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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Hot Comic Investments of 2015 Part 12

Okay, I'm sure I've stated this before, but I'm not quite so sure that people are actually reading it. Maybe their not reading the actual article at all and just browsing to see which comics are presented in this series.

Nevermind the actual comics presented here. This series isn't a campaign of recommendations despite the title of the series.

It's a look at research and things to look for while researching a particular hot comic. It doesn't even have to be hot. The principles can apply to even overlooked or undervalued comics.

So just because it's not on here doesn't mean I forgot it or overlooked it. Some comics are just blatantly obvious that they performed well in 2015 and some aren't. Some I've just talked to death about already like Incredible Hulk #181, which should be no surprise that key was hot this year.

Trust me, I could make this whole series on Golden Age and Silver Age, but that would get boring quite quick. So, I prefer to mix it up.

However, I do admit, I have been neglecting the Silver Age, and Part 12 are all gonna be from that era. If you missed Part 11, click that blue link-a-ma-bob. If you're ready to go, rock on!

Tales to Astonish #44 cover pictureTALES TO ASTONISH #44
1st appearance of the Wasp
Origin of the Wasp

This one has been on the radar for quite some time, and speculation thought that this character would be in the first Avengers movie. Actually, speculation also thought Ant-Man would be in it as well.

When that didn't happen, some fans were upset. After all, Ant-Man and the Wasp were original founding members of the Avengers and were recognizable members of the team and the West Coast Avengers as well. However, I must say it turned out alright.

When the Ant-Man flick was announced, the character of Janet van Dyne once again was speculated to appear in that film. Actually, the character of the Wasp did appear in the movie in a flashback, but it wasn't what fans were expecting when speculation ran rampant before any actual confirmed news about the Ant-Man flick began surfacing.

Well, now we know that Hope Pym will take up the mantle of the Wasp in the cinematic-verse, and that the character will get her superhero on in an upcoming movie or movies. Now, Tales to Astonish #44 and the 1st appearance and origin of the Wasp wasn't exactly a super hot book in 2015, but it wasn't exactly overlooked either.

In my humble opinion, though, this book is undervalued, and it should be catching a bit more steam again in the next few years. Out of reach for some in high grades? Sure, I can't afford to snag me any in the high grade zone.

However, compared to other characters that debuted during 1963 and the value of their 1st appearances, I'd have to say it's an undervalued book, but this isn't an undervalued series. Let's see how this bad girl performed.

So this comic is guided at $2,000 for a low or NM minus 9.2 raw. CGC 9.2s sold much higher than that, so that's a good sign.

Not that many sales for Tales to Astonish #44 within a 2 year period. Around 56 for 2 years, and around 35 for 2015.

Looks like most lower grades didn't do all that well, but 6.0s are a bit deceiving from just this data alone as we'll soon see.

Once again, reason why I call this undervalued is because Dr. Strange came out a month later than Wasp and Strange Tales #110 at CGC 5.0s are already nearing the $2,000 mark.

Not saying that the 1st appearance of Wasp should be that high up there, but comparing this book to the other and at that grade, you can see the disparity.

Getting to the actual data, we'll start off with 7.5s since they do have other sales to compare with. Despite the green lines, this comic took a dip from the last sale of 2014 via Best Offer.

Then again, the only sale of 2015 was via a bidding auction and did surpass the July, 2014 sale that was Fixed Priced. Availability of this comic during the time might of caused that purchase in the $2,000 realm, but if you take a look at 7.0s, you might actually think that $2,000 sale should be the actual value of 7.5s.

CGC 7.0s does look like it had a better year on average than 2014. Every sale was in the $1,000 range with the highest being the most recent October $1,550 Best Offer snag.

The average of sales for 2015 was 2,097, and the average of 2014 was $1,426.66. Yep, much better year for 2015 concerning this grade.

Do 7.5s need a bump in price since it's last sale compared to 7.0s? Yep, I think that's pretty clear, but we will definitely have to see just how much since 7.5s and 7.0 are pretty scarce on ole eBay at the moment.

Once again, one of the reasons why I dismiss the red lines and want to see the actual sales data is this good example here. At first glance, this comic at CGC 6.0s don't look like it had such a great year, but if you actually do the math and calculate the actual sales averages for both years, you will see that 2015 wasn't all that bad for the 1st appearance of the Wasp in Tales to Astonish #44 CGC 6.0 mid-grade FNs.

2015 had an average of sales of $845 for CGC 6.0s. 2014 had an average of sales of $742, so despite all the funky red/pink lines, 2015 did have a better year for this key issue at CGC FN grades concerning average sales value. Not a great year, but not bad either.

Well, CGC 4.5s didn't have a massive year opposed to 2014. Looks like 2014 saw this grade jump into the $500 range from the $400 range, and 2015 pretty much kept it there.

However, it does look like CGC 4.5s of Tales to Astonish #44 are threatening to hit the $600 range more often, and, perhaps, 2016 will see this grade finally nestle into that zone. Slabbed 5.0s are in the $700 range already though, so those may need a slight bump in value or else were going to get funky monkey between those two grades.

CGC 5.5s and 6.0s should also get an increase also. Last one sold in June of this year at $510 via auction. 

Doesn't really make sense to have it lower in value when the most recent 4.5 CGC Universal sold for quite a bit more in October, 2015, does it? Then again, CGC 5.0s are selling in the $700 range, close to what 6.0s are going for.

Say what? No joke! What would this comic boom be without funky monkey?

Although this isn't an undervalued series, I do think the 1st appearance of the Wasp is pretty undervalued. The character will suit up in a future Ant-Man or Avengers movie and Kevin Feige has already confirmed it.

But movie hype shouldn't be the weighted factor on why this comic should be valued more. The character is a lot more significant than that, and this comic will appear on the  Undervalued and Sleepers Comic series quite soon. 

We shall have to wait and see what 2016 has in store for this early Marvel Comics 1st appearance and origin comic, and it is an early key issue under the early Marvel brand.  More on that later though.

Amazing Spider-Man #3 Cover. 1st Doctor Octopus
1st appearance & origin Doctor Octopus
4th appearance of Spider-Man

Okay, everyone knows that Amazing Fantasy #15, Amazing Spider-Man #1 & #2 are some of the most sought out and hot Silver Age books every year. Do I really need to feature all of them?

I don't think so, but I do think having at least one Spidey Silver Age comic is needed in this series. It would be blasphemous to the Comic Gods if at least one didn't pop up here.

So, here's one that was indeed and to no surprise hot in 2015. This comic has the 4th appearance of our favorite Web Head and the 1st appearance of one of Spidey's major villains.

Yep, that is Doctor Octopus or commonly nicknamed Doc Ock. Classic Marvel villain for sure and well-known mayhem creator for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Some 4th appearances don't really mean squat in the collecting world, but not in the case of Spider-Man. After all, Spider-Man was the most successful Marvel comic during the Silver Age. Tack on the 1st appearance of a major Spidey villain, and you've got a sought out comic that mostly transcends fickle movie hype.

This is what I really like to see, mostly green lines going upward. The key issue, character, and significance is more than just a live action role and has been for a long time.

Amazing Spider-Man #3 and the 1st appearance of Doc Ock is one of these comics. Movie or not - in demand!

Movie or not - Still doing pretty well. The number of sales of this key on eBay aren't in the 100s or 500s like most Copper Age keys that were hot in 2015. That actually bothers me when I see that.

Nope, this is a solid, long-term comic investment that most would rather hang onto than dump. Doesn't mean that some grades performed well, though, and those green lines could actually be deceiving.

BAM! Nice $2,550 increase in August of this year for CGC 9.0s of this key issue. Sale before that was in June via Fixed Priced, but the most recent as via bidding auction.

I don't own the comic at this grade, but I still like to see the bump in value which should've happened to begin with. 

Here's where I rain on the parade. This sale actually fell below Overstreet Guide's price at $6,232, and June's sale of $3,550 fell way below last year's Guide at $6,165. CGC high grade copies for a major key falling below guide? Interesting. 

That $3,550 snag? A steal!

CGC 7.5s pretty much sustained it's value in 2015 and the only two sales of this grade during the year were for the same price. Better than a dip in value, but we will see some oddities concerning the sales prices of this grade as we venture on forward.

Last 8.0 CGC sold for $3,500 in July of 2014. 7.5s maybe have the potential to break into the $2,000 range. This grade also fell below it's guided value.

Onward to 6.5s, and we've got a head scratcher here. Sure, we all know this comic is pretty scarce in the market in higher and higher mid-grades, but sometimes the availability of a comic makes things wacky in this current comic market.

Okay, not sometimes but most of the time.

The last CGC 7.0 sold in July of this year at $1,725, but the most recent sale of CGC 6.5s sold in September above the $2,000 mark.

The average sales of $1,600 during 2015 for this grade is pretty darn close to CGC 7.0s as well. 7.5s and 7.0s definitely need to go up, or most everything below it needs to go down.

CGC 6.5s are selling for more on eBay than it's guided value, though. Still, some funky monkey going on, but that's to be expected in this current market. When will it actually start making sense?

6.0s and 5.5s seem to have less crazy going for it. CGC 6.0s looks like it's pretty much sustained and 5.5s got a slight bump from  2014. Both grades are selling above guide.

Do 6.0s and 5.5s need a slight bump in value? Perhaps.

Heck the last sale of CGC 5.0s sold for $1,120 via bidding auction November 29th, and 4.5s are selling for more than both 5.5s and 5.0s. On top of that, this grade is selling way over it's guided value.

Even 6.0s need a slight bump into the $1,400 range in order to make sense. Let's see how 4.0s look.

Well, in comparison to 4.5s, it doesn't look too hairy. 2014 definitely had more sales and a better sales average year than 2015 for sure.

2014 hit a high of $908 via bidding auction and 2015 basically dropped this grade back into the $700 zone. Demand didn't seem that strong for Amazing Spider-Man #3 at CGC VGs, but it's been selling slightly higher than it's guided price.

Once again, this is really a short-term look at these comics and grades. Concerning Amazing Spider-Man #3, demand may have fizzled a bit for 9.0s or 7.5s since they're falling below Overstreet, but that doesn't mean they won't pick up eventually.

On the reverse side, it also doesn't mean they won't go the opposite way of up also next year. In-demand comic, yes, but doesn't mean that demand doesn't fizzle from year to year also.

1st appearance of Doctor Doom
Origin of Doctor Doom

Some key issues are just immune to movies that bomb hard. The rebooted Fantastic Four was a critical and financial flop. Not really all that surprised about that.

Not saying it was a bad or good movie, but just that it didn't do too well. However, when we take into account the 1st appearance and origin of one of the most classic and popular villains in Marvel Comics, it obviously doesn't matter.

And in a comic collecting or investing sense, it shouldn't really matter for the 1st appearance and origin of Doctor Doom. Definitely one of the Silver Age key issues to own, and anyone would have a big fat grin if this one was in their vaults.

Alright, looks like there's mostly green lines going upward for this major key issue as well. 7.0s looks like it took slight dip in value, but we'll have to see more about that.

Let's rewind here. Back in the day, mid-grade comics were extremely hard to move or at least get Guide price on ole eBay.

Now, especially concerning major keys, this mentality looks like it's changing and even for low grades as well. However, green line or red line, I always want to see actual sales data.

Also, concerning these slabbed major keys, I also want to stack them up to their recent Overstreet Guide prices. I'm just particular that way.

Not saying that you should, but it doesn't hurt. The more you know, the better off you'll be.

Right off the bat we got weirdness. The most recent sale of 8.0s at least sold slightly better than it's Overstreet value for both 2015 and 2014 editions (values didn't move up for VFs). However, the January sale was around $600 under Guide.

Jeez, concerning 7.5s, that sucker sold way above guide. Looks to me that it needs to come down or 8.0s need to move up.

CGC 7.0s took a dip from it's September sale and both were sold via bidding auction. The grade for this comic, however, is selling over guide by a couple hundred smackers. Not exactly a huge drop, but there is CGC 7.0 listed on eBay currently at $3,850 with a Best Offer option, so I expect that to get snagged quite soon and this one dropping in value at least next year.

You can click this link to check it out if interested. 

Looks like mid-year was a much better time for this comic. Although the dip from the most recent sale via bidding auction, this comic is still near the $3,000 zone.

This grade has been selling in that range for most of 2015, and it's seen selling over it's Overstreet Guide value as well. So, I wouldn't exactly say it's doing bad, but those bidding auctions popping up can make a difference apparently for some comics at some grades.

Slap me silly and color me purple! More funky monkey. I dunno, man, July 1 and July 6th aren't that far off. Was someone actually researching their purchase when it came to the July sale of CGC 5.5s?

Even if one doesn't have gocollect, it takes five minutes to look at eBay's sold listings to see what the next higher or lower grade recently sold for. July 1st still would've been registered, and if one had gocollect, they could easily have looked it up.

If 5.0s are nowhere near that price range and have sales near July 6th, I'm just gonna chalk it up to not doing good research on a purchase.

Okay, there appears to be a sale in June, and I think eBay holds at least 3 months of sales data in their sold listings page. I really don't see how one would pay $3,000 for a CGC 5.5 unless they're buying blind.

I don't say to research because I actually like saying it. I don't mention gocollect because the name looks so good in print.

I don't bring up looking at the sold auctions page and the active listings page for other grades higher and lower to sound sophisticated. Trust me, it's really anything but. 

I do it so you have a lesser chance of drastically over-paying for a comic. I do it in case you need to sell a comic quick and want to price it to sell instead of over bloating it and waiting quite a while for someone to come a long and buy blind.

I do it so you can find undervalued books or ones that are a steal, or if a comic is taking a dump in the current market. It's not about the actual comics being looked at in this series or which comics make it on this series.

Okay, no weirdness here, and just some good ole fashion up, up and away so far during 2015. This year finally saw slabbed 4.0s of this key issue nestle into the $1,000 range and the last sale was via bidding auction.

That's always good to see. Well, at least, I like to see that, and no I don't have this comic...yet! This lower grade obviously and definitely had a better year in 2015 than 2014. Both of the highest sales for this year was also by way of bidding auction as well.

Fantastic Four #5 CGC 4.0s are going well over their Overstreet value at $1,040, and it appears this comic did good in 2015 over-all. Bring on 2016!

There's actual reasons why I featured some comics on here as opposed to others. They're not necessarily my picks or what I recommend to go out and get right now.

One, is there a lot of sales for a certain key issue but it's sustained at ridiculous prices so far, or has it lost steam?

Two, is a new comic just heating up and without many CGC copies in the market just yet? Also, are the few sales Fixed Price with zero auctions currently? 

What happens when more copies surface that are sold via bidding auction? Prices just may go down once more bidding auctions hit eBay for CGC high grades concerning these new keys just getting recognized.

Three, is there funky monkey happening between a cluster of grades? Basically, are there people overpaying for a lower grade comic when they could be getting a higher graded one for around the same price? Which grade should logically go up and which should go down according to sales dates?

Four, what are some of the keys immune to movie bombs or hype like the 1st appearance of Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #5 or Fantastic Four #48 (no recent movie hype for the Sentinel of the Spaceways)?

Five, disparities! Any huge disparities within certain grades for a particular comic? You know, like a 9.8 selling near the thousand range when 9.6s are only in the $300s or lower? 

Could the cause be because of lack of rarity or just being overlooked or undervalued? Are there any steals to be had currently listed on ole eBay?

Investing in comic books is more than just buying. Selling is involved as well. Finding which books to reinvest in is a big part of it also.

If you're seriously too focused on which comics you see on this list or in this series, you're greatly missing the point of what's actually being covered in the writings. Sure, performance is a part of it, but it's not the only thing.

It all boils down to research. The more you use tools to help you do this, the more you can make better decisions in comic book investing to give you an advantage.

Not comic collecting, but comic investing. Sure fandom plays a part, but I don't always invest in comics I'm a fan of.

It's like saying you should only buy stocks in companies you like. Hell, I can't stand Facebook, but if I had the dough to drop $5,000 on Facebook shares back in June of 2012, you better believe I would of done it.

I would of been able to get around 192 shares back then. Times that shizzle by $105 per share today and that's around $19,200.

Too many people are thinking that this series only features my recommendations in buying. No! Let me say it again, "No!"

These comics featured here are not what I'm necessarily recommending or my personal picks for 2015. I'm not saying that these are the comics to go out and get now in this series. I'm saying these are the comics to take a closer look at via researching them for different reasons.

I've given a few examples of comics I dumped during 2015 in this series and why based on my findings. Do I think everyone should follow suit? No, not at all.

Just like I'm not saying whether you should go out and get Facebook stocks or not right now. Take a look at the long-term past performance on most internet based companies and you'll have my answer about that.

When you learn how to research comics and analyze what's going on, you're going to learn how to come up with your own conclusions instead of blind buying or relying too much on the movie or TV hype crutch. Yes, your findings may even be opposite from my findings.

That's surely a given. Anyways, Christmas is fast approaching ladies and gents. Hopefully this was at least entertaining.

Be safe and see you at for Part 13. Just click that link below to go back or forward!


  1. Happy X-Mas to Mr. Mayhem and all his devoted followers!

    As a special gift I want to list a few comics I stumbled upon in the Overstreet Market Report. The little essays from dealers and collectors are often very insightfull. Now and then I can find a sleeper here about which I never heard before. Here goes:

    - Ghost Rider 81 Death of G.R. last issue
    - Thor 168 Origin Galactus!
    - Flash Comics 86 (1. Black Canary)
    - Saga of the Swamp Thing 20, 21 (1. Alan

    Hope you like & enjoy!


  2. Thanks for another great post. I have a question concerning the 4th app. of Spiderman. The Overstreet list it as Strange Tales Annual 2 instead of ASM 3. Looks like both books came out the same month. I do think though that the Strange Tales Annual is way overlooked in the market to me being that it's also the 1st Spiderman x-over. TTA 44 has been a book that has always eluded me being that lower grade copies are still some what affordable. I guess because it doesn't come up for sale or auction very often. I think that FF 5 is the top Marvel villain comic to have period.
    Merry Christmas to you...

    1. Heya, yah, when comics have the same cover date, nowadays collectors are looking at arrival stamps to determine appearances. So Strange Tales Annual #2 copies have had copies with arrival dates of June stamped or penciled on them while ASM #3 have arrival stamps of February.

      Overstreet is still listing Strange Taels Annual #2 as the 4th appearance of Spider-Man, but collectors are challenging it. It's the same that happened with the 2nd appearance debate of Archie between Jackpot Comics #4 and Pep Comics #23.

      Collectors challenged that due to arrival stamp dates that some copies had, and it appeared Jackpot Comics #4 hit the stands later than Pep #23. Therefore Overstreet and CGC changed their notations for Jackpot #4 and Pep #23.

      Unless Overstreet has some secret knowledge of why ST Annual #2 is Spidey's 4th appearance, I think that 4th appearance notation could very well be changed in the near future. At least, it should be.

  3. I just picked up a roughly VG copy of FF #5. Pretty stoked