BY MATT TUCK
There may be other top-10 lists, but only Frankie’s Top-10 brings you weekly picks with updated market data to help you hunt down the hottest comics. No surprise, Shang-Chi and Loki pushed several keys to new heights this week. Here’s your shopping list.
10. STRAY DOGS #5 FORSTNER VARIANT
Stray Dogs has been the surprise hit so far in 2021. Think of it as Oliver and Company rewritten as a serial killer/suspense thriller. As great as the series has been, the less-than-heartwarming tale came to its end this week, although an original prologue tale is due for Free Comic Book Day in August. In other words, get ready to be charged for a “free” comic.
Part of the allure of Stray Dogs has been the variant covers inspired by famous horror movie posters. The one collectors are watching closely this week is the Friday the 13th edition from Trish Forstner. Stray Dogs #5 released just this week, and this one is already pushing $20. Fans have loved the movie poster editions for Stray Dogs, and the Jason Vorhees cover may prove to be among the most popular of them all.
9. THE NICE HOUSE ON THE LAKE #1
This continues to be one of the hottest comics in all the land. The horror series from DC Black Label has fans buzzing about whether or not it will find its way to live action. That has collectors flocking for the premiere issue only weeks after it hit comic store shelves. With it being so new and with a decent-sized print run, the standard edition is not hard to come by, and prices have not yet hit the ridiculous stage. By and large, you can still get one for around $15-$20.
8. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 (2015)
The details for the Into the Spider-Verse sequel are gradually emerging. We know that Spider-Woman will be appearing in the animated movie, but the rest of the cast of off-beat characters is still widely unknown. The speculation is that Spider-Punk will get his time in the spotlight, and that has investors and collectors alike sprinting for 2015’s ASM #10.
The fair market values for this issue have simply exploded. A year ago, you could have purchased a 9.8 for $68 on average. In the past week, it has sold for $450 twice and no lower than $301, and that’s for the standard edition. The Mike Perkins variant hasn’t sold since May, and it was earning $475 then. Just wait until one of those appears on the radar.
7. INJUSTICE: YEAR THREE #7
The set photos from the The Flash movie have caused quite the stir. WB had previously announced that Sasha Calle would be playing Supergirl in the upcoming Multiverse film, and fans wondered which version of Supergirl she would be portraying. The new pictures have given a major indication that Calle will be Lana Lane-Kent. In the Injustice comics, she is the daughter of Superman and Lois Lane, and she would eventually become Supergirl. The costume seen in the photos appears almost identical to that of Lana, who first appeared in Injustice: Year Three #7.
As word spreads about the possible Sasha Calle/Lana connection, the sales continue to grow. Looking at the eBay sold listings, raw copies for Year Three #7 were regularly selling for $5 or less only seven days ago. Just yesterday, the price swelled to the $40-$50 range.
6. WHAT IF…? PLANET HULK #1
If the rumors are true, then Skaar, son of Hulk, will be joining the MCU via She-Hulk. While there has been nothing substantiated, collectors have jumped on the first appearance of Skaar after speculation began that he would appear in the upcoming Disney+ series. Although What If…? comics are not Marvel-616 canon, the exact same character emerged in continuity, which makes this the clear debut of Skaar.
Since the rumor mill started churning, raw copies have climbed as high as $150 in the past three days, though the average appears to be closer to the $60-$70 range. On the graded side of things, the prices get crazy. On June 20, two sales reached record highs; one was for $711 and another reached $800.
5. STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL #2
Disney+ continues to shake up the collecting world, and this key issue is heating up thanks to the Star Wars: the Clone Wars spinoff, The Bad Batch. Last week’s episode saw the return of a fan favorite, Cad Bane. With the War of the Bounty Hunters crossover moving along in the comics, it would be fitting to see Bane appear in that series. Who knows? Dave Filoni could make up a reason for him to be alive and add him to The Mandalorian or possibly The Book of Boba Fett, which would really send this issue into overdrive.
With all the Star Wars speculation driving the market in 2020, this comic has been on the move for a solid year. The standard edition, graded at a 9.8, consistently brings $450-$500, while the David Aja variant last sold for an astronomical $1,700 on May 24. In fact, it hasn’t sold for under $1k in 2021. If those prices are too much for you, take a gamble on a raw copy. Those are mostly staying in the $80-$100 range, though the Aja variant cover recently sold for $450.
4. STRANGE TALES #89
The Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings trailer has caused quite the stir in the comic circles. The footage gave viewers glimpses of several key characters and possible plot details. High on that list of Easter eggs is Fin Fang Foom.
During the trailer, we clearly see a dragon, and fans are curious if that is, in fact, Foom. Although Shang-Chi star Simu Liu previously denied the space dragon being in the movie, that is not to say Foom won’t appear by a different name.
You know a comic is hot when a PGX slab is bringing high values. That’s right; a PGX 4.5 sold for $2,980 only yesterday. Still, those CGC grades are the reigning champions of the secondary market, and the 3.5 that went for $3,600 two days before solidifies that standing.
3. DARK REIGN: YOUNG AVENGERS #1
The third episode of Loki officially gave us the variant’s name, Sylvie. In the credits, she is listed as Sylvie Laufeydottir and not Sylvie Lushton. Whether or not this will be the same Sylvie from the comics remains to be seen, although her powers and the fact that Loki keeps calling it “enchanting” leans toward her being the second Enchantress. Either way, Sylvie first appeared in this Dark Reign tie-in, and sales have gone into the stratosphere.
Sylvie’s debut comic is literally gaining value by the day. On June 24, raw copies were generally earning between $50-$60. A day later, multiple copies were hitting $90-$100. A graded 9.8 even amassed a ridiculous $535 on Thursday, making it the first graded copy sold this year.
2. TALES TO ASTONISH #90
More Shang-Chi news, and this time it comes courtesy of an unlikely return.
While it was no secret that Emil Blonsky would make his return to the MCU after a 13-year absence, no one was expecting to see Abomination in an apparent cage fight with Wong. This has given Abomination’s first appearance the biggest boost it has seen since The Incredible Hulk.
Even before the Shang-Chi trailer, this month has been huge for the Abomination’s debut comic thanks to the news that he would be part of She-Hulk’s Disney+ series. A graded 9.6 saw a record high $4,000, while a 9.4 reached a new high of $3,610. Even a 6.5 is inching closer to the $400 mark. On the raw side, they are consistently earning anywhere from about $200 to as much as $500.
1. STRANGE TALES #110
Not that this comic needed any more reason to be expensive, but Marvel just gave it two new ones.
After fans saw Wong taking on Abomination in a superhero-MMA fight, he has become the talk of the MCU. On top of that, this issue features the first appearance of Nightmare, who debuted alongside the real reason everyone wanted Strange Tales #110 in the first place, Doctor Strange. The speculation is that Nightmare will be the villain in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, and that has made this Silver Age holy grail even harder to get.
Since prices were already astronomical for Strange Tales #110, the sales volume does not compete with others on today’s list. When it comes to FMV, however, there’s no competition. Earlier this month, a 1.5 set a new record after selling for $2,300. Before now, it had never surpassed $810. Last week, a 2.5 shattered its previous record when one sold for $3,200. If Wong takes on a larger role in the greater MCU and Nightmare appears in Multiverse of Madness, then we have yet to see the insane heights this comic will reach.
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.