Weekend Update with Nico

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This is your Weekend Update!


SDCC is here!  


Comicbookspeculation.com will track all of the breaking news and developments in real time as they impact the comic market.  Don’t get hustled into buying someone else’s trash book(s) by bogus, unsubstantiated information.


SDCC can be all around bad for comic speculators.  There are a ton of variants that are sold each year and very, very few are worth anything at all in the long run.  However, the mark up on these books is so profound that many people pay for their SDCC experience by reselling the exclusive toys and comics that they but at the convention.


There are only a handful of SDCC exclusives that have maintained any value at all over the years.  Some notable SDCC books to think about are: San Diego Comic-Con Comics #2 (an early “first” appearance of Hellboy); Sentry #1; and Black Hammer #1 (the 1/500 pyramid cover).  There are some other kind of notable ones, but the reality is that over the last fifteen plus years there are a total of four books that are reasonably selling well.


My advice for SDCC is consume the news, enjoy a time of year when everyone in the country is excited about comics to sell some comics and celebrate comics and try and get lucky on some live auctions.  When most buyers are going to be overpaying for the obvious big books that will pop at SDCC, focus on trying to win some books that won’t have as many eyes on them. This is a great weekend to win an auction or make a best offer on a big book that has been temporarily forgotten as collectors chase shiny objects that had a spotlight shown on them at SDCC.


Snake Eyes


The G.I. Joe Snake Eyes film is slated for a 2020 release and Hollywood North buzz is reporting that it will begin filming in Vancouver from October 15th to December 9th.  There are some really cool Snake Eyes books to be thinking about trying to pick up at less than market when you see them.  GI Joe: A Real American Hero #21 (1984) is the first appearance of Snake eyes nemesis Storm Shadow and the silent issue is arguably the most classic book from volume one of the series.  Newsstands copies of this issue in high grade condition are hard and move extremely well online. These are books that you can find in show boxes and/or at retail stores, but very few dealers are distinguishing between direct market and newsstand copies.  Try finding a CGC 9.8 newsstand. It’s a nightmare. A CGC 9.8 direct market sold for $1,250.00 on June 30th.  This is an incredibly rare 9.8 with only 102 9.8’s on the CGC census.


GI Joe: A Real American Hero #1 (1982) has followed much the same trajectory as


Transformers #1 with CGC 9.8 copies selling in the neighborhood of $300.00 to $350.00.  There are more than 2,500 copies of the first issue on the CGC census and more than 500 copies in 9.8 condition. I do not suggest trying to buy raw copies and slabbing them.  The buy in is too reasonable at this point and if the movie hits, these

books are going to move closer to the $500 mark.




If you are looking to get more diverse in your Snake Eyes comic collecting there are some really cool books.  Some of my personal favorites are the Spider-Man #1 McFarlane homage cover to GI Joe: A Real American Hero Special #1 (1995).  The Snake Eyes Storm Shadow #19 (2012) Purple Rain ratio variant is super hard in high grade and right now there’s one copy of this book on the census.  The other book that I like is the GI Joe #21 (2003) Michael Turner variant cover.




Zachary Levi made an appearance at the CCXP Cologne convention in Germany this weekend and explained that the Shazam won’t meet Black Adam until Shazam! 2 and the Black Adam solo film are released. There is more than enough evidence that a Black Adam film is happening, that Dwane “the Rock” Johnson will be playing Black Adam and that we will have a Marvel Family on the big screen.

Now may be the last time to buy a reasonably priced copy of the first appearance of Black Adam.  His first Golden Age appearance is already a really expensive book. Marvel Family #1 moves for about a thousand dollars a point and the latest recorded sales data is consistent with this trend (e.g., in April of 2019 a CGC 4.5 sold for $4,450 and in March of 2019 a CGC 6.5 sold for $7,250).  Shazam #28 (1977) is the 2nd appearance of Black Adam and very few people are paying any attention to this book whatsoever.  This is an opportune time to pay considerably less than market for this book in preparation for the forthcoming Black Adam film.


I’ve talked before about some of the easy modern books to be picking up in preparation for this inevitability. Remember, the modern incarnation of the Marvel Family, a/k/a the Shazam Family, first appears in Justice League Vol 2 #21.  This is a new 52 book with a combo pack variant, a 1:25 variant and a 1:100 sketch variant Justice League Vol. 2 #8 is the first appearance of the non-powered “family” and it has a 1:25 variant. Most of the other key Shazam Family books are Golden Age books.  For example, Captain Marvel Adventures #18 (1942) is the first appearance of Mary Marvel, Whiz Comics #25 (1941) is the first appearance of Captain Marvel Jr., and Whiz Comics #21 (1941) is the first appearance of the Lieutenant Marvels.


Vintage Comics 


Pre-Code Horror prices continue to astound onlookers.  Most recently a copy of Black Cat Mystery #50 CGC 1.0 sold on eBay for an unknown Best Offer with an original sticker price of $2,999.99.  This followed a disappointing auction result for a CGC 5.0 copy of Crime Suspenstories #22 which sold for $3,100.00 in a no reserve live auction.  The fact that these books are selling in comparable price ranges demonstrates that certain Pre-Code Horror (PCH) books are so scarce that any copy is coveted by potential buyers who are looking to put a copy in their collection before it is too late.

The PCH market continues to shine with more and more buyers looking to secure a copy of key PCH books regardless of whether or not the book is sold at market price.  A great example of this is the sale of a raw copy of Ghost #6 that was described in “good” condition that appeared to be in the 2.0 to 2.5 that sold for $777.00. This is a marked increase from prior sales and this book is continuing to gain steam.  These high prices are borderline offensive to long time collectors of PCH books, but they are quickly becoming the new normal.


There were some really amazing Good Girl Art (GGA) key books that sold this week.  Perhaps the most sought after book in the GGA market is Phantom Lady #17. A CGC

.05 copy sold this week in a no reserve auction for $1,301.03.  A comparably sought after book is Seven Seas Comics #4. This classic Matt Baker key sold in CGC 4.5 condition for $5,000.00 in a matter of a few short hours after it was listed on eBay.


Collectors who are spending big money on high end key books are acutely aware of the distribution in the census and always attempting to secure a copy of a coveted key in the top quartile (top 25%) or top third of the census.  This week sales of the first appearance of Doctor Doom demonstrate this fact brilliantly. There were three sales of CGC graded copies of Fantastic Four #5: (1) a CGC 1.8 sold for $2,663.00; (2) a CGC 5.0 sold for $4,894.00; (3) a CGC 6.0 sold for $9,299.00.  We can see that the price is steady in the thousand dollar a point range until we hit the top quartile with a CGC 6.0 copy and the price of this book explodes!


Is Marvel holding a place for forthcoming properties on Facebook?


A number of sites are reporting that a primitive analysis of Facebook groups for Dark Avengers, Young Avengers and Ironheart demonstrates that Marvel and Facebook are working in concert to preserve webpages in preparation for a forthcoming announcement.  While it would be naive for me to suggest that there is no evidence that Marvel has taken a hard look at all three of these properties, I am not hedging my bet on whether or not Facebook is redirecting me from a page which may or may not have been created by Facebook.  Suffice to say, I think this information is interesting and important to talk about because it is driving prices, but it lacks the requisite reliability or probability that would have encouraged me to either buy these books or to hold them in preparation for an announcement.


My buy in was dirt cheap.  I’ve been pulling Young Avengers, Dark Avengers and Ironheart keys out of dollar bins for a long time.  If I was investing at a higher price point, perhaps my analysis would change. Nevertheless, this is the kind of creative detective work that I admire.  I am happy that we are seeing this kind of inductive reasoning and hope that we see more of it as we try and deduce which properties we should be buying and which properties we should be selling.



Ed Brubaker Spec is Booming


Deadline reported first that one of the most celebrated writers in the history of comics has signed a multi-year overall deal with Legendary Television Studios.  Brubaker, fresh off his work on HBO’s acclaimed television show Westworld will adapt as well as collaborate with fellow television creators in the adaptation of some of his most iconic creator-owned properties.

Brubaker’s seminal works include Fatale, Criminal, Kill or Be Killed, and Incognito.  I am most interested in the series Fatale. For me it checks the right boxes to thrive on television: horror, crime, good girl/women in peril, and it’s a time period drama.  When this series came out it was one of the most beloved books published by Image and the first issue was hot. I suspect that we will see a resurgence in interest from newer collectors as well as those who were buying the original issues of the shelf at their local comic shop (LCS).  If you are speculating on this book, don’t sleep on the 4th and 5th print which have low distributions compared to the first issue and gorgeous variant covers.  I also like issue #24 which is the last issue of the series. These white covers are going to be hard in high grade, but you are going to be able to pull copies out of dollar bins.


While I don’t get excited about a lot of potential projects, I am incredibly excited about Brubaker.  His work is treasured by comic collectors and I am hopeful and optimistic about the potential for Brubaker’s work to translate into serialized television.  The buy in is super low on these books, and with all of the other announcements that will happen from now until Sunday, I am hopeful that this will slide under the radar of the vast majority of speculators.


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


How I wonder what you are … .  Like many others in the speculator community, I am far from sold on the validity of Star speculation.   For those who have been sleeping under a modern comics rock for the past week, Star is the name of the character who first appears in Captain Marvel (2019) #8.  There are a ton of variants, but the 1:10 is the winner. It sold for more than $170.00 at its peak. Keep an eye out for the A cover splatter variant and be aware that there is a virgin of the carnagized B cover that was released as a store variant with a buy two get one free promotion that may impact the desirability of the B cover in the long term.  I am not encouraging anyone to go out and pay eBay prices for this book. If you were able to secure a couple copies of this book at cover price, I think about flipping some of those copies to pay for the copies you purchased because there is a real risk that this book will not survive in the long run.


Many are suggesting that the character Star is actually Ripley Ryan.  Special thanks to the team work of Sleepy Jawn and Jimmy Linguini for putting that together for me.  Believe me, I wouldn’t have paid that much attention on my own and would have completely missed this.  As such, a ton of copies of Captain Marvel #1 (2019) have moved online. This book had well over a dozen covers, store variants, a Walmart exclusive and three printings (four if you include the Walmart book).  There is an Adam Hughes 1:100 virgin cover, but I am not a buyer on any of these books and will be really shocked if any one cover enormous growth if this rumored plot point is true.


Over the course of the last two weeks, we’ve heard countless rumors about this character.  Initially reports were that she was some kind of evil doppelganger. Subsequent reports have suggested that she will replace Captain Marvel after it is revealed that she is Kree and public sentiment transforms into zenophobia.  I don’t necessarily see much long term potential in this character at this juncture and prices have already cooled down on the book. I am going to wait to see how the plot shakes out before I make any kind of judgment on the longer term viability of this character.  I also suspect that the plot that is being rumored has just enough politics sprinkled on it that the cries from those who already bad mouth Captain Marvel will be enough to dissuade some from the book. It is an unfortunate reality of the world we live in that those with the loudest voices are often times the ones that get heard.




Bad Speculation


I’m going to try and do a better job of keying in on the kinds of poor speculation picks and strategies I see people encouraging online and elsewhere in an effort to help avoid these mistakes and improve our readers investment strategies and in turn your collection.  Recently, we’ve seen a number of speculation sites prop up this notion that She-Hulk is going to appear in the third Spider-Man film and that she will appear as Peter Parker’s attorney.


This is theoretically a potential plot point, She-Hulk appeared in Byrne’s run on Fantastic Four and most of us are well aware of the ties between Spider-Man, She-Hulk and the Fantastic Four.  That being said, to suggest that this is somehow a solid bet where you should stake your money is ridiculous.


This is conjecture at best and this kind of speculation would be summarily dismissed if it was leaked on a website like wegotthiscovered, but because it is propagated fan favorites online, it is somehow considered reliable.  Remember that just a few weeks ago, these same websites were talking about the same insider source(s) telling them that Venom was going to be in the third Spider-Man film. Please proceed with caution on these books and with the utmost skepticism in response to “speculation” that sounds more like fan fiction than reliable news.


Most of us aware that She-Hulk, like the Incredible Hulk is not permitted to star in a solo film as a result of the contractual agreement entered into for the rights to the property which were sold to Universal years ago.  This is the reason why those who are hopeful for a She-Hulk MCU introduction are looking for ways she could be introduced in a supportive role and/or in an ensemble film. Just because something could happen, does not mean that it will happen.


SDCC so far


There are going to be a ton of announcement out of SDCC.  The first big news came from the Russo Brothers who reignited rumors regarding Secret Wars and indicated that there is a forthcoming Grim Jack film.  Grimjack is the street name of John Gaunt, a sword-for-hire, ex-paramilitary, war veteran and former child gladiator. He operates from Munden’s Bar in the Pit, a slum area of Cynosure, a pan-dimensional city to which all dimensions connect.


Grim Jack is understood to have first appeared as a backup feature in issue number 10 of the comic book Starslayer, but at least one well respected comic book historian (Topher S.) indicates that the character first appeared in issue number 5 of the comic Warp.  We’ll have to wait until the interior panels are inspected by the collector community before we have some real indication of which book will be most heavily sought after by collectors. I suspect that there will be a lot of excitement around these books in the weeks to come.


You may remember last week when I told you that there were books like the first appearance of Shang Chi that were going to pop up at SDCC.  This is one of those books. Now I don’t expect to see high grade copies selling for thousands of dollars, but I do anticipate that high grade copies of this book will be selling for hundreds of dollars in no time at all.


Hopefully there will be better opportunities to buy and sell in the next few days.  Be thoughtful about your decisions to purchase. In other words, “do I really think this book has a future or am I just buying it because I want to chase something new and different?” Be shrewd about your purchases, and don’t regret sales that generate profit to make bigger better purchases.  Make rules and follow them, and know when you are making the decision to deliberately break them. When it comes to comics, the exceptions often prove the rules. Be smart about your choices you will never regret your investment and speculation decisions.


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.


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  • For what it’s worth Fatale has a preview in Chew #22 which came out before Fatale #1.

  • Can’t believe I read the entire article ,, not bad nice write up! The pics seemed misaligned with the certain paragraphs but might have been bcus I was reading it through my phone vs PC!!? 1st time hearing about that She Hulk scenario and makes kind of sense ,, I think all that is speculation though — some stronger then others of course

  • I do enjoy reading your weekend updates! I have to agree with you 100% on the Shazam #28 spec. I bought quite a few of them a half decade ago for a fraction of what prices are now but still think it is a fairly cheap book..compared to what it most likely will be at in a year or two. Graded 8.5 copies are roughly $200 to $250. That’s a fairly high grade and I would think still in most collectors wheel house as far as affordability. 9.8 copies are still slightly under 2k. Up there in price but not end of the world “up there” if a collector really, really wanted a 9.8. A 9.6 copy will run about $600 to $750. Un-graded mid grades are easily found under $100. You nailed it when you stated this may be one of the last periods of time where one can find a copy at a halfway decent price.

    Shazam #28 may not be Black Adams very first appearance, but it is his first modern appearance and first ever as a DC property. That last part is what really sold me on the book. First under DC ownership is a pretty big deal. With the Rock playing Black Adam, even if he starts out as a villain it won’t be long until he becomes an anti-hero type do good in his own way. Far more reasons for this book to succeed than for it to fail. A future, major bronze age key in my opinion.

    Also, another Shazam comic that might be good to get is #8. It reprints Black Adam’s first appearance. Could gain some heat.

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