Assuming our country and government haven’t completely collapsed over the next few weeks, those tax refund checks should continue to roll in and our long winter of comic-buying discontent will hopefully be over. In the coming months with fears stabilizing and perhaps subsiding, money should be flowing back into the comic speculation market, driving up prices on books that have been relatively under-priced as collectors try to unbury themselves from virus fears and holiday debt.
This holiday dip in the market is an annual, expected occurrence. A pandemic and financial collapse are most certainly not. These factors have led several books towards significant price drops recently. What’s worth your dollars now, before the books see a spike? That’s a question worth asking now before the trends reverse.
Tracking key books over the past 3-6 months, there are several that are on the overall decline that are worth investing in before they heat up due to more disposable income available, MCU rumors, DC rumors, or simple market correction.
The new Shang Chi movie had dueling rumors recently, with one day the first production photos showing up from the set, and then the very next day the news that production had been shut down due to virus concerns. It’s unclear exactly what this news will do with the first appearance of Shang Chi going forward, but investors who have been able to snatch a copy in the past couple months will likely have plenty of room for a profit when the movie gets back on track and we see official news from Disney.
Since the beginning of September, 11 of the 15 CGC grades between 9.8 and 4.0 have seen a decline in purchase price, with only grades in the 4.0-5.5 range seeing any kind of positive returns. This was certainly due to happen after the book spiked following the announcement of the new movie in early summer 2019. For example, a CGC 9.0 copy that sold for $1,200 at the end of July only cost $579 in the latest recorded sale in late February. An 8.0 copy sold for only $150 in early February. These prices are severely depressed right now.
At these prices, there is ample space for upward movement when we start getting trailers and plot confirmations. While I think it is safe to say that Shang Chi has never quite made it to the A-List of Marvel heroes, the film should easily bring him – and this first appearance – squarely into the spotlight. Invest with confidence here.
It’s not going to be breaking news to anyone that the Netflix Iron Fist show bombed about as much as a bomb can bomb. I was personally a fan of The Defenders series that had a short, one season run, but it remains unclear what Marvel’s plans are passed the late 2020 deadline which will allow these characters to begin reappearing in some Disney format. But all that does it grant us as comic speculators a perfect buying opportunity for the first appearance of one of the more interesting and unique Marvel heroes.
Similar to Marvel Special Edition #15, Iron Fist’s first appearance has seen flat sales or a steady drop in most cases since early summer. We would figure that as we get closer to the time when these characters can be used again, prices would begin to creep back up, but they just haven’t seen that movement yet. The show undeniably has left a bad taste in the mouth of many comic fans and it might need some Disney magic to turn that ship around.
A couple of case studies: Copies of this issue in a CGC 9.4 grade sold for $640 and $720 over the summer, but dropped to between $505 and $525 in its three most recent sales. Downshifting to an 8.0 grade, books that sold between $225-$250 during the summer have most recently sold between $175-$190. Some lower grades have seen slight upticks in price, but 82% of the CGC graded copies exist at grades 7.0 and above, so these lower grades will likely not be desirable to comic buyers when the character reemerges in a more intriguing way.
Recently, this blog looked at another first work by the creator of New Gods #1 – Jack Kirby. When Kirby left Marvel in 1969 due to creative differences, he was given something of a free reign in his new role at DC, and he used it to create a whole universe – often referred to as Kirby’s Fourth World. In this Fourth World, he would introduce the New Gods. The New Gods hail from one of two planets, one a nirvana and the other a wasteland, and would lead to the introductions of some of DC’s most well-known characters from the 1970s, including Highfather, Darkseid, the Forever People, and Mister Miracle.
Like the two comics listed above, it falls within the Bronze Age of comic books, albeit at the very early stages. It has not seen the financial investment it deserves as not only the first DC work by Kirby, but also as a series of stories and characters that unleashed the full imagination of Kirby at the peak of his powers.
Tracking sales since the beginning of June, nine of 11 CGC grades are down between 9% and 27%. Want a CGC 9.6 copy of this book? Four of them sold in February for under $500. If you’ll settle for an 8.0, prices are creeping down to close to $100, when they sold for $230 in June. If you are a King Kirby collector, this is a smart place to make an investment.
What Have You Seen?
Surely you have run across great discounted books the last couple of months. What do you think is undervalued?