BY MATT TUCK
Have you read the big news? DC Comics is reportedly casting an African-American Superman for a new DCEU movie, and Final Crisis #7 has erupted. Here’s the latest figures.
Marvel isn’t the only one making waves in the collecting market.
Just days ago, DC made it official that a new Superman movie has been given the greenlight with director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Ta-Nehisi Coates joining forces to present an all-new, all-different Superman than we have ever seen on the silver screen: an African-American Superman.
There are no further details past that, but it looks like all those years of rumors circulating that Michael B. Jordan would don the red boots and cape may have been legitimate after all.
After Jordan received critical and fan praise for his turn as Black Panther villain Killmonger, speculation began that he would play Superman. Much of that stemmed from the ongoing theories that Henry Cavill was walking away from the Superman role, which persist to this day.
While Michael B. Jordan has not been officially cast in the Abrams/Coates film, the general consensus is that he is the frontrunner for the role. For now, we are left to our imaginations until Bad Robot, Time-Warner, or DC Comics reveals more, and the speculation is that the new film will star the Superman of Earth 23, Calvin Ellis.
WHO IS HE?
In the DC event “Final Crisis,” Calvin Ellis was introduced as part of the multiverse. In that timeline, Calvin/Kalel not only was Superman, but he was also President of the United States of America. Between his duties in the oval office, he served Earth 23 as Superman with his own variation on the classic “S” shield.
Not only does this Earth give us an African-American Superman, but it also changes the races for other classic DC characters, most notably Wonder Woman, whom we can very well see in the movie.
With that in mind, you will want to start collecting these key issues.
FINAL CRISIS #7
Initially, writer Grant Morrison wrote the character as a superhero version of President Barack Obama. During the events of “Final Crisis,” Supermen from alternate universes were summoned to aid in the fight against Darkseid.
Overnight, this issue has become one of the hottest comics on the market. All the way up to February 25, there had only been two sales of graded 9.8s. That pair happened to bring $50 on January 17 before suddenly jumping to $190 on February 3. And then came DC’s movie news, and there were six sales all on Friday, February 26. That elevated the 9.8 Final Crisis #7 to a $223 three-month average. What is more revealing is the last sale was for $450.
Even the 9.6 has seen a mighty hike in fair market value as well. After earning $62 on average in 2020, it has suddenly begun selling for $175 and $200.
ACTION COMICS #9 (2012)
During the ill-fated New 52 DC Universe reboot, readers got a closer look at the Superman of Earth 23. In this issue, both his Kryptonian and Earth names, Calvin/Kalel were revealed as well as his complete origin story. It also featured Kalel’s first full cover appearance, which makes it all the more appealing to collectors.
Traditionally, this issue has earned the larger prices. Last year, the standard edition at a 9.8 had a fair market value of $120. Over the past 90 days, that FMV has leaped to $192. On Friday, there were four recorded sales of graded 9.8s, and two of those surpassed the $200 mark. In fact, one broke the record for a single sale after scoring $290.
The Action Comics #9 to target is the sketch variant. Even before the boom, it was earning $250, so this has never been a cheaper option. Now, it has become a $345 comic based on the most recent sale.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Could it be that DC is playing a different game altogether? With the inclusion of an African-American Superman, DC is building the pieces for a trip through the multiverse and land on Morrison’s epic, Final Crisis. But that is a topic for another day and another blog. Stay tuned.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.