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This Week in Comic Book Trading, Courtesy of Mr. Bolo

Much like what is going on in other markets, comic books have become a serious tradeable asset for the alternative investor. The right key issues are true blue chips, rising substantially in the last several years and poised to break out to new heights. Predictably, the market reacts heavily to film and TV, allowing for great ROI opportunities for savvy investors.

Gary once said on an episode of Ask GaryVee, “Iron Man doesn’t get hurt.” The great thing about this space is not only will a comic character not get hurt, but you also don’t have to worry about off-the-field issues, small market teams, bad coaching, and any character death considering that can be undone with a stroke of a writer’s pen. Add in the fact that announcements are sometimes made years in advance, giving ample time to invest before a Movie or TV appearance. That all adds up to make comics an excellent diversification play for your alternative investment portfolio.  

Comics culture has become a dominant force within pop culture, with the biggest films in Hollywood coming from this genre. With years worth of films already scheduled tying into comic book IP, the future looks bright for this space. 

Curious about the comic market? Let’s take a look at this week’s trending topics in comic books. 

Keanu Reeves Makes His Comic Book Debut with the Release of Brzrkr #1
Brzrkr Cover A

I have been covering comics for several years and this is the biggest new release I can think of in that time.

The amazing thing is that this comes from outside of the Marvel/DC “Big 2” system. This is from Boom! Studios, one of the top independent comic book companies in the industry. Keanu co-writing brings instant mainstream credibility to this project. Boom! shipped a reported 600k plus books to shops that ordered during the open order FOC (Final Order Cutoff) period. While that number is certainly a record-breaker for our current era, it’s still half as much as the production of comics during the early ’90s.  Not to mention that this property launched a Kickstarter for a pre-order for the hardcover collected edition and raised over 1.4 Million dollars proving this IP’s value even as it just debuts on the open market.  

While many in the comic market are nervous of this high print run, it doesn’t scare me. The character is a bit of a  John Wick meets Charlize Theron’s Old Guard character (also a comic book property). Co-writer Matt Kindt is a master at story pacing, and Ron Garney’s art was beyond worth the delay in the series launch. So, needless to say, the book delivers content-wise. Several covers are available in the form of cover price variants, ratio incentive variants, and shop exclusives.

I like Cover A if you’re investing long-term. They will be plentiful, but the buy-in is cheap, with copies on sale everywhere for as little as $4.99. Once an IP like this gets optioned by a movie studio, lots of mainstream media sources will start running articles and news stories on the book and usually depict Cover A in them. That sends casual buyers looking for that cover. 

If you want to take a shot at a limited ratio variant, my suggestion is the Jonboy Meyers 1:1000 variant. With a print run sure to be below 600, this book is also signed by Keanu Reeves. With Keanu’s aversion to the spotlight, I don’t see him doing a lot of signings or comic conventions in the future. This will make this variant not only one of the most limited, but will also have the added rarity that the signature provides. All of that plus my sources are telling me there may be a bidding war amongst several film studios for the rights to produce Brzrkr. With this book having just been released on the 3rd, there is still a great opportunity to get in on this one on the ground floor. 

X-Men Keys Skyrocket with MCU Anticipation
Giant Size X-Men #1

Ever since Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige said the word “Mutants” at last year’s Disney D23 presentation, investors have scrambled to lock down X-Men key books. These comics are due for massive gains as we anticipate our favorite mutant villains and heroes mixing it up with The Avengers and other characters on streaming and the big screen. 

This past few weeks saw major sales at record prices for several key X-Men issues: 

X- Men #1 (1st Appearance of the X-Men) saw an 8.0 sell for $55,000. This comes after previously selling for $33,000 just two years ago.  

Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1st Modern X-Men team, 1st Storm, 1st Colossus, 1st Nightcrawler) saw a 9.8 sale for $40,500, which is a major jump from just over $20k,  the previous high for this book. I like this book better as a long-term investment. It features the team, and aesthetic fans are familiar with. Oh, and Wolverine! 

X-Men #4 (1st Appearance of Magneto.) It’s no surprise that this book is listed here. Thanks to Disney+’s WandaVision, speculation of Magneto’s imminent appearance in the MCU (he is Wanda’s father in the comics) has this issue hitting just under $60,000 for a 9.6. That is a huge uptick from the just south of $15k the previous benchmark for this book at this condition had set.

‘WandaVision’ Finale
West Coast Avengers #45

This week we got the final episode in the smash-hit series WandaVision. This show (as well as The Mandalorian) has had comic investors up early at 3 am East Coast time to watch the newest episode in an effort to be able to react to any possible upcoming changes in the market.

Last week was a prime example of that with the appearance of “White Vision.” This sent prints of West Coast Avengers #45 flying off eBay and other sites online. We saw a book that was trading for $10 raw hit 10x returns to over $100 with CGC 9.8’s  (Equivalent to a PSA 10 in the comic market) selling for over $1k almost overnight!

If I were holding this book, now would be the time to sell as similar to the comics, I imagine this version of Vision will have a short run. 

The ‘Superman’ Reboot Announcement

Warner Bros announced a new Superman Reboot with Ta-Nehisi Coates and JJ Abrams at the helm. This immediately piqued investor interest in the Earth 23 version of Superman, Calvin Ellis. Ellis is the Superman on a version of Earth where all of its heroes are Black. The character becomes President of the United States (writer Grant Morrison based the character on Barack Obama). While only briefly used by DC, he is a fascinating character who could be a dynamic force in the comic market. 

Add in speculation of Michael B. Jordan’s taking on the role after he reportedly tried to get a similar project off the ground at DC in 2018, and you have some hot books regardless of not having any hard facts on what this movie will really be about. He also has a natural connection to Coates, who is the comic writer for Black Panther and who wrote and designed much of the look and modernization of Black Panther that we saw in the hit feature film. Could this be another team up for them? 

The market thinks so, with raw prices hitting $100+ for Calvin’s first appearance in Final Crisis #7 and $40+ for his origin story and cover appearance in Action Comics #9 (from 2011). Both books are selling for over $500 in a CGC 9.8 and could still see major gains if the casting and concept speculated on by fans comes to fruition.

Rose Besch is an Artist to Watch

While many love to play the first appearance game when investing in comics, others prefer the art play. Some of the most amazing art in pop culture today comes out of the comic book market. An up and comer to keep an eye on already doing big numbers is Rose Besch. She burst on the scene with her Spider-Woman #9 1:25 Incentive Variant. This book was an instant hit with investors and collectors rising from $50 on release day to over $200 raw.

That also sent investors scurrying to find her other published art only to find that the only other example of her work on the market is Boom! Studios all-ages label Kaboom!’s Bee and Puppycat #9 Cover A. The scarcity of a kids book and a popular one at that made this one a tough find. The combination of that scarcity and growing demand led to the book hitting highs of $300 for a book previously selling for a cover price just a week before. 

Be on the lookout for Rose’s upcoming Silk #2 variants. This book is already being heavily talked about on social media, and I expect it to be popular upon release. 

My name is Jack DeMayo, but in the comics market, I am known as “aka Mr. Bolo” because I am always letting you know what to be on the lookout for. Join me next week when I will be letting you know what books to BOLO for prior to the Disney+ debut of The Falcon and Winter Soldier

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