When the Green Lantern movie was annouced last year, my first instinct was to grab Showcase #22 as a 4.0 grade only costs around 1.5-6k at that time. To me, it was an obvious investment that it can easily become a 1.9 to 2k book. However, I have a strict investment criteria of no more than $500 for any book. I know this will made me lose out on certain books but I can sleep at night knowing $500 is the most I can lose for any book.
My attention then naturally turned to Green Lantern #59 and #87: the first appearance of Guy Gardener and John Stewart. However, I somehow convinced myself that the Green Lantern movie was further than the rest so I should have time to slowly pick up issues. Hence, I focused on buying stuff that have nearer movie dates such as Aquamans, Strange Tales, Wonder Woman and a bunch of other stuff.
Unexpectedly, the title of the Green Lantern movie was announced last month and it was “Green Lantern Corps”. That got everyone into a buying spree and both books saw immediate price jumps. However, GL #87 saw more interest and I soon gave up trying to invest into that book. Instead, I looked into #59 and saw that it was indeed still undervalued as at this point of writing.
Let me show you what I have found and why I think there is still some room for this book to grow.
The table below shows current ebay prices for the different books at various conditions. They are not exact but should you a rough ballpark.
|Green Lantern #59||USD 60||USD 90||USD 170|
|Green Lantern #87||USD 90||USD 150||USD 250|
|Aquaman #29||USD 90||USD 140||USD 350|
|Avengers #57||USD 100||USD 170||USD 300|
From the table, it is clear that GL #59 is still undervalued relative to the other 3 benchmarks I have chosen. Why these 3?
- GL #87 features a fellow Green Lantern character with almost similar popularity
- AQ #29 shows what a non first tier character with no strong movie hype can experience. In other words, it shows you where the potential ceiling of GL #59 can be even without casting news.
- Avengers #57 is produced in the same year as GL #59 and illustrated how much a book can be worth after the whole movie has been shown.
Green Lantern #59 vs Green Lantern #87
The books are so similar it is eery. Both features solid looking first appearance covers. Both characters are about the second tier in terms of popular Green Lanterns. Both are likely to appear in the same movie. The only difference? One is a silver age while the other is a bronze age book. Let’s see how this translates to print runs.
- GL #59: 211k
- GL #87: 276k (according to this thread in CGC)
Roughly, there are about 60k difference in copies being printed but interestingly, listings on Ebay is about the same for both books. Still, if we treat the book as having equal supply, the fact that GL #59 is lagging behind in #87 means it is probably undervalued at this point in time. Of course, one could argue that John Stewart is more popular but there is really no concrete evidence showing this.
Green Lantern #59 vs Aquaman #29
Aquaman #29 has a similar print run of 229k in 1966s so supply wise, the two books are about the same. Demand wise, it is hard to argue that Guy Gardener is more popular than Ocean Master. He has his own series and is still now heading one of the Green Lantern titles. Ocean Master? No comic series so far to his name.
Hence, given the equal supply and the stronger popularity of Guy, shouldn’t GL #59 be valued more than Aquaman #29? The fact that it is the reverse shows how undervalued #59 currently is. It will take a while but I am predicting GL #59 to be the more expensive book once investor recognize this.
Now the best thing is this: Ocean Master has not seen any official confirmation yet. So, Aquaman #29’s current value is a forecast of how much room GL #59 still has even if the movie is years away.
Green Lantern #59 vs Avengers #57
Comparing GL #59 to Avengers #57 is a way to know what will be the eventual ceiling of this book after everything is said and done. From the table, there is almost a 100% growth opportunity in every grade of the book. However, I will argue that GL #59 might even exceed this ceiling because of the supply issue.
Avengers #57 has an average print run of around 276k print so it has more initial print supply. More importantly, it is a Marvel book i.e. more copies were sold through and kept in collections, rather than being left unsold and destroyed as is the usual newsstand practice. I believe due to better Marvel sales, the eventual surviving copies were geared more heavily towards Marvel.
This means GL #59 should out perform Avengers #57 in the secondary market assuming both characters are equal in demand. Currently, I have no reason to think one character is better than the other so I believe this assumption is valid.
In a nutshell, Green Lantern #59 is a vastly undervalued book no matter how you benchmark it. Be it against a fellow GL book, another DC book with future movie hype or a similar year book that has gone through the cycle, there is still room for it to grow.