DC is lagging behind to the point where comics may not be around in their upcoming future. While one comic publisher is falling, indie comics publishers are rising to success in similar ways as Marvel Comics. Do we really think that Independent publishers could overtake DC Comics? Let’s analyze and compare.
The comic world goes through phases over time. During the early years, big brand publishers such as DC Comics & Marvel Comics dominated the market with their world-renowned characters. As time has gone by, times have changed. Technology has become more advanced and individual creativity is valued amongst the fans.
Currently, DC Comics & Marvel Comics are still the true staples in the comic market, though independent publishers have made great lengths in the last twenty years in making a name for themselves. One interesting thing to note is that the popularity of Marvel Comics is due to their successful Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It has propelled them past their competitors, while DC Comics is lagging behind.
Indie comics publishers have gained so much popularity over the years. It’s gotten to the point where speculators routinely pick up new #1 issues with the hope of selling them for a big profit in the future. While DC Comics still has that potential too, the issue is the publisher has not produced more modern characters where collectors and speculators feel the need to hold on to those books.
Something is Killing the Children
Two independent titles that are notable are Something is Killing the Children (SITC) #1 by Boom! Studios and Ice Cream Man #1 by Image Comics. Both indie titles have enjoyed enormous growth due to fan popularity and the speculation of being optioned to a television show or movie.
The current value of a 9.8 graded copy for Something is Killing the Children #1 is handsomely at $1,250. To provide a better perspective, the first sale of this grade was 01/09/2020 and it sold for a measly $45.50. The fans love the book and this particular issue has been consistently selling at about $1,000 since April 2021. Prior to April, it was steady with the average price around $500 for the first quarter of 2021. If this comic is confirmed for a television show or movie, the book could double in price easily! To conclude, the #1 issue is very popular, but as time has passed, every released issue for this series has fans and collectors rushing to their comic shop not wanting to miss the hype.
Ice Cream Man
Ice Cream Man #1 has also endured the same financial success as SITC, but it was already optioned as a television show. The comic was optioned on a streaming platform called Quibi in 2020. Though, the streaming platform did not put the show into action as Quibi was shut down a short while later.
There is still hope that the tv show will come to action but from another streaming platform. The grade we will focus on is 9.8. It is currently sitting around $375, though that Fair Market Value (FMV) is too low as the comic is selling around $500. The last sale on 04/29/201 was for $590. The combination of fan popularity and being optioned has propelled the value of this book to big financial gains. If the series does get picked up by another streaming giant, the expectancy of this issue to rise is almost guaranteed.
Low Expectations for the DCEU
While DC Comics is still a big mainstay in classic characters such as Batman, Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman as the values of these titles continue to rise for collectors. The issue in their decline over the years is character development. There is no excitement or buzz of recent titles or characters that collectors or fans feel is the next big thing. Their DC Extended Universe (DCEU), similar to the MCU, is a complete failure with terrible casting and directors for their movies. Fans have pretty much lost interest and have low expectations for anything down the pipeline.
We know the success of their rival, Marvel Comics, is for the opposite reasons stated above and their inability to develop characters and introduce more characters to their universe. DC Comics has failed as this multiple times. For example, Naomi McDuffie was hyped as the next big character for DC Comics. Naomi first appeared in Naomi #1. This would be the key issue to collect.
The character was introduced in early 2019 and sales reach as high as $587 for a 9.8 graded copy. Reasons such as failing to push the character and lack of creativity have pushed this character to mediocrity. In 2020, this grade dropped as low as under $100 as fans fell out of hope and interest. The current value of this comic is sitting a $200. That is due to the recent spike of the character after being optioned to a live-action tv show. It is set to premiere on the CW network in the near future. For now, there is not much hope for this character, but time will tell if she can regain that hype.
The Hottest Comics List Speaks
In terms of modern age books, DC Comics is also under-performing. In GoCollect’s “Most Popular Modern Age Comic List”, the publisher has 9 books in the top 100 at the time of this writing. Whereas, the independent publishers, (including comic names such as Spawn, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Star Wars) have 13 books on the list. Marvel Comics rounds out the rest of the books in this list.
I only tallied the first 100 books on this list from GoCollect. The Indie scene is flooded with many #1 issues. Apparently, some are commanding more interest than even staple books that include the names of Batman, The Joker, and The Suicide Squad. This is another example of the rise of indie books and fall in grace in DC Comics.
Time will tell if DC Comics can recover and rise to the age of popularity that fans are accustomed to. The rumors of the printing of comics coming to an end are highly speculated. Though, digital comics could become the norm for the publisher. The possibility of choosing the right directors and screenplay for their movies and the focus on better character development could get them on the right track.
Indie comics publishers will continue to rise with popularity, especially with #1 issues. The ability to have complete creativity on their books and the possibility to be optioned to various streaming platforms is a huge advantage for them. The future is bright for indie comics publishers as we are moving to a comic age where possibilities are endless.
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