The Spawn of Speculation Confusion

by Michael Vlachakis

692363_spawn-1-newsstand-edition-199x300 The Spawn of Speculation Confusion

The 1997 Spawn movie was either brilliantly ahead of its time or never should have been made.  During its release, there seemed to be some good fan traction for a series of Spawn movies. Despite this traction, there was no real hope for this to become the next big Hollywood franchise.  Mainly because Spawn was not well known outside his fan base and perhaps because of the mainstream resistance to violence in the hero genre.  It was the 90’s and Spawn was darker, and a bit grittier, than the iterations of Batman, on screen. We are way past the ’90s now, right?  We are different now, right?  There have been rumors of a new Spawn movie for years but more recently the market has seen a flurry of movement, which has left me curious and a bit confused.  Do we want a Spawn reboot?  I say, if it ain’t fixed, don’t break it again!

Spawn #1 has been a standard comic for collectors since its release in 1992.  He is an original character from former DC and Marvel artist, and fan favorite, Todd McFarlane.  Looking at the data will show you how popular this comic is with collectors.  It has over 10,000 total graded copies and half of those are a 9.8 grade or higher.  Recently, copies of Spawn #1 Newsstand Edition have been a major target for collectors, and more copies have sold at higher price points than normal.  Is this an indication of a market move, that could be signaling something big?  Or the question really becomes: is it the panic before a price pop, or is it just speculation pressuring the frantic few to make a bad choice?

A year ago, a 9.8 graded copy of Spawn #1 was hovering around the $200 threshold. The newsstand variants were selling for about $300 with a copy jumping into the $400’s every once in a while.  A recent sale for a newsstand 9.8 grade sold for over $600 and that should catch any speculator’s eye.  When you see such a jump, accompanied by the fact that the direct edition is seemingly tanking to the low $100’s, while remembering the enormous census numbers, you wonder how people are not just giving the 9.8 graded copies of Spawn #1 away.  Any rebooted movie will just flood the market with sellers trying to make a quick buck off of collectors hoping their copy will be the greatest investment since Beanie Babies.  I feel like this sets up a fun showdown of supply vs. demand, akin to selling beer in Milwaukee.

The outlook for Spawn does not look like the juggernaut that many speculators are hoping for.  I recommend avoiding the market altogether and just standing with your fingers crossed that they can pull an entertaining movie together.  There may be other new and exciting characters or titles, that may be wiser to bring in a bit of spice, or new blood, to your collection.  Although there could be gains made in Modern comic titles, Spawn is a hyper-example of why we should collect with caution.  We saw it with Ronin last year, as countless copies of New Avengers #11 flooded the market to cash in on the character in End Game.  The ’90s was a peak in the comic book market and the number of copies available can always skyrocket in an instant since everyone was collecting.  If everyone has one, is it special?

What is your favorite Modern comic title to collect?  Do you see the potential for gains in Spawn after a reboot?  Drop your comments and join the speculation!

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