15th Jul2021

eBuying Comics: Week 60

by Ian Wells

This week I will be taking an indepth look at two items I will soon be listing for sale. Both listings play into the topic of speculation, but in very different ways. I will look at what makes these comics desirable from a comics point of view and any movie tie-ins. Then I will break down the grade I have given each comic and the debate potential listing prices.

First up is Suicide Squad #2 from 1987. I brought this off eBay way back in February. Originally I was looking at an #1 for £5, which eventually went for £15. It would have still been a tidy profit come the new movies release. I picked up #2 for just 92p plus £2.93 P+P. So the challenge of making a profit off of a second issue proved to good to turn down. So what are this issues key selling points?

Comics Info: Writer: John Ostrander | Pencils: Luke McDonnell| Inks: Karl Kesel.

This issue is only the 3rd appearance of this incarnation of the Squad. The roster will be familiar to people reading comics at this time. There are many faces in this issue not in the current series which begcan in May. that series is a blend of classic and characters in the new movie which makes sense to plug them. Noteable members out side of the obvious include the old Steve Ditko creation Nightshade and the fact this is Plastiques last appearance on the team. #2 also marks the first time a member of the team dies on a mission. Unfortunately it is not due to the implants which would have been a good selling point.

Movie Info: I read recently that James Gunn has taken some story elements from #1. As that issue and this one are a two part story I can claim some connectivity to the new movie! From what I can piece together the movie is set in Corto Maltese as opposed to Guarac like these two issues. Here is a list of all the Suicide Squad team members from this issue and how many of the Suicide Squad movies they have appeared in.

Rick Flagg – 2, Captain Boomerang – 2, Deadshot -1, Enchantress – 1, Briscoe – 1, Bronze Tiger, Nightshade, Plastique and Nemesis all 0.

The fact Briscoe is in the new movie is further proof Gunn is pulling straight from the comics. Briscoe was the teams pilot and mechanic.

Grade & Pricing: The front cover is in great condition. No dames of any variety like tears or creased. On the very top edge there is the slightest fade in colour, most like due to light. The back cover is equally as great. With slight mark on the area of the cover that is white. The spine is in an overall good condition for a comic over 30 years old. The wear and tear is minimal and the staples are solid. The interiors are excellent condition. The colours are still bold with no fading. There is no major damage to the interior pages like creases, tears or marks of any sort. There are a series of small nicks at the bottom of the page, these are most likely from the printing process of the era. they start midway through the comic and continue to the end. I have graded this at an 8 VF. According to Zap-Kapow Comics a comic at this grade is currently valued at £3.24. This is a little below what I would need to sell it for to turn a profit after I factor in P+P costs and packing material costs. So the greedy side of me is thinking of listing it between £6-£10 with a ‘best offer’ option. More of a risk would be to start it at £3 and hope it gets some attention.

My next listing is more of an experiment. Think of it as friendly trolling of speculators and maybe I will be lucky enough to ensare a naive speculator in my web! It is a mixed lot of four Marvel first issues. They are all modern era comics and they have no connection to each other or any movies outside of which characters appear in them in some capacity. These are the books;

Marvel Knights #1 (2000) – Writer: Chuck Dixon | Pencils: Eduardo Barreto. This issue features classic characters like Daredevil and Punisher. Working in my favour it also has appearances from Black Widow and Shang Chi who both currently have movie hype around them. I have graded this at 6 F. Overall it is in excellent condition. The only defect is that both staples are rusted which has caused some discoloring on the white cover. the bottom staple is also becoming loose. A 6 F is valued at £1.85 currently.

Heroes For Hire #1 (2011) – Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning | Pencils: Brad Walker. Again nothing out of the extraordinary about this issue apart from who is in it. As part of the roll call we have Falcon, Black Widow and Moon Knight. Fan favourites, as well as current future movie/streaming stars. The comic I am listing is also a 2nd printing variant. I have graded it a 9.4 NM and this is valued at £3.08 by Zap-Kapow.

Shadowland: Spider-Man #1 – Writer: Dan Slott | Pencils: Paulo Siqueira. This issue could act as a good gap filler for someone who followed the Shadowland event of 2010 but missed this issue. Also it could appeal to Spider-Man fans who didn’t follow that event but this might spike their interest. Again it features Shang-Chi so that could garner more attention. Again I have graded this 9.4 NM with a value of £3.08

Fury Max #1 – Writer: Garth Ennis | Pencils: Goran Parlov. I don’t dream for a second anything from this series will make it into the upcoming Nick Fury Disney+ series what with this being a MAX title! I just going on the fact it is a first issue to draw people in. Again a 9.4 NM grade with a £3.08 valuation from Zap-Kapow.

Pricing: These four comics give me an average of £9 for a combined price. If i seriously wanted to troll I would play hardball with a starting price of £10. Thought it maybe more realistic to offer this price with a ‘best offer’ option of half the starting price. I will list this a few times to watch the interest. If it goes unsold which issues are feel have stronger buzz around them I will sell individually or if there isn’t any buzz they will become items for my next 99p sale.

Lastly I wanted to talk about a tweet I saw going round the internet this past weekend. Happily it fits into the theme of speculators. The tweet in question was a sign in a local comic shop above the back issue section, it read; “Due to the nature of the speculator’s market we reserve the right to check and reprice any and all back issues according to current going value.” My immediate response to this was basic level stuff like lazy shop up keep! Are they Googling each issues price as a customer comes to the counter? No thank you! In a way you have to applaud the comic fan who has read a current issue and seen a connection to an old Bronze Age issue. They have then hop footed it to their LCS and brought said issue on the cheap before the buzz begins! I understand the cut throat nature of business, and profit is the most important thing come the end of the day. How long have some of those issues been sitting in those long boxes without people knowing the buzz around them? How are they suddenly knowing the buzz as you come to the counter? The general consensus in response to this tweet were along the lines of “I wouldn’t shop there”, “Acts like this drive customers away” and “What an unpleasant shopping experience that must be.” Obviously it is wrong of me to assume all people who work in comic shops do is keep up to date with the buzz. Of course nowadays buzz is coming not only from comics but from movie and TV as well. With the amount of issues, movies and streaming shows it can’t be easy keeping on top of it. However the expectation shouldn’t be to raise the prices of a whole series because of a trailer drop. Personally I think only first appearances should be affected by movies as it’s not like they are doing direct adaptations of our favourite comic story lines. This to me just spells out that this particular store has had their fingers burnt a few times by missing buzz and this is their attempt to rectify it and make a handsome profit. Which of course they are entitled to. Just as entitled as the smart reader who is beating them to the punch. To quote Omar Little “It’s all in the game.”


Comments are closed.