BY MATT TUCK
Between The Book of Boba Fett trailer and the rumors of a Thunderbolts movie filming in 2023, the market was in an upheaval this week. Let’s lay out your shopping list for the week with the updated market data you need to get the best values on your investments. #FrankiesTrending10
10. MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #36
The excitement for the Dune remake has been trickling into the secondary market for months now. With the news that WarnerMedia gave the green light to the second chapter of Denis Villeneuve’s space opera, it has only enhanced the collectibility for the franchise’s first comics.
Wouldn’t you know they were published by Marvel? Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, Marvel had its fingerprints on almost any movie, television, or toy line that needed a comic adaptation. During the Bronze Age, they published the Marvel Super Special, which spotlighted more than just movie and toy tie-ins. This publication featured comics starring KISS and the Beatles among many others. It also became a test marked for new characters, like Star-Lord, and issue #36 marked the first comic for Frank Herbert’s world of Dune. Marvel would go on to reprint the story in a three-issue limited series in 1985, but it originally ran in Marvel Super Special, which is what has made it such a fascinating find lately.
The best part about collecting the early Dune comics is that they are relatively cheap to own. Over the past week, the raw copies are selling on ebay for around $30 for the most part. If you prefer a graded 9.8, then be prepared to fork over $320, which was the sale price for the last one to sell online on October 5.
9. THUNDERBOLTS #110 LEINIL YU VARIANT
There is so much MCU gossip coming down the pike that it is hard to siphon all of it quickly enough. The big news last week was that Marvel Studios is working on several big projects with anticipated filming dates in 2023. One of those happens to be the Thunderbolts, which is sparking a flood of sales for Thunderbolts #110.
Speculation has it that Kevin Feige and company are finally ready to piece together the Thunderbolts and give them a movie. Despite it being unconfirmed, the gossip has sent shockwaves through the market. That is sending collectors on a spending spree for those Thunderbolts keys, including this issue from 2007.
While this is not their first team appearance, it is their more famous lineup. This particular edition featured Norman Osborn (sans Green Goblin costume), the Mac Gargan Venom, Bullseye, Radioactive Man, Songbird, Swordsman, and Penance. If the Thunderbolts are brought together for an MCU movie, this could be an interesting team to feature in the film.
The good part here is this issue is much cheaper than their first appearance. The standard edition has been the bigger seller at $10 for a raw copy, but the Yu variant earned $80 for a raw copy on October 29. Back in June, a graded 9.8 variant sold for $200.
8. DETECTIVE COMICS #988
When was the last time you could say that Brendan Fraser lit up the secondary market? The Encino Man himself and ‘90s heartthrob has reinvented himself thanks to DC’s Doom Patrol streaming series, and it has seemingly opened new doors. One of those happens to lead to the live-action movie debut of Batgirl in her first solo film
No, Fraser will not be suiting up as Batgirl, though that would be interesting. The word on the internet is that he beat out Sylvester Stallone for the part of Garfield Lynns, aka the original Firefly. What does that have to do with DC #988? In the Fox series Gotham, Lady Firefly was introduced to the DCEU. Although she was created for the show, she has since been added to the comics in DC #988.
Speculation is fueling massive sales for her first appearance. While she has not been confirmed for the movie, the idea is that Fraser will play an older Lynns who hands over the Firefly moniker to his protégé, thus she becomes Lady Firefly.
At the moment, the raw copies are popular sellers, but the values are still low. Whether it’s the standard or variant cover, the prices tend to be in the $5-$20 range. If she is announced for the movie, then those will likely double overnight. At this point, it’s worth the gamble.
7. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194
Thanks to the Morbius featurette, it would seem that Black Cat is officially in the Sony-verse. That also makes her part of the MCU after the mid-credits scene of Venom: Let There Be Carnage when Eddie Brock’s world did a shimmy-shake and, poof, he arrived in the MCU. That reels in all the Sony Spider-Man characters into Marvel Studios sandbox.
The big moment was spotted by eagle-eyed viewers. In the featurette, a newspaper headline reveals that Felicia Hardy and Rhino are both confirmed. That adds validity to the longstanding rumor of Black Cat appearing in a movie in the not-too-distant future, which is what keeps ASM #194 a top priority for collectors everywhere. Now that she is confirmed in Mobius and, by extension, the MCU, this issue is experiencing a volcanic eruption in the sales department.
On October 24, a 9.8 brought $3,803 after regularly earning $5k in August and September. The next time that specific grade sells online, it will likely land in the $5k-$6k range.
Could she play a role in Spider-Man: No Way Home? If she is part of the movie, I doubt we will see much of her, but there could be an Easter egg to hint at the coming Black Cat/Silver Sable movie that Sony has been teasing for years. In that event, this issue will set record highs across the board.
6. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #41
The other character confirmed in the Morbius featurette, Rhino has been heavily rumored for Spider-Man: No Way Home for months now. However, with him being acknowledged in Morbius, it means two possibilities: either Paul Giamatti’s Aleksei Sytsevich from Amazing Spider-Man 2 is returning to the Sony-verse or there will be a new rendition of the man in the animal costume.
Since NWH is opening so many doors to the Sony-verse, it has long been speculated that Giamatti’s Rhino will play a much bigger role than he did in ASM 2. If you recall, Giamatti was briefly seen at the beginning of the film as Peter Parker nearly missed his own high school graduation because he was battling the criminal and his gang. At the end of the movie, Aleksei returns, but this time he is in a mechanized tank in the shape of a rhino. Even then, we didn’t get to see the fight as it was just teased for what we can assume would have been ASM 3. With an actor of Giamatti’s caliber used for what was essentially a large cameo, audiences have wondered when we could see the Rhino in action. The Morbius featurette nod may be our hint that he will appear in No Way Home as a member of the Sinister Six. Even better would be a more comic-accurate portrayal rather than the second-rate Transformer we saw in ASM 2.
The Morbius Easter egg is causing a stampede for his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #41. Anytime we are discussing an ASM issue from the early years, you can expect high prices. That goes double for a character debut, especially one as famous as Rhino. Granted, he is not a high-ranking villain like Doctor Octopus or Green Goblin, but Rhino has plenty of fans who will be hot on the trail for any grade of his premiere issue.
Even at its lowest, this is a pricey investment. Before the Morbius news broke, a 2.0 sold for $415 on October 30. Earlier today, a raw copy brought $455. Yesterday, a 6.0 earned $613.13.
5. BATMAN #126
Similar to those Silver Age Amazing Spider-Man comics, anything in those first 20 years of the Caped Crusader command high prices, especially when it is the first appearance of a villain. Since Brendan Fraser was cast as Firefly, it is easy to assume that Detective Comics #184 would get the nod from collectors. After all, that is the first appearance of Garfield Lynns, whom Fraser will be portraying in Batgirl. Instead, buyers were aiming for Batman #126, a comic that introduced the second Firefly, Ted Carson.
As far as I am aware, Carson is not going to be part of the movie unless he is used as possibly an Easter egg. Why, then, would collectors want this issue rather than DC #184? My guess is it is a combination of availability and, subsequently, price.
The last time a graded DC #184 traded hands on eBay, a 1.8 sold for $825 on October 11. Juxtapose that with Batman #126. On October 27, a graded 3.5 sold for $150. Granted, that one was graded by PGX, and that lowers the price compared to CGC, but that is a wide difference in price tags. It would seem that, once again, collectors are opting for the first Silver Age appearance for a Batman villain’s debut, and that makes financial sense.
4. MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #16
Disney released its first trailer for The Book of Boba Fett today, and it has fans salivating for the December 29 premiere date. In the footage, we see Boba taking control of Jabba's Tatooine palace and delivering the swift brutality that made him a fan favorite since Empire Strikes Back. After decades of waiting, Star Wars fans will finally get to see Boba star in his own live-action adventures and make a dent in the SW lore. Make no mistake, this will directly impact those key issues, which were already high after his appearance on The Mandalorian.
How often are two issues of Marvel Super Special inside a top-10 list? This series should gain traction as a whole with MSS #16 and #36 helping convince buyers to take them seriously.
There is some contention of debate with #16. This is the first official Marvel Comics adaptation of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and that implies the first appearance of Boba Fett as it is the first time he is featured in a comic book. However, Star Wars #42 has stolen all the glory for years now.
The good part about investing in Super Special #16 is the price. These are not exactly cheap anymore, what with Star Wars being white hot for two years now. Still, they are easier on the wallet than SW #42. On Saturday, a raw copy sold for $250 while a graded 9.6 brought $1,100 on October 27. Since the new trailer has dropped, it should help this issue spike for an even bigger market impact, but I doubt it will compete with the fair market values of SW #42, and that is not a bad thing for buyers.
3. NOVA #1
The Man Called Nova has ascended the ranks of the secondary market on the heels of a hot rumor. The word around the campfire is that Marvel Studios is developing a Nova movie that should start filming sometime in 2023. Of course, this is only a rumor, and until Marvel confirms it, take this with a grain of salt.
What gives the latest gossip wings is James Gunn. Years ago, before Disney fired him for questionable past Tweets, the director had quipped that Nova was one of the characters he would like to use in a movie. That started the theories that one of the characters using the Nova name would be introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which propelled Nova’s first appearance to new heights.
Although there had been no word on Nova’s movie status, the theories have not slowed. Now that there is a fresh rumor to grab hold of, those Nova #1s will soon kick in the afterburners.
As Nova fans rejoice at this promising rumor, sales for his first appearance are spiking. Even before the news, the graded 9.8 was selling for $2k just last week. Today saw a lower-grade raw copy sell for $110, and sales of 9.6s are bordering on the record high of $690. Only two days ago, one brought $650.
2. STAR WARS #42
The new trailer has put Boba’s first appearance in a canonical Star Wars comic back in the spotlight. Of course, it’s not like this issue has been in hiding up to this point. With the massive success of The Mandalorian, collectors put this issue at the tops of their wish lists, and practically every grade has been given record-breaking sales numbers. Now that the trailer is online and the new show is only months from its debut, we can expect even higher figures.
While Boba Fett technically made his first appearance in Marvel Super Special #16, buyers have traditionally leaned toward Star Wars #42. This is likely due to Boba Fett being on the cover as well as this being part of the original and canonical Star Wars comic series. As I mentioned prior, this comic has been commanding astronomical prices for the past two years now, and it will only get more expensive in the coming months.
Already, we are seeing the market impact. Just today, a 9.2 sold for $700. On Halloween, an 8.5 brought $405. The interesting sale will be the next time a 9.8 goes up for auction. The last time one traded hands online, it brought $3,600 in September. Factor in the new trailer, and that price should crack $4k without much trouble in the near future.
1. INCREDIBLE HULK #449
For Thunderbolt fans, this has been a longtime coming. The team has been rumored to be on the MCU radar for years now. Once the Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier seemingly to recruit John Walker for a covert assignment, the speculation has been rampant. Again, audiences saw her working her magic with Yelena Belova in the post-credits scene of Black Widow, making fans wonder if she is building the Thunderbolts. Don’t forget that Thunderbolts' founding member Baron Zemo is alive and well after FATWS, and he is waiting in the Raft for his next adventure. Piece all these clues together, and it gives credibility to the Thunderbolts movie rumor. Perhaps instead of a movie, it will be a live-action Disney+ series. Only time will tell.
Although we aren’t seeing those record highs from earlier this year when a graded 9.8 sold for $1,150, the sales have definitely spiked due to the latest rumors. Higher grades of raw copies are routinely selling for $200-$300, and that same 9.8 has crossed the $800 threshold for the first time since July.
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, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.