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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Key Issue Comic Investments Still Under $100 Part 3

I keep getting requests to go back to this series, and I'm just like, meh. When it comes to this price range, I'm extremely wary when it comes to them.

First off, there's already way too much speculation happening in the market concerning flipping. This makes it extremely hard to gauge what is good for the long-term or for the short-term.

Therefore, I usually classify this price range all under the short-term. However, when you think of the long-term, you have to take into account the next generation growing up on these newer type of comics.

Some of these are from the generation I grew up with during the Copper Age, and they are slightly starting to get recognized but not in a huge way. While I'm sure every comic collector back in that era knows of some the keys presented here and the characters, I'm also sure they're worried about them not being all that rare and with enough demand to really do anything spectacular.

So just like we grew up on Copper Age comics, there's a next batch of younger comic fans who grew up reading some of the newer comics in the Modern Age and becoming fans. The long-term aspect as in 20 to 30 years depending on the age of the comic and fandom just might be viable good investments if a perception shift happens.

What do I mean by perception shift? Well, Deadpool was pretty popular when he first came out and had a pretty big fan base during the 90s and 2000s. However, a perception shift has put the character into the supreme limelight, and he is now the Wolverine of this era with a pretty huge fan base.

Basically, a perception shift is demand and how much false demand or actual real demand comes into play for a particular key or comic. Anyway, let's get into these, and I'll let you make up your mind.

BATMAN #442 CGC 9.6 or 9.8
1st appearance Tim Drake as Robin

Do we really want to see Robin in a Batman flick? I can tell you that I'm not all that interested and that's despite the fact that Robin is an iconic character in the Batman mythos.

Personally, I'd rather see Nightwing. Just in case they decide to get silly again and slap a Robin in there, we got another choice left in the $100 or under category.

This one is Tim Drake, and I grew up reading the character. To be honest, I didn't really care for him all that much and just seemed like a Dick Grayson version of Robin. Doesn't mean other comic fans didn't though. Just my personal opinion.

Since Tim Drake's first appearance is already above the $100 mark, we have to go with the next best 1st appearance thing which is the 1st time Tim Drake becomes Robin and starts kickin' ass as part of the Dynamic Duo.

This is a Copper Age comic, so I doubt it's anywhere near rare. It's the Batman titled comic after all, but who knows and was printed near the early 90s when everything was overprinted. However, an advisor in the new Overstreet has claimed that Detective and Batman titles were printed in lower numbers during the late 80s. Not sure how accurate that is, but it's also been said that newsstand copies were printed at 1% of direct market copies.

Finding a newsstand copy in high grade may be a better option and a hunt. The comic image for this listing is the newsstand copy.

CGC Census is climbing for this one, and it would be interesting to see how many high grades there are compared to now and a few years from now. 

As of this writing there are 208 CGC 9.8s and 119 NM+ 9.6 copies in the CGC Census. Batman #442 has the cover date is December, 1989.

1st appearance of the Runaways
1st appearance of The Pride

Of recent news, Hulu has ordered a Runways pilot with additional scripts with the hopes of it turning out to be a full season thing. Since then CGC 9.6 and 9.8s have already sold past the $100 mark, but the chance for high grade raw copies is still below that range.

The Runaways' premise? A group of teenagers who find out that their parents are part of criminal organization called "The Pride". This Pride consists of Wizards, Time Travelers, mad scientists, mutants and aliens.

This group also learns that they inherited their parent's powers, so this show is most likely geared towards a more teen-based audience. The original main characters are Nico Minuro, Karolina Dean, Gertrude Yorkes, Chase Stein, and Molly Hayes.

Estimated print run is around 25,905, so it isn't high. Best bet is to find a high grade copy and submit to CGC or CBCS and hope it comes back a 9.6 or 9.8. That might be a hunt for sure, but still a slight possibility. eBay, local comic shop, garage sale, flea market, comic con might have better chances.

1st appearance of Victor Mancha
1st appearance of Excelsior

The Runaways main cast of characters in the 1st limited series would have other members join the team in comics. This is the 1st on-going series of the Runaways, and Victor Mancha is one of the new characters introduced.

The dude is a cyborg that was created by Ultron himself, and he joins the Runaways. Team Excelsior also make their first appearance in this comic.

The team is Phil Ulrich, Turbo (Mickey Musashi from the New Warriors), Ricochet, Lightspeed, and Geoffrey Wilder. Geoffrey is a time displaced enemy of the Runaways and a leader of The Pride. He joined the team under the guise of Chamber. His first appearance is in Runaways #1 2003 series.

Definitely over-looked currently and I have not seen any CGC or graded copies of this one at the time of this writing. Victor Mancha could possibly be introduced if in the show if Hulu decides to order a full season and it even goes to a 2nd season.

There is a sketch variant of this issue as well. Do not know how limited it is at the moment and could not find any info on that, but it's probably more rare than the regular cover at 30,424 estimated print run.

April, 2005 is the cover date for Runaways #1 volume 2.

1st appearance of Xavin

The character of Xavin also makes /his/her first appearance in the 2005 or volume 2 comic series and joins the Runaways. The character is a Super-Skrull and first appeared as a male.

Xavin would change his gender to female often after discovering that Karolina Dean is a lesbian, but Xavin would switch back and forth among the team. The character is a prominent member of the Runaways. 

No telling about this character's possibility of being on the show since Agents of Shield already has the Skrull thing going on, but since the CW and CBS did the whole Supergirl/Flash crossover, I think Marvel TV just might be allowed to do the same. Not sure though.

Over-looked as well as the news that Hulu ordered a Runaways pilot is still pretty recent. High grade copies most likely are still pretty cheap and under the $100 mark. Not sure about CGC or graded copies since I've yet to find any online.

Estimated print run for this key is 27,061, and Runaways #7 volume 2 has the cover date of October, 2005.

1st appearance of Klara Prast

Plant manipulator, Klara Prast is from the past when the Runaways were displaced in time. She was working in a sweat shop in New York City.

Married young, as was permitted at the time in the early 1900s, her husband was abusive. After seeing this, Molly Hayes invited her to join the team.

She would leave the team after a beating from her husband, but would eventually rejoin and travel to the present with the Runaways. Her first appearance is another highly over-looked key comic. No graded copies as of yet, so high grade raw might be the way to go.

If this character is introduced, I'm thinking it may be in a later season or episode if there is one or the other. August, 2007 is the cover date for Runaways #27 volume 2, and the estimated print run is around 41,239. 

Recap here: Amazing Spider-Man #700 regular cover was in Part 2 of this series and is now selling slightly past the $100 mark. Not a huge gain from when this was featured in Part 2 of this series back in April of 2014.

Uncanny X-Men #212 were bouncing under the $100 mark and slightly above it are still doing so in 2016. However, the most recent copy has sold for $150.

Incredible Hulk #330 and the first Todd McFarlane work on the titled series is still basically struggling to drop consistently in the $100 range concerning CGC 9.8s. Speaking of McFarlane, Detective Comics #576 are starting to hit at and slightly above the $100 mark at CGC 9.8s, which is a lot better than in 2014 when the issue at that grade's average  was in the $60 range.
Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 and the death of Supergirl is still bouncing under and around the $100 mark. Last sale took a huge plummet from $100 and $90 range to $46.

With speculation of Omega Red being in Wolverine 3 which so far has not ended up true, X-Men #4 of the 2nd series saw heat but with so many high grade 9.8 copies being flung into the market, this comic struggled to consistently sell in the $100 range. Currently it looks like this comic isn't doing much and is still selling on average in the $50 to $70 range. 

Punisher #1 of the 1st on-going series is still bobbing under and over slightly over the $100 range. It is selling more consistently in the $100 range which was not the case back in April of 2014 concerning CGC 9.8s.

When it comes to Copper and Modern Age comics and those keys still in this price range, it's definitely a bigger gamble which I've stressed on this site before. Concerns of too many copies and not enough actual fandom to hold onto these comics or keys have always been taken into account for most of the Marvel and DC Comics from the era, discounting end of the run low print issues in a title that was cancelled due to a lack of sales and therefore fandom, limited variants, and rare indie comics.
Being too available in the secondary market isn't a great thing without the demand to back it up or push it further. When you dabble too much into this price range, caution is advised. Rarity is a focus in the current speculation market, but without actual fandom or significance, what's to keep the majority of the high grade trend keys from saturating the secondary market by speculators/flippers who really don't care for the key issue or character that's attached to it?

I still think fandom needs to be accounted for instead of just rarity unless you're just a fan of numbers like 1:25 or 1:50, etc. Hard speculating, bargain bin hunting, dumpster diving or whatever one prefers to call it, this price range is more of gamble than not. Sure some get spikes in value due to hype, but most don't last very long in the short-term. Runaways CGC 9.8 already is in the $400 range for issue #1 of the 2003 series, and the comic does have potential due to the low print run.

Trying to hit gold by snagging a high grade raw copy and have it come back from CGC a 9.8 could still be a possibility if you can grade or somewhat grade comics a bit more accurately while you're on the hunt. Hopefully, the show is a hit and crazy demand happens for the key. There's already 112 CGC 9.8s and 81 9.6s in the Census already, and I expect those numbers to grow a bit more.

Runaways keys from the 2nd series are definitely over-looked currently. 7 has a low print run slightly higher than the 1st appearance of the Runaways in issue #1 of the 2003 series. 
Number 1 of the 2nd series is somewhat low but not high either. If the show does pan out, those keys might see a bump in value in higher grades.


  1. On the subject of batman related comic I noticed that batman 440 two different color covers one is lighter or darker than the other. Is reason for this ? Error in color printing ? I have both comics

  2. You need a different ad provider, I keep getting popup warnings that I have a "virus" and I should but their virus scanner...

    1. Heya Oliver...this site does not use utilize pop up ads or uses any advertising agency that allows pop ups. You might have gotten it off another site.

      Are there any others that have the same problem, let me know and I'll look into it.

  3. Hey there TCM, i have no issues with pop ups, just the left column is blank. You know usually you have stuff on the left and right of this. Hope that helps. Keep up the good work. Mike!