Weekend Update with Nico
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This is your Weekend Update!
Happy Friday my friends. As we enter Fall and convention season comes to an end. It is time to think about a strategy for the Fall and Winter months. Most collectors have just as many expenses in the Winter months as they do in the Summer months so I find a lot of the analysis around “this is a better time for buying” and “this is a better time for selling” to be overly simplistic.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that one time of year may be a better time of year for you to be buying/selling books. The analysis is very personal, “what do the changes in season mean to you?” For many, the end of con season means fewer buying/selling opportunities. For me, I am more prone to slab books in the Fall and Winter months than I am in the Summer. I live in West Virginia and when the weather changes, I don’t spend a lot of time outside. I am also less inclined to hit the road and hunt for books. It’s also a time when I do more reading than I am doing in the Summer months. Figure out what your habits are, whether they work to your benefit or your detriment, how you can improve your habits and take advantage of the opportunities that exist intrinsically based upon your habits, customs and routines.
It’s a Comic Book World
Many long time collectors have discussed the idea of super-hero saturation for years. The idea has become so well settled among those who are shrewd about comics and popular culture that Amazon planned, produced, filmed and released the the television show the Boys to capitalize on an overly saturated super-hero market. Ironically, the Boys television series was a smashing success and the super-hero genre is as strong as ever. The question that many may have been asking recently is Disney going to over saturate the market with Disney+ streaming shows?
This week we heard the news that the long discussed Power Pack series is finally going to get announced and that RiRi Williams (Ironheart) is headed to Disney+.
I have not had the time to track the source of the rumors surrounding RiRi Williams (Ironheart), but I am mildly suspicious of the story because of the way that the details surrounding the comments made by Robert Downey Jr. were reported. All of the news reports are also quoting one notorious comic book news site that has been mentioned before about false stories.
Human beings are not inherently good reporters. We are particularly bad when we don’t have editors and a background in journalism. I suspect that often times what gets reported as news is merely conjecture and rationale inference. I also suspect that what often gets reported as “in development” is merely chatter, and that generally when projects get formally green lit, studios can hardly wait to report the news. After all, everybody loves a headline.
With that being said, there are so many comic related properties that are in the works that it is sometimes easy to lose track. Here are some that you may have fallen off your radar:
In the next 30 days
September 6, 2019: Titans, season two (DC Universe)
Frankly I don’t see any real spec plays on the books associated with show. If anything, this series hurt Deathstroke books as a longer term spec play. Most collectors, including myself, believe DC will be less likely to utilize Deathstroke in a film now that that he has been used in this TV series. Similarly, I don’t ser a lot of opportunity with Njightwing or Jason Todd books. We’ve even seen the Red Hood #1 Mattina book become stagnate books took a
September 25, 2019: Stumptown, season one (ABC)
We’ve talked about this book being hard to find in high grade for the better part of a decade. This book has a lot of potential, but it is absolutely unclear whether or not the show will drive new collectors/readers to buy the books in the same way that shows like Umbrella Academy and the Boys did or if this ABC series will be received much in the same way as Happy and Deadly Class were received. If the show is good, I suspect that we will have another book that is comparable to Umbrella Academy and the Boys with a much smaller distribution. This one could be a monster.
October 6, 2019: Batwoman, season one (The CW)
Will Batwoman break the mold for CW series. The CW has failed to drive new collectors to the market since the early episodes of the Flash. Will this series force speculators to re-think the way they see CW television properties. If anyone can do it, I believe that Ruby Rose can inspire fanboys to go buy books. I wouldn’t pass up the key books if you see them in the wild. There are a lot of 1:25 variants in the Batwoman (2011) series that you should keep an eye out for in the wild. They are going to be books that will demand top dollar online but you can find for cheap in retail shops and show boxes. The Batwoman #28 (1:25) Steam Punk variant is one cover that is particularly difficult to find and I suspect will garner a lot of interest if the show drivers new collectors to the book. There was also potential for Batwing #19 as Luke Fox character was announced for the show a while back. That book has blown up in the last week for other reasons surrounding the same character and the show will have no effect on it at this point.
Watchmen, season one (HBO)
I’ve been screaming from the rooftops for the last year consistently that it is a rarity that HBO generates bad television and that I have nothing but the utmost hope for HBO’s re-imagined Watchmen series. We are unquestionably approaching the end of the time when you are going to be able to buy this book in the $500.00 range. I suspect that prices will jump to the $750.00 range as we approach the release of the first episode and that we could see this book jump to a thousand dollars if the series is as good as I anticipate it will be. Expect this to be a slow burn as viewers will attach themselves to this series much in the same way as they attached themselves to Game of Thrones. This is the linchpin of Warner Brothers HBO Max imprint. If the Watchmen is a success, it is time to immediately start looking at other DC series because HBO Will be producing that content for Warner Media. There are a lot and I mean a lot of very shrewed speculators who are starting to sink serious money in DC keys. Some are doing it because of new leadership at Warner Media, others because they believe that there’s more opportunity with DC books than Marvel books. Whatever the reason, none of these collectors are dumb. They are some of the best and brightest minds in the comic game.
Harley Quinn, season one (DC Universe, animated)
The reality is that Harley Quinn keys and minor keys have been really soft for more than a year. In fact, the photos and plot leaks from the set of the Birds of Prey film just exacerbated this. At the end of the day, Harley Quinn is without question one of the most iconic figures in all of comics and in my assessment, her first appearance is always a solid buy. I suspect that when DC finds a creative team that modern collectors can get behind, her key books will go nuts. I don’t necessarily think that this animated series will do much for her books, but I am absolutely excited about the series.
Stargirl, season one (DC Universe)
Stars and Stripes #0 is well cast and has a big budget, but most speculators have been hesitant to buy these books since DC Streaming canceled Swamp Thing. Some have even suggested that the show may not actually get made. I have frankly not bothered to investigate because I am one of those buyers who are apprehensive about the show’s future in light of what happened to Swamp Thing. For my money, I am hopeful that this series gets released on the HBO Max streaming service. I love the 1994 Starman run by James Robinson and hope that the Stargirl show is influenced heavily by that run and/or that we see that series spun off into another show. If is unquestionably one of the most enjoyable and wonderful runs in the history of comics and if you are a voracious reader of comics, do yourself a favor and grab those books. They are dirt cheap.
There are a ton of people who are suggesting that we are going to see a Young Avengers television series and/or film and there’s been a considerable amount of rumor and conjecture around this for the better part of a calendar year. Remember that the screenwriters for the Marvel Cinematic Universe have no loyalty to a comic writers particular plot or narrative, so I would not get bogged down in specifics. Instead I would look to connect dots. If I was a betting man, I would imagine that Marvel spins a Young Avengers series and/or film out of the different iterations of the team to include some combination of the following characters:
Volume One characters
Iron Lad (Nathaniel Richards) – first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Hulkling (Theodore “Teddy” Altman) – first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Patriot (Elijah “Eli” Bradley) – first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Wiccan (William “Billy” Kaplan) – first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) – first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Vision (Jonas) – first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (2005)
Speed (Thomas “Tommy” Shepherd) – first appeared in Young Avengers #10
Stature (Cassandra Lang) – first appeared in Marvel Premiere #47; first appeared as Statute in Young Avengers #6
Volume Two characters
Kid Loki (Loki Laufeyson) – first appeared in Thor #617 (there is a 1:10 Tron ratio variant)
Miss America (America Chavez) – first appeared in Vengeance #1 (there is a 1:50 Deodato variant and a newsstand edition)
Marvel Boy (Noh- Varr) – first appeared in Marvel Boy #1 (2000) (there is a Dynamic Forces variant)
Prodigy (David Alleyne) – first appeared in New Mutants #4 (vol. 2) (2003)
Disney Plus TV includes the following shows so far:
Falcon/Winter Soldier, season one (Disney+)
Scarlet Witch (Disney+)
Hawkeye, season one (Disney+)
Ms. Marvel, season one (Disney+)
She-Hulk, season one (Disney+)
Moon Knight, season one (Disney+)
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur (Disney+)
I will not be shocked if we see Disney introduce the relevant Young Avengers characters in the shows such that they are incrementally introduced to viewers in continuity. Most of the viewers are not readers and are totally unfamiliar with these characters. Introducing the the team in this manner is provides an overarching narrative that has been critical to the success of the Marvel shared universe. Shout out to Nick from Key Collector comics who first discussed this idea with me. He is a friend of the speculation community and a friend of comicbookspeculation.com.
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Marvel Animation
Remember that Moon Girl books are dirt cheap right now. Devil Dinosaur books are just as cheap. I suspect that we see something really special with this animated series. Disney will deliver. I don’t suspect for there to be explosive growth on these books until viewers actually get to see the series on television. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t wait around until the last minute. Get the high end ratio variants in your collection now while the prices are tragically low. I also can’t remember the last time I was disappointed by a Disney animation project. I suspect that this book is one that contemporary collectors will be buying for their children for years and years to come.
Ghost Rider, season one (Hulu)
Helstrom, season one (Hulu)
We’ve talked about both of these series in the past and identified the key books. There has been so much interest around the Disney+ and MCU films that speculators have almost completely forgot about these books. Don’t allow yourself to get caught sleeping on the key issues. I suspect that Marvel will put a ton of effort and support behind these series which occur outside the shared universe to test whether there is an interest for this kind of content. I also suspect that this may be the ultimate location for Moon Knight and more adult oriented stories. That kind of stuff has an audience with collectors who spend tons of money on comics. Never under estimate Ghost Rider, Spirits of Vengeance, Marvel monsters and the spending power of horror fans.
Hit-Monkey, season one (Hulu)
Tigra & Dazzler Show, season one (Hulu)
Howard the Duck, season one (Hulu)
M.O.D.O.K., season one (Hulu)
These animated projects are all interesting. None of the associated key books have retained the interest of collectors. It is going to be really interesting to see how Marvel rolls out this content. The shows are aimed at adult viewers and I suspect that a lot of creative freedom has been given to the various creators. If you are interested in these books, now is the time to buy. Many are speculating that the Howard the Duck show is where we may see the first introduction of Gwenpool. Her first appearance in Howard the Duck #1 is dirt cheap, but the 1:25 Ron Lim variant is a monster. There are a lot of cheap copies of the Deadpool’s Secret Wars #2 Bachalo 1:25 variant that are available and I would encourage you to be judicious in your purchases of these books. I see no way that this character is getting a live action iteration, but she is a fan favorite and if she appears in the Howard the Duck series she could steal the show.
Y the Last Man, season one (FX)
Y the Last Man is a go at FX with a new show runner. Issue #1 is a big dollar book but with all the hoopla around the cancelations, I would think about approaching dealers and retailers with this book in person and seeing if a deal can be worked out. All of the excitement around the project was sucked out of the air following the exit of the first set of show runners. This book is a classic independent key and high grade copies demand enormous prices. Don’t pay top dollar, but I wouldn’t be afraid to ask for a great deal – you just may get it.
Invincible, animated series (Amazon)
Now is the right time to strike a deal on an Invincible #1. No one is talking about this book or this series. I legitimately don’t know what the future holds for the prospective Amazon project, but this is one of the most beloved series of the modern age. I suggest looking for a high grade raw copy and slabbing it yourself. This series is cast and the projected release date is 2020. I generally don’t get real excited about animated projects, but fans of Invincible are rabid. If the animated series inspired viewers in a manner that is comparable to the impact the books have had on readers – there could be a rash of new invincible collectors.
This is an interesting one because it is completely speculative. There is no telling whether this book will enter the long line of optioned today, forgotten about tomorrow books. However, in light of a specific network being attached to the project, and AMC’s familiarity with zombie television, I am bullish on this book now that no one is paying any attention.
Umbrella Academy, season two (Netflix)
If you’re like me and are a fan of Umbrella Academy, perhaps you held onto your copies. If you are really like me then you sold your copies with confidence that the prices would return to Earth. They have and these books are dirt cheap. I am not real bullish on these books. While I think the prices will obviously spike again, I don’t see the massive interest for a season two that there was for the first season.
Jupiter’s Legacy, season one (Netflix)
Jupiter’s Legacy is one of those books that you should have ready to move when the show is released. There is no telling how much collectors in this market will pay for this book when the show hits, but I would be comfortable grabbing copies of the first issue any time you see them in dollar bins. The show has been cast and is in the process of filming.
Locke & Key, season one (Netflix)
Locke & Key #1 is a book that we talk about here all the time. It is beloved by many fans and the price tag for this book has been on a progressive downhill slide. Joe Hill has confirmed that the series has wrapped. I suspect to see this book will go nuts when the show hits Netflix. The 12 month low is $150 for a 9.8 and the high is $350. We will see copies moving closer to $500.00 the first week the show hits the streaming network unless it is hot garbage and I certainly doubt that will be the case.
Warrior Nun, season one (Netflix)
We’ve talked time and again how few copies of this book there are slabbed in high grade. The same is true for the characters first appearance in Ninja High School #37. Stay away from issue #38. Shannon Masters is not the character on the cover and this is not her her first appearance.
October Faction, season one (Netflix)
I love this series, love these beautiful covers and I am invested in this show. I am a big fan of this book and I anticipate that we will see this series drop soon. Filming has wrapped and as we’ve discussed in prior Weekend Updates no one has bothered to slab 9.8 copies of this book.
V Wars #1 is the other book that is completely off people’s radar. There’s a number of variant covers including a 1:100 retailer incentive cover. This book is selling well below ratio and may be an interesting pickup. The regular A cover is instock at mycomicshop raw and there’s also a convention exclusive and a subscription cover. A release date has not yet been announced for the show but filming is done and we’ve been told to expect something in the 4th quarter of this year.
Sandman is the long term play that many are invested in. The first issue has dipped down well below the high mark it reached following the news and raw copies of key issues including #1, #4, and #8 are available in the wild in high grade. This series has been beloved by fans for decades. There are tons of Sandman run collectors, tons of new Sandman collectors that are looking for high end error comics and a PC copy of the Karen Barger variant. These are books that solid investments you won’t regret purchasing.
There are countless other properties that were “optioned” that I don’t have enough information about to discuss with confidence in there viability. This list is the forthcoming properties on television that I am thinking about for spec plays and I think all of these books should be on your radar because there will be an opportunity to make money on these books. .
Film projects are a little different. The dates are projected and subject to change. Nevertheless the following list is intended give you some idea of which books you will have the most time to acquire. I don’t see the current market as one of incremental growth for the vast majority of titles. To the contrary, we are buying and selling at a time when the ocean is very rough. The waves are high and sometimes violently crash. As I have repeatedly suggested, you are looking to ride the waves.
October 4, 2019 – Joker
The Joker film is being lauded as a masterpiece by the film industry and the suggestions that Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Philips are going to receive Academy Awards for this film have been ongoing for the last six months. As we approach the final release date there is very little time to be stockpiling copies of the Joker #1 (1975). Again, I see an opportunity for Detective #880 newsstand price variants and suggest that you look for them. They will have their day in the sun even if it is has nothing to do with the release of this film.
February 7, 2020 – Birds of Prey
It’s almost alarming how under the radar Birds of Prey is at this point. Birds of Prey was initially the subject of heavy speculation but following set photos and a leaked trailer, Harley Quinn, Renee Montoya, Black Canary, the Huntress, and Cassandra Cain have been all but discarded. Surprisingly those who have pre-screened the film leaked reviews that were universally positive and than uniformly proclaimed the virtue of the manner in which the Black Mask was portrayed on screen. I am really interested to see what is going on with this film and collectors opinions around the books. .
May 1, 2020 – Black Widow
I won’t regurgitate old speculation or information around the Black Widow film. I will suggest that the market is going to be hungry for Black Widow books until this show is released. While there have been some massive announcements over the course of the last six weeks, sentiments will calm down and collectors will begin to hone in on Black Widow. She is the first of the MCU big screen films and there is no question in my mind that Marvel will start phase 4 off with a bang!
June 5, 2020 – Wonder Woman: 1984
On the list of forgotten film projects, Wonder Woman is near the tip top. It is remarkable that we are less than a year away and that no one is talking about Gal Gadot’s next movie. This film has been massively delayed and perhaps that is some of the impetus behind the lackluster level of excitement. However, I have high hopes for this movie and for Wonder Woman books generally. All of the hype around the Adam Hughes books is gone. None of the interest around Wonder Woman #7 and #9 exists. All but the most serious variant collectors are asking for high end variants like Wonder Woman #38 (Finch); the Gal Gadot convention variants or the Wonder Woman #4 (2012) steampunk variant. If you can afford to sit on them and flip them in nine months, now is the opportune time to grab Wonder Woman keys for way less than market from people that just aren’t interested interested in the character when she’s not front and center on the big screen. .
July 10, 2020 – Morbius (tentative release)
There are no reasonably priced copies of the Morbius #3 Tom Coker 1:50 variant. The book is a ghost and the few copies of the book that do exist are going to cost big money. Right now the only copy of this book I can find in CGC 9.8 condition is going to cost the same amount as an Amazing Spider-Man #101 CGC 9.2. I don’t think I need to patronize anyone by suggesting which book is the better speculative investment option.
October 2, 2020 Venom 2 (tentative release)
Theoretically we could have a Venom sequel on the big screen before Halloween next year. The prices on Amazing Spider-Man #300 are down on eBay. This is one of those books that I think you are much better off purchasing already slabbed from an auction on eBay than from a retailer or show where dealer is going ot want top dollar. Similarly, I am much more interested in the Maximum Carnage Acclaim Variant (1994) than I am in Amazing Spider-Man #361 simply because of the relative rarity of the Acclaim comic. However, I would be very careful about the condition of the copy of the Acclaim book because very few high grade copies still exist.
November 6, 2020 – Eternals
We’ve been talking almost non-stop about the Eternals for more than six months. The only issues I would be holding onto at this point are ones that are in high grade. All of the other copies have to go. I would also spend time stocking up on those Black Knight first appearances. Certainly some will suggest that Avengers #47 is the book to have, but no one is excited about the first appearance of Eddie Brock or Cletus Cassidy compared to the first appearances of Venom and Carnage. Don’t follow the pack, they will change directions the moment the Black Knight appears on the big screen.
The other thing I would think about it is that Richard Madden disclosed in an interview that we should expect additional castings. This statement was made following D23 and the castings for Dane Whitman and Sersi. As such, many are speculating that we may still get a Hercules announcement and that some of the other characters we had hoped would see a live action incarnation will be cast in this film.
February 12, 2021 – Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
We’ve been talking non-stop about this character as well with discussion about a number of supporting characters which have yet to be cast. I suspect that there will be an opportunity for you to buy the big keys when other buyers are scrambling for different books. This late in the game it is important to be methodical about investing money in books like Marvel Special Edition #15 and Tales of Suspense #50.
May 7, 2021 – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
We’ve talked about the key characters for this film in prior weeks so I won’t regurgitate them again here. Be mindful that not a single copy of the Doctor Strange #11 1:50 Adam Huges variants has sold on eBay since late July.
June 25, 2021 – The Batman
I’m really excited about this film and we’ve heard a lot of unconfirmed and unsubstantiated rumors about the plot and prospective cast of characters. Nothing has been confirmed and/or suggested by a single source that I trust so I will refrain from conjecture. However, we are fast approaching a renaissance of Batman speculation and I for one am excited.
August 6, 2021 – The Suicide Squad
So we talked about the new cast of characters projected for the film on the podcast and discussed the astonishing sale of a raw Fightin’ Five #40 VG for $455.00. We have been encouraging you to pick up these books for months now and even showed you the copies we purchased. I hope you were able to squirrel some away in your collections. This book could go nuts.
November 5, 2021 – Thor: Love and Thunder
In spite of how common What If #10 is there are very few copies of this book for sale online. Similarly, the key variants are beginning to dry up. I thought there was a long time to pick up copies of this book, but the maintained interest in the key Jane Foster books has left me scratching my head. It will be interesting to see if this kind of interest can maintain over the course of the next two years. I imagine that there will be a lot of time to buy back in.
May 6, 2022 – Black Panther 2
There has been no announcement of Namor the Submariner. The book to buy is of course Fantastic Four #4 or the Submariner #1 (1968). These books are becoming profoundly expensive and show no signs of slowing down. This week we saw a raw copy of Submariner #1 listed in VF/NM condition sell for close to $900.00.
DC movies that we expect to get made include: Aquaman 2, Shazam 2, Black Adam and the Flash. Marvel movies that we expect Blade (which was announced), Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, Fantastic Four and X-Men. Last week we outlined some of the key books associated with shorter term spec plays on MCU related TV and film. There are a ton of other prospective Marvel projects that we have talked about in the past, that you should still be thinking about. Nova, Sentry, Blue Marvel, Elsa Bloodstone, America Chavez, and Young Avengers are just a few.
Word is that there’s a table reading for The Suicide Squad on Sept. 11 with production starting Sept. 23 at Pinewood Studios in Atlanta, GA for an Aug. 6, 2021 release. There was also news this week that Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) and Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live) would be joining the cast.
With all these projects in the works, you are going to have to dig in and make very deliberate choices about what books you are going to focus on, what TV/film projects you believe in, what covers/books you’re going to invest in, etc.
You are going to have to make decisions based upon the market value of the key books, the prospective interest in the characters, etc. There are a lot of characters to choose from; some are main characters and others are supporting characters; some are heroes and some are villains. Some of these media projects are purely speculative, others are rumored or it’s suggested that they’ve been leaked and then some have been announced. Comic book collecting, flipping, investing, speculating (whatever you want to call it) is as much art as it is science. Trust your instincts, take your time and never look back.
Late Modern Newsstands
The spec market is hungry and the market for Marvel newsstand comics from the end of the newsstand era are highly coveted by top tier collectors. This week we saw a raw newsstand copy of Vengeance #1 sell for $249.00. The book was listed and sold immediately. It sold so fast that it came up as already sold when one appeared as being listed on my saved searches.
I’ve been talking about the opportunity to find and flip newsstand books for about six months now. Very few retailers are hip to this phenomenon and the majority that want to talk to me about it tell me they think it’s stupid. Most dealers are not hip to this phenomenon either. Many sophisticated collectors are not hip to this phenomenon either. Rarely do people pull books that far out of bins to see that they are newsstand. This is the kind of stuff that you should be looking for in show boxes and looking for on show walls. The opportunity is there for you – take it.
This opportunity is not limited to late marvel books wither. As we approach the release of the Joker film, we may be reaching a critical time when the Detective Comics #880 (2011) newsstand variant finally gets the attention it deserves. Will either the Detective Comics #880 (2011) newsstand edition or the Vengeance #1 (2011) newsstand edition rise to the level of Captain Marvel #14 (2013)?
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.