01st Nov2018

eBuying Comics: Week 6

by Ian Wells

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Season 3 of Daredevil is earning rave reviews on Netflix from fans and critics alike at the moment and rightfully so. I most confess at this time and I wear it with a badge of honour but I first became interested in Daredevil after watching and enjoying the 2003 movie with Ben Affleck as the man without fear. Through reading comics already and things like Wizard magazine I knew the name most associated with Daredevil was Frank Miller. I knew his art work from the original Wolverine mini series he did with Chris Claremont and I knew his writing from The Dark Knight Returns. I made his run on the title my first port of call for back issues to collect. Back in those days I was picking up all my back issues at conventions and relatively little trouble getting all of them for a variety of grades and prices. I wasn’t too much into grades then I just wanted to be entertained by a good story. The only issue I did get from eBay was #181 – The Death of Elektra. If memory serves me right I paid around £30 for it.

For a few years after completing my Frank Miller Daredevil back issue haul I didn’t bother to much with other Daredevil comics, just the odd cool cover here and there. Then I got the bug for the thrill of the hunt again. I wanted to get as much of the run as possible. So now, after getting runs on the title by Marv Wolfman and a chunk of the Ann Nocenti stuff, I am now looking at first villain appearances and issues under #100. I am finding the latter of these not difficult to come by but rising in price over the last two years or so. Another trend I have noticed at cons is that there are a lot of UK price variants around. Which doesn’t sound strange seeing as I am attending cons in the UK. It is something I never really took much notice of until I started on these lower Daredevil issues.  Now I have to ask myself do I want a proper American comic or do I settle for a UK edition? I think at the end of the day it is as always going to come down to price and grade. Daredevil #9 is the oldest comic I own. Apart from the year on the cover I date my Marvel comics on if Stan Lee is still credited as the writer! I paid £6 at a convention last month. It is a UK edition that I would place at a 1.5 to 2 grade. The interiors are better than the cover and it is certainly readable I just wouldn’t want to handle it too much now. Obviously the grandest of Daredevil key issues is #1. Really if you were a die hard Daredevil fan why would you be selling it? A CGC 9.4 is a whopping £26,500! Even a 0.5 non certified graded copy of #1 is £450. Two issues I am finding it hard to track down for a price I’m willing to pay are #16 and #17, a crossover with Spider-Man. #16 also marks John Romita Sr.’s first work on Daredevil and the appearance of Spider-Man is putting some extra pounds on these two issues! Frank Miller first provided art on Daredevil in #158. The price for this varied between £20-£80 depending on grade.

It seems creator’s first appearances on titles aren’t as highly sought after compared to a characters first appearance. Miller would go on to take over writing duties and continue on art with #168. In this issue he also penned the origin of his own character Elektra. I was surprised to find a 8.0 grade for only £35. Despite all the negatives I said about slabbed comics recently a CGC grade 8 of the same issue was £150. Again this is very cheap considering this issue was the start of the Elektra saga which would be central to the series for the next twenty of so issues. The Elektra saga culminated in #181. I’ve already mentioned I was luckily enough to purchase this issue for £30 on eBay. I found a few 8 grades around the same price which shows even with Netflix taking elements from this story it hasn’t greatly escalated in price. I also found the best CGC bargain for this issue… a 9.4 grade for only £59! I might be turning on this whole slabbed comic thing.

Back in the day Stan Lee and whatever artist his collaborating on at the time in Daredevil were churning out new villains practically with every issue. Most of them weren’t very memorable until they were fleshed out by other creators in later years. So I think we should start at the top of the criminal empire and work our way down. The Kingpin is so strongly associated with Daredevil despite debuting in Amazing Spider-Man #50. This is an expensive comic partly because it is part of the Amazing Spider-Man lore as a whole, it is a milestone issue too! Penned by Stan Lee with art by the legend that is John Romita Sr., the cover to this issue is the famous “Spider-Man No More!” and then lastly it is the first appearance of Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin. Because of these contributing factors a 6.5 grade will set you back near enough £500. When you get into CGC territory your talking quadruple figures! His first appearance in Daredevil was #170 and you can still pick this up relatively cheap when you consider the impact both characters would go on to have on each other. Not to mention the popularity and wider audience for Kingpin now hes been on Netflix. A high grade between 8 and 9 is £40 and up depending on the seller. If your willing to come down a half a grade or a whole (which you could say about any comic) you can get it for under £20.

Another issue sticking with the Netflix theme and one I have noticed rising in price in recent years, which coincides with when I started wanting it, is Daredevil #131 the first appearance of Bullseye. You can not escape the mention of Netflix on 90% of listings for this issue on eBay at the moment. An excuse to pop an extra twenty pounds on the asking price maybe? The cheapest listing I found was £161 for a 8 grade. For a high grade CGC your looking at £800+. Nowadays the Purple Man is more associated with Jessica Jones and again has received a wider audience on Netflix. He made is debut as far back as Daredevil #4. Over the weekend there was an auction listing for this issue at a grade 2. It was already at £40 which is a great price for a comic over fifty years old. Even a 8.5 is just over £250. If you compare this price to another comic from the same era you get a sense of value it represents. The Owl first appeared a month earlier in #3. Now I would argue he is not anywhere near as popular as Purple Man, but I found a listing of similar grade of 8 and it was £514. So double the price for a lesser character and a comic that isn’t really any older. Two old school Daredevil first appearances I have managed to snap up already are #18 and #42. The debuts of Gladiator and Jester respectively. When I paid £20 for my #18 I assumed I got it cheap and thought it must be Gladiators second appearance. My copy has off white pages, bordering on light brown and there is plenty of spine wear and tear. For a grade 6  £40-£50 is a good price and even a CGC grade 9 is relatively cheap at £171. For #42 I paid only £10, again it has spine issues and is off white but both not as bad as my #18. Most annoyingly it has a stamp on the cover. I found listings for this issue with great differences in prices. Firstly for £9.99 you can get yourself a grade 6. In the pictures it looked very good. The front and back covers were in better condition than mine. Then I found for two grades a listing for £80! More proof it is always worth shopping around. Seriously if you got that grade 6 at a con where you can actually see the product with your own eyes before parting with any cash you would snap the vendors hand off for £9.99!

For Sale

I have added some Daredevil and Marvel Netflix related comics to the items I listed last week:

  • Comic Set Heroes For Hire #1-3 Marvel Comics – Starting Price £2:00 + £2:00 P+P
  • Comic Set Doctor Strange #1-4 Marvel Comics – Starting Price £2:00 + £2:00 P+P
  • Comic Set Shadowland Iron Fist #1-4 Marvel Comics – Staring Price £2:00 + £2:00 P+P
  • Marvel Comics The Defenders #1 – Starting Price £1:20 + £1:50 P+P
  • Marvel Comics Shadowland Ghostrider #1 oneshot – Starting Price £1:20 + £1:50 P+P
  • Marvel Comics Shadowland Spider-Man #1 oneshot – Starting Price £1:20 + £1:50 P+P

Top Tip

Now I use the word ‘top’ liberally on this one. When I see auctions with a ‘make best offer’ options I always go in with an opening bid of half the asking price. Now it doesn’t always work and may even make you look a bit cheap. But that’s the beauty of online bidding, no eye contact! When you see the price they have set you will have an idea in mind of what you would willing to pay. So by dropping to half price nine times out of ten they are going to raise it but then you will be nearer you ideal price rather than yours. Like I said not a fool proof plan but definitely well worth a try, particularly in the pursuit of key issues of varying grades.
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I just wanted to make a quick mention of why I haven’t reported on buying a lot from eBay. Normally towards the end of the year I get all moral. I should be putting my efforts into Christmas presents for friends and family. Comic geeks are notoriously difficult to buy for so I don’t feel it is right that there are friends and family out there looking for gifts for me and then I suddenly drop X amount on a key issue! In the new year I will be drawing up a list of comics I will be tracking down specifically for the purposes of the blog, so hang tight. What can I say? I’m a considerate guy.

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