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Monday, November 30, 2015

Hot Comic Investments of 2015 Part 9

Here we are with Part 9 of this hot comic investments of 2015. Since I wrote a pretty long outro for Part 9, I'll leave the intro quite short. If you missed Part 8, just click the link.

1st appearance of Killer Frost

I've been wanting to talk about a comic that I haven't already talked to death about for quite a while now. Firestorm #3 and the first appearance of Killer Frost is one of them, although I did mention it on the comics to invest in in 2014 series.

Overlooked and undervalued still? Maybe, but it depends on your perception.

This comic has seen some heat since Caitlin Snow is one of the many females to take up the mantle of Killer Frost. If you don't know, the character is a major supporting character on the Flash TV series and is played by the lovely Danielle Panabaker.

So far is she is on team "good guy" with Barry Allen, but fans are anticipating when the character will become the villainous femme fatal as she is in the comics. With all the Earth Two jazz going on in season two, I'm predicting that we will see Killer Frost quite soon.

However, this first appearance issue is not the Caitlin Snow version of Killer Frost. It's the first appearance of the original Killer Frost, Crystal Frost.

Regardless, interest in the first appearance of the original Killer Frost and the Caitlin Snow version in The Fury of Firestorm #19 has taken on some interest in the market during the year. Most of it due to the Flash TV show hype, but this issue and the character is slowly getting recognized in the comic collecting market.

As mentioned before, this 1st appearance key issue is slowly getting recognized. It's simmering, and I wouldn't say it's exactly hot just yet. It is, however, a lot more hot than it was before the Flash TV show, though.

You should take into mind that a little over a year ago this comic wasn't really worth slabbing. Most collectors didn't even have this one on the radar and most now probably could care less about it.

In terms of CGC or slabbed copies, this comic is pretty scarce but not because it's exactly rare. Like I said, a little over a year ago, Firestorm #3 wasn't seen as a comic worth slabbing by the majority.

This is a 1978 Bronze Age comic, so despite the CGC Census numbers currently, expect it to expand as quite a bit if collectors or comic investors start to gun for it on a large enough scale. That's if that ever happens though, but since this one is heating up a tad, there hasn't been too many slabbed sales obviously.

If we take a closer look, there has been some breakthroughs concerning Firestorm #3 in the slabbed realm. 9.8s are the easiest to see this momentum upwards.

This year has not only seen Firestorm #3 CGC 9.8s break the $100 mark, but it is threatening to nestle into the $200 mark. The comic began the year in the higher $100 range via auction, and it even hit beyond the $200 mark twice, once in March and another in July.

What is nice to see is that most of the sales are via bidding auctions. At least three bidding auctions were in the higher $100s, not including the one $274.99 that obviously started and ended at that bidding price with one bid.

Because 9.8s are just beginning to take off somewhat, 9.6s haven't really had a great year. This comic isn't super hot as of yet, so 9.6s have had a choppy sales record in 2015.

Slabbed 9.6s seemed to start off strong early this year. This is most likely due to the scarcity of slabbed copies on eBay during the time.

Once again, this scarcity is not due to the actual rareness of the comic. It's due to the assumption that there aren't that many in the CGC Census (thus in the market), and some buyers just buying what's available at the time they're gunning for it.

The $175 and $141 purchases in February precede the earliest 9.8 sales beginning in March for 9.8s. Most likely, the two 9.6s that sold close to the 9.8 values in February were the highest slabbed grades during that period in time.

All were under the guise of Fixed Priced auctions as well, and as soon as a bidding auction hit recently in October, this comic's sale price even fell below the 2014 Fixed Priced auction of $94.99. This can be a lesson here, as sometimes jumping on board the gravy train too quickly may turn out to be not such a good thing.

For a comic that's just beginning to awaken from it's slumber, there should be no surprise that the first appearance of Killer Frost has a bit of funky monkey going on. Compare them 9.6s, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

This might change, though. All the sales in 2015 were Fixed priced or Best Offers.

Throw in a few bidding auctions, and we could see 9.4s take a slide back in value. It may or may not, but I do think that once more copies are slabbed and permeate the back issues market that could very well happen.

I threw in Firestorm #3 in this series for a few reasons. You can argue that it's not technically a hot comic investment of 2015, but it did perform pretty good for a comic that's just beginning to get on the radar for comic collectors.

One, it's definitely a comic I haven't brought up over and over. The success of the Flash TV series is beginning to cause hype for this villain and her first appearance.

Two, this comic is a perfect example of one that is simmering up and under the guise of being rare. Sometimes referring to the CGC Census is beneficial. Other times, not so much.

You have to research and weigh the possibility always. I know that this comic is just beginning to get on the radar. The question is the scarcity due to actual rarity or the fact that most who own the comic only saw it fit to get their copies graded recently due to TV show hype?

After all, this comic is from 1978. Now, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be rare because it's a 1978 Bronze Age comic.

Firestorm isn't really the most popular of DC characters. Sure, he's got fans but is it a really bid fan base? No, if that was the case, the comic would be worth a lot more and there would be a lot more graded copies in the CGC Census.

Right now there's only a total of 103 submitted CGC copies in the census. 27 of those are 9.8s and 35 of those are 9.6s.

Compare this comic to a Ms. Marvel #1 (1977) with 1786 graded copies in the CGC Census as of this writing, and you can pretty much make a logical conclusion that there are quite a lot more high grade raw copies of Firestorm #3 out there, either in collections or hiding in the bins of comic dealers. Or, there might be quite a few in the grading process already.

1st appearance of Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)

I just watched all three episodes of the Supergirl TV show on the CW, and it was better than I thought it would be. However, I thought it was just OK.

I am happy that the ladies finally get to geek out on a headlining, super-heroine with super powers when it comes to live action, but the show's dynamic and elements are pretty similar to Arrow and the Flash. Entertaining, yes! However, it seems like I'm just watching a rehashed version of the two prior CW shows.

Despite what I think of the TV show, this comic has had super gains in 2015. Furthermore, it hasn't been too plentiful on the market when it comes to higher mid-grades and higher graded copies.

The first appearance of Supergirl, or Kara Zor-El, is a hot comic no doubt. If you were lucky to get on this one before the super hype occurred because of the TV show announcement, good on you!

The percentages of growth are quite astounding to see. Most every grade that sold this year appears to be on the up and up from 2 years ago.

6.0s had a whopping 155% increase, and the 7.0 is a sale from last year. Expect that one to be worth a lot more now.

Geez, even low 1.5s and 1.8s had good increases as well. This comic does not have a high CGC Census total.

Even more so, raw copies are not abundant on eBay either. Don't confuse this comic with being a hype comic though. It's been sought out for quite a while, so it has had a good track record of being valuable in past Overstreet Guides.

In the 2002 - 2003 guide, a low NM or NM minus was clocked in at $2,300 smack-a-roos. Not to say that hype hasn't gotten a stranglehold on this comic, but it definitely has not just been a hype comic and has had, once again, a good track record.

In four months just this year, 6.5s had an increase of $1,305. Then again, there were only two sales.

Would've been crazy if that was the same copy resold in August, but it was not. Not a bad flip though if it was, even if you minus all the selling fees.

6.0 CGC also had a big leap from 2014 to this year, and by way of bidding auction. The increase of these two sales alone was a whopping $3,100 bucks. Of course, minus all the selling fees, and it's still a great profit even if you did buy the copy at $2,000 bucks.

Looks like CGC 5.0s didn't have that much of an increase. Both sales were in 2015 and pretty close to each other.

However, I'm looking at selling fees if you compare the older sale to the newer sale in June. It's an increase of about $383.34, and eBay final value fees even with an eBay store would almost wipe away that profit. Well, that's if you bought the one that sold in March.

They are different copies, so both probably made a killer profit on both books. I'm just saying if you invested in that one copy in March, but I doubt that whoever did is willing to let that bad boy go just now.

Concerning 4.5s, there were only two sales as well, but both were in the month of May this year. The most recent sale had an increase of $475 from the older sale. Not bad.

CGC 4.0s did okay as well in 2015. From 2014, it did move up into the mid and higher $1000 range, but it looks like it's been struggling. It did surpass the $2000 range in some crazy buy during October, but it once again fell into the mid $1,000 range.

The $1,600 sale in November was a Fixed Price buy. Bidding auctions have had this comic at sales mostly in the mid $1,600 range with one surpassing the $1,700 range.

However, from the year's starting sale of $1,900, this grade has dipped in value. Slabbed 4.0s also had the most sales on eBay for this comic as well.

Well, it looks like something's gotta give in terms of 4.0s and 3.5s. Since the latest November sale was at $1,600 for a CGC 4.0, that grade either needs to go up or 3.5s should go down. Should is just a biased word I'm using here and doesn't mean that it will.

Then again, the latest 3.5 sale was back in May of this year, and even if it did go back into the $1400 or $1500 range, the grade did have an okay jump in value since 2014, no?

We'll have to see with this one since the Supergirl TV show has already launched and season one is still going so far. Also, it appears that Supergirl will be crossing over into the Flash TV show quite soon as well. Pretty exciting least I think so.

1st appearance of Purple Man

Another 1st appearance key issue that pertains to the Jessica Jones Netflix series. Not long ago, it was revealed that the main baddie in season one of the show would be the Purple Man or Zebediah Killgrave. They changed his first name in the show though.

We can safely say that Daredevil #4 got on the radar of more collectors after that announcement, and since this comic didn't have that many slabbed copies out there in the market during the year, I'm not going to be surprised if there's quite a bit of funky monkey when it comes to sales being clustered near each other.

Just to make clear right off the bat, the 9.2 sale was back in July of 2014. It would seem like this comic was hot during 2015, but not super hot before the show was available for streaming.

That may change in the upcoming months, but there's been quite lot of weird buys. You'll have to see what I mean when we take a look closer at the sales data.


And the first strange buy goes to CGC 9.0s for the first appearance of Purple Man in Daredevil #4. Due to scarcity, that first sale in July of 2015 might have been the only 9.0 on the market during that time.

I'm gonna guess that's the case. The most recent sale slid back into the $500 range in September.

8.5s had a nice jump from May to October. The October sale was via bidding auction as were all the sales of this grad on eBay for the last two years.

However if you take a look at eBay right now concerning this comic at 8.5, there is one already trying to push it to $875. There's also a PGX at the same grade that's a bit cheaper.    

We got funky monkey already, and like I said, it's no surprise. So 8.0s have been selling higher than 8.5s since May of this year.

I don't even want to know what's going on there, but there were sales of an 8.5 and an 8.0 during may. Both were CGC, and both were via bidding auction.

The 8.5 auction was in early May and the 8.0 later in May though. Then again, the most recent 8.5 sold via bidding auction while the most recent two CGC 8.0s were sold via Fixed Price and Best Offers.

We will have to see how that CGC 8.5 plays out in the future. I dunno, but a 300+ increase after little more than a month seems like the seller is waiting for a sucker that's all excited from the show to come a long and overpay on that comic.

So how about the 7 range? Not that many sales for comics in this graded range, but 7.5s did take a somewhat nice price jump in late July. This was via bidding auction as well. 

7.0s finally surpassed the $200 mark this year, and was the only sale so far. Not all that exciting but there was an increase for both grades.

On to 6.5s and 6.0s. Since a 6.5 copy did sell for $271 pretty recently, it's safe to say that 7.0s should be primed for an increase and settle in the mid $300 range at least. 6.0s so far haven't had much growth or sales this year as a matter of fact. This could change or not. The year's not quite over yet.

No surprise here, and 5.5s finally crossed over into the higher $200s, even beating out the most recent 6.5 sale so far. Don't even want to comment on that, because it's getting boring.

Over-all, sales of Daredevil #4 on eBay have been pretty minimal in terms of gains. Sure, it's been on the radar for a while now but it appears to me that hype hasn't drastically affected this book just least on ole eBay.

Sure, the first appearance of the Purple Man has been scarce on the market during 2015, but it in no way performed outrageously exceptional.

Then again, the Purple Man isn't the most impressive of villains in the Marvel Comics Universe. I wasn't all the excited when he was announced as the big bad.

I haven't seen a feeding frenzy for slabbed copies of this comic during the year. It does look like raw copies may have had a lot more sales. 

If you check eBay's sold listings, raw copies for Daredevil #4 have had quite a bit of sales since Jessica Jones was released on Netflix November 20th. However, excitement after the show seems to be affecting Alias #1 and Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 more than Daredevil #4 currently. Once again, that sentence above pertains to slabbed copies for those two books.
There's no way I'm going to cover every single comic that was hot in 2015, nor do I even want to.

This series is an objective look at how some hot comics have performed during the year, and a way to learn how to analyze the market yourself with certain tools that can be beneficial in that quest

The market does constantly change after all, and analyzing every single hot comic investment in 2015 would be quite pointless. Pointing out some things to look for would be better and can be applied to any comic book, so you can learn to make the best decision possible if you want to buy, pass on a comic investment, or dump it.

Has demand continually pushed a comic upwards in value, or did it start off strong and waned during the middle or end of the year?

What was the cause of it? Too many copies entering the market? Is there a high amount of total submissions in the CGC Census? Did demand or hype fizzle or just not enough yet?      

Once again, I do not want to interject my personal opinions when it comes to looking at the performance of a comic that was hot during the year. I only state some possible reasons to think about (unless it's obvious), and I am not recommending to buy, buy, buy, or sell, sell, sell for any of the comics featured in this series.

Either way, it's up to you to make that call. While a simple performance review, the series also focuses on certain tools that can greatly help you research your own conclusions.

I mention them or showcase them in the series for a reason. The right tools definitely help when it comes to comic investing or even simple collecting for sure.

As I point out during the series, you can see certain grades selling over, under, or near the same prices which don't make much sense. I call it funky monkey, and there can be various reasons for why that occurs. It's not all bad purchases or lacking on research when buying. It may be due to the availability of what's out there and when.

With the information given from gocollect concerning slabbed copies, you can make a logical conclusion of which grades should go up or down in value based on the most recent of sales for certain grades clustered together.

The tools aren't always fool proof and shouldn't be looked at as such. For instance, gocollect only covers eBay sales, but there are other markets like ComicLink, ComicCollect, Heritage Auctions, mycomicshop, etc that also run auctions as well.

The CGC Census is a simple way to somewhat gauge rarity, but it isn't fool proof. Who knows how many comics in the census has been cracked open, pressed and dry cleaned, and then resubmitted?

However, even though I'm refusing to recommend or not recommend any of the comics here, the information and learning to research it is useful when it comes to buying or selling. 

Do you really want to sell a comic worth $1,200 in the market for only $800? Do you really want to overpay $200 or $300 or $500 more than the value range a comic is really selling at? 

Do you want to price to sell or just wait for some one all high on hype to come along and overpay, even if might take a bit longer to sell? Once again, it's all up to you.

Overstreet, gocollect, CGC Census, eBay market place and  recent "sold listings" on eBay are all tools that can be cross-referenced to help you. Some common sense also needs to be taken into account also.

I'm not harshing on Firestorm #3, and I did not compare it to Ms. Marvel #1 to say which one was better or not. I compared the two, because Firestorm #3 was a sleeper comic not that long ago. It has a low CGC Census right now, but that's because not that many collectors saw the comic worth slabbing before. 

I'm not saying that it's more rare or not than Ms. Marvel #1 either. I'm just saying that if Ms. Marvel #1 is a 1977 comic and is 1000+ in the census, there's a good chance that Firestorm #3 may get up there in the CGC Census as well, if the market starts taking to it on a bigger level and more start slabbing the book.

That may happen or not. I still consider the comic a sleeper though.   

There are definitely some books that have somewhat surprised me. I'm not harshing on them but am surprised if their performance wasn't as good as I thought it would be. 

Slabbed copies of Daredevil #4 and the first appearance of Purple Man is somewhat of an example. The 44th and 45th edition of Overstreet did not see a change in values for this comic. It will be interesting to see if there is a change in the 46th edition.

Anyways, Part 10 is on the horizon. See ya then.