Saturday, November 26, 2016

Invincible Iron Man #7

Marvel - March 2016

Key Issue Notes
First cameo appearance of Riri Williams
First appearance of Tomoe

It seems that every superhero nowadays, like Thor and Spider-Man, is getting a female counterpart, and Iron Man is no exception. I'm assuming that the reason for this is to expand the readership and get more girls intrested in comics by giving them characters that they can relate to. 

Whatever the reason,this comic holds the first appearance of Riri Williams, a 15 year old genius  M.I.T. student, that created her own Iron Man armor from parts she scavenged and stole around campus.

I labeled this the first cameo appearance of Riri simply because that's how CGC/CBCS recognize it. I'm not sure what the requirements are of a cameo appearance are compared to a brief appearance is, but Ms. Williams does show up in two panels at the end of the comic.


Tomoe and James Rhodes
Invincible Iron Man #7 also has the first appearance of Tomoe, who also goes by the alias of Techno Golem. She is an Inhuman, that has the ability to control technology with only her thoughts. She gained her abilities from the Terrigen Mists that activated her latent Inhuman genes.

It's also noted on Marvel Wiki that Mary Jane Watson joins Stark Industries. When I read through this issue, I never saw where MJ actually agreed to become a member of the team. By the end of the comic, she was still debating on whether she was going to join, so I didn't mention it in the key issue notes.

Tony Stark sends his good pal James Rhodes (War Machine) to Japan to look into a security breach, while Stark stays behind to offer Mary Jane Watson a job


Riri Williams
While Tony is doing his best to convince MJ, War Machine runs into a mysterious woman who is inexplicably able to remove his armor from him. This mysterious woman winds up being Tomoe. She ties up Rhodes and uses him a bait to lure Stark to her. This is a three part story that concludes in issue #10, so this is left as a cliffhanger.

As I mentioned, the last page of this issue introduces us to Riri Williams. In the last panel, we see her constructing her own armor in her dorm room.

This wasn't a overly mass produced comic, but it still won't he hard to find a copy. There were and estimated 51,748 copies produced. Now, I have no idea if that includes the variant covers at all. If it doesn't, then the actual number of copies could be much higher.


Printings 1-3
However, to my knowledge, there is only one variant cover to this issue. Welcome to the modern age of collecting where every comic has a variant. I'm not a huge fan of variants, but there are a lot of people out there that are. Ok, let's stay focused here. The one variant is the "Women of Power" cover. I'm not sure what the print run of this copy is.

There were also a total of three printings. They are easily recognizable by the color of the title and the print number is clearly listed under the issue number.

Since this is a fairly new comic, the CGC census isn't very high. This could be because people are holding onto their copies to see where the value of this book is going, or they are already at the grading company, sitting on the shelf, waiting for there turn in the grading room. I'm thinking it's probably the latter.

So far, there have only been 143 copies of the first print graded by CGC. As you can probably guess, most of them are graded a 9.8 NM/M. 105 of them to be exact. This happens a lot with new comics. A lot people go to their local comic shop, snag a few copies of the latest issue and immediately send them in to be graded. These are the people that are in it purely for the money, not for the enjoyment of reading comics.

As far as sales go, I'm only going to talk about 9.8 NM/M copies. If you're looking to invest in a copy, I wouldn't get anything lower than that. Auctions on eBay are a little scattered for this comic. The latest sale only went for $79.99 via auction. The sale before that dropped for $129.95 via Buy it Now. That's seems to be how things are shaping up over there right now. In fact, the hammer dropped at under $100 for all of the auctions so far, and all of the Buy it Now sales have gone for well over $100, some even closing in on the $200 mark. If it were me, I'd probably wait for an auction to pop up and try and snag a copy on the cheap.

So, if you're looking for a copy, don't look for anything under a 9.8 NM/M. If you can find a copy higher than 9.8, I say go for it, but only if the price is right. This could be the next NYX #3 type comic, but it might not be either, you never can tell. If it does end up being that, you might be kicking yourself in the ass for not snagging this up while it's still affordable.

Find a copy here
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Friday, November 18, 2016

Superman #75

D.C. Comics - Jan. 1993

Key Issue Notes
"Death" of Superman
"Death" of Doomsday

By now, most of us have seen Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Whether you liked it or hated it, we do see the apparent death of Superman at the hands of Doomsday at the end of the film, and this is the comic that sees the untimely end of Superman.

But, as with most comic book characters, he doesn't stay dead for long. He would make is way back into comics a mere five months later in Adventures of Superman #500.

When you read this comic, don't expect to find a story that has some deep meaning that is going to change your life. It's a straight up slug fest from beginning to end, and that's when we see both Supes and Doomsday lying in the rubble that used to be Metropolis.

The creative team, that includes editor Mike Carlin and writers Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway, came up with the storyline after Carlin wondered what the world would be like without Superman. I personally think they did it as a gimick and to sell a s#!t load of comics. Well it worked, they sold a ton of 'em. So many that this comic went all the way up to a fourth printing.

Let's talk about the differnt covers that this comic has. As I already mentioned, there were four total printings. So, that's four covers, plus the newsstand edition, and the two polybag editions. So that's seven total, not counting all of the various autographed copies, which I'm not going to get into.

There are minimal, but very obvious differences between all of the direct and newsstand editions of this comic, mostly in the title.

  • The first print has a yellow and blue title
  • The second print has a white and purple title
  • The third print has a blue and purple title

and lastly,

  • The fourth print has a green title.

I've included the picture to the right for reference.


Newsstand Edition (Top)
Direct Edition (Bottom)
There is also a first print newsstand edition of this comic. It's easily spotted by the UPC code in the lower right corner of the cover. These comics are a lot more rare than their direct market counterparts. It's estimated that only 10% - 15% of all comics printed around this time were the newsstand copies. So, if there were a million copies of this comic printed, then there are only 10,000 to 15,000 newsstand editions out there, which is significantly lower. These newsstand editions are starting to get noticed in the market, so if you're able to find a copy, there may have a chance of it gaining value better that the direct edition would.

Also be on the lookout for the more popular polybagged editions. The first is the more abundant black polybagged edition. This is the bag that has the red Superman symbol that looks like is dripping blood. There were a lot of extra goodies packed into the bag with the comic in this one. They called it the Superman Memorial Set. This set consisted of a memorial poster, a black armband, an obituary from the Daily Planet, a trading card and commemorative stamps.

The next is the Platinum Edition. There were only 10,000 copies of the Platinum Edition produced. This comic didn't come with all of the extras that were in the black bag, but it is the most valuable of all the variants.

Just to let you know, if you have one of these polybagged editions and you want to have them graded, CGC and CBCS will remove the comics from the bag to grade them. There will be no graded copies that are still in the bag. So, if you had an artist or writer sign one of the bagged copies, that signature will most likely end up in the trash when you send it in for grading. Just a little knowledge for those that might not know how CGC / CBCS deal with bagged comics.


Direct Edition
I usually only talk about one cover when it comes to the CGC census, but today I'm going to go over two of them. The first is the first print direct edition. So far, there are 1,595 copies listed on the census. That may seem like a lot, but if you consider how many millions of copies that might be out there, that number isn't that high at all. Of course, with this comic being a 90's comic, there are a lot of high grades available. Of the 1,595 copies, 897 are a 9.8 NM/M. If you're looking to snag a copy, I would suggest not going below that grade.

Recent sales for 9.8 NM/M copies of this issue haven't been spectacular, only selling in the $50 - $70 range. There was a boost in value shortly after BvS was released, with sales reaching over the $100 mark, but now that hype has faded, values are back down to where they were.


Platinum Edition
The next cover is the Platinum Edition. Of the 10,000 produced, only 369 have been graded by CGC. Most of these are also high grade, with 101 copies graded at 9.8 NM/M and 103 graded at 9.6 NM+.

This variant is by far the most collectible and most valuable. CGC 9.8 NM/M copies can easily go for over $300, and maybe even $400. Even 9.6 NM+ copies will probably still run you over $100.

This here is a very affordable key issue comic. If you're a fan of Superman, this is probably a comic you should have in your collection. You won't have any problems finding a copy. You may even be able to find a raw copy in a bargain bin somewhere, but the grade might not be up to par for collectibility though. Either way, good luck on your hunt.

Find a copy here
eBay - ComicLink - MyComicShop - ComicConnect

Monday, November 7, 2016

Amazing Spider-Man #1 - CBCS 4.0

Marvel - March 1963

Key Issue Notes
Second appearance of Spider-Man
First appearance of J. Jonah Jameson
First appearance of Chameleon

I recently decided to change the way I collect comics. Instead of trying to get the next hot comic before everyone went bonkers over it, and try to flip it for a profit, I decided to start filling some holes in my collection with comics that I actually wanted instead. I plan on holding onto these comics for the long haul.

I finally did it. I'd been waiting a long time to pull the trigger on this one, but I finally got a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1. The hardest part about this buy was convincing myself to spend that kind of money on a comic book. I've bought comics that were near $1000 before, and it was a little rough shelling out that kinda dough, but spending 5x that was a lot harder. Many times I went to right click on Buy it Now, but it was like there was an invisible force preventing my index finger from doing it. I just couldn't press the damn mouse button.


Chameleon
Then, right before I left to work one day, I was staring at the copy that I eventually ended up buying (pictured above) on eBay. It was either buy it right then, or keep talking myself out of it, so I said to myself "F#@! it", closed my eyes, and pressed Buy it Now. I quickly paid for it, ran out the door, and went to work.

I thought that I would have some buyers remorse after I finally hit the Pay Now button, but I was far more excited to own a piece of comic book history and felt no remorse at all. It seemed like it took forever to arrive, even though it only took a few days.

I ended up buying it from the My Comic Shop eBay Store. It was a little cheaper on their website than it was on eBay, but I opted to buy it from eBay for a couple of reasons. First, I couldn't pay for the comic at MyComicShop.com, because the sale price was too high and I couldn't pay for it with Paypal. The second reason, I received $100 in eBay Bucks for my purchase to put towards my next comic investment.

It should be obvious as to way I snagged this comic. It is considered a grail comic after all. But if you're wondering, the reasons that I bought it are:

  • 1) It's a very early appearance of my favorite comic book character. It's Spideys second appearance.
  • 2) I couldn't afford the first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, unless I bought a beat up, dirt copy that I didn't want.
  • 3) It has great long term investment potential. If you look at the value history of this comic, it doesn't go down, it always goes up.
  • 4) And finally, I just wanted it really, really bad. I figured I had the money for it, so why put it off any longer.


Early Spider-Man comics are never a bad investment. I have a few single digit ASM comics, that I will share with you in the future, but I'm now trying to fill in my #1-#20 collection. I've got a few of the more important keys already, but trying to fill the gaps is going to take me a little more time, and a lot more money.

Find a copy here
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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Marvel Feature #1

Marvel - Dec. 1971

Key Issue Notes
First appearance of The Defenders
"Death" of Yandroth

Netflix has finally started to film their long awaited series The Defenders. The series will feature their already established characters of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and the soon to be introduced Iron Fist.

Let me start off by saying that none of the characters in the show, are the original members of the team that appear in the comics. However, all of the characters that will be appearing in the show were considered a Defender at one time or another, with the exception of Jessica Jones.

So, if none of those characters were the original members, then who were? Well, the answer, is right on the cover of this issue. The trio of superheroes is Doctor Strange, Namor, and the Incredible Hulk.

Dr. Stephen Strange sits in front of a warm fire at his home, when he hears a voice calling his name. He leaves his physical body and searches for the mystery caller.


Yandroth
His search leads him to a hospital, where he recognizes the evil scientist Yandroth, lying in a bed, dying. Before he dies, he tells Doctor Strange about the Omegatron, which is a machine that he built that will destroy the Earth upon his death, a death that he had planned. Strange does what he can to save Yandroth, but fails and the evil scientist dies. Now with little time left, he tries to find help to save the world.

The first character he recruits is the Price of Atlantis, Namor. Strange comes across Namor, and tells him of Yandroth's evil plan, and the prince quickly agrees to help. 

Knowing that the two of them isn't enough, he seeks out one more superhero to help. The Hulk just happens to be close by and Strange pretty much tricks the Jade Giant into helping.


The Defenders
In a nutshell, that's how the team comes together. I hate giving away too much of these stories, especially if people want to read it, so I'll end it right there. I will tell you that The Defenders do find the Omegatron and save the the day, in true superhero fashion. I'm just not going to tell you how they do it. Also, the Hulk leaves the team at the end of the issue, just like he did when he was with the Avengers.

This is a well known key issue, and in no way under the radar. There are a lot of already graded copies out there. According to the CGC census, there have been 938 copies graded by them. Most of the copies are high grade between 8.0 VF and 9.4 NM. There are some 9.6 NM+ (46) and 9.8 NM/M (11) copies out there too. Since there isn't a census on the CBCS website yet, there's no way of telling how many copies there are out there by them, but there are a handful floating around out there.


Click to enlarge
Values for this comic are up there now, ever since the hype from the upcoming Netflix show, but it's not like it was a bargain bin comic before that. Back in 2012, a CGC 9.8 NM/M copy sold at Heritage Auctions for $1,314.50, and in the same year, the Twin Cities Pedigree 9.8 NM/M copy ended up selling for $1,912. Fast forward to right now, pending sales at Comic Link for the same grade jump up to over the $8,000 mark. There has been a similar trend with 9.4 NM copies. Back in 2012, you could snag a copy for a little over $300. Now you'll be paying over twice that much. A copy sold for $664.44 in March of this year, and the last sale blew up to $925 in July. To say that this is a hot comic would be an understatement.

Since this is a hype comic at the moment, I'll expect values to continue to jump up for the time being. I'm pretty sure that once the next hot comic movie news hits, you'll see prices come down a little. How low it goes is beyond me. I guess it will depend if the show is any good or not.

Find a copy here
eBay - ComicLink - MyComicShop - ComicConnect