Star Wars mania is officially upon us! In comics at least, we are seeing 9.8 copies of Star Wars #1 going for some serious dough. Specially, they are getting between 1.5-1.8k which is a lot of money for a so called plentiful Bronze age book. This had me interested since the rising tide means all boats will be lifted and I was intrigued to see if I can find a smaller boat that will increase along with the overall SW market.
After considerable reading and researching, I settled on Star Wars #2.
Print run of Bronze age Star Wars
Before that, I want to clarify on the print numbers for Star Wars. It is a common belief that this is a heavily printed book as it was the comic that saved Marvel from bankruptcy. Very often, figures in the millions were thrown out.
However, one must note that the million figure included all the reprints of which there were many many versions. When Star Wars #1 and #2 was released, the movie was just entering into movie theaters. In other words, there wasn’t any Star Wars fever to speak of as yet. It was only after numerous weeks of screening that people rushed out to buy the comics because they love the movie. By that time, the first print for #1 and #2 was already printed and done with. That number, obviously wasn’t enough as the two issues went back for at least 3-4 reprints.
Based on the above, it is safe to assume that the print run for the first print wasn’t large. At least large to the extend that it can cover the subsequent increase in demand. In fact, given the state of Marvel Comics’ financial situation at that time, it is not far fetched to assume they would be more conservative in their printing numbers to avoid all the returns that could occur. Based on this logic, the print run for Star Wars #1 and #2 should be under one of their most popular at that time: the Amazing Spider Man. In fact, it should be in line with Marvel is used to printing for an average Bronze age title.
Benchmarking Star Wars #2
So, with the print run myth out of the way, let’s look at where Star Wars #2 stands in terms of prices. For this comparison, I choose raw copies as prices of CGC copies are almost in line with #42 so there might not be any big upside unless Han Solo fans outnumbered Boba Fett by a big margin.
|Issue||Star Wars #1||Star Wars #42||Star Wars #2|
|Raw VF||USD 100+||USD 40+||USD 20+|
|Raw VFNM||USD 130+||USD 60+||USD 25+|
|Raw NM||USD 200+||USD 150+||USD 30+|
As you can see, there is still some room for you to invest in raw copies of #2, especially in the VFNM to NM conditions. IMHO, the eventual price will settle between #1 and #42. How high it will go really depends on your perception on who is a more popular character: Boba vs Han.
The thing that will add fuel is the Han Solo standalone movie that has been confirmed for 2018. Imagine all the hype that is happening now with the Force Awakens happening to this movie. How much price appreciation in Star Wars #2 do you think this will drive?
I must admit I am late to the Star Wars game as I was never a big fan of the franchise. Fortunately, late is better than never! The Star Wars mania looks to continue for at least a few years given the movies that have already been line up. In such cases, it is always good to have some SW books in your investment portfolio to ride the trend and earn something from it. You can’t go wrong placing bets on a top tier Star Wars character like Han Solo especially at the prices they are currently at.