Instead of a broad look at a batch of books, here we focus on a single one, Uncanny X-Men #129 (1980). Filled with multiple first appearances of key X-Men characters, the market for the book has gone through quite the roller-coaster of ups and downs.
The X-Men: First Class movie that was released in the summer of 2011 was quite the bingo square filler of character first appearances contained in Uncanny X-Men #129; specifically, Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, and Hellfire Club team name. The major one excluded was Kitty Pryde, but more on that later.
Even after the movie’s worldwide release, the market value for X-Men #129 continued to rise steadily. This positive trend would continue for four years until it peaked in early 2014 and reversed to the downside and increased in volatility. The only consolation prize was a slower rate of decline than it experienced on the way up. The reason for this sentiment shift in 2014 is possibly due to the noticeable absence of the aforementioned characters from the 2014 sequel movie X-Men: Days of Future Past. Sebastian Shaw was as expected due to his death in the prior movie, but Emma Frost was written off with a verbal mention of her death.
With that, the book at CGC 9.6 grade lost over 50% of the highs by early 2017. The sales data spanning the years 2011 to early 2017 is shown below; this included CGC 9.6, which represents the top 31.6% of the census.
In 2017, the market for X-Men #129 bottomed out and sold in a tighter range at the $200 level. Coincidentally, it was also here where things seemed the bleakest than another upward catalyst occurred…
After much rumor, a Kitty Pryde solo movie was announced to be in development. If a comparison of popularity between the characters who first appeared in X-Men #129 was made based on the market’s reaction and change in book value, then Kitty Pryde is hands down the winner. In just under two years, the market value for X-Men #129 catapulted upwards; catapulted may be an understatement, better yet, it trebuchet’ed upwards. The book in a CGC 9.6 grade broke through the previous 2014 peak in one year, and in the next year went on to top out around a high of +250% from 2017 lows by late 2018. That’s trebuchet level gains.
Unfortunately, it was also here that the opposite of 2017 occurred. The positive catalyst of a Kitty Pryde solo movie was completely undone by the negative news of the canceled development of the Kitty Pryde solo movie due to the Disney/Fox acquisition. The chart below shows the sales run up and fall from 2017 to present, surrounding these events; which again includes X-Men #129 in CGC 9.6 (the top 31.6% of census).
This sudden and abrupt change serves to highlight the dangers of event speculation based on a character/movie too early in the development process.
The entirety of the sales data for Uncanny X-Men #129 (1980), CGC 9.6, from 2011 to present can be seen below. Note the two events examined above.
From here on out, the potential major buttons for movement in X-Men #129’s value appear to be Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost; with a greater weight to Kitty Pryde. With this in mind, there is currently no foreseeable movie development news on the horizon for either character; especially with all the consolidation of the Fox/Marvel properties, such as The New Mutants and the canceled Dr. Doom and Kitty Pryde solo movies.
All things considered, the market for Uncanny X-Men #129 is the perfect example of a “falling knife.” For the book graded CGC 9.6, look for support around the previous 2017 lows around the $200 level; which could mean another -33% loss of value from current prices. With the current trend, it would not be surprising if it reached it within the next year.
“The darkness of how you feel about the word ‘mutant’ is only your own uncertainty about being one. About whether you can explore that unknown safely.” – Emma Frost
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