Weekend Update with Nico
The following article has been written by Comic Book Speculation Dot Com writer, Nico. Read more articles from Nico here.
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– This is your Weekend Update!
I’m not so sure they have us covered.
Comic book news media outlet wegotthiscovered.com made a couple major representations about the plot of the forthcoming film Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Specifically they reported that we would see the characters Beta Ray Bill and Quasar in this film. In a separate article they reported that an insider at Marvel told them exclusively that Marvel had big plans for General Ross as Red Hulk in a Thunderbolts plot as well as the character Abomination. None of the aforementioned reports have been substantiated by any other news outlets and it is unclear whether or not there is any insider information that is generating these news stories or whether wegotthiscovered is making educated guesses based upon the circumstances. In any event, I would encourage you to refrain form making any purchases based upon news of this kind which remains completely unsubstantiated.
Speculation regarding all of the aforementioned characters is certainly not new. Even before James Gunn’s infamous tweet on June 12, 2017 of a Quasar tape deck had the collector community going wild, speculators and investors have tucked away key appearances of Marvel Boy (who first appeared way back in the Golden Age in Marvel Boy #1 (December, 1950)), Wendall Vaughan (the Copper age Quasar), and more recently Phyla-Vell (the Modern age female incarnation of Quasar). Which iteration is perceived as the best bet generally has more to do with the type of collector that is purchasing the books than with an objective analysis of the pro’s and con’s of that title. If you are speculating on the Wendall Vaughan iteration of Quasar (Vaughan first appears in Captain America #217 while he takes over the mantle of Quasar in Hulk #234), be mindful to look for the Mark Jewler variants. Copies of both of these books are trading at all time highs with the value of Hulk #234 in particular increasing almost 500% overnight. Don’t forget the original version of Marvel Boy returns in Fantastic Four 164, and that these books are super inexpensive. Finally, Phyla-Vell first appears in Captain Marvel (2004) issues #16 and #17 and some are speculating that Disney will lean towards inclusion of a strong female super-hero (currently starring in Donnie Cates series Dark Guardians) rather than introducing the Wendall Vaughan iteration.
Similarly, Beta Ray Bill has seen its ups and downs in the world of comic book speculation. The character had an Easter Egg in Thor Ragnarok, has been slated to appear in the MCU for years and has long been rumored to be in possession of Thor’s missing hammer Mjolnir in MCU continuity. Note that Beta Ray Bill’s weapon is Stormbreaker and that collectors have been hoarding copies of Thor #337 (the 1st Beta Ray Bill), #338 (2nd Beta Ray Bill) and #339 (1st Stormbreaker) for years. Suggesting that Beta Ray Bill is going to appear in the MCU is a far cry from groundbreaking journalism. That being said, 35 copies of Thor #337 sold on eBay the day that this “news” broke compared to the prior day where there were 2 sales. In point of fact a CGC 9.8 copy of this book sold for less than $300.00 on eBay on April 30th. This week copies of the same book have been closer to the $500.00 mark. If you are looking to pick up this book once the hype cools down, don’t forget that there is a hard to find Canadian price variant that may the winning book when all the dust settles. The most important lesson in comic book speculation is to learn when to be the seller and when to be the buyer.
The only reason I mentioned the other wegotthiscovered article regarding General Ross, Red Hulk and Thunderbolts is that unlike the news stories about Quasar and Beta Ray Bill this story was not picked up by any other news outlets and had little to no impact on sales of these books. Additionally, this story has not been championed by any of the online buying groups (explicitly or implicitly). It is no more or less viable, but it demonstrates the power of the follow the leader mentality in the comic collector market and the crucial need for quality information and quality mentors regardless of your skill or experience level. No one person can keep up with all the news, have expertise in all areas, etc. Truly comic book collecting is increasingly becoming a team sport. More often than not it takes a more than one person to process all of the information and news stories that we are constantly being bombarded with and a second or third set of eyes on a book never hurts. I can’t encourage you enough to find a group of collectors with shared goals and to work together to make better investments and better speculative picks. This is a critical safeguard that will more often than not keep you from suffering buyers remorse.
They may not have you covered, but we do.
Monday morning the trailer for Spider-man Far From Home dropped and the speculator world went a little crazy at all the possibilities for flips and investments following Marvel’s revelation that the MCU timeline is a multiverse. For those of you returning to this article, you will recall that we discussed this last week in our post Avengers: Endgame discussion. It appears that our intuition that the most important development in Avengers: Endgame for the MCU being the multiverse was 100% correct. If you are interested in reading about this in detail, the article is available here.
Be aware that Disney released preliminary dates for its forthcoming MCU box office schedule
May 1st, 2020.
November 6th, 2020.
February 12th, 2021.
May 7th, 2021.
November 5th, 2021.
February 18th, 2022.
May 6th, 2022.
July 29th, 2022.
Speculation has been all over the board, but generally people are suggesting we will see the Eternals and a Black Panther sequel (which may or may not feature Namor) and a sequel to Dr. Strange (which will probably feature Nightmare and Clea, but may or may not feature Brother Voodoo whose sibling appeared in the first film) in 2021. There is some speculation that Spider-man 3 will focus on a Dark Avengers plot which will begin with the transformation of Avengers towers into Ozcorp. There is also some speculation that we will see [As]Guardians of the Galaxy 3 featuring a slew of new characters including Warlock, Quasar, Nova, Angela and Beta Ray Bill. Movies that no one seems to expect until 2022 are a sequel to Captain Marvel (which most believe will transition from the Kree v. Skrull War to a Fantastic Four film), Ant-Man and the Wasp 3 which is generally discussed as being the film that will transition to a Young Avengers ensemble. By 2022 most expect that the MCU will begin to introduce entirely new players into the field. Most have abandoned hope of seeing characters like Moon Knight and Blade on the big screen any time in the near future following the release of the Hulu Robbie Reyes and Damien Helstrum television series, but there is a long list of other potential characters who are undoubtedly being explored by Marvel. We’ll keep you updated as additional news and information is forthcoming.
Golden goodies continue to generate top sales figures.
All eyes in the pre-code horror collectors market were glued to the Sunday night auction for Witchcraft #2 which has a classic skull cover and is tough to find in any condition. This particular copy was in great shape for its age but admittedly was missing a piece of the upper right corner of the cover. It was advertised as being in Fair condition and sold for $841.00. This is a marked increase from the last sale of a graded copy that was almost certainly in better condition. Concomitantly, good girl art collectors were treated to a live auction of a low grade copy of Planet Comics #34 which moved with haste in a live auction to the tune of $315.00. It is axiomatic at this point that a significant number of new buyers are transitioning their collections into these two sub-specialties with haste.
Eternals casting continues
Deadline and others are reporting that former Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden is in talks to be playing Ikari in the forthcoming Eternals film. Ikaris is the most well-known of the Eternals race and the main character of the series. Richard Madden is well known by many comic book fans after playing Robb Stark an integral figure in the Game of Thrones drama who lost his life during the now infamous Red Wedding scene. If you are interested in speculating on the Eternals, don’t forget the Eternals #1 (2008) 1:75 variant. This is a variant that was reportedly given away at a Diamond Retailer Summit and I believe that this has reduced the desirability of this issue in the minds of some collectors. Nevertheless, this is far from a fatal development considering how few retailers were ordering 75 copies of Eternals #1 in 2008. This book was published long before news of the Eternals film. It is anyone’s guess what the actual print run is on this book, but it is an issue that will undoubtedly see some heat as we approach the release of the Eternals film. In the event that the Eternals film is a hit, this book may become a monster 9.8. It is also a cheap buy in with NM copies readily available online in the $30.00 to $50.00 price range. Acuna variants are generally well received on the secondary market and it is amazing that this book continues to slide under the radar of many collectors who are shelling out hundreds of dollars on other Eternals spec plays when this book is selling for substantially less than ratio almost a decade after its release.
Note that the 30 cent price variant of Eternals #1 continues to shine. On May 5th a CGC 9.4 copy sold for $1,865.00. This figure is down from the monster April sales figures of $2,248.0 that moved in a BIN and a $2,034.00 live auction sale. Suffice to say, the Eternals are a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.
Catch em when their Slippin’
Collectors of high grade copies of rare modern variants are sometimes astonished by the modern collector’s market. One of the most treasured books of modern variant collectors is Super-girl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #23 (a/k/a LOSH). This gorgeous Adam Hughes work is considered by many his finest work and by some the apex of modern cover art. Unlike many of the other elite incentive covers, this particular book has languished around the $1,000 mark for considerable time. This is disappointing to many experienced collectors who see selling at prices comparable to books like the variants for books like Immortal Hulk #2 (Zaffino) and Spider-Gwen #1 (Jee Hyung Lee). Whether or not this is a reasonable price point is certainly the subject of many heartfelt debates which I will not endeavor to resolve here, but be aware that 9.8 copies of book are selling at have dipped to around $850.00 in the last week. Note that a CGC 9.6 copy sold for $719.00 less than a month ago on April 13th. If you are in the market for a copy of this book, now may be an opportune time as I do not anticipate that these prices will last for long in a market where Naomi #1 sells for $500.00.
Get your Katy Keene and Batwoman books ready
The CW ordered Katy Keene and Batwoman to series after their pilots were uniformly well received by focus groups. The excitement levels surrounding the Batwoman television series has waxed and waned, but it is a safe bet that DC fanboys are already in love with Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black) who will star as Batwoman. It is unclear whether Batwoman will suffer the same sort of speculation hell that has plagued shows like the Flash, Supergirl, Black Lightning, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Certainly arguments can be made that CW DC shows do not drive major interest in key books and those who have been burned on Flash villain of the week speculation picks will probably poor mouth Batwoman. Nevertheless, I am reserving judgment and will hope that the CW’s commitment to the show is demonstrated by the budget it invests in the character. We will have to wait and see to what extent it moves sales and prices on key books. Remember that Batwoman’s nemesis Alice Elizabeth Kane’s first appearance is Detective #854 which incidentally has a 1:10 ratio variant. Alice will feature prominently in the show and it will definitely be easier to still find her first appearance in dollar bins at your LCS than it will be to find the first appearance of Kate Kane (Batwoman) who first appeared in 52 Week #7, #9 and/or #11 in dollar bins at your local LCS.
The other major news out of CW this week is that the Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene is receiving a full series. This is important for longer term speculation on “Archie-verse” creations to the extent that it further solidifies the appeal of multiple iterations of these characters by executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa who’s career catapulted from his work on Afterlife with Archie. Katy Keene has an all-star cast that includes Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), Riverdale’s Ashleigh Murray who is re-prizing her role as Josie (of Josie and the Pussy Cats fame), Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful), Julia Chan (Saving Hope), Camille Hyde (American Vandal), Lucien Laviscount (Snatch), Zane Holtz (From Dusk Till Dawn), and Katherine LaNasa (Imposters).
Katy Keene books appeal to Golden age collectors, many of which who have distinguished her from the Archie verse and believe her books to be more desirable than traditional Archie comics. A lot of her books fall into the category of Good Girl Art (“GGA”) and enjoy cross over appeal with Archie fans as well as fans of romance comics generally. It will be interesting to see if there’s a significant uptick in the price tag of her books generally and to see which, if any key books, collectors will covet as we approach the release of this show. As discussed here previously, a few key books to look out for are Wilbur #2 (1945) (her first appearance); Katy Keene #1 (1949)(the first issue of her ongoing series); Katy Keene #62 (the last issue of the series is highly sought after because of the forbidden planet homage cover); Katy Keene Pin Up Parade #1 (1955)(the majorette cover); and Katy Keene Glamour #1 (1957)(the red wedding issue pops and is hard to find in better than a VG grade).
Watchman trailer drop
The Watchman trailer dropped and it appears that HBO will not disappoint. CGC 9.8 copies of Watchmen #1 have been hovering around the $550.00 to $650.00 mark for about a year. It will be interesting to see if sales of this book start to move in anticipation of the television series. Keep a look out for the first appearance of Rorschach in DC continuity, The Question #17 (1988). This book has an all black cover and 9.8s are hard to come by. It appears that Rorschach’s impact on society will be central to season one of this series and this may drive viewers and collectors to look for his key appearances. There are no CGC 9.8 copies of this book available on eBay and no recent sales.
Marvel’s 80th Anniversary Celebration begins in August
Marvel has been running advertisements for some amazing mystery projects slated to begin in August. It is unclear exactly what they are planning but the comic worlds is buzzing. So far, Marvel has announced that George Perez (a true living legend and one of the kindest people in comics) is coming out of retirement to work with Marvel’s most popular current writer – Al Ewing. John Cassaday is teaming up with Mark Waid. Erik Larsen, Walter Simonson, and Alex Ross are each slated to have their own individual projects. J Michael Straczynski is also returning to Marvel to work with Ed McGuinness. The highly acclaimed creative team behind into the Spider-Verse, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, are working on a project. Also, Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas will be working with Jeffrey Veregge. Brad Meltzer is teaming up with Julian Tedesco. Last, but certainly not least, we have Joe Hill together with Mike Allred. I am stunned by this move and couldn’t me happier for Marvel comic fans. This is fantastic!
I hope you enjoyed this installment of Weekend Update. 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.