Weekend Update with Nico
The following article has been written by Comic Book Speculation Dot Com writer, Nico. Read more articles from Nico here.
This is your Weekend Update!
Guess who’s back … back again …
James Gunn has been reinstated at the helm of Guardians of Galaxy 3. The information was first reported by Deadline and has now been confirmed by representatives of Gunn and Disney. This announcement is big news for fans of Adam Warlock who was slated to be introduced in Guardians 3 and big news for fans of Gunn’s work on the property. James Gunn who was known for his work on the video game Lollipop Chainsaw before directing Guardians is responsible for many MCU fans’ favorite film. Gunn is universally credited with breathing life into what were once considered “D list” characters. Today, Rocket Racoon and Groot are household names. Deadline indicates that Kevin Feige will hold off on starting further development on Guardians 3 until Gunn is finished with Suicide Squad 2 for Warner Brothers. If you are interested in Adam Warlock speculation there are a number of key books, but most critically Fantastic Four #67 (1st appearance of Him); Thor #165 (1st full appearance of Him); and Marvel Premiere 1 (1st appearance of Adam Warlock persona/iteration) are considered the critical books.
Endgame approaches and everyone is talking
A brand new Avengers trailer dropped and the only words that have been uttered are “Kate Bishop.” It is unclear whether or not the scene actually depicts Hawkeye training Kate Bishop or if it is a flashback of Hawkeye and his daughter. However, “Kate Bishop” is trending on twitter and speculators are going wild over Kate Bishop’s key books. There is much conjecture about the age of the actress in the trailer and many speculators are attempting to make reasoned arguments about whether or not her age is congruent with the official marvel time line. To the extent that Avengers: Endgame will involve time travel and the MCU is known for not sweating these sorts of inconsistencies, it is safe to say that there is no definitive answer.
If you are interested in Kate Bishop as a character, you may want to look out for underpriced copies of the Toy Biz, 2nd print of Young Avengers #1. This book was packaged in a box with toys in a manner that makes it very difficult to avoid color breaking spine defects. It is a safe bet that the first CGC 9.8 to market will demand a hefty price tag. The NIB Young Avengers Marvel Legends toy sets are an option if you are trying to secure this book. Be certain that the box has not been opened. Unscrupulous sellers are scamming buyers by removing the Toy Biz “Not for Resale” copies and replacing them with inexpensive copies of the Director’s Cut.
There is also a rarely discussed 2nd print of Hawkeye #9 (2013) which is gorgeous and generally disappears shortly after it is listed for sale online online. This book does not feature new artwork (rather it has a blue border) which scares some collectors away. It is from Matt Fraction’s run on the book which has appeal to many fans of Fraction iteration of Hawkeye who were just getting back into comics as the Avengers were hitting the big screen. There are not a lot of copies of this book that have surfaced in the wild and it is available at or around $10 at this point so there’s a lot of potential upside with little risk associated with this book. If in fact, the woman in the trailer is Kate Bishop, the obvious question that follows is “who is Katherine Langford playing in Avengers: Endgame?” Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why) will make an appearance in Avengers: Endgame and has long been rumored to play everyone from Young Avengers characters such as Kate Bishop or Cassie Lang (Statute) to the daughter of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
In other Endgame related speculation news, Marvel reissued a brand new Avengers: Endgame Poster as a result of backlash from Danai Gurira not receiving credit on the poster. It is unclear whether the posters omitting credit to Gurira will have sustained value on the secondary market, but it may not be a bad idea to try and score these posters from your local movie theater.
Disney snapped its fingers
Disney’s acquisition of Fox is set to close on March 20th. Fox shareholders will receive $38.00 a share in the $71.3 billion dollar deal. As we approach the finish line to the merger, news stories are rolling out left and right proclaiming various projects are in the works. Comicbook.news and Bleeding Cool both reported matter of factly that Disney streaming is developing an animated What If series that will be using MCU film stars as voice actors. There has been no official confirmation of the veracity of these reports. Similarly, many are extrapolating from an ET Online interview that Nova and Kamala Khan are headed to the big screen. This is not what Kevin Feige said and it is a blatant misrepresentation to suggest otherwise. Specifically, Feige indicated that these ideas are “percolating;” he did not indicate that these properties are in development. The future of Nova, Ms. Marvel and other potential MCU properties is no more or less clear than it was prior to this interview where Feige responded in a very polite and tongue and cheek manner to an interviewer’s questions.
Also this week, Marvel Studios made its decision to hire Destin Daniel Cretton to direct the forthcoming Shang-Chi film. Some speculate that the Shang-Chi film will introduce MI6 into the MCU and transition the introduction of characters like Captain Britain, but this is merely conjecture and not actual news. News that Shang-Chi hired a director hit the internet around the same time that news stories began reporting that Disney Streaming would be producing a What If cartoon. This prospective project has been met with almost universal acclaim and fanfare. The What If series is beloved by fans of Marvel comics and collectors are clamoring in an attempt to discern what stories will be borrowed from the various volumes of this title.
In other news, some comic book media personalities are irresponsibly reporting that Blade has been cast as Tyrese Gibson and that he will star alongside Jared Leto in the Morbius the Living Vampire film. These reports, are at best a mix of conjecture and fantasy, and at worst, an intentional attempt to create new excitement for Blade comic books or to advance the comic book media personalities reporting this information. It is disappointing journalism either way.
There’s no time for love Doctor Fate
We Got This Covered reported that Warner Brothers is in early development of a Doctor Fate film starring potentially both the Golden Age and Modern Age incarnations of the character. Following this report, copies of all the Doctor Fate #1 (2015) regular and variant covers disappeared from online sources. The film was imagined by some as having an Indiana Jones feel to it as the golden age incarnation of Doctor Fate (Dr. Kent Nelson, MD), was the son of archaeologist Sven Nelson. The modern iteration of Doctor Fate, Khalid Ben-Hassin, rumored to be the focal point of the forthcoming film is an Egyptian man who similarly accompanies an archaeologist (Kendra Saunders) while she is exploring a pyramid in Egypt when he discovers the helmet (the Helm of Nabu).
There have been no corroborating reports or other accounts that verify this news whatsoever. Please tread carefully. The 1:25 variant of the first issue of the 2015 series has a gorgeous variant cover with a black background. Prices on this particular book have already started to jump and it may not be easy to find without paying an arm and a leg. In the event that you are interested in this character, you may want to look out for reasonably priced copies of other key books in addition to Doctor Fate #1 (2015). Doctor Fate first appeared back in 1940 in More Fun Comics #55 (1940). Since then he has had a smattering of key books, including: DC 1st Issue Special #9 (1975); The Immortal Doctor Fate #1 (1985); and All Star Squadron 47 (1981). Also, don’t forget that Dr. Fate is a character who previously had been rumored to appear in a Justice League Dark film which as I have mentioned previously was actually scripted by Guillermo Del Toro but never made it to the big screen.
You may recall, that just this November, Deadline reported that a Zatanna film was in development at Warner Brothers. Much of the hype around this potential project has settled and the market price for her books have generally returned to the value before recent speculation and conjecture sent those prices through the roof. For example, there are more than a dozen copies of Zatanna’s first solo story, D.C. Super-Stars of Magic #11 available on eBay. In the weeks and months following the November news story there were virtually none. The Adam Hughes Zatanna covers in Catwoman (2002) and Zatanna (2010) are similarly comparatively inexpensive at least for the time being, unlike the Adam Hughes Teen Titans #75 variant which sold for $635.00 in a live auction this week.
As we approach the release of Shazam some collectors are eyeing Black Adam key books in anticipation of a sequel and/or spinoff series. This week there was a monster sale of Marvel Family #1 (1945) CGC 1.5 copy for $1,890.00 BIN. Black Adam did not appear again until issue #28 of Shazam in 1977 and these books are still reasonably attainable in high grades.
Copper key keeps rolling
James O’Barr’s the Crow #1 (1989) has remained a grail book for many collectors and copies of this book in super high grade rarely leave personal collections. A CGC 9.8 copy of the Crow #1 lasted less than 24 hours on eBay before it was purchased for the sum of $2,150.00 which is less than the last live auction on comiclink which ended in the $3,000 range in February. It is important to note that while eBay is reported to GPA places like Heritage, Comiclink and ComicConnect are not. By contrast covrprice.com sources its prices from a wide variety of other sources such as mycomicshop, but no single database is a perfect barometer of value. Similarly, we continue to see books like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 hold their value. A CGC 9.8 copy sold this week in a live auction for $710.00 and two BINs moved for $750.00 and $705.00 (with a cracked case).
Sticker denoting eye appeal mimicing trends in the coin market
As most of you are already well aware, CGC (Certified Guaranty Corporation) is an affiliate of the worlds largest coin grading service (NGC, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) and paper money grading service (PMG, Paper Money Guaranty). Trends in the coins and paper money collectable markets often are the predecessor for comparable trends in the comic collecting market. It appears than one such trend that is following the example of coins and paper money is the advent of CVA (comic verification authority ) sticker of approval on high end books. NGC founder John Albanese created CAC (Certified Acceptance Corporation) to affix a labels or stickers to already slabbed coins attesting to the ‘premium quality’ of the encased coin. He described it as “a sort of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.” The Rosen Numismatic Advisory Newsletter, Vol. 33, No. 4 (May, 2008). To be clear, the predecessor to CVA stickers was created by the founder of CGC’s affiliate coin grading service.
It is unclear whether or not the sticker had anything to do with the price tag, but many eyes were watching as a Werewolf by Night #32 CGC 9.8 with a CVA sticker moved on comiclink for $50,000.00. The last recorded sale documented on GPA was in the neighborhood of $15,000.00 back in 2016. While I will not render any personal opinion about this practice, it is important to note that CVA stickers are not reserved for “pedigree” quality books and that they are being used by sellers to bump the prices of there comics and justify higher price tags. It is unclear what the future holds for CVA stickers, but one thing is for certain – we have not heard the last of them.
Spawn variants continue to murder the secondary market
Every week a truck load of Spawn books sell on eBay and elsewhere. I don’t think that is a surprise to anyone who is familiar with the collector market. Spawn has seen a resurgence in the last year or so that is profound. This week a Spawn #1 black and white CGC 9.8 sold out of Canada for $1,025.00 in a live auction. We also have seen a dramatic up tick in interest for newsstand variants, particularly of copies after issue #100. These books are extremely difficult to secure in high grade condition and Spawn collectors have been willing to pay a premium for virtually any copy. On Wednesday, live auctions for newsstand copies in the VF/NM range ended as followed #112 sold for $61.00, #121 sold for $42.00, and #127 sold for $41.00. A F/VF range copy of #137 (the final newsstand issue) sold for $77.50. Spawn fans spend money and are anything but rookies at modern comic speculation. Keep an eye out for these books; there is a growing market for them.
Stumptown is happening
Stumptown’s ABC pilot continues to cast big names like Mark Webber (Green Room) who will be playing Miles Hoffman and Michael Ealy (Secrets and Lies) who will be playing Grey McConnell, who is the best friend of Smulder’s character, Dex. Grey to act opposite the already cast leading lady Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother and S.H.I.E.L.D.) who will be playing Portland Private Investigator Dex Parios. We have seen every copy of Stumptown #1 on eBay in the $30.00 range dry up and there are no high grade raw copies available on eBay for less than $50.00. We’ll keep an eye on this book for you as production on the TV adaptation continues.
Comic book related TV shows rage on
This week it was announced that Anime studios (Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop) will be producing an animated adaptation of Mark Millar’s Super Crooks comic. Fans continue to await other Millar properties slated to debut on Netflix including: Huck, American Jesus, Jupiter’s Legacy, Empress, Prodigy, and Sharkey the Bounty Hunter. In other TV streaming news, Esai Morales (Ozark) has been cast to play assassin Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke in season two of the DC Streaming series Titans. The first season of Titans was well received by fans who have high hopes for the second season. Also this week, Sony announced that it has firm plans to do some Spider- Man related television series and speculation regarding whether who or whom this series will feature is rampant. No specific information regarding the identity of the character(s) is known at this time, but excitement is high for this prospective project.
Grab your mask and sharpen your hatchet
No less than three copies of Crime Suspenstories #22 sold week. A CGC 8.5 copy sold for $15,199.00 and a CGC 4.5 copy sold for $3,200.00 on comic connect. A CGC 6.0 sold on the CGC Boards for $5,500.00. This is considered by some the defining cover of pre-code horror comics and was featured front and center in the congressional investigation of social libertarian Bill Gaines inquisition during the Seduction of the Innocent hearings. It should be noted that this book has not seen the marked appreciation in value that books like Punch Comics #12, Black Cat #50 and Chamber of Chills #19 have in recent years. Only time will tell what the future has in store for this iconic cover. There were two other notable pre-code horror sales this week. On Thursday, a CGC 6.0 copy of Mask Comics #1 sold for a remarkable $13,966.00 and a CGC 4.0 copy of Mask Comics #2 sold for $5,400.00. The vast majority of Mask Comics were destroyed and these particular books have become grail items for many sophisticated pre-code horror collectors.
That’s all for this week. I’ll be back next week with more news. In the interim, “Happy hunting! You bunch of savages!!”
– Nico, Esq.