I recently purchased several raw copies of The Uncanny X-Men #212 (UXM #212) on eBay. There are two reasons why I invested in this undervalued comic book. First, and foremost, this is the first time Wolverine fights Sabretooth, his nemesis and archenemy. Wolverine and Sabretooth measure themselves against one another, and, as we learn in Wolverine #10, Sabretooth longs to be the person who kills Wolverine. In many ways, the two men are two different sides of the same coin with Sabretooth reminding Wolverine what he could become if he succumbs to his worst instincts. Their battles are epic — like the Thing vs. the Hulk, Spider-Man vs. Venom, or Colossus vs. the Juggernaut. The two would go on to fight one another at least another couple dozen times across the pages of X-Men and Wolverine comic books and twice on the big screen.
Second, UXM #212 is the very first time Mr. Sinister is mentioned by name. Although he doesn’t make his first full appearance until The Uncanny X-Men #221 (along with his first cameo appearance in The Uncanny X-Men #213), it is here in UXM #212 that we first learn that Mr. Sinister is the puppet master working behind the scenes to orchestrate the mutant massacre. Importantly, rumors are rampant that Kevin Feige will cast Jon Hamm as Mr. Sinister in the MCU. Although nothing has been confirmed, these rumors are based on sound logic. We’ve already seen two different incarnations of Magneto and Dark Phoenix on the big screen, and Apocalypse once. Betting on a new recurring X-Men villain — such as Mr. Sinister — in the MCU is a smart bet. This speculation should be adding additional value to UXM #212.
Only that it isn’t. On eBay, a high-grade raw copy of this book recently sold for $7.00, and a CGC 9.6 sold for $44.00 on December 7th. Furthermore, as of December 28th, UXM #212 isn’t even on GoCollect’s top 1000 Modern Age comics in terms of volume sold and GoCollect hasn’t identified UXM #212 as a key issue. Clearly, few are paying attention to this book.
Comparable to Amazing Spider-Man #316
Let’s review recent sales for a comic book that is reasonably comparable: Amazing Spider-Man #316 (ASM #316). Like UXM #212, ASM #316: (1) was published in the mid-to-late-1980s, (2) features the only Marvel character that is as popular as Wolverine, and (3) presents an early appearance of a major villain- Venom. Although the two comics are not perfectly comparable (i.e., ASM #316 was drawn by Todd McFarlane, was not the first time Venom and Spider-Man fought one another, etc.), they are reasonably so.
Nonetheless, ASM #316 is worth far more than UXM #212. For example, on December 27th, a high-grade CGC 9.6 copy sold for $315.00 on eBay, nearly eight times the amount that a similar copy of UXM #212 sold for. Clearly, the market has determined that ASM #316 is the more valuable comic book; however, I don’t think it’s worth eight times as much as UXM #212. As the greatest investor of all time, Warren Buffett, advises, we should “buy low and sell high.” If we apply this simple rule to the two comics before us, the masses are buying ASM #316 at high prices when maybe they should be considering investing in UXM #212 at low prices instead.
If Mr. Sinister and/or the Mutant Massacre storyline appears in the MCU, the market will finally provide this comic with the attention (and value) that it deserves. I’m betting that it will.