Whatever Happened to the Vampire Slayer?

by Norman Robinson III

Blade the Vampire Slayer has been around since 1973. He first appeared in the Tomb of Dracula series which ran successfully from 1972 to 1979. The TOD spawned compelling characters like Rachel Van Helsing, Frank Drake, Quincy Harker and of course Blade. This was a very popular run and had 70 issues devoted to Dracula as the villain. Blade debuted in Tomb of Dracula #10 written by Marv Wolfman. He was slated to write the entire series, though Gerry Conway wrote the first TOD. Though many talented artists worked on TOD it was Gene Colan who really made sparks fly with his imaginative artwork and team up with Wolfman.

When Iron Man came out in 2008 it sparked everything Marvel. But actually, it was Blade that made the initial great debut of Marvel Superhero characters in 1998 with the first Blade movie. But unfortunately, fate would not have Marvel creations catch on until 2008. My guess is the next generation were in charge at Disney and Marvel, and they were fans. How has the Tomb of Dracula #10 Blades first appearance faired since then?  But is Blade a profitable comic to own?

124683_80354fcf19fc24010fb397765ac96bd2b05bd53f-199x300 Whatever Happened to the Vampire Slayer?Tomb of Dracula #10

The first appearance of Blade in Tomb of Dracula #10 was incredibly popular and inspired Blades own series. Tomb of Dracula was eventually turned over to the creative team of Marvin Wolfman (script), and Gene Colan (pencils). Two little known facts Gene Colan lobbied Stan Lee to work on the book. Gene Colan created his own version of Dracula and instead of patterning him after Bella Lugosi or Christopher Lee both of which had actually played vampires in the movies; he went with Jack Palance. Palance was an actor from 1960s who had a square jaw and impressive physique. They collaborated throughout the 70s until Jim Shooter eventually closed out the series in 1979. The current value for a grade (9.2) near mint minus is $1200 FMV.

When speculating you always want to review the CGC census. The Tomb of Dracula #10  doesn’t look bad at all with barely 1933 total books outstanding on the CGC side. This is about average for a book from the 1970s and is actually a very positive sign for investors and speculators. Has Blade taken a bite out of the profits of this once popular comic or is he merely draining the life force from everyone who buys a copy?

  • Grade (3.5) has an FMV of $220 and returns positive +108.3%
  • Grade (6.0) has an FMV of $325 and returns positive +69.5%
  • Grade (9.2) has an FMV of $1200 and returns positive +114.7%
  • Grade (9.8) has an FMV of $6000 and returns positive +95.3%

The grades and returns above are all based on long-term trends. What about short term returns what grades are losing that battle?

The 1-year short-term results are very encouraging:

  • Grade (3.5) returns positive +36.3%
  • Grade (6.0) returns positive +43%
  • Grade (9.2) returns positive +28.3%
  • Grade (9.8) returns decline of -1%

How about the 60-day results? The 60-day returns and trends are striding right along with the short-term and long-term trends for this comic. What does this mean? It means this comic is a buy and you will make money on it over any time period. Yeah, it makes my fangs protrude too.

  • Grade (6.0) returns positive +39.4%
  • Grade (9.0) returns positive +21.6%
  • Grade (9.8) returns decline of n/a

If we look at trends over time this book has had a great run. Currently, many grades are between +20% to +40% ROI; this may not be the most popular book but it certainly retains value. Furthermore, this comic book has been profitable in the short-term and longer-term going back to 2000. Too bad the last movie was such a trifecta of disaster for the franchise even if it did make money. The Tomb of Dracula series was part of the emergence of Marvel into subject matter previously forbidden by the comic book code. These are classic horror tales from the 1970s and still in a reasonable zone as far as purchasing and price. Get your hands on some horror while you still can, some of these books are now 40 years old!

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