BY MATT TUCK
Did you pick up all the God Country #1s back in 2017? If not, you’re going to wish you had now that a movie is a big step closer to being a reality.
It has been a while since God Country #1 was a hot commodity. The last time was in 2018 when Donny Cates’ limited series was optioned for a movie. Then it sat. For three years, God Country sat on the shelf of ideas, collecting dust. You see, when a studio options a comic, they are basically buying the rights to turn it into a movie or series. It doesn’t guarantee anything, and many comics and novels and other intellectual properties that are optioned never see the light of day. After three years, it appeared that may be the case for God Country. Then came the big news.
On June 8, Legendary and AfterShock Media, which is a division of AfterShock Comics, announced that Jim Mickle has signed on to direct a feature film based on God Country. Mickle is a popular name in Hollywood after adapting Sweet Tooth for Netflix, and that has become a hit for the streaming service. Whether this will be a theatrical release or debut on streaming platforms was not made clear.
The story should stay true to its roots considering that Cates himself has written the early draft of the script.
THE INEVITABLE INFLATION
The comic market fallout has already begun. Overnight, prices for the standard edition have made leaps and bounds in fair market value. Prior to the movie news, copies graded at a 9.8 were generally earning about $150, give or take. Then came the announcement, and there were seven sales that day, starting at $250 and ending at a record-high $350.
Serious collectors know that the real money is in the Image 25th Anniversary variants. Along with the trade dress and virgin 25th Anniversary editions, there was a 25th Anniversary sketch cover trade dress and virgin sketch cover. Neither has sold in 2021, but that will change soon, I suspect.
Traditionally, the most expensive of those has been the 25th Anniversary virgin variant, which last sold for $775 in December. Next to that in terms of FMV is the virgin sketch cover. The last time one parted hands, it sold for $258 in 2019. Adjust for inflation, and this will be a very pricey comic when the next sale takes place.
Next to those two, there is the variant edition. At a 9.8, that one last sold for $200 twice on June 8, each tying for the new record high. Before that, it had sold for as little as $62 earlier this year and no more than $140.
When God Country debuted in 2017, it was so popular that it warranted three subsequent printings. In today’s market, those added prints are always worth collecting, and these do not disappoint. The second print reached a record-high $130 the same day as the announcement. Likewise, the fourth print sold for a two-year high when a June 8 sale netted $110. There has not been a third print to trade hands since March, but I expect that will soon change.
THE MOVIE EFFECT
When a movie gets optioned, the prices jump. Once a cast and crew get assembled, things get real. There weren’t any sales for 9.8s of God Country #1 the day after the big announcement, and that could be a sign that this comic won’t hold these numbers for terribly long. It will be interesting to check back on the sales data in a few weeks.
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.