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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How to Research Possible Comic Investments

I was asked to do something about how to find out information on potential comic investments, so I'm gonna give it a shot. To be honest there's nothing mystical nor magical about it. You might be disappointed. 

Chances are you may already be doing this. It just takes a lot of work sometimes.

In case you haven't noticed, comic investing is blowing up right now in record speed. This has a lot to do with comic book movies and which lucky first appearance of a comic character will be confirmed to make his or her first appearance on the big screen. 

Getting in on first appearance comic investments before they blow up is extremely difficult these days. Comic book movie news and rumors are constant in this era.

So where to find information on upcoming comic book movies and rumors? It greatly depends and varies. No one source always has the first scoop on who will be in what.

There's a lot of sources to obtain information about upcoming comic book movies. The best two are Google and Twitter.

So basically you type in a bunch of keywords related to the comic movie in question on Google search. This will bring up a bunch of related sites. CBR or Comic Book Resources could be one. Screen Rant could be another. Bleeding Cool, Comic Book Movie News, Super Hero Hype, or even Variety or Entertainment could provide a latest leak.

One site to keep in mind is Latino Review. I've name dropped them a few times on here. They drop a lot of leaks when it comes to comic book movie rumors, and although I can't stand rumors, you have to pay attention to them in the world of comic investing. They leaked out the rumor of Thanos appearing in the Avengers, which Marvel denied, and we all know who the liar ended up being. 

Following the leads on movie or t.v. rumors is the only way to get key issues before the hype goes insane, unless you already have that key issue in your vault from a snag years ago. Most of the cases, comics are already in collector's vaults before a movie or t.v. confirmation is made. Personal example is Marvel Premiere #15 I picked up years before, simply because it was a key issue, and I wanted it as a long-term comic investment. Had nothing to do with a rumor or confirmation of a movie.

I do have to warn this can be extremely dangerous. Sometimes rumors don't pan out, and chasing every rumor and key issue can be an expensive task. Sometimes the rumors do pan out like the Vision finally confirmed for Avengers Age of Ultron.

However, that example, as well as many others, rely on common sense as well. Vision is an extremely popular Avengers member. It just makes sense he'll end up in an Avengers movie at some point. It's the same for the Black Panther, and I've been suggesting the first appearance of the Inhumans and Black Panther for quite a while now. If that is news to you, you haven't been reading all the posts on here, or you just found this site. If you know nothing about the characters, Wikipedia will be your friend.

There is no one site that always has the first report or confirmation on a given comic movie. It could be any one of them. Sorry, I wish it were so and did say it would be a time consuming process.

Sometimes Google's search has really old listings with info not quite that up to date. When it is up to date, you'll see the top and most recent news for that movie in question, as the picture below shows.

The top listing is often the most recent news for a given subject, according to Google. In this case it's for the Doctor Strange movie. Sometimes, though, you'll have to dig around, because another news source may have the drop on a character making his first appearance on the big screen that isn't part of Google's news feed. Sometimes, these sources will be buried under old comic movie news search results. Sometimes, there won't even be any recent news for a particular movie. Look at the article's publishing dates.

The tricky part is sorting through the information to find out which news is real and which is just passing gas. It's not as easy as it seems, especially when you're paying attention to rumors. Remember, sometimes movie studios can change their minds also. Just look at Warner Bros.' track record for the Justice League movie.

Twitter is another site that's going to be your friend as well. Most directors and actors have learned to leverage the power of Twitter. An example is Bryan Singer who leaked out a photo of an empty actor's chair that had Bishop written on it before it was even announced that Bishop would appear in Days of Future Past. He also shot his load and tweeted the next X-Men movie in the works, X-Men: Apocalypse, and we all know what happened with X-Factor #6, the first appearance of Apocalypse, shortly after that tweet. Get on twitter and start following directors, actors, etc.

Now comes finding information on key issue comics. Once again, this is another important reason to get the most recent Overstreet Price Guide. It's more than just a book of values. Overstreet does note key issues, first appearances, deaths of, first works by major artists among other things as well.

However, Overstreet sometimes doesn't list a certain character's 2nd appearance or notes a key issue, making a certain issue appear a common issue when it's really not. When this happens you have to research thoroughly to obtain this information. 

Once again, Google is your friend. Look up your particular question and wade through the mess. Sometimes, you'll hit on an obscure site that has the information, like this one, or you may find the answer in another site or a comic book forum.

So when I get wind of particular news concerning comic movies, I'll look up a character's first appearance. Wikipedia is a great resource to find this out. Watch out, though, sometimes Wikipedia isn't entirely correct on more obscure characters that belong to obscure titles. 

To be sure, I cross-reference with Overstreet Price Guide to see if they note it the same. If they do not note it, this is when the work comes in. Then you'll have to dig online. Sometimes it can be relatively quick. Sometimes it takes hours to search for the information.

Comic forums can be a great source of ill information and great information concerning key issue comics. Need to know a second appearance that isn't listed in Overstreet Price Guide? If I don't have the information on a key issue comics list here, post a question in a comic forum or look it up on eBay's search results. Just type in 2nd appearance of (fill name in) and see if a bunch of the same comics are toting that second appearance.

But even that is tricky. I just mentioned Hulk #182 in a recent key issues list being a possible 2nd brief appearance because it predates Giant Size X-Men #1, which is noted as Wolverine's 2nd full appearance. I had to research it. To come to that conclusion you have to research and find publishing dates. I'll get to that in a minute.

I'm gonna throw out another resource for you. When I got all confused about William Burnside as Captain America, I went to the Marvel Database site to find out his first appearances. At the Marvel Database, often times they will have the appearances of the character's first appearance, retconned first appearance, or first appearance as another character. You can see from the pic below:

In the picture we learn that there are several first appearances. Young Men vol 2 #24 is William Burnside's historical or retconned first appearance (sometimes not the same). Captain America #153 is his first published appearance as the fake Steve Rodgers II or Captain America 4. If you're confused about what I'm talking about here, you need to check out the Captain America key comics list.

Warning: sometimes they won't have this information, and you'll have to dig around on Google to find it. I did.

Going back to the Marvel Database site, often times they also have information on a character as well as publishing dates for certain comics as well. To find a certain issue, just go back to Google and enter the title and issue number in the search box. Bam! You'll get something like the pic below:

Just click on the link I outlined in red and you'll be brought to the wiki page for that issue. Sometimes, they'll have a summary and sometimes they won't, but they'll usually have the publishing date information.

Also the "Notes" section may be helpful in your research as well. Sometimes, they'll have notes. Sometimes they won't.

This is the jest of how I research most key issues lists, and yes it's quite a bit of work. Okay, a lot of work, especially if a comic character has been retconned. 

As for finding comic book movie news, there's no real secret to it. You're probably already doing what I just outlined here. The only thing is the time it takes to devote to keeping an eye out for it. Sometimes you'll be on the ball, sometimes you won't be. Just how it goes.

Not really sure if this answered the request or not.  


  1. thanks so much for making this article and yes it did help me I'm going to sign up to all those websites you mentioned and I'll start practicing what you wrote here! also before the flash movie begins do you recommend any issues to be only the lookout for? I'm pretty sure you're going to say the first appearance and his origin story right? well if there's anything else to keep an eye out let me know!

    1. You bring up a pretty good subject Gabriel....I was pondering this recently. So there's going to be Flash television series coming out, but there's finally a big stink leading up to a Justice League movie.

      A Justice League movie without the Flash would be strange, but are they gonna cross-over the series with the movie, meaning does it occupy the same continuity? If so, is the same actor in the Flash t.v. series gonna be in the Justice League movie?

      As of the moment, nobody really knows but it's a question worth thinking about. As for Flash key issues, I was actually going to go with two words: Professor Zoom. His character is definitely in the Flash t.v. series. As for a possible movie, the question of whether they use Wally West or Barry Allen is of concern. Wally West could be on their minds for movies, since Barry Allen already occupies the t.v. series. We'll have to see if the t.v. series drops hints of tying into the movie universe.

      After all, Marvel did opt to go with Scott Lang instead of the original Henry Pym Ant-Man so Wally West could be a viable choice for Justice League and a solo Flash movie.

  2. and yes this article was exactly what I was looking for!!

    1. Cool! Now get to work and find me some key issues ready to blow up!

  3. Awesome! And trust me, you won't lose any readers to seeking info themselves. Most people are just too lazy to bother, or don't have your tenacious approach to detail. And you are right about overstreet, they leave out key info sometimes. For example, my brother was selling his copy of Strange Tales 114, because he thought acrobat (fake cap) was not worth keeping. I told him it was valuable for another bigger reason....3rd appearance ever Dr Strange! Who knew?!...I did. lk

    1. Great job from keeping your brother from pawning that Strange Tales 114 off L.K.! Did you sort out those boxes of ToS?

  4. You research is definitely better than mine, but now I have even more tricks. Just signed up for GoCollect last night :)

    Thank you kindly!

    - Craig Coffman