Comic Speculation #21 – Mister Sinister Key Comics

This week’s Comic Sunday Speculation is focusing on Mister Sinister, which is one of X-Men best villains. I think it is not too far fetch to say he belongs on the same level as other great X-villains such as Magneto, Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix etc.

Mister Sinister’s first appearance in X-Men #221 is pretty well known and well collected. Less talk about is this issue that I am covering today. It is not something that is totally new but I feel more attention should be paid to it.

Uncanny X-Men #239

Date of Publication: 1988
Sale number: 432,745

Key strengths of this book
1. 2nd appearance of Mister Sinister
2. First cover appearance of Mister Sinister
3. Read below to find out!


You have probably seen this cover before but do you know it has the 2 significance points that are mentioned above? It is not often that you get a 2nd appearance + first cover in one book so I will say this book deserves more attention than it actually does.

One reason that I think this book will catch fire is because Uncanny X-Men #221 cover is pretty bad for a first appearance. As such, Sinister fans might flock to his 2nd appearance + first cover over time, thus pushing the price of this book up.

The cover art is done by fan favorite Marc Silvestri, which is another plus point for the book.

Finally, there is a 3rd significance to this book that I have not seen anybody talked about it. This issue also features the first cover appearance of Madelyne Pryor as the Goblin Queen, which precedes her first in comic appearance in Uncanny X-Men #240.

Think of it as Ms Marvel in Captain Marvel Vol 7, #17 2nd print. The character design appeared on the cover before appearing within the pages.

While the Goblin Queen is nowhere near Kamala’s popularity. it is a nice bonus to add to this book.

Downside for Uncanny X-Men #239

While X-Men #239 contains 2 important events, it is still a pretty risky book to speculate on. This is because the market might ignore these 2 events as explained below.

2nd appearance: In general, the value of copper age 2nd appearances is generally low. This is probably due to the first appearance being so plentiful that collectors see no value in owning the 2nd. After all, if the first appearance is affordable, why not just buy that instead of the 2nd?

First cover appearance: First cover appearance is currently not universally regarded as an important keys to have. We are starting to see this happening to some characters but whether Mister Sinister can command such value remains to be seen.

Benchmarking Analysis

To convince myself on whether first cover appearance is a good speculation target, I look at 2 top tier villains who did not appear on the cover of their first appearances: Thanos and Venom

For Thanos, I used the value of VFNM and 9.0 instead of NM and 9.8 since his first cover comic is a bronze age book.

IssuesCharacterAppearance RatioSupplyPrices in NMPrice in 9.8
Amazing Spider-Man #316Venom404251,000$150$500
Captain Marvel #26Thanos386No Information$85$260
Uncanny X-Men #239Mister Sinister224432,745 $12$100
Links above are to Ebay. If you buy something, I will get a commission from Ebay as part of its affiliate program. If you want to support my research, using my links to buy from Ebay will be the best way.

Unlike previous benchmarking analysis that I have done, this is not to show you the profit potential of Uncanny X-Men #239. This is because the print run, appearance ratio etc are too different to draw any meaningful comparisons. Instead, I just want to show you that first cover appearances can be a profitable speculation if you pick the right book.

Now, will Uncanny X-Men #239 be the right book? Right now it is a long shot, which is why it is covered in the Comic Sunday Speculation series. However, the chances of this book jumping beyond its current price is not zero.

Like all X-Men comics in the copper age, the print run is high. So, just aim for the newsstands and ignore the direct versions. In fact, if you can secure 9.8 candidates, it will be even better as the 9.8 newsstand premium can be huge.

For example, a 9.8 Amazing Spider-Man #316 newsstand just sold for $1,500 while a 9.8 direct edition is only $500. That is about 200% difference!


If you believe that the X-Men comics will sky rocket in the future when they arrive in the MCU, then this book is a nice lottery ticket to consider.

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Comic Speculation #23: Dead Girl Key Comics

Welcome to another week of Comic Sunday Speculation where I posted my ‘out there’ speculation ideas. Most of these ideas are long shots, which means low probability of success. However, they are cheap and one hit can pay back for the rest. In this week, I draw inspiration from the newsstand data that I have […]