BY MATT TUCK
The No Way Home fallout continues to propel the market, but it’s a free promotional newspaper that has been the biggest hit so far. Welcome to the only top-10 list with updated fair market values to help you make informed purchases.
1. DAILY BUGLE SPECIAL EDITION
Fans have lost their minds over this promotional comic/newspaper for No Way Home. In honor of the highly-anticipated movie, Disney/Marvel had several pop-up Daily Bugle newsstands across New York City (where else, right?). At these newsstands, you could get a physical copy of a Daily Bugle newspaper complete with J. Jonah Jameson referring to Spider-Man as a menace to NYC. Marvel fans loved the idea, and those of us outside the NYC area were envious.
Partly due to the movie’s audience and critical admiration and partly from a general love of everything Spider-Man, the Daily Bugle Special Edition is absolutely on fire. Copies have been selling on eBay for as much as $200 since yesterday, although most purchases tend to be closer to the $100-$150 mark. Still, that’s an impressive figure for a free promotional newspaper/comic.
2. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16
Certainly, Spider-Man: No Way Home was filled with crowd-pleasing moments. Not since Avengers: Endgame has there been so much cheering in movie theaters around the world. If you haven’t seen it yet, I don’t want to spoil too much for you. There’s much to love about NWH, but it’s those (sort of) surprise appearances that are causing the most uproar, particularly that of Daredevil.
It had been rumored for several months that Charlie Cox would return to the MCU as Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil. The actor denied the gossip, and it seemed far-fetched that he would be part of NWH as Peter Parker’s lawyer. Just like many of the Spider-Man rumors, this one turned out to be true, although Kevin Feige basically spoiled it a couple weeks ago. When he confirmed that Cox would be the MCU’s one and only Daredevil, that had most fans on the lookout for everyone’s favorite blind lawyer. Lo and behold, when Cox arrives on the screen, movie goers erupted.
There are plenty of hot DD and Spider-Man keys at the moment, ASM #16 has charged into the lead. This issue featured the first meeting of “the Man Without Fear” and Spider-Man, and it has kicked in a new gear after the release of No Way Home. Yesterday, a CBCS-graded 1.5 sold for $295.
3. DAREDEVIL #1
Those Silver Age Daredevil keys haven’t been this hot since 2016, and No Way Home just added fuel to the blazing fire.
Granted, the moment comes and goes in the blink of an eye - Cox has just a couple of lines - but it’s been enough to spark a huge interest in Daredevil #1. The other factor here is the very real potential that the Netflix Daredevil cast will reunite for the first season of Echo on Disney+. Since we saw Kingpin on last week’s episode of Hawkeye, there’s the possibility that Daredevil could appear in the season finale to set up the transition to Echo.
All of this is creating a perfect storm for DD #1. Being an established Marvel holy grail, the sales volume does not compare with many cheaper keys. That’s why we have to grade issues of this importance on a different scale. While there hasn’t necessarily been a major spike in sales, the ones that have been selling are earning top dollar. On December 18, a 3.5 sold for $4,999, which is the most it has earned since July.
4. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #51
The return of the Kingpin of Crime has rejuvenated his key issues. Naturally, the one to own is ASM #50 - Wilson Fisk’s first appearance. The problem is the price. Based on all the Kingpin rumors that have been circulating since the first of this year, the character’s debut has been reaching serious levels. That has left many collectors on the outside looking in when it comes to the action. Fortunately, there’s ASM #51.
In case you have been detached from all social media (maybe you’re wifi dropped for the past week, I don’t know), Hawkeye Episode Five has stirred the market for all things Kingpin. Despite Vincent D’Onofrio’s claims to the contrary, Wilson Fisk is revealed as Maya Lopez’s mysterious uncle.vAgain, we’ve learned the lesson that, from here on out, we should never trust actors when they deny being involved in a Marvel movie or series. That leaves high expectations for Hawkeye’s sixth and final episode from this week.
In light of Kingpin’s MCU return, all of his key issues are picking up steam. With the high prices for ASM #50, it makes Fisk’s second appearance and first cover art all the more appealing. The values are on the move, so don’t wait too long. Just yesterday, a 7.5 cracked $700. The day before, a 5.5 sold for $500. In the past week, raw copies have been earning anywhere from $150-$450.
5. WHAT IF…? #18
This issue had been gaining attention since the Strange Supreme episodes of What If…? aired this summer. In the history of Doctor Strange, this was the closest there had been to a corrupt version of the Sorcerer Supreme. Still, the issue didn’t suddenly become a rocket through the sales rankings after Strange Supreme debuted on Disney+. Then came the first footage for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which serves as a post-credits scene in No Way Home.
Now that the first look at Multiverse of Madness has reached the masses, it won’t be long before Marvel Studios drops an official trailer. As it stands, word is spreading about the big post-credits reveal. Baron Mordo introduces what he calls the greatest threat to the Multiverse, and it’s a Doctor Strange variant. Does this mean that Strange Supreme has stepped from the cartoon universe and into the live-action MCU? It is possible since the What If…? showrunners had said that none of the characters or concepts from the animated series were off limits to the MCU. That has left many fans and theorists wondering if any of the What If…? personalities will make the transition from cartoon to live action. That leads to the theory that the evil Doctor Strange in the Multiverse trailer is none other than Strange Supreme.
That is sending collectors on the hunt for the closest they can find to Strange Supreme’s first appearance, which happens to be What If…? #18. The good part is that it is still relatively cheap. In the past week, raw copies are selling anywhere from $20 to $50. That could be a bargain depending on who the mystery Strange turns out to be.
6. STRANGE TALES #126
Five years ago, Strange Tales #126 became a hot comic in the collecting circles. As soon as Dormammu was announced as one of the villains for 2016’s Doctor Strange, prices shot up for the first appearance of the Dark Dimension’s ruler. Thanks to the current “Death of Doctor Strange” story arc in the comics, this issue has another reason to be expensive.
Strange’s eventual ex-wife, Clea, also debuts in ST #126. She has been heavily rumored for Multiverse of Madness, which added value to this key issue. Recently, after Strange bit the dust, Clea took up the reins as the new Sorcerer (or Sorceress, I suppose) Supreme. How long she will stay in the position is up for debate, but it could mean she is being elevated just in time for the upcoming movie. Let’s face it, the comics are basically there to promote the MCU at this point anyway.
Be that as it may, between Clea becoming the Sorceress Supreme and the possibility of her being a major character in Multiverse of Madness, collectors are plundering the internet for ST #126. A day ago, a raw copy sold for nearly $200, and that was 24 hours after a 4.0 brought $475.
7. GOD COUNTRY #1
Earlier this year, the word began to spread that Donny Cates’ opus was getting the live-action treatment. God Country, the independent title that essentially put Cates on the map, is the story of an Alzheimer’s patient who regains control of his degenerative mind when he finds a sentient sword from outer space. The limited series was a space opera with elements of a spaghetti western combined with anime, and it remains one of Cates’ best works.
It is common for indy titles to get optioned by studios these days, and not all of them see the light of day. Netflix apparently has big plans for God Country, and it is on the way to being a movie for the streaming service. That could mean big things for those 9.8 FMVs. Only yesterday, a standard copy graded at a 9.8 brought $299. Two days prior, a Gerardo Zaffino variant sold for $250.
8. DAREDEVIL #131
We haven’t seen Bullseye on screen since he was having back surgery after a throwdown with Kingpin at the conclusion of Daredevil Season Three. Of course now that Kingpin and Daredevil are officially back in the MCU, that leads the speculation directly to Bullseye’s doorstep.
What has added fuel to the gossip fire is Hit Monkey. The Hulu series introduced Lady Bullseye in the animated show. Logically, that makes fans curious why we didn’t see the original Bullseye. The word on the internet - which is proving more reliable than ever at least when it comes to those Marvel rumors - claims that the Hit Monkey showrunners wanted to use THE Bullseye, but they were denied the request because Marvel has other plans for the character.
As you may have guessed, that has spawned theories that Bullseye will be coming along for the first season of Echo. My inclination is that DD and all his supporting cast will be used to elevate Maya Lopez. With some help from DD, she will defeat all of his old enemies and establish herself as the MCU’s new version of Daredevil, only deaf instead of blind. That would be the perfect lead-in for Bullseye to arrive and have a boss battle before he departs into the shadows.
Whether or not we will see Bullseye make his return to the MCU is far from confirmed, but his first appearance in DD #131 is on the rise. The high grades have been selling particularly well lately. Since the weekend, two 9.2s have earned $800 and $900.
9. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #301
It’s about time ASM #301 stepped out of #300’s shadow, at least for a couple of weeks. No question, this is fallout from No Way Home’s final scene. After Tom Holland’s Peter Parker comes full circle and gets back to his roots as a relatable, self-made superhero with real world problems, he dons the one suit that’s been missing from his Spider-Man run: the good ol’ red and blue. The film’s closing moments see him swing into action in the classic costume, but much brighter than we’ve seen it before.
Although Holland didn’t strike the contorted pose from Todd McFarlane’s famed pair of 1988 covers, the sight of the red and blue Spidey suit swinging through Queens is giving fans an ASM #301 vibe. In the comics, Spider-Man had ditched the black suit after his legendary battle with Venom in #300, opting for a return to his classic threads in the issue’s final panels. That set up #301, which was basically the same cover art from #300, but with the red and blue instead of the black.
Obviously, ASM #300 will forever remain the bigger key. Why wouldn’t it? It’s the first full appearance of Venom with the beloved cover art. The selling point for #301 has always been nostalgia, and No Way Home has been tugging on that very same heartstring, so it’s no wonder that collectors are returning to this issue in the wake of NWH. Since this isn’t a major key, prices are still reasonable despite the uptick. Even high grade raw copies have been selling for less than $100, and you can go all the way to a graded 9.6 for under $300 based on this month’s sales.
10. MARVEL TEAM-UP #95
Did Marvel subtly introduce us to Mockingbird? That’s another hot rumor circulating the internet after the events of Hawkeye. To this point in Clint Barton’s MCU career, his wife, Laura, has seemed like a fairly average person. She holds down the homefront and raises the kids while he is off Avenging. Before the Disney+ show, her biggest contribution to the MCU was being snapped out of existence to fuel Clint’s rage as he assassinated the criminal underworld in his Ronin costume. Then she started speaking German in Hawkeye, and it led to fan theories that she is a former SHIELD agent.
The most recent episode has added to the speculation. She knows all about the missing Rolex that fueled the plot of Episode Five, and it appears there is much more to her character than we first realized. That has many fans wondering if Laura Barton will prove to be the MCU’s Mockingbird, who also happens to be Clint Barton’s wife in the comics.
In the comics, Mockingbird is the codename for Bobbi Morse, who was also known as SHIELD Agent 19. She first appeared in Astonishing Tales #6 as Agent 19, but she would truly come into her own in Marvel Team-Up #95. Fighting alongside Spider-Man, this was when Bobbi was first introduced as Mockingbird, and collectors are on the move to have a copy of their own. Most raw copies are selling in the $40-$75 range, but if you are looking for a high-grade slab, a 9.4 sold for $175 on Sunday.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.