of 2018’s Infinity War, we learned that Xandar was destroyed off-screen by Thanos. The mad titan may have emerged victorious at the end of the movie, but so did the market for Nova #1. Sales prices took off for the next year, reaching a high of $1500 by summer 2019. Nearly 4x of previous year’s lows. Even if you got in at the winter 2014 highs, you would’ve come out ahead. How much of this was driven by the hope that Nova would arrive in Endgame and save the day?
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… just give me Nova already. Following the lack of Nova in 2019’s Endgame, sales prices quickly reversed to the negative. So far, the bottom of the range managed to hold at around the $800 level in the spring of 2020 and started to even move up a bit. It’s hard to say if this will continue. Especially in light of yet another lack of any mention of Nova in any of the big announcement events that occurred in late 2020. Or if the slight upward move is just part of the greater inflation being seen across the collectibles world.
OUTLOOK FOR NOVA
Overall the market for N#1 has been up; even with all the dips and peaks. Higher highs and lower lows. At the moment, it would be a bad idea to bet against the man called Nova; but the large swings in sales prices are definitely not for the faintest of hearts. One bit of caution is that the large declines surrounding the movie rumors not panning out might seem to indicate a high amount of speculators over long term holders. With that, the book could be another one of those that benefit more from the hero never actually making their silver screen debut. Otherwise, the decline could be the final one.
In the meantime, if you’re speculating, might as well throw a few bucks at the first Sam Alexander Nova book of Point One #1 (2011).
“Sometimes I still feel like an average joe from Long Island.” – Nova
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