BY MATT TUCK
It’s time again for the only top-10 list with the market you need to stay up to date. Wouldn’t you know, those Disney+ keys are dominating the market again.
In the world of collecting, speculating, and investing, it pays to stay in the loop. Thanks to the slew of hit superhero shows on Disney+, the values are in a flux practically by the day. It makes for a fast-paced, ever-changing market. Luckily for you, Frankie’s is here to help keep you informed.
10 THOR #245
It’s been a week since Loki wrapped its first season, and the mysteries of the Citadel are still being unraveled. Sylvie may have killed He Who Remains, but it would seem that he is not yet finished with the MCU. The director of that last episode, Kate Heron, has said that He Who Remains is not a variant of Kang, but vice versa making Kang a variant of the MCU He Who Remains. That tidbit hints at a larger role for HWR going forward. Of course, it won’t be the same version from Loki, since he’s dead, but he mentioned an infinite number of variants.
Like all things new to the MCU, virtually no one cared about Thor #245. For the past 16 years, graded sales were a rarity, and the prices were hardly above the grading fees. In three years, the only 9.6 to sell online went for $63 in 2018. Then on July 14, one broke the stratosphere with a $579 sale. While there may not be an avalanche of graded copies being sold, the raw copies are doing great. One that was advertised as a 9.4 brought $149.49 this week, though you can easily find a copy for less than half that price.
9 HOUSE OF MYSTERY #290
Vampires are about to be the supernatural creature du jour. First, Loki established vampires exist in the MCU, which lays the groundwork for Blade. Over at AMC, the same studio that made zombies the “it” monsters with The Walking Dead, is putting a new spin on the old Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles. Now James Tynion IV, the most popular horror writer in all of comics at the moment, is about to unveil DC versus Vampires. With it, one of DC Comics’ most famous vampires is returning to the spotlight: Andrew Bennett. The star of I...Vampire, will be a central figure in the massive crossover, and that has speculators hopping on the bandwagon for House of Mystery #290.
The market is quickly heating up for Bennett’s first appearance. So far, it has only been the higher grades that are on the move, but they are approaching record-breaking figures in a hurry. The good part is that even at near-mint quality, they are affordable. A 9.6 sold for $380 on July 16, which is just $17 short of the record from five years ago.
8 AVENGERS #43
Red Guardian stole the show for Black Widow, and he is amassing enough popularity that Marvel Studios may have to consider bringing him back in the near future. In fact, actor David Harbour is making a push for Red Guardian to get his own movie or possibly a Disney+ series. That newfound attention is helping Avengers #43 rise to the occasion as one of the hottest comics on the market.
With his live-action debut in the movie came higher prices for Avengers #43. So far this month, the highest grade to trade hands online has been the 8.5. On July 13, one sold for a record-high $550. Earlier this week, a 7.5 reached a record of its own after selling for $455.
One after another, the records have fallen over the past week. Down to the 4.5 is seeing a new high sale of $165.
7 DETECTIVE COMICS #359
The big news this week comes from the Batgirl movie. Leslie Grace, star of In the Heights, has been cast in the lead as Barbara Gordon. Naturally, that has shifted the collecting market toward her 1967 debut in Detective Comics #359.
Fans have been waiting for this to happen for years, and that is only going to make this issue more expensive. There has not been a live-action Batgirl in a movie since that atrocious Batman & Robin from 1997. Hopefully this will remedy that lasting impression and help establish the Bat-family in the larger DCEU.
Not that DC #359 hasn’t been a hot comic for years now, but this is turning up the burners even more. Along with the mainstream exposure comes inflating values. Just this week, a 7.0 sold for $1,675 only a month removed from its current record high. Only two days ago, a 5.0 broke its previous record after a sale of $1,600. Once filming gets started and the first set photos of Grace in costume surface, expect to see things get a lot more costly.
6 AVENGERS #10
He may not have gone by the name Immortus, but Jonathan Majors’ character in Loki certainly had the look and feel of the Time Master. Technically, we met He Who Remains in the Citadel at the end of time, but that character could very well have been another name for Immortus. Not only did he wear a similar outfit, but the TVA even used terms associated with him, like “pruning” the branches to protect the sacred timeline. No doubt, this was our first look at a version of Immortus.
Still, the fact that the character was named He Who Remains leaves the door open for Majors to return as the one and only Immortus in a future installment, and that has collectors gunning for Avengers #10. Even at a 5.0, this issue is capturing impressive numbers after one sold for a record $775. Then there’s the 4.5, which is still earning $400. All the way down to the 3.0, the sales are steady when that particular grade sold for a record-breaking $325.
5 IRON MAN #282
Disney+ shows have been ruling the speculation market all year. With each new series, the stakes only get higher for the key issues connected to that particular show. After 13 years in the MCU, Colonel James Rhodes is finally getting his chance at stardom apart from Tony Stark as he will lead the way in Armor Wars. As fans prepare for that Disney+ series, speculators are tripping over themselves to get their hands on the first appearance of War Machine.
Across the board, the grades for Iron Man #282 are seeing record-breaking figures this year. Only a few days ago, the 9.8 reached a new record of $800. Before this year, it had never sold for more than $405.
4 YOUNG AVENGERS #1
From a collecting and speculating perspective, what is not to love about Young Avengers #1? It features the debuts of several important figures that will take on new lead roles in the future of the MCU. At this point, it is no mystery that Marvel Studios is banking on the Young Avengers to carry the franchise into the future, and it is all coming together before our eyes. There’s Kate Bishop in the Hawkeye series, Cassie Lang as a teenager in the third Ant-Man film, Patriot was introduced in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and I suspect that Kang’s teen variant, Iron Lad, will be coming into play now that the Conqueror is set to arrive in the MCU.
There is so much riding on the Young Avengers that this will only be a bigger key going forward that it is no wonder prices are through the roof. A year ago, the standard cover at a 9.8 averaged $314. This year, that same grade has escalated to a record-high $1,595 in May. While nothing has come close to that mark in the past two months, it now consistently sells for over $1k. Once the Young Avengers get their own Disney+ series, this will easily break $2,000.
3 TALES OF SUSPENSE #57
Hawkeye is finally getting the respect he deserves, at least when it comes to his first appearance. Initially appearing as a villain, Clint Barton would step out of the shadow of DC’s Green Arrow after Hawkeye joined the Avengers. Obviously, his inclusion in the MCU and the Avengers film franchise has done wonders for his popularity, but the upcoming Disney+ series is helping TOS #57 ascend to new levels even though we all know that Kate Bishop is in place to take up the role by the show’s finale.
The mid and lower grades are seeing the most action as far as graded sales. The 5.0, which had an FMV of $448 a year ago, recently sold for $1,500 on July 9. Then there is the 4.5, a grade that averaged less than $500 in 2020 and is now consistently earning $1,200. The real eye-catcher is the 3.5. Only two years ago, this low grade had an FMV of $272. In April, it sold for a record $1,100, and two of the last three sales have bordered on $1k.
2 SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN #1
SIKTC has been a behemoth of the market for basically two years. It was the first of James Tynion IV’s horror comics that set him on the path to becoming the hottest writer in the game today. It is only fitting that SIKTC is the first of his titles to get the call from Hollywood. Just last week, word spread that the Boom! Studios project will be getting the live-action treatment, and that will only make it that much more popular.
Practically every issue of SIKTC has been gaining value almost as soon as it hits store shelves. In the end, it will always be the first issue that will hold the biggest stake of the spotlight. Now that the Netflix series is on the way, it will propel SIKTC #1 to new heights, and that includes all the variants and subsequent printings. If things keep going this way, Something Is Killing the Children #1 could be on its way to being the next The Walking Dead #1.
This month alone has seen 9.8 grades for the standard cover sell for anywhere from $1k-$1,500 or more 13 times. In the past couple of days, the sales have been in the $750-$800 range, though I am skeptical of four straight sales of exactly $747 between July 20-21. Despite that, this is simply a white-hot comic that is only getting more popular with the Netflix news.
1 AVENGERS #8
It would seem that we have our new universal (or perhaps Multiversal) threat to the MCU, and that has made Kang the Conqueror’s first appearance THE key issue to own at the moment. Since Kang is the new Thanos, and maybe even more, that would make Avengers #8 the next Iron Man #55. The lesson here is to enjoy the ride while you can because we all know what happens to villains in the MCU, no matter how grand their stature.
At the moment, it is a seller’s market for Avengers #8 with records falling virtually every day. As long as Kang is being presented as the largest threat to the MCU going forward, then this issue will only keep getting more expensive. Take the 9.2, the highest grade sold so far in July. It recently set a new record after selling for $8,550 on July 13. Last year, you could have owned one for closer to $4k, which seems like a bargain now. It doesn’t stop there. An 8.5 tied a record of its own when one brought $4,000 this month.
With the escalating prices, you will be hard pressed to get even a 5.0 for less than $2,000. In fact, a lowly 1.8 is approaching $500 when it was closer to a $200 comic only a year ago.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.