Hollywood’s Effect on Buying Comic Books for Investment
If you are interested in collecting comic books for investment, it is a safe bet to purchase comic books that are related to upcoming films and television shows. It has become a trend as of late for these source material comic books to skyrocket in anticipation of character appearances on both the big and small screen. This phenomenon was most recently seen with the comic books related to Marvel’s latest blockbuster film, The Guardians of the Galaxy. Just a few short years ago, one could find the first appearances of the Guardians in the bargain bins of most comic book stores. Rocket Raccoon’s first appearance in The Incredible Hulk 271, for example, sold for only a buck or two. Prior to the film’s release, however, high grade raw copies of this same comic book sold for more than $200 on eBay. Even Rocket’s forgettable 1985 mini series began to sell for over $100 per 4 issue set. The first appearances of Starlord (Marvel Preview 4, 1976), Gamora (Strange Tales 180, 1975) and the rest of the team followed suit.
Although the prices of these comic books usually plateau or even lessen after the initial movie hype subsides, the books do tend to maintain an increased value in comparison to what they sold for just a few years before.
New Mutants 98 (1991) is another great example of how Hollywood can increase the value of comic books. When Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool adaptation was announced just a few weeks back, the character’s first appearance in New Mutants 98 jumped yet again, fetching as much as $1200 for a 9.8 CGC graded copy on eBay. Just a week earlier, exact graded copies sold for $500-$600.
Comic Books on Television
Television adaptations have also garnered much attention from seasoned comic collectors and newbies alike. ABC’s Agents of Sheild, AMC’s The Walking Dead and CW’s Arrow and The Flash, to name a few, have sparked a renewed interest of lesser known characters from the world of comics.
And even though many fans complained about Deathlok’s appearance and costume in season one of Agents of Shield, the obscure character’s first comic book appearance in Astonishing Tales 25 (1975) still managed to garner more than $100 for higher grade copies.
I can continue to provide countless examples of comic book adaptations, and illustrate how their source comic books have increased in value, but the point has been made. Just remember that a character’s popularity will always be the driving force behind the value of its related comic book(s) (Wolverine’s first appearance in Hulk 181 cost an arm and a leg even before the X-Men films were released). That being said, film and television appearances have consistently helped bump the values of these comic books even higher. If you are buying for investment, I recommended that you keep your eyes and ears open and figure out which films/ television shows are slated to be produced in the near future. With that info in hand, hit your local comic shops, flea markets and garage sales and start hunting for comic books that feature first appearances of characters as well as important story arcs (remember X-Men:Days of Future Past?).
I also suggest that you research and acquire key appearances of the many dozens of lesser known Marvel & DC properties…the characters the general public are not familiar with…yet. I always had a hunch that Marvel would lead the way in exploring such characters – The Guardians of the Galaxy is a great example of this, as is Netflix’s upcoming Powerman & Iron Fist series. Marvel has also been smartly introducing many of its more obscure characters in their cartoons as well. Thanos, Moonknight, Ms Marvel and so many other characters have been showcased already in such animated programs as Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Marvel’s Super Hero Squad. An added bonus is that many of the source comic books for these characters are still quite affordable, for now. To give you a head start, here are a few adaptations that are currently in the works: Ant-Man, Daredevil, Deadpool, Shazam, Dr. Strange, Aquaman and Wonder Woman in Superman Versus Batman.
Comic Pressing and Cleaning
And as always, be certain to purchase any investment book in as high a grade as possible. If you have a book that needs a “face lift”, however, be certain to contact the Comic Doctor for all of your pressing and dry cleaning needs!