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This article looks at the performance of non variant modern comic covers in prices. The list of candidates are based on what I covered in this 2017 article: ranking the best modern comics covers
Investing in covers is not unique to modern comics. For golden age, there are already some collectors known to collect only covers. This applies to silver, bronze and copper as well.
Some books that are collected for their covers only include Silver Surfer #4, Spider-Man #1, Defenders #10 etc.
Hence, we are trying to see if any modern covers can become the next iconic covers that will be desired for years to come.
Here are the list of issues
|Issues||2017 Prices in 9.8||2020 Prices in 9.8||CGC census||Sales Number|
|What if Venom Possessed Deadpool||USD 330||USD 450||445||17,069|
|Detective Comics #880||USD 380||USD 500||502||38,585|
|Wonder Woman #184||USD 220||USD 180||242||26,518|
|Catwoman #51||USD 200||USD 220||509||22,673|
|Power Girl #27||USD 300||USD 280||139||16,491|
|Batman Adventures #16||USD 250||USD 150||88||12,329|
|Amazing Spider Man #607||USD 200||USD 200||608||62,517|
|Catwoman #70||USD 160||USD 150||110||20,517|
|Zatanna #16||USD 300||USD 350||49||17,076|
Rate of return on modern covers
After comparing the prices between 2020 and 2017, there are only 2 books that appreciated significantly: Venom/Deadpool: What if and Detectives Comics #880. Their average returns over the 3 years is around 30-40%, which is pretty healthy.
Zatana #16 and Catwoman #51 also experienced a modest 10% growth.
Unfortunately, the rest of the modern covers are either stagnant or experienced declined in prices. The biggest decline is Batman Adventures Vol 2, #16, which decreased about 40% in prices.
All these is suggesting that modern cover are not the best comic investments. On average, the return risk ratio is equal or even skewed to the negative side.
This is want we want to avoid i.e. picking comic books whose returns on the upside is equal to returns on the downside. Instead, what we want are book that can give us higher potential returns but lower potential losses.
Average price ceiling
The media price ceiling on these books is around USD 200. This means most modern cover will face some price resistance at this level. If you want to buy books purely for their covers, try not to pay beyond this price.
Alternatively, if they are already passed the USD 200 price point, there is a chance they might decline. This is especially so when the supply is not tight.
Any good investment candidates?
If I am forced to invest in one of these covers, the following will be my top picks:
Zatanna #16 has the lowest sales number as well as 9.8 copies on CGC census. This low supply will work to its advantage if the cover attracts more demand over time. In fact, there is only one copy on Ebay currently.
With Justice League Dark scheduled for movie and TV production, interest in Zatanna might increased which should increase the demand for this book. This is especially so if the actress being chosen is someone who can connect with the audience.
The other alternative is Zatanna #15, which also has a low sales and low 9.8 CGC copies.
Wonder Wonder Vol 2, #184
Date of Publication: 2002
Sale number: 26,000
Key strengths of this book
1. Adam Hughes cover
This book was pretty hot when the first Wonder Woman movie was screened. With the sequel to Wonder Woman making a return to cinemas, what was hot might heat up again.
The positive thing about this book is its low price entry. Currently, it is already below the median USD 200 price mark so that makes it attractive. This is because you are unlikely to lose much money even if the book continues to decline.
One thing I would prefer is a lower 9.8 number. 242 copies seems pretty high and might be the factor holding this book back from achieving higher prices.
Date of Publication: 2011
Sale number: 16,000
Key strengths of this book
1. Sexy cover
2. Low print run
This book was really hot during its price run up. What I liked is the low print run, which also helps a book to increase or maintain its price.
With prices on the downward trend, it is a good time to pick up this book for either personal collection or investment. If it is for the latter, there are some potential upward due to media spotlight.
There has been some rumors saying Power Girl will show up in the DCEU in the coming years. If that turns out to be true, this book might see some heat again.
Modern book cover investment is often the most tricky to get right. Unlike first appearance comics, there is no agreed definition on what is a desired cover and what is not.
In addition, the supply does not seem to affect the prices as much as they do for first appearance.
However, even if you do not invest in modern covers, knowing some of their prices behave over time can help you to not over pay.
What other modern covers should I include in this list? If you have recommendations, please leave them in the comments.