28th Oct2020

eBuying Comics: Week 45

by Ian Wells

The Fantastic Four may well be Marvel’s first family but the X-Men are very much my family. I was a fan of the animated series as a kid and like most people was drawn to Wolverine and the infrequent appearances of Cable. There was something about Rogue that a young me didn’t understand! Things really took off when the first X-Men movie hit, it was my gateway to the comics. I don’t know why I made the leap from the movie to the comics. At the time I didn’t really have any hobbies. I remember being heavy  into Star Wars when the new trilogy was in the works, but it ultimately left a bitter taste. The Christmas after the movie came out I got Peter Sanderson’s excellent Ultimate X-Men book. It open my mind to a richer history of content greater than the animated series and the movie. I started off with Wolverine comics after making the assumption X-Men comics would be too expensive for a newbie. Over the yearsI have branched off into X-related and non X-related titles.

All of this is a long winded way of me saying I am now listing my small collection of X-Men comics on eBay. Part of the reasn for selling these X-Men comics is to make space for more X-Men comics! More on that later, first I want to go in depth on the issues I am listing for sale on eBay. My small collection of X-Men comics are all very much Wolverine-centric issues. There are four issues from this collection that I won’t be departing with as they mean more to me than the others as a Wolverine completest. They are X-Men #109 (First Guardian), #120-#121 (First Alpha Flight) and #133 the classic Wolverine Alone story and iconic cover. In total there are eight back issues for sale as well as two newer issues and three trade paper backs. The two newer issues are All New X-Men #1 from 2016 with the Ed Piskor variant cover and a random issueof Cable & X-Force I got in a goodie bag at a convention. With the older issues I have gone over them with a fine tooth comb and given what I think to be accurate grades. Some of them I have gone higher than I have ever before on my own grading. Hopefully if I sell all the issues I can send out my questionnaire and get some real good feed back on my grading. Chris Claremont era X-Men always seems to be hot so I haven’t held back on the starting prices either. As it stands these issues may only be listed for a week depending on how busy I am. I have something very cool that I am going to run for the entirety of November so watch this space.

Below is the complete list of my current X-Men listings on eBay as well as what I originally paid for them and the grade they had at time of purchase if available. At the end of the day as always I would be very happy to break even.

  • Uncanny X-Men #172 8.5 VF+ (£4.25 NM) – Starting Price £4.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men #173 5.5 F- (N/A) – Starting Price £2.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men #181 8.0 VF (£2.80 VF) – Starting Price £4.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men #205 8.5 VF+ (£6.75 VF) – Starting Price £5.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men #207 9.2 NM- (£4.50 N/A) – Starting Price £8.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men #212/#213 7.5 VF- 8.5 VF+ (N/A & £12 VF) – Starting Price £12.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men #222 9.2/9.5 NM-/NM (£5 NM) – Starting Price £5.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men #304 9.5 NM (£3.50 NM) – Startng Price £4.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • All New X-Men #1 9.5 NM (N/A) – Starting Price £2.00 + £1.80 P+P
  • Cable & X-Force #2 9.5 NM (N/A) – Starting Price 0.99p + £1.80 P+P
  • New X-Men TPB Vol.5 – Starting Price £8.00 + £2.50 P+P
  • Wolverine And The X-Men TPB Vol.1 – Starting Price £.800 + £2.50 P+P
  • Uncanny X-Men Executions TPB – Starting Price £10.00 + £2.50 P+P

So as I said I am selling these comics to make way for more comics. I brought Classic X-Men #1 at one of my very first conventions for £1.50. I was drawn in by the Art Adams cover and had no idea it was a reprint of Giant Size X-Men #1. Currently a 9.5 NM raw copy of the same comic is valued at £9. This comic went into my collection for a long time with the occasional reread before I actually decided to start tracking down more issues from the series. Now I can’t be the first person to collect Classic X-Men as a cheaper alternative to collecting the higher priced Uncanny X-Men. Classic X-Men began in 1986 and ran for 110 issues even mimicking the name change of the title it was reprinting with #47 it became X-Men Classic. The first 46 issues takes you from Giant Size X-Men #1 right through to the end of The Dark Phoenix Saga. That is a run of stories that includes the first Kitty Pryde, the first Alpha Flight and Proteus to name  few at a fraction of the price of seeking out the same issues in thier original format.

Lets put some perspective on this. Kitty Pryde first appeared in X-Men #129 which is also the first part of The Dark Phoenix Saga. A 9.5 NM raw copy of this comic is valued at £99. For the same story you want Classic X-Men #35 which for the same grade is valued at £2.30. Now I will admit Classic X-Men #35 does not have the prestige that X-Men #129 has. But I am a reader first, collector second and with Classic X-Men you get a lot of bang for your buck. It always amazes me that there was a period where Chris Claremont was writing X-Men, Wolverine, New Mutants, Iron Fist and then found time to write short back up stories for Classic. Think how often books get delayed nowadays and compare it to that workload an no drop off in quality. These back up stories featured a lot of the characteristics that then made the way into X-Men The Animated Series. Logan and Jean’s hidden love being the prime example of this. That all started in the back up in the reprint for Giant Size #1. Over the span of the series the back up stories would be handed over to the talented Ann Nocenti and they became more experimental on her watch. The first twenty five back up stories are collected in two trade paperbacks titles ‘Vignettes’. They are both readily available on eBay for anywhere between £5-£20.

Other highlights of collecting Classic X-Men are Art Adams and Mike Mignola on cover duty and John Bolton providing beautiful back cover pin ups. I realise by me talking up hw great Classic X-Men is I am raising interest in it and potentially then raising the prices. To be honest in the last few years I have noticed the prices going up at conventions as people obviously have had the same genius idea as me. There was a time when Classic X-Men was bargain long box fodder. I was at a con maybe less than two years ago and the guy in the long box next to me pulls Classic X-Men #1 out and asks the vendor for a price for which he is quoted £15. I was stunned and happy with the bargain I got many moons again. Collecting Classic X-Men has really allowed me to streamline my quota of X-books. (Be even better once I sell the above back issues). I don’t think I will collect all 110 issues but it allows me to devour a huge chunk of Claremont’s super hero soap opera. As well as that youare getting art from legends like Dave Cockrum, John Byrne, John Romita Jnr, Paul Smith and Marc Silvestri. My plan as it stands is to get most of the first 46 issues then supplement them with trade paperbacks of the bigger stories like Inferno and The Mutant Massacre. I currently have my eye on the X-Men Milestone edition of trade paperbacks. They collect all the X-title crossovers from that prime 80’s era and they are all uniform in look with the yellow covers. So while collecting Classic X-Men may not be as pretigious it is certainly more fun.


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