I remember when DC’s the New 52 were first announced there was a lot of skepticism on this site. That soon changed once people realized how significant the event was, as well, DC appeared to be very committed to this new direction. Our Undervalued Spotlight host, Walter himself was speculating if these new books would become the new “keys” of this current generation. Well, it’s been over two years so I thought I’d check to see how the initial wave of these books are doing in the back issue market.
I’ve always felt that a new certified book graded 9.8 should at least bring in $100 bucks. After the cost of grading, shipping, time and energy… it wouldn’t be worth the effort otherwise. If it’s a variant, perhaps more, if it’s been signed… probably even more. Scanning the GPA numbers, It’s difficult to make sense of the New 52’s on record. There are too many variants, too many signature combinations and too few sales to come to any concise conclusion. However, trolling through eBay and various others sites to help augment the data, here’s what I’ve noticed:
- Most certified #1’s seem to be stuck in the $30 to $40 zone which is pretty much cost of the book plus getting it slabbed.
- More popular titles such as Green Lantern, Aquaman, Batgirl, etc seem to be bringing in a bit more at the $40 to $60 range… And the rare occasion, as high as $80 if you’re lucky.
- The truly break out books have been Batman #1 and possibly Justice League #1 with recent sales at $275 and $90 respectively for the standard cover with a 9.8 grading. Batman in particular is heavily traded and shows a steady rise.
Looking at raw or ungraded books:
- Most books are trending anywhere from below cover price to $10 bucks.
- But again, Batman #1s are selling for $70 to $100 bucks and Justice League is also trending upwards with recent sales between $15 to $30 for a first print.
Considering that Batman is DC’s most popular character and the Justice League is their flagship team, I would say that the results makes sense. It will be interesting to see how much of this will be reflected in the upcoming 44th edition of Overstreet. Will they get it wrong again as they did books like New Mutants #98?
Another book that is just around the corner is the relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man. Interestingly, Spider-Man #1, v2 and Superior Spider-Man #1 isn’t worth much more than cover, but a nice mint copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #1 can easily bring in $20 bucks and sometimes as high as $100 online.
Marvel is a big mess right now. They restarted many of their titles, only to restart them again under the “Marvel Now!” banner. As well, I swear they must have a hat full of adjectives, like “astonishing, amazing, avenging, fearless, forever, incredible, indestructible, legacy, savage, spectacular, superior, uncanny” that they dip their hands into whenever they feel they need to freshen up a title. Don’t forget to add “All-New!” to the mix. Marvel Now! hasn’t had the same impact that DC’s New 52 has, but still, the Amazing Spider-Man title is iconic and I would think it’s up there with Batman. So, if you’re like me… a gambling man, you may want to grab up all the Amazing Spider-Man #1’s that you can carry when it comes out and get in on the speculation band wagon. At the very least, you should be able to recoup your cost down the road.
It would be silly to think that all of DC’s new 52 titles would become “key” but the fact that Batman and Justice League seem to be prized two years later, I’m giving credit to Walter for making the call. Many people are not aware of online prices so if you come across a Batman #1 or Justice League #1 in the dollar bins… don’t let people see your eyes bug out. Just be cool and sidle up to the cash, drop your loonie ($1 CAD) and make a beeline for the door. Save the happy dance for when you get home. Happy hunting.
Charlie… welcome to CBD (officially). It’s nice to read a full column by you, and not just your insightful comments.
I never thought of these new #1’s as being collector’s items. Judging how worthless comics like Spawn #1 are now because of the speculation from the 90’s, I thought that these new books would just be cluttering up bargain bins until the next reboot came along.
I remember a lot of those popular New 52 DC’s had reprintings, so there should be a supply issue when it comes down to first printing number ones of the “big” books. But I also wonder what is the value of the lesser desired books from the New 52 like Voodoo #1 or Mr. Terrific #1 (which I really enjoyed).
I think I will take your advice Charlie and pick up all of the Amazing Spider-Man #1’s I can find on release day. Who knows, we may make a fortune together on your advice.
Strong post Charlie.
I think continuity plays a big part in collectability, still.
1st issues of titles like Ultimate Spider-Man were more collectible while the title was still in sequential continuity.
Batman and JLA should be around for years and the easy line drawn back to #1 will help collectability.
I did think the small print run titles from the New 52 would be more collectable by this point though.
Thanks Ed. We’ll see if I can keep up the pace with the rest of team.
There are many collecting strains so perhaps we should define what a collectors items is in a future write up. At one point, you could easily get $20 or more for Spawn #1. Same with books like Gen13 #1 and various other image titles. However, the popularity of these books haven’t been sustained. It could be that once you become filthy rich, Todd McFarlane may have better things to do than keep Spawn in the limelight. Whatever the reason… I can’t imagine Batman or Spidey fading out anytime soon. As long as DC remains committed, the restart of Batman is meaningful. However, I know there is a lot of pressure from corporate to make the numbers so we’ll see what the next gimmick is… but nothing is without risk. I parked all my money on Love Diary #36 so my fortune will have to wait.
From what I can see, I’d say you’d be lucky to get your money back on books like Voodoo or Mr. Terrific, unless there’s some sort of catalyst. Put these away, out of sunlight and lets see what happens in 20 years. You may double your money by the effects of inflation.
Thanks Walt. You beat me to the reply. It’s still early days for the New 52 so we can continue to monitor how it develops. It’s important to keep in mind that the relaunch was intended to attract new readers who (hopefully) become collectors. We’ll have to wait and see what they gravitate toward.
Are we talking X-Force #2 type money?
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