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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Hot Key Comics of 2016 Part 21

So Stockton Con is coming around the corner, and my libido or desire for any keys is pretty much at a low. Sure, I have a want list of stuff, but there's nothing on there that jumps out at me currently.

Oh wait, nevermind. There's a comic I'll be on the hunt for while I'm there.

This is Part 21 of the hot key comics of 2016, and once again, not based on sales volume but based on whether these hot key comics did better this year than last year for most or some grades.

Let's get to it and here's the next batch of hot key issues this year.

1st appearance & origin of Luke Cage
1st Diamondback

Well, here's a no-brainer. With the Luke Cage Netflix series almost ready for streaming and trailers being pushed out, it's no surprise this comic is hot this year as it was last year.

So, as we all know by now, this is the 1st appearance of Luke Cage and this issue has the origin of the character as well. I've talked about this comic quite a bit already, so let's just skip to how it's done this year compared to last year or a few years.

Oh, first, the CGC Census of this comic looks like it does in the image below. Of course, that's at the time of this writing.

Let's look at how some CGC copies have done. When it comes to this most recent 9.8 sale this year, lets take a look at why such an increase is possible before we have WTF moment.

I'm thinking an impulse buy by someone who did little to zero research on this comic. Then again, CGC 9.8s do not come to market often. Actually, there's only 12 9.8s in the CGC Census, and this comic has had plenty of time for collectors to break them out and submit them.

When it comes to the low amount of 9.8s, I believe that this comic has a good chance of being rare in that grade. $24,000 bucks, though?

Not too sure about that considering a CGC 9.8 Signature Series signed by John Romita sold for only $16,250 at ComicLink. Not sure when, but in 2015 another CGC 9.8 regular Universal sold for only $11,360 at ComicLink also.

Both 9.6s and 9.4s didn't do better than 2015 this year but didn't see any eye popping increases this year like with CGC 9.8. There were slabbed grades other than 9.8 that did better this year than last year though.

Hero for Hire #1 CGC 9.2s and 9.0s did better this year. The most recent CGC 9.2 went into the $1,700 zone via bidding auction this past July. I believe it might of been for the 1st time on eBay. 9.0s finally crossed into the $1,000 zone also this year.

Let's go to a lower grade Hero for Hire #1 and see how it's done. Straight VG 4.0s has seemingly done better this year than last year when it comes to eBay sales.
Finally reached the $200 zone this May, but it has been a gradual increase. No strange or drastic increases.
There are, of course, other grades for this issue that's done well this year also. Might want to check them out on GoCollect. Hero for Hire #1 has the cover date of June, 1972.

1st appearance of Poison Ivy

As mentioned before in a comic geek ramble post, the show of Gotham is going to switch to an older Poison Ivy. This comic has been a solid and slow riser for sure, and, perhaps, one of the best Batman Silver Age keys to invest in.

In the comics, Poison Ivy is more well-known as Pamela Lillian Isley. The character debuted in this comic as Doctor Lilian Rose. Her character's name and origin would change after Crisis on Infinite Earths, although the origin is still pretty similar to the original Pre-Crisis Poison Ivy.

As written before, the character's first Pre-Crisis origin was revealed in World's Finest Comics #252 back in 1978, and it is the origin of Lillian Rose. The Post-Crisis version of Pamela Isley is the version we are more familiar with in comics, and her origin was revealed in Secret Origins #36.

I did feature this issue in 2014 and branded it one of the comics to invest in 2014. Well, this year, some grades have seen some jumps in value compared to last year.

When it comes to CGC 9.0s, the comic actually bounced back. In 2012, the CGC grade did sell for $1,130.42 via bidding auction, and then slumped down to $550.00. No sales for that slabbed grade between 2013 and 2014.

CGC 7.5s finally hit the $800 range this year on eBay at least. Nothing too wacky like the grades above but it had a gradual bump in value this year from last year. 

Looks like this grade finally crossed into the $800 zone this year. Highest in 2015 were two $700 sales.

Not every grade did better than last year, though. There were some grades of this comic had done just as well or actually did worse like CGC 8.5s just to give you an example.

8.5s were drastically terrible though. Just a drop from 2015, and there's only one sale to go by this year.

The average sales average for 2015 is $1,145 while the average for 2016 is $919.36 so far. Well, there was a PGX 8.5 that sold on eBay in May for $850.

Let me fast foward a bit here. 6.5s actually sold within the $500 range for the 1st time this year on eBay, and it has been threatening the $500 mark since December of last year. Also, even though there's only been two sales this year, the average value this year is better than last years for this grade.

So the average for 2016 for 6.5s is $529.99, and the average for 2015 with 6 sales is $443.33. Just another way to show you how to gauge if a comic is increasing in value on average instead of just looking at point for point sales.

Gonna be real interesting to see how Gotham tackles this new and older Poison Ivy for the show. Batman #181 has the cover date of June, 1966. The comic is 50 years old if you can believe that.


Despite critic reviews of Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn still remains the queen of comics. Hot is an understatement.

I wrote about looking out for these comics at the Aspen store when I wrote about the Batman Rebirth #1 Turner Apsen variants in this series. Right now and concerning Harley Quinn's new 2016 Rebirth series, the Turner Aspen Puddin' Pack is pretty hot right now.

The Harley Quinn Rebirth #1 issue came out with a ridiculous amount of variant covers. I mean ridiculous amounts. 

The Ultimate variant is supposedly limited to 2,500 copies, the sketch 6,000, and the color variant to 9,000 according to some sources. Some sources say the Ultimate variant is limited to 1,500 or 1,000 copies. Not sure, but 1,000 copies might be correct for the Ultimate variant since you could only get it in the Puddin' Pack at initial release I think.

The sketch and color were sold separately and in a two pack before the Puddin' Pack was announced and went on sale at the Aspen store after the other two covers sold out. All three covers together have sold in lots recently for $250 on eBay. 

In late July, all three covers sold together were selling for slightly less.

The Ultimate variant by itself was selling for $100 on eBay by itself back in July. These were sold on eBay during pre-sale, meaning they weren't even shipped out by Aspen yet.
Ka-Razy, but it is what it is. These Michael Turner Aspen variants often sell out fast for popular characters at their store.

We'll have to see how hot these variants stay during the rest of the year. I'm pretty sure when CGC 9.8s of the Ultimate variant first hits the market, they'll sell in $200 range.

Who knows, though? This market is surely crazy, and they could go for more. I'm sure one of the Harley Quinn Rebirth #1 variants could go bonkers, Aspen variants or one of the other ba-zillion variants that was released with this issue.

As mentioned in earlier posts, a key comic that's hot this year may not be as hot next year or the year after that. Sadly, it seems to depend more on movie or TV hype and how much exposure a certain character is getting live action.

Not always, but at least for a majority of comics in this current market. Once again, we are in a speculator market and who knows who is speculating for the quick flip or actually investing for the long-haul?

If you missed the most recent Luke Cage trailer, I've posted it below for your enjoyment.



  1. Hey Mayhem,

    don' t know about you, but I consider myself a common collector, so things like Luke Cage or Poison Ivy are out of my reach - until, of course, they are ripped to shreds and graded accordingly. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I heard about a Batman 1 in CGC 0.5 (!!!) being sold for 19.000 $!!! Ka-razy...


    1. I agree with ole Ace. Take Action Comics 252 for instance (First Supergirl). It' s rare, expensive and on demand. So what do I do as a common collector? I look for the next cheap key related to that character. As far as Supergirl is concerned, that would be Adventure Comics 381 for me - the first fulllength Supergirl story and the first Supergirl solo story. Kinda like Doc Strange 169.

      Max Rebo

    2. What about a Supergirl key issue list, Mayhem? Done that yet?


    3. Hey guys. Some good early Supergirl books to get after her 1st app. are Action Comics 253,254,255,261,267,276 and 314. These you could get in lower or mid grade without spending major bucks for them. I also think that the Adventure Comics 381 is a nice Supergirl key book that is really undervalued in the market.

    4. Did a short Supergirl key issues list.

  2. I've been trying to sell my VF+ copy of Hero for Hire 1 on Craigslist for the past six months with no luck. It has been such a huge book for while now.
    On a side note, I was recently able to snag a VF copy of Forever People 1 and a NM copy of SDCC Comics 2 1st Hellboy. I also heard that Jason Momoa is rumored to be in the running to be cast in The Crow reboot. Now I'm not a fan of them redoing the film. I think it would be a better selection for a Netflix show though. Caliber Presents 1 maybe on the rise again.

  3. i recently sold my Batman 181 @ cgc 9.2/white pages for the record price of $2095 back in April. not sure if anything sold after that, but i was very happy with the price.