Watching the Watchmen #1

by Matt Tuck

Watchmen-1-200x300 Watching the Watchmen #1With the debut of a new live-action show and the characters’ inclusion into the main DC timeline, the Watchmen are as hot as ever, and prices for Watchmen #1 continue to swell as a result.

With both the HBO series and DC’s Doomsday Clock bringing the Watchmen back into the mainstream limelight, collectors have been on the lookout for Watchmen #1. As of October 29, the near-mint grades had been selling well, with some reaching the highest prices since the days of the Zack Snyder-directed movie. 

At the top of the heap is the 9.8. On October 28, one near-mint-plus grade brought $825. That sale also was $75 over last year’s high of $750 and was the highest individual sale since one brought over $1k in 2007.

The 9.6 has seen its share of sales, too. It has a 90-day average of $160, and two recent sales on October 24 and 25 netted $185 and $205, respectively. 

Watchmen-Rorshach-death-190x300 Watching the Watchmen #1Last year, the graded 9.4 averaged under $100. Thanks to the hype of the new HBO series, it’s 90-day fair market value has surpassed 2018’s mark with its $128 average in that span. As recently as October 23, one sold for $148.

Following the upward trend, the 9.2 has been routinely selling for above last year’s FMV of $69. Early last month, one 9.2 sold for $80. Back on September 26, another went for a respectable $100.

Rounding out October’s sales is the 9.0, which is the lowest grade sold last month. Throughout October, it regularly sold between $80-$90. If the new show continues to pull in fans, it is likely this grade will crack the triple digits by the end of the year.

All of this hoopla over the Watchmen is another sign of the times for modern collecting. Love it or hate it, movies and shows are what set the pace of the market. Although the series is no stranger to live-action, a new incarnation on the screen sends ripples through the market, and this is no exception.

I’m a huge fan of Watchmen, and it was simply revolutionary for its time and ushered in the modern era of comics. That’s why I wasn’t sure about HBO or DC tampering with the source material, but both versions have been good so far, with the latter staying more true to Alan Moore’s graphic novel.

When it comes to the new show, I’ll admit I was a little confused when I watched the premiere episode of HBO’s Watchmen adaptation. I got that it picked up where the original graphic novel/movie left off, but it wasn’t clear to me how it related to Moore’s 1986 masterpiece aside from the obvious nods and allusions. Still, it was enough to keep my interest and have me wanting more, so that’s good. In the end, I’m still waiting for it to tie together when at this point it feels more “inspired by” rather than “based upon” the 1986 epic. 

Doomsday-Clock-4-195x300 Watching the Watchmen #1The other Watchmen news is that after countless delays, the 12-issue Geoff Johns/Gary Frank Doomsday Clock is finally reaching its conclusion. I’ve written before about the grandness of this limited series, and I stand behind that. My favorite issue was Doomsday Clock #4 in which Johns explored the mental state of the new Rorschach, Reggie. That issue was simply brilliant, and it reminded me that Johns still reigns supreme among the modern comic writers. 








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Jason November 11, 2019 - 5:17 pm

I hope you’ve made it to last night’s episode (#4) as this show is really starting to become one of the best things on television. It’s structured narrative seems ominous, and the acting is just stupendous (Jean Smart–as Laurie from the comic series–in particular is amazing). The soundtrack by Reznor and Ross (of Nine Inch Nails fame) is also really well done.

Matt Tuck November 16, 2019 - 11:30 am

Since I wrote that post, I’ve gotten caught up on the Watchmen. I’m very much enjoying it, especially now that it’s linking more directly to the original characters.


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