For those who are looking for female characters to invest in, this new series will be a nice arsenal to your knowledge bank. What I am doing is to look at all the female titles that manage to be in the top 300 of Comichron’s monthly sales list and cross reference that with their first appearance prices for 9.8 conditions (for moderns). Note: titles selling below 10k such as Moon Girl, Unstoppable Wasp etc will not be included in this list
For this article, I am focusing mostly on modern keys to identify any breakout books. For books that have variants, they will be used instead of regular covers as they tend to command the highest prices.
This table will reveal some interesting insights into what actually drives secondary market prices for these books. Is it really readership? or scarcity? or market talk? or other things? Read on to find out.
|All Stars 8
|Batman Adventures 12
|Edge of Spiderverse 2
|52 Week 11
|Detective Comics 359
|Howard the Duck 1
|Action Comics 252
|Ms Marvel 1
|CM 17 2nd Print
|Action Comics 1
|Young Avengers 1
|Marvel Superheroes 8
Modern Key Comics to Invest In: Female Edition
It is interesting to note that out of the 17 titles, 9 of them featured characters who first appeared in the modern era. That is slightly over 50%. It means that it is worth paying attention to new characters as some of them might blossom into leads that can command their own titles in the future.
This figure is even more powerful when you look at the top 5. 4 of the 5 top selling titles feature characters that appear after 1990s. In fact, only Harley appeared before 2000. The other 3 first appeared after 2005!
Other takeaways that an investor might want to take note of:
- Readership: There is a common belief that a strong readership base is essential to a more sustainable secondary market price. This is because some readers will eventually become collectors, who will then look for the first appearance of their favorite character. This belief is somewhat borne out in the data above. Characters with a large readership like Harley, Laura, Spider Gwen all command pretty high prices for their first appearances. Of course, you can argue that Spider Gwen is not a fair comparison since it is only her variant that is fetching such high prices. I don’t disagree but it also means if you want to speculate on new characters, go for the variant, especially when they have higher readership
- Total print run matters: One exception you can see is Batwoman. She has a high readership but the pricing of her first appearance issue is pathetically low. One reason I can see is the high print run of the 52 week series, which is around 122k. Given this is a recent book, I suspect many of these copies are in pretty high grade condition, leading to ample supply in the market. Although BA 12 also has a high print run but they are mostly treated as childrens’ books in the past, resulting in many copies not being seriously taken care of by comic fans. NYX 3, while a modern book, only has 40k print run. So, even though Batwoman has a high readership, the supply might have reduce its secondary market potential.
- Expect the unexpected: It is easy to pre judge a new character when it first appears. I remembered Gwen Pool getting a lot of flake when it was announced that she would have her own series. However, take a look at her readership as well as those of Spider Gwen. They are higher than the so called more prominent characters like Captain Marvel, Elektra, Kamala Khan and even Supergirl. So, as investors, don’t let your emotions rule your judgement. Look at the market and see how it is reacting to these new characters. They might sound stupid at first but you never know if they can find an audience. By the way, for more in-depth explanation of the Gwen Pool effect, check out this article that I wrote.
- Price ceiling: One important thing to take away is to know the price ceiling for a modern variant book that isn’t as rare. If you looked at EOS 2 Variant 9.8, it has more than 200 copies and still manages to smash past the $900 mark. Will it go past 1k? Maybe. More importantly, it shows us the potential of what is possible with the other books that are not there yet. Gwenpool for example is currently hovering at the $350 mark. If her readership increases in the future, it means the room for growth is about 2.5 times, which is pretty significant. The same goes for the likes of Kamala Khan.