From jewelry to foil cards, there’s just something attractive about shiny objects. To take advantage of this, comic book publishers have printed many iconic foil covers; and on occasion, taken it a bit too literally with comic books made of literal gold leaf (the expensive/precious metal kind). Here we look at the market for a few of the most popular foil covers.
The most popular foil-covered book on the market is hands-down Venom: Lethal Protector #1. Not so much the original red one, but rather, the gold foil variant and the printing error that resulted in a black variant. The sales prices for the main Venom: Lethal Protector #1 have been fairly stagnant for the last six-plus years, with CGC 9.8’s most recently selling in the $60-100 range. CGC 10.0 and 9.9 copies do exist; 9.9 was also flat at the $250-$300 range until two recent sales, the only two in 2018, sold for around $1,100 at a sudden jump of almost 3.5x.
Outside of the outliers of the original’s 10.0s and 9.9s, the greater market action for the book appears to be more focused on the Venom: Lethal Protector #1 (Gold Edition), whose sales in the CGC 9.8 grade can be seen below. Sales prices for the gold edition grew slowly from 2014 until mid-2017, when the growth rate increased exponentially. It hit an all-time high in late 2018, which mirrors the two 9.9s of the main red cover. The peak coincides with the worldwide release of the Venom movie. Ever since sales prices have been on a rapid decline with a large increase in volatility. Uncertainty has increased and people are getting out.
Back to the interesting variant of the black cover printing error, which supposedly is a result of the red foil failing to be applied to the main cover printing. As an error variant, the volume of sales is very low; below are sales for the book in grades CGC 9.8, 9.6, and 9.4. With just the sales data of the black cover, it would be a bit hard to make heads or tails of its market, but fortunately, the chart above of the gold edition helps fill in the blanks. The similarities point to bad news for the black variant; although the post-Oct 2018 sales are very low in volume, again from its rarity, the black variant is likely to decline in the near term with the overall market for the variants of Lethal Protector #1.
On an interesting note, like the printing error of the original red cover that resulted in the black cover; there is also a printing error of the gold foil cover that resulted in a white cover. It is possibly the rarest of all.
The next most popular foil cover comic book on the market is Wolverine #145, which comes in variants of gold or silver. Sales for these are shown below in CGC 9.8 and 9.6 for both books. Overall, 9.8 of the gold foil has been on a slight decline; whereas, 9.8 of the silver foil has been on a slight increase, which diverges from the decline of its 9.6s. Oddly, the main print of the book sits at an FMV right in between these two foil variants. As shiny and cool looking as Wolverine #145 is, none of the variants of Wolverine #145 offer an attractive long-term investment opportunity.
Supposedly, a similar printing error with the foil, like Venom: Lethal Protector #1, also occurred with Wolverine #145. Some copies had the foil left off, which resulted in a white-clawed error variant.
Most recently, Spawn #300 has hit the market with a pair of foil cover variants of its own. In a homage to Todd McFarlane’s cover for Amazing Spider-Man #300, a similar design complete with heroic pose and repeating 300s in the background was used for the foil variants, which come in gold or silver. Compared with the other books mentioned above, the volume for Spawn #300’s foil variants is much lower, but it has managed to achieve high market values. In the short time since its publication, the gold foil variant has been selling at a range of $510-775; to a lesser degree, the silver foil variant has been in the $152.5-350 range. Time will tell if this foil cover can retain its value, but between the two the gold one is currently more favored.
“There is something about you. Something you carry. Something made of gold… but far… more… precious…” – Smaug
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