The name X-Force is just too awesome not to become a household name. I think this was why I was so excited during my teenager years when I heard that Rob Liefeld was launching this new titled called X-Force. It sounds cooler than X-Men and had all this new but stylish characters such as Shatterstar and Cable. How could one not be excited?
I believe with the success of Deadpool, the X-Force will indeed be something bigger than we currently expect. That movie showed us that the studio understood what is a good comic movie and I am sure they will carry the same sensibilities to the X-Force team.
Unfortunately, I find solid X Force comic keys to be far and few in between. The ones with significance are highly print while the ones with low supply is mainly for their cover. So, with that in mind, this is the list I have selected, separated into keys and variants. Definitely not one of my best list but you will see why it is so difficult to play the X force game.
X Force key issues
New Mutants #100
The very first appearance of the original team but this issue has a staggering print run of around 400k copies. If you expect Deadpool like performance on this one, forget about it. If I am a betting man, I am go for the third print. Why? Because it is rarer.
Currently comic investing climate seems to be leaning towards books with lower print runs, regardless of whether they are first prints or not. Collectors just want to have something nobody else has. To take advantage of this mentality, you can try buying third prints which should have print runs in the 100k or less region.
Make no mistake, this is a risky pick.
Note: the second and third print is only differentiated by the color of the background lettering. Gold is for 2nd while silver is for third.
X Men #128: First appearance of Fantomex
This is a book I talked about way back in 2013 in this article: modern comics to invest in 2013. Unfortunately, the risk of this book remains. It is heavily printed and the cover sucks big time for a first appearance. However, if I compared this to X Force #11 (See below on Domino), it is a no brainer. #128 has more chance to be a $50 dollar than any X Force issues.
Uncanny Xforce #1: First time Deadpool joins X Force
Since I wrote about the deadpool key issues a couple of weeks back, the Rob Liefeld variant has gotten hotter. Among the picks, this will my top choice. As I said, it is the equivalent of Suicide Squad #1 New 52 where Harley first join the team and we all know how that book did.
A note about variant investing
Love it or hate it, variant investing is now part of the current comic landscape. If you look at prices of some of the variants, they can outclassed the first appearance issues just because it is rarer and has a cool cover or a cool artist name to it. How long this will last is anybody’s guess but I don’t think it will go away within the next few years. As such, we can make money off this trend but we need to be careful about it.
X-Force variants to buy
Cable 14 variant
Why this cover? Deadpool? Check. Cable? Check. Domino? Check. Variant? Check. This book hits all the right notes in terms of desirability as it features the 3 important characters on a single cover.
X-Force: Sex and Violence #1, 2nd print
Domino is now heavily hinted to be in the X-Force movie. Her first appearance in New Mutants #98 is out of sight for many and her so called recon first appearance in X-Force #8 or #11 is just not a good investment due to the 900k supply. So, how do we take advantage of this news? Look for variants. They are hot now and Domino variants are uncommon so it is easy for one book to become the center of attention for the comic collecting community.
I picked this due to
- Limited print run due to it being a 2nd print. It is probably too low to even be listed on Comichron. Currently, only 2 copies are available on Ebay and I don’t see them appearing often.
Gabriele Dell’Otto cover. The CGC modern board has stated a Otto appreciation thread. Whenever that happens. it tends to bring attention to certain books and cause them to peaked in prices. Just look at what prices the JSC covers are now due to their discussion. Same thing might happen to Otto covers.
- Just too hot.
Other issues I excluded
I am pretty selective when it comes to picks. I don’t list down every bloody book because that wouldn’t make sense if every issue is a recommendations. Below are some books that I left out and their reasons.
- Cable #14 and #15: Domino variants but the art just didn’t look it for me. Of course, this is very subjective but they scream winners. I prefer the Dell Otto one above.
- New Mutants #16: First appearance of Warpath. If his appearance in past X Men movies, it is hard to see him doing anything special. Print run is high as well with around 400k.
- X Force #8/#11: See above. 900k print run with a murky first appearance of a lower tier character. That doesn’t sound like a winner to me.