With NYX3 taking off, it is again a reminder that investing in the right modern comics for at least -3 years can pay off handsomely. They might not last 10 years but not all comic investments need to be that long right? So far, I have been quite fortunate in picking out CM#17 in 2014, NYX #3 in 2015 and even Howard the Duck (Gwenpool variant) in 2016. Who will be the next rising stars in the coming months? Below is my guess.
Before getting to the books, I should mention how I personally select books for my modern investments. With these guidelines, it has prevented me from over investing in books with a short life span.
- Lead character in movies: With so much media exposure now, we want characters that are in the limelight and not in some supporting role and as villains. This is very important to bear in mind going forward.
- Limited supply: I tend to buy books that don’t have an overwhelming supply. Firstly, the price appreciation tend to be sharper. Secondly, it is easier to sell on Ebay when you don’t have 100 other listings competing with you.
- Existing series: I pick characters that are already read by comic readers. My belief is that movie news only shift the attention of current collectors from one book to another. Movies don’t really bring in many new folks who will splash out a few hundred dollars on key issues. Hence, you will want to invest in characters that already has a readership base such that the news will spike them into action.
With a renew interest in spinning off a Venom movie, there is a chance that Agent Venom will be the lead. Things will be cleared after the Spider Homecoming movie in 2017 but I think it is worth a gamble. There are currently 2 books that are keys for this character:
Amazing Spider Man #654 (2nd print)
A book that was hyped by many groups, it has now reach the price for USD120-150 for NM copies. This is the book when Flash Thompson merges with Venom but has not become Agent Venom yet. While it is fetching a high price now, I believe the ceiling can be higher especially for high grade copies which are really hard to come by due to the black cover. A limited supply book + a movie lead = big price spike. In my view, $300 is not out of the question when you look at books like CM #17 at its peak.
A natural question will be: how about the first print? The answer is yes, it will appreciate but the market has already decided this is the copy to have. Once that is done, it is hard to reverse with any kind of logic and reasoning. It is simply what it is.
Secret Avengers #23
This is the issue when the full design of the Agent Venom character materialises and is therefore regarded as Agent Venom’s first appearance. Regular copies sold around 37k copies in North America, which is not a very big number. The 2nd print is even more scarce. In this age where the harder to find copies are more valued regardless of the number of printing, I would suggest picking up both. They are priced currently at around USD20 so it is still early game.
If the rumors are true and X-23 becomes the next Wolverine or part of X-force, then the Laura mania will still continue.
NYX #4 and X-23 #1
In this case, while NYX #3 might continue to grow, the safer bet is actually NYX #4 and X-23 #1. Both books have been mentioned in my X-23 key issue article so read that if you want more details.
For comparison, you can see how books like Harley Quin #1 and Mad Love perform. Comparing NYX #4 and X-23 #1 to these 2 books, it is clear that there is more growth. I would get them now if you believe Laura will be becoming more popular in the coming years.
X Men #493
I have already mentioned this before in my cheap X-force key article. It is a long shot but if realised, has a high ceiling to grow into. To repeat, this is the book where X-23 first joins X-Force as well as the first appearance of the Black Ops X-force concept. In many ways, it is a pretty important book in the history of X Force. Without this, there will be no Uncanny X-Force.
The first print had sales of over 100k in US so it is not short on supply. This 2nd print, on the other hand, not only features Laura as a X-force member but has a limited sales of 7k.
With her growing importance in Marvel comics and her confirmed movie in 2019, I am surprised at how affordable her keys. I think the market is still asleep with regards to Carol’s potential. This is good news for us who like to buy undervalued comics and wait for the market to come to us.
Although this article is about modern comics, the 1977 Ms Marvel #1 9.6 is still worth a purchase. In this and 9.8 grade, there actually isn’t that many copies available, contrary to market perception. I expect the 9.6 to be a $500 or $600 book when the movie trailer hits so there is still a lot of room for growth.
Back to the modern books.
Avenging Spider Man #9
Carol’s new costume and more importantly, the name of Captain Marvel appears in this issue. With only 37k copies sold in North America, this is again not a book that is as abundant as other titles like Batman, Justice League or Deadpool. Current pricing is still below $20 so it is worthwhile to pick them up. To me, this book is a pretty important key as it changes the direction of Carol and introduces what is essentially her current incarnation.
For this book, there is again a second print but it is not as visually appealing as Secret Avengers #23 so I am more uncertain about its appeal.