Search This Site

Friday, January 2, 2015

Giant-Size X-Men #1 vs. X-Men #94

The two comics in question for this post are Giant-Size X-Men #1 and X-Men #94. To make a somewhat logical analysis of these two comics, there has to be criteria involved in determining which is a better comic to invest in. It can't just be all about which is more valuable than the other. Here's the criteria we'll be looking at.

1. Key issue importance - What's the key issue status of these two comics and why are they important to the over-all back issues market as comic investments?

2. Values - Values of the two comics across the board of all grades. The values will be determined by Overstreet Price Guide and Go Collect for CGC sales. Go Collect is the most reliable source of tracking eBay CGC sales and averages for the past two years, one year, or a few months.

Overstreet Price Guide values will be based off the last decade of values to see how they've grown according to OPG, and which has outperformed the other in comic investing terms.

3. Growth - The value increases or growth of the two comics at various grades for the span of about a decade according to Overstreet and Go Collect.

4. Rarity - Of course, we have to look at the CGC Census to see the rarity of slabbed copies compared to one another to see if there is any disparity.

X-MEN #94

First appearance of Colossus
First appearance of Storm
First appearance of Nightcrawler
First appearance of Thunderbird
First appearance of new X-Men
2nd full appearance of Wolverine

First appearance new X-Men in title
3rd appearance of Wolverine
2nd appearance of Nightcrawler
2nd appearance of Storm
2nd appearance of new X-Men
2nd appearance of Thunderbird

This data is taken off the Go Collect site and shows the CGC eBay sales averages (values) of two years for each comic in question. Why 2 years sales averages? You'll see why as we get further into this.

What's with the huge gap between GS X-Men #1 and X-Men #94 CGC 9.8s? Before you make false assumptions, let's take a closer look. The gap between these two major key issues at that grade is highly suspicious. Not often does 2nd appearances beat out a first appearance in the comic back issues market, especially pertaining to the same characters.

So lets look at the CGC census for both these books:

GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 CGC 9.8: 118

X-MEN #94 CGC 9.8: 24

ONLY 24 CGC 9.8s for X-Men #94 with 4181 copies submitted? That doesn't sound right.

There's about 856 more CGC graded copies for Giant Size X-Men #1 than there are X-Men #94. That's a gap to consider between the two. If 856 more X-Men #94 copies were submitted and graded at CGC, I would be highly suspicious if at least 85 of those didn't come back 9.8s. When they do reach the same number of 5037 and they still have ridiculously low numbers for 9.8s, I'm definitely going to think something ain't right with CGC concerning X-Men #94.

This may be a classic perception of false rarity. It's also a classic example of buyers jumping the gun and being misled by first glance numbers.

What might happen in the future for X-Men #94 CGC 9.8? More copies will be submitted, and as 9.8s number in the 100s like GS X-Men #1, you'll see the value for X-Men #94 CGC 9.8s come down drastically from those two 2013 purchases and be closer to GS X-Men #1 values at that grade. 
Another reason why I didn't just want to base this on the criteria of value.

If you look at the grades below 9.2s, you will see the number of sales being closer to each other. 8.5s for example had the same number of copies sold at 51 in the last two years. Clearly, Giant-Size X-Men #1 beats X-Men #94.

Even GS X-Men #1 9.2s, though the sales numbers have a wide gap, beat out X-Men #94. Actually, GS X-Men #1 values beat X-Men #94 at every grade starting with 9.2s, making me believe that the gap between high grade GS X-Men #1 and X-Men #94 is fooling quite a few buyers with a false sense of rarity and value.

To go even further, let's take a look at the one year sales record of CGC slabs for both books on eBay. This is the great thing about Go Collect. You can look up the sales averages from 3 months up to 2 years. Here's the one year outlook of 2014. Giant-Size X-Men #1 is to the left and X-Men #94 is to the right.

As you can see, 9.2s for X-Men #94 have moved up from the 2 year averages, but not much. CGC 8.0 VFs are lower than the Overstreet values 11 years ago! Yikes! Lower grades are a bit past their Overstreet values. High grades NMs and up are outperforming GS X-Men #1 (submission gap?).

But that's not all. We gotta check the Overstreet Price Guide for the last decade or so and see how these two comics compare.


9.4 NM - $1150
9.2 NM- - $1009.50
9.0 VF/NM - $869
8.0 VF - 587
6.0 FN - $207
4.0 VG - $138
2.0 GD - $69

9.4 NM - $950
9.2 NM- - $836
9.0 VF/NM - $722
8.0 VF - $493
6.0 FN - $174
4.0 VG - $116
2.0 GD - $58

Looks like a tad bit more than a decade ago, Giant-Size X-Men #1 beat X-Men #94 hands down at every recorded grade in Overstreet 2003. Mid-grade and lower grades have a closer gap than opposed to VFs and up. Let's see how they did in this year's guide.


9.2 NM- - $1350
9.0 VF/NM - $975
8.0 VF - $600
6.0 FN - $300
4.0 VG - $200
2.0 GD - $100

9.2 NM- - $1325
9.0 VF/NM - $931
8.0 VF - $536
6.0 FN - $201
4.0 VG - $134
2.0 GD - $67

9.2s definitely closed the gap pretty close, but GS X-Men #1 still barely beats its rival. However, CGC 9.2 sales definitely have a wider value gap between the two at that grade. On the lower grade scale, it seems the values did a reverse and they are now wider apart than opposed to 2003 guide values. 


9.2 NM- - $340.5
9.0 VF/NM - $106
8.0 VF - $13
6.0 FN - $93
4.0 VG - $62
2.0 GD - $31

9.2 NM- - $489
9.0 VF/NM - $209
8.0 VF - $43
6.0 FN - $27
4.0 VG - $18
2.0 GD - $9
According to guide values, high grade X-Men #94 starting from VFs to low NMs had the best over-all increase in value during a span of 11 years. 9.2 Low Near Mint X-Men #94s increased $148.50 more than Giant-Size X-Men #1 according to guide.

However, this isn't reflective of the market for CGC 9.2s during the last 2 years on eBay. Actually, CGC 9.2s haven't been dropping on average even close to it's 2014 Overstreet Guide value of $1325 for X-Men #94. The average sold at that grade for X-Men #94 is $978.03 in the last 2 years and $1,000 for the last year. That's about $300 under it's supposed guide value. Think next guide might have a lower value for 9.2s next year? It should.

Giant-Size X-Men #1 CGC 9.2s are $90.78 lower than it's proposed guide value at 9.2 for 2 years but closer to it's guide value (around $43 bucks lower) for total sales in 2014. It is closer to the mark than X-Men #94 for sure.

CGC 8.5s for GS-X-Men #1 still beat X-Men #94 though the latter had less sales on eBay in 2014. However, X-Men #94 at that grade is under it's 2014 guide value.

Let's look at the CGC value increases according to Go Collect's eBay sales.This is the value increases for this year compared to the 2 year data for CGC eBay sales.


9.8 M- | -$226.92 (down)
9.6 NM+ | $24.57 (up)
9.4 NM  | $56.59 (up)
9.2 NM- | $48.09 (up)
9.0 VF/NM | $56.65 (up)
8.5 VF+ | $67.25 (up)
8.0 VF | $72.13 (up)
7.5 VF- | $69.93 (up)
7.0 FN/VF | $60.93 (up)
6.5 FN+ | $23.03 (up)
6.0 FN | $31.18 (up)
5.5 FN- | $36.92 (up)
5.0 VG/FN | $24.87 (up)
4.5 VG+ | $6.51 (up)
4.0 VG | $4.83 (up)
3.5 VG- | $21.75 (up)
3.0 GD/VG | -$6.25 (down)
2.5 GD+ | $24.55 (up)
2.0 GD | $0 (no 2014 sale) 

9.8 M- | $0 (no 2014 sale)
9.6 NM+ | $339.97 (up)
9.4 NM | $13.88 (up)
9.2 NM- | $22.00 (up)
9.0 VF/NM | $30.49 (up)
8.5 VF+ | $1.91 (up)
8.0 VF | $35.95 (up)
7.5 VF- | $16.92 (up)
7.0 FN/VF | $7.57 (up)
6.5 FN+ | $7.78 (up)
6.0 FN | $17.64 (up)
5.5 FN- | $15.65 (up)
5.0 VG/FN | $7.47 (up)
4.5 VG+ | $6.76 (up)
4.0 VG | -$16.60 (down)
3.5 VG- |  $9.50 (up)
3.0 GD/VG | -$18.13 (down)
2.5 GD+ | $0 (no 2014 sale)
2.0 GD |$0 (no 2014 sale)

I'm not entirely satisfied so I'm gonna look at the 3 month eBay sales averages for these two comics and see what I can find out. This will give me a better look at the most recent trend for these two and whether they are still on the up and up.


9.2 NM- - $1350
9.0 VF/NM - $975
8.0 VF - $600
6.0 FN - $300
4.0 VG - $200
2.0 GD - $100

9.2 NM- - $1325
9.0 VF/NM - $931
8.0 VF - $536
6.0 FN - $201
4.0 VG - $134
2.0 GD - $67

As you can see, CGC 9.2s for Giant-Size X-Men #1 went above it's OPG value by a good margin in the 3 month outlook. It's movin' on up. 

9.2 CGCs for X-Men #94 is still greatly under guide, but CGC 9.4s have risen since and still beats GS X-Men #1 at the same grade. However, like the 1 year data, X-Men #94 shows that 8.0s are extremely below OPG guide values for that grade, as well as 9.0 VF/NM, and 9.2 low NMs.

Why looking at all this data? Well, it is a comparison after all, and it wouldn't be right to just go by values alone. Besides, numbers can be misleading at first glance. Just look at the CGC census for 9.8s for X-Men #94.  

Actually, this comparison was perfect, so thanks JW. Both comics came out very close to the same time and they are both sought out major key issues. So here's what I gathered about these two comics.

1. The extreme disparity between the low number of high grade CGC X-Men #94s and high number of high grade GS X-Men #1s causes me to see a huge red flag concerning NMs and up, especially 9.8s for X-Men #94. I actually think CGC may have put a stranglehold on the amount of copies they'll allow to be high grade NMs and up for issue #94.

My reason for that whopper of a theory? Giant-Size X-Men #1 comics are square bound. Square bound books are notoriously harder to keep in great shape. Most of the industry and collectors agree that square bound comics are more susceptible to wear and tear than normal comics. This comic is also a 68 page book, pretty hefty for a comic.

Something smells terribly wrong if the CGC census only has 24 X-Men #94s at 9.8 and 4,000+ copies were already submitted. X-Men #94 is a normal comic that's much easier to keep in better shape. Sure, the amount submitted for that book is 856 less than Giant-Sized X-Men #1 and that's a factor, but I still don't buy the numbers for high grade CGCs of this issue currently. And, no, X-Men #94 didn't have a substantially lower print run, so it really looks odd.

Using common sense of key issue importance, the values of X-Men #94 at CGC NMs and up should be closer to Giant-Size X-Men's values for those slabbed grades. Speaking honestly, they should actually be a bit under GS X-Men #1. Like I said, the amount of high grade CGC copies in the census don't quite make sense. I greatly question them for that comic.

2. CGC 9.6s to 9.8s for X-Men #94 are not good investment buys right now from what I gather, especially 9.8s. Prices are way over-bloated and there's a lot of buyers out there not using common sense and being fooled by census numbers. There should be more high grade copies for X-Men #94 than the census reports and I believe the market is blindly following a rarity factor that looks extremely strange.

I'm calling false rarity here, whether not enough copies have been submitted to CGC or if CGC is purposely regulating the amount of high grade copies they certify. We shall see how CBCS is with that comic, but I predict that more high grade copies in the NM and up range for X-Men #94 will be certified in the near future. 9.6s and 9.8 values have a good chance of being greatly impacted by this in the future.

My over-all view on which is the better comic investment? Who wins?

So GS X-Men #1 had the biggest loss with 9.8s, X-Men #94 had the biggest gain with 9.6 NM+s. Despite that fact, I don't trust the ridiculously low amount of high grade X-Men #94 numbers. 

GS X-Men dominated on growth for solid NMs and down with the exception of VG+s. Also, GS X-Men #1, however, outperformed Overstreet Guide's values at most every grade. Biggest and only exception is CGC 9.2 for the 2 year and 1 year outlook compared to OPG's 2014 values. However the 3 month sales averages did exceed Guide's value.

For X-Men #94, 9.2 low NM, 9.0 VF/NM, and 8.0 VF sales all fell under OPG's guide values for 2014. There was growth compared to eBay's 1 year and 2 year sales averages, but overall, they were beaten by the comic's competitor.

Since it outperformed it's competition in the over all spectrum of grades for growth plus head to head values in the 2 and 1 year and 3 month CGC sales averages on eBay and for outperforming it's OPG guide values for all in the 3 month data, I have to give this one to Giant-Size X-Men #1. 

Then again, given the info presented you may see something totally different. that note: I really recommend Go Collect. It's a small monthly fee for a vast amount of information and well worth it. I predict Go Collect will be a revolutionary tool like Overstreet Price Guide became and will change the market forever.

Sure, there are flaws, but it's the best thing out there that will help regulate CGC or slabbed prices from over-bloating and greedy ass sellers. Like I mentioned in this post, it doesn't just give you the latest sale like most of these so-called online price guides, it gives the averages of sales within a certain period. 

Extremely helpful comic investing tool. Besides, then some of you won't need to email me asking which is a better buy, this comic or that. With Go Collect, you can check out the info for yourself. 

So there you have it! Which do you think is the better of the two comic investments?


  1. I totally agree always found it strange how x 94 was always so comparable to giant size. thanks for the great and very in depth article. I will try and think of some more soon. JW

    1. Like I said, JW, could be dangerously interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Good article! X-men #94 is one of three X-men keys that I'm still missing (4 & 5 are the other two). My goal for this year is to pick up all three with 4 & 5 safely in my vault before May. After that it's just filling in holes and I'll have completed a 1-544 run :-) then I guess there's always chasing down better copies

    1. Wow a completed run of 1-544. Quite impressive Jessie. I've always recommended X-Men #94 and it is still a super X-Men key issue for sure.

  3. How does GoCollect compare to GPA analysis? I have never used either, but I'm thinking they help with big book purchases?

    1. GPA has reports for sales on auction places or stores other than eBay. Go Collect focuses primarily on eBay, and you can look up the latest raw sales of a certain copy. Both are useful and not useful when it comes to certain factors such as common sense buying which a few out there seem to be missing.

      It really depends on where you buy from the most online. Do you mainly buy CGC copies on eBay? If so, Go Collect may be more useful since GPA covers more sites and this can skew your perception of fair market eBay prices. Then again if you buy more CGC from other online places besides eBay, Go Collect could skew the prices you should buy at for these other places.

      Since eBay is the biggest comic market online, I chose Go Collect.

  4. signed up for the go collect. a great site for more up to date sells. thanks mayhem. JW asm 6 vs 14 is comparable even though I'm surprised golbin isn't worth much more than scorpion

    1. Gotta thank Gerry. He's the one who discovered the site and whipped up a post about it in a Comic Collectors Tools post a few months back. I was skeptical at first, but it's a great site and extremely useful. I'll have to check up on that concerning ASM #6 and ASM #14 JW. Personally, I think Goblin is the ultimate Spidey villain and Scorpion is well...okay.

  5. In my opinion both books rank in the top three of Xmen mega-keys only behind #1. As for myself, I only have 94. But I give the nod to giant size for a couple reasons. One being a better story, newly recruited mutants sent to save the OG mutant team! That's an awesome way to introduce a new team and new characters. 94, they are sent to an army base to stop some missiles, not very original. Second, giant size holds first appearances, and if I'm not mistaken, wasn't xmen on its way to being cancelled before this team reboot? Then in 94 Chris Claremont comes aboard and makes the xmen kick ass and super popular? Anyway, giant size should be the more expensive and desirable of the two, as it was the beginning of a reinvented and very popular Xmen team. Thanks for the great write ups!

    1. I wholeheartedly agree that X-Men #94 is one of the top X-Men key issues of all time. X-Men was on the verge of being cancelled and the recent issues prior to #94 were reprints. I forgot where that number started but it was somewhere around there. #94 was the first all new story in the title for a while and the genius of Claremont brought the title back from a near death experience and made it the title a cash cow for Marvel.

      They are both desirable and highly valuable books. It was a very tough analysis and comparison, but I still question the low amount of high grade X-Men #94, or maybe I should question the high amount of high grade Giant Size X-Men #1?

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Definitely an interesting and debatable subject. JW suggested this one, so thanks to him also.

  6. Spiderman 6 is the lizard not scorpion. Scorpion is not till 20.

    1. Thanks for reminding me. Didn't even catch that, but that's what happens when you reply to comments late at night or early in the morning.

    2. yeah don't know how I made that mistake. lol thanks for the correction lizard and goblin I meant. JW

  7. Hey TCM, I'm looking at a book in 9.0 condition but it's a PGX graded this December. I would definitely get it reslabbed by CGC or CBCS but I am wondering if I can count on PGX for an accurate grade?

    Not sure if you have much experience them. I avoid them usually because I know they have a shady history and plus I hate how their labels look.

    Your thoughts?

    Sorry this is a bit off topic.

    1. I've never unslabbed a PGX and sent it to CGC to see how they'll grade it so I wouldn't know. I think each third party grading service will grade it slightly different, meaning it will have a different grade. You figure it should be only slightly different, but nobody knows the guidelines of how each company grades.

      It's definitely a gamble for sure.

  8. I respect your analysis, but consider these 2 factors and then believe your lying eyes when viewing cgc census: Giant Size is a number 1, and would have been dutifully hunted down in perfect condition by hundreds if not thousands of collectors who did not read it. 94 is a sleeper, it comes not out of the blue but after 92,93, etc. which were reprint dogs, not worthy of collecting. Then also consider that Giant is essentially a white cover more forgiving of the minute imperfections that bar admission to 9.8 by CGC, yet 94 is essentially, if not a black cover, a very dark cover which easily reveals those itty bitty flaws like a color fleck. One could prove this by burning ones eyes out staring at scans of these books on heritage, but I'd rather just speculate.