26th Nov2021

eBuying Comics: Week 68

by Ian Wells

This week I will be revisiting the items from my X-Men sale that were first listed in Week 45. I am using an old Wizard Magazine this time around, as well as the grades and values on Zap Kapow Comics to come at the same issues with a fresh approach. Also this time round there are some new items joining the comics in the X-Men sale (yes I’m still scratching this trading card itch)! Depending on the amount of views/watchers I get on my listings, this will be the last time I list my X-Men comics until the characters join the MCU. Obviously I know I don’t have any key issues, but they are all good to high grade so waiting might be the way to go. I know it is unlikely the MCU is going to directly adapt any of the issues I have but the big screen draw of the merry mutants for a whole new generation may bring fresh buyers to the market.
The Wizard Magazine in question is of course an X-Men special edition from 2002. As I was flipping through the pages it occured to me this was probably the highest point the X-Men had ever reached in pop culture. As I dive into the interviews and articles that are present in this magazine I think you will agree with me. Of course the X-Men have hit many a high point in their time from Claremont’s much lorded run on Uncanny, to the big artist boom of the 90’s and even up to right now with what Hickman is doing in the comics. Along that journey they have had a very popular animated series and numerous video game tie ins. But this 2002 period is the highest of the high, almost an all encompassing popularity. In the first article of any weight there is a Q and A with Chris Claremont, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Ron Garney and Chuck Austen about all things X. Morrison and Quitely at the time were 11 issues into their redefining New X-Men series. Whilst Austen an Garney had the unenviable task of running along side them with Uncanny. In the article such topics as Alpha Flight and Avengers team ups are teased as well as complete devastation to the X-Men! Outside of the core X books there were a lot of exciting developments as well. Deadpool had been rebranded as Agent X, like wise Cable was now Soldier X. Both series would have varying degrees of success but it was exciting times to see the X office trying different things. Frank Tieri and Sean Chen’s run on Wolverine was coming to an end with their Wolverine vs The Mob story arc and the ever popular X-Statix was just launching. Lastly in comics buzz from 2002 Ultimate X-Men is 16 issues old. There are a few articles that focus on the Ultimate versions of the X-Men. One a paint by numbers look at how the characters differ in each universe, the other a in depth look at the creative process that goes into one issue. The last article of any note outside of Wizards usual sense of humour is a look at the upcoming movie X2, which is due to hit cinemas the following summer. At the time they know it will loosely be based on ‘God Loves, man kills.’ They state Gambit and Nightcrawler will be joining the ranks and that Brian Cox will be portraying Willam Stryker. So some good information and some bad. The article several times makes the proclamation X2 will be a huge success and for the time they were right. Opening weekend it took well over $85 million at the box office. What surprised me about that is that it was only the sixth highest grossing film in USA/Canada in 2003 and ninth worldwide! Then I dug a little deeper and there were some huge movies out that year. It has an opening box office $30 million higher than X-Men First Class and $17 million lower than X-Men The Last Stand. Although I haven’t allowed for inflation as I am not a maths wizard X2 had a higher opening weekend than 8 MCU movies and when you look these 8 up some of them will surprise you.
As with every Wizard magazine there is a price guide at the back. In the this special edition of course every listing is for X related titles. I thought it would be fun to look at the prices then for the comics I am listing seeing as I consider this peek X-Men popularity era and compare them to how they rate now on Zap Kapow. Again I haven’t allowed for inflation and the Wizard price guide is in Dollars so I have done both Dollars and Pounds for the Zap Kapow section. One final note the price guide doesn’t state what grades they are valuing. I’m assuming high grade so for the Zap Kapow prices I used 9.4 NM. Just for a barometer Wizard had New Mutants #98 at $7 and X-Men #1 at $860 what a time to be alive! Below I have also included the grades I have given my listings and their starting price in accordance with the same grades from Zap Kapow.

  • Uncanny X-Men #172 — Wizard $5 — Zap Kapow $10 (£8) — Me 8.5 VF+ £7
  • Uncanny X-Men #173 — Wizard $5 — Zap Kapow $10 (£8) — Me 8.0 VF £6
  • Uncanny X-Men #181 — Wizard $4 — Zap Kapow $9 (£7) — Me 8.0 VF £6
  • Uncanny X-Men #205 — Wizard $10 — Zap Kapow $10 (£8) — Me 8.5 VF+ £7
  • Uncanny X-Men #207 — Wizard $10 — Zap Kapow $9 (£7) — Me 9.2 NM- £7
  • Uncanny X-Men #212 — Wizard $15 — Zap Kapow $15 (£12) — Me 7.5 VF- £7
  • Uncanny X-Men #213 — Wizard $15 — Zap Kapow $20 (£15) — 8.5 VF+ £14
  • Uncanny X-Men #222 — Wizard $3 — Zap Kapow $20 (£15) — 9.2 NM- £15
  • Uncanny X-Men #304 — Wizard $5 — Zap Kapow $6 (£5) — 9.5 NM £4

I will be the first to admit it is not an entirely accurate process so there isn’t much to report. As I am claiming this to be a peek in X-Men popularity I was expecting prices to be a little higher. This does however add weight to my claim at the start of this year we are heading into a new age of speculators. Early to mid 2000’s people had obviously learnt their lesson from the 90’s bust. So it will be interesting to see if and by how much X-Men comics go up in value when they join the MCU. The biggest standout is the increase in value for #222. In the price guide there are no notes as to why this issue is desirable. Outside of it being a Wolverine vs Sabretooth slugfest with amazing art by Marc Silvestri. One to keep an eye on. Since listing it has already picked up one watcher. Issues that have future potential especially with MCU involvement include #181 the first appearance of Wolverine’s adopted daughter Amiko. This is a character who only really gets used when people remember she exists. So an MCU appearance would really boost this issue. #212 and #213 I am selling as a double set. They are part of the ‘Mutant Massacre’ storyline, something that could come to play in the future of MCU. Again they feature a Wolverine vs Sabretooth showdown. The key thing that could make these issues desirable is the appearance of Mr Sinister. He is first mentioned by name in #212 and makes his first cameo in #213. We know from the whole Wolverine cameo debate now that a cameo is deemed a first appearance. So I was surprised to see this valued so low, Sinister is such a great villain and it is surprising he hasn’t made a live action appearance already. I wonder if these issues went up in value around the time he was rumoured to be in the movies with the ‘Essex Corporation’ making it into the screen. Interestingly the Wizard price guide incorrectly lists this as Psylocke’s first appearance. Although what I think they mean is that this is her officially joining the team after she holds her own against Sabretooth. #205 is just a classic issue with Barry Windsor Smith at his peek so it will always garner some interest. I’m hoping it has had its value touched by the ‘Kayfabe Effect’.

I want to wrap things up by talking about some X-Men trading cards I am listing this time around. I wanted to expand the X-Men sale outside of the above comics. I thought have some trades and some odd more modern issues I was going to list at 99p but I decided to save them for another sale. I also had the Wizard Ace Edition of X-Men #94 which was launched in the aforementioned Wizard Special Magazine but I couldn’t find it! So trading cards was what I landed on. Like my previous trading card listings I am dividing up a complete set into smaller sets that I feel could sell or at least get some attention. The set in question is the Marvel Beginnings Series 1 from 2011. The cards feature a die cut X and then a select image of all your favourite X-Men across 40 odd cards. In my opinion there are some major omissions from this set if we are talking classic X-Men and some of the images are far removed from what many would consider iconic looks. The first ‘set’ I created was a simple one. It is 6 card set depicting the original roster plus Professor X. For my second ‘set’ I had a big choice to make. Again I could take the easy route and select a number of cards that depict the ‘all new, all different’ era. But what I thought might get more interest would be to group together the ‘Outback Era’ roster. I did photos for both sets so if one doesn’t sell I can try the other one next time out. I just have to remember not to list both, because you know if I do both sets will sell and I’ll be short of cards! The last ‘set’ of any note that I could create was of Rob Liefeld’s X-Force. Unfortunately the cards didn’t allow for me to get the whole roster into one set. There are plenty of cards left over I could make other random ‘sets’ with or even give away as freebies with any X-Men related sales.


Comments are closed.