Comic Market Watch December 2018

Greetings & salutations comic cadets! Who here from Friends in Square Places bringing you the first entry to Comic Market Watch from our new home at Octotaku’s Comics & Collectibles, Miami’s premiere online comic shop! With this new outlet, I’ll be able to bring you my writings and reviews once again and boy we have lots to cover so let’s get right into it!

It’s been six years since we opened the comic collecting flood gates again and what started as a single issue in a big empty comic box is now several long boxes of key comics with a surging value. It seems like it was yesterday when Kevin Feige was on stage announcing Phase 3 effectively beginning the comic books collecting arms race that is still thriving today. Remember when Age of Ultron trailer just came out and we were all like “Wow, there’s only this and Ant-man left. I wonder what Marvel is going to do?”? And BAM! You got Phase 3.

We find ourselves in a similar place and familiar situation. Phase 3 is winding down and we are finally putting the bow on ten years of wrapping the gift that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We are still reeling from The Snap and are holding on by a thread after our first look at Avengers: Endgame. Photos and details are starting to slip through of the next MCU Spider-Man film and the big question on fans and collectors minds is WHAT’S NEXT?!

Seriously, what is next? Remember when you sat down to watch Iron Man and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury came on screen and spoke those fateful words you misremember today? Even then the average collector was happy to see the rendition  but they didn’t anticipate it would get this far. It wasn’t even till the end of Phase 1 when I realized that Marvel has something here and the comic book landscape would never be the same.  And it isn’t. There is lots of talk about a bubble but in this dog’s opinion the bubble popped in the 90s and what we have here is a very stable hot air balloon that is cruising at a nice comfortable speed so we can all take in the sunset. The movie and TV industry is floating comics right now and do not be ashamed to admit it or take advantage as a creator/artist/illustrator. Comic creators are something like rock stars right now sharing the stages with the actors that portray their characters and pretend to actually read their comics.

Remember the film industry before Marvel Studios? No you don’t stop lying. It was hanging on to Matrix and a poorly constructed X-Men & Spider-Man franchises that do not hold up to today’s MCU films. We thought we were happy but we were really dead inside. Fast forward to today and every year the most anticipated film is a Marvel Studios picture and what film will try and challenge Marvel Studios at the box office. For the collector this has opened a new world where the landscape of comics stretches as far as the eye can see and the value of the crops being raised seems to keep rising with no end in sight.

Because we are starting on a new site and with a fresh slate it is up to me not only to welcome new readers but also bring them up to speed in case they need to. If you are a pro and know everything good for you, if not welcome to the world of comic collecting.

Gonna assume you’ve bought your first comic and have a comic box or place dedicated to their well being. No? Well get on that. Go on ebay or amazon and scoop a pack of comic boxes, a variety pack of comic bags and acid free comic boards. You’ll need these to replace your purchased comics and dug up treasures bags that may have never been updated. Now that you’ve got the house ready and comic proofed the baby lets us begin the search!

1. New Avengers #27 (2005 1st Series) First appearance of Hawkeye as Ronin [Avengers: Endgame]

One minute you’re looking for something and then all of sudden Marvel drops a trailer and turns the comic world upside down. This comic should’ve been on everyone radar back in 2017 when leaked BTS photos revealed Jeremy Renner’s new Hawkeye costume all but confirming his transformation into Ronin, an alias adopted by several Marvel characters who’ve gone rogue. Records put this comic under $5 at the end of 2017 and now the comic is pressing $30. There will be a mad scramble to the end for this comic and if Renner can get any kind of deal whether a TV series or Film it will go a long way grabbing it now. This should be on the top of your watchlist before it hits the $50 mark which is not far off.


2. Uncanny X-Men #130 (1963 1st Series) First Appearance of Dazzler

Look, here at Comic Market Watch our intention is not to direct you to comics that are well out of your reach. We all want first appearance of Thanos but not all of us have the $1000 to shell out for a low grade copy. This is a market watch and the point is to alway buy low, sell high. We want to jump on the wagon and get a good seat so when it fills up and everyone is desperate for a spot so we can sell it to them for a kidney only a few feet away from the welcome mat.  That’s how we do it here, don’t hate the player, hate the game Baby.

Anyway in order to become a savvy collector you have to not only anticipate the markets next move but you’ll have to adjust your way of thinking according to the landscape. Collecting comics today is not how your old man collected comics. He didn’t have a 20 film blockbuster franchise to really on. 

Collectors have to readjust their approach and start to think like Hollywood executives and producers. You have to put yourself in the writers room and imagine the story yourself in hopes of anticipating Marvel’s next move.

So with that ask yourself, what was the biggest Hollywood news concerning the film and tv industry? Yes, Disney finally buying Fox out and getting control of Fantastic Four and X-Men related properties. It was something we Marvelites have been wishing for since the tragedy of X-Men Last Stand and now we can look forward to decades of Marvel films. You will die and there will still be making Marvel films. That is set in stone now.

So before we croak how do we take advantage of the scenario? Right now two things should be on the top of your list: Everything X-men and everything Fantastic Four. It was always depressing watching other comics flare up in price and retain their value after MCU film releases but everytime Fox had a Marvel film release the comics related to the films would always crash cause the movies were terrible and the interest in them faded. Uncanny X-Men #141 Days of Future Past barely got past $50 and now a decent copy will run you $15-$30. But  now things are different. Disney’s anticipated streaming service has a lot of investors clicking their heels and viewers wondering how are they going to fit another service on their monthly statement. Everything is on the table especially if it has the potential to reel in what? Anyone? Anyone? You in the back? No? You? No? ok, all together now, FEMALE VIEWERS.

Females audiences are dedicated viewers and supporters of comic and geek entertainment. In fact female driven films outperform male driven films at the box office so TV and film producers and studios are going nuts trying to create the next show or movie that is going to satisfy female viewers.

With the rights transfer X-Men is filled with several properties that all have potential of getting franchised but what I learned in my old but young age is that the best magicians never do the same trick twice and I fully anticipate Disney/Marvel to look for characters that were either ignored or never used during Fox’s tenure. Dazzler is my pick for one or their first choice.

Dazzler was a character created in 1970s by a committee of Marvel staff, principally writer/editor Tom DeFalco and illustrator John Romita Jr. originally commissioned by a record label for a cross promotional multi platform campaign that was abandoned in the 80s. It was a response to the popularity of KISS who had a successful comic run in then late 70s. Dazzler had a 40 plus issue run and few graphic novels and since then has been relegated to side character that was killed off for sometime before being brought back to enter the Marvel song and dance.

Point is she is a great character with a clean mold ready to be pressed. This character can be played be a female of any race and that is especially important in today’s climate. Don’t get me wrong if you give me an angst filled Dazzler ala Envy I wouldn’t complain but Brie Larson I hear is a little busy these days.

Speaking of it’s a shame that the Edgar Wright relationship with Marvel flamed out cause I totally can imagine Dazzler in his hands after watching Scott Pilgrim. You’re going to need a director that plays will the visuals as well as has a kick butt soundtrack and I could have gone for that.

Then again it would’ve also been predictable and that’s not what Marvel wants. I think we need to focus on creating a more diversified MCU so changing the characters race will be key to her storyline, but that is for the writers to worry about as for collectors we just want to imagine it’s a character that could get their own series or solo film so put it up high on your list.

3. Uncanny X-men #101 (1st Series 1963) First appearance of Phoenix

I purchased this book in 2012 as it was one of my first major buys when I started collecting again. It was at $50 for a VG/FN and now the same comic is now pushing $250+. Why? Well after Fox announced a Phoenix reboot and casted fan favorite Sophie Turner as the lead, the comic saw an uptick in value. Strangely it has held steady even though the film has all but disappeared off the radar. Think about it. That film is done. It’s like sitting on a shelf somewhere. Fox delayed it’s release from 2018 to February 2019 and now it’s scheduled for June 2019. And during all that Fox was bought out by Disney so the film is now caught in like a comic book film limbo. A world with no beginning and no end. There’s a good chance that the film might not ever see the light of day or may be released as a VOD. Either way it doesn’t hurt the value of the comic in fact it probably helps it. If Marvel decides to save the storyline it would not only lengthen the time the comic value can rise before the price locks but it was also ensure a better film is made that is tied to the MCU helping the book retain it’s value. You’re looking for this price to hit $1k for VF ungraded. when it’s all said and done. Which was a dream back before when Fox was handling the property but now that Marvel Studios is in control well who knows!

This is a hefty buy at $200+ but it’s a good upper echelon key. A nice stepping up and a beautiful cover that always attracts the eyes that quickly doubles in price is slabbed.

Now is the time to get this issue before it climbs above the $500 mark so if you can drop the coin make the buy!

4. Amazing Spider-Man #311 (1963 1st Series)

There is nothing particular about this comic. It is not a real key in that there is a first appearance or major reason to buy it. Until now. Recently actor and recently cast as the main antagonist Mysterio in the MCU helmed Spider Man Homecoming sequel Far From Home, Jake Gyllenhaal, was recorded on video reading this issue (or at least acting like he was reading) and since then then book has since a surge in purchases and price. At first it may seem like it was the only Mysterio Amazing Spider-Man comic the closest comic shop had but when I started reading the synopsis I noticed that it could very easily translate as the plot for the new Spider-Man film (Spider-Man hallucinates, turns out it’s Mysterio, M.J. gets kidnapped hilarity ensues).

Sharp eyes will also notice Amazing Spider-Man #66 in the background so it might be a good idea to stock up on that Silver Age gem as well. Since let’s be real you ain’t getting your hands on a #13 anytime soon.

5. Special Marvel Edition #15 (1971 1st series) 1st Appearance of Shang Chi

After the cancellation of the underwhelming Netflix Iron Fist, Marvel/Disney is looking to redeem itself in the eyes of Asian viewers and has recently fast tracked a Master of Kung Fu film ensuring it a place in the middle of Phase 4. Get this comic now. It was a $30+ High Grade buy a year ago and is now is easily $100+ for VF and up and $50+ for anything above VG. When the film drops it will hope to break box office records because it will have the flourishing and exploding Chinese film market red hot at its side. We saw how powerful and important Asian audiences are as it was their year with Crazy Rich Asians, and numerous Asian leads dominating the small screen. Marvel and Disney will seek to move shift their tones for a more worldwide market as opposed to making International viewers adjust to American standards. Expect to see a Marvel show not in English eventually and maybe not even aired in the states.

For now, Shan Chi will be the man they look to. This comic also increases the value of Marvel Premiere #19, the 1st appearance of Colleen Wing, the Daughter of the Dragon. Depending on how things play out, Jessica Henwick’s strong performance on the Iron Fist show may make a case for a Daughters of the Dragon show especially if the Master of Kung Fu is a hit, then they might want to greenlight a female centered show similar to Agent Carter. The fans are already there so why not.

So these are the comics on my current radar and this concludes this December edition of Comic Market watch and come to think of it 2018 too! Wow. That was quick. Know that if any comics pop up on the radar you can be sure they will be reported here! Well thanks for reading and here’s to hoping 2019 gives us more comics to collect!

Honroable Mentions

Supernatural Thrillers #8 (1972) First appearance of the Elementals

In the time of that I began writing this article details and news of the plot for the new Spider-Man film have surfaced. Apparently The Elementals, supernatural beings cast out of their universe, will be integral to the plot so you might want to keep an eye out of this book as it is their first appearance. It’s scare and no online has it and the first listed on ebay is at $49.99 so get ready to see where this goes.