InvestComics/Trending Pop Culture; SINCE 2005.
Here are this week’s top Trending/Spec Comics out this Wednesday 4-27-22.
Please note: All new comic releases can and will change release dates from time to time. Check with your local comic shop on the guarantee of arrival time. If ordering from eBay, check with the seller or post details.
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The Amazing Spider-Man #1 – Another year, another Spider-Man number one issue. The obvious reason comic companies release these relaunch number one issues is to market the “importance”, the significance, of a new beginning and more importantly to sell comics. The problem with this is the “insignificance” it serves on the speculative side. Granted, that’s of zero importance to Marvel or DC because they are selling at their pricing, or is it of importance?…….
Marketing for the comic industry has shifted in a major way over the last 10-15 years or so. The absurd amount of variants, the gimmick covers, and of course the relaunch titles. The industry KNOWS there is a spec market buying these up, as does the card market. So, in order to feed the beast and rake in dollars, the 25 variants or so appear to accompany a pointless, say, new Spider-Man launch. It truly is the 90’s all over again whether you want to see it or admit it. Calm down fanboy, not speaking about anyone going out of business or the comic industry as a whole faltering into obscurity, talking about the ridiculous amount of speculation and useless crap that collectors are being sold on. Volume SIX is the number we’re up to now. Six times Marvel has relaunched this title with a number one issue “for the ages!” Each time a new number one Spider-Man comic happens, it waters down the previous ones. Imagine Marvel kept the numbering going for 60 years when Amazing Spider-Man debuted. That number one issue now has more significance to a collector because it’s the only Amazing Spider-Man #1 comic to ever exist. Common sense here really, but not thought of in this manner at all sometimes. Speculators keep feeding into the number one issue as though it’s something special because there is a 1:500 ratio variant sitting out there. So? Question(s) one should ask themselves before throwing down big money on an Amazing Spider-Man #1 this Wednesday. What exactly is the significance of the number one issue here? Is there a MAJOR first appearance in a character that will possibly stick around for 60 more years? A viable error (not Bat-dong-gate) inside that makes the cable network news? A reveal in the story never done before that’ll stick? Etc. You see the point here, but Marvel and DC will continue their ridiculousness of relaunches because of the spec market today. It’s the absolute reason why this is happening all of the time. DC, we think, was the first to realize the insignificance of the number one on their covers by going back to the original numbering on some of their books. Still isn’t stopping them from doing the premiere relaunch thing, but what this move truly says is that the market isn’t responding as it once did. So, back to catering to a comic fan with original numbering. The speculation market is one of massive greed and has left many holding the bag because of the unnecessary hype. BRZRKR #8 releasing this week is a wonderful case in point. That comic was untouchable at one point. Thousands of dollars for variants. All predicated on a March 2021 news release that BRZRKR was optioned by Netflix as a possible anime-type show and live-action movie. The last time we heard news about BRZRKR being on the small screen was in October of 2021. Being spoken about by the man himself, Keanu Reeves, “still looking for animators and maybe the live-action happening”. That’s a whole lot of what-ifs and maybe’s there. To add some unfortunate news to the mix here, Netflix announced last week they’ve lost 200K subscribers in the first 3 months of 2022, and expect to lose another 2 million this quarter. Where will the cutbacks occur? Will BRZRKR land somewhere else? Will Netflix option out now? Can they? We have no idea how that works, but does Netflix have first dibs and can they sell their option? Again, zero idea how this works, but the point here is, BRZRKR may not be happening for a bit, on Netflix at least. Or at all. Comic speculators really got burned on this one, but if you were reading our articles, one would have been a bit more educated on the market before being a buyer at the high end. Here is a reminder over a year ago of what InvestComics was saying about BRZRKR; BRZRKR #1 – There is so much to be said about this comic, good and bad. Not even sure where to start, but we’ll randomly go all over the place, just follow along. A quick disclaimer here too before the text begins. Not looking to hurt anyone’s feelings or sh*t on this comic. Just simple observation, opinion, speculative thoughts. An opinion that’s been around these here parts for many years. Been right and wrong about things, but you won’t get hyperbole here, no hidden agenda, just straight talk.
First and foremost, this comic has a pre-sale of well over 600k. That, by today’s standards, is a whole lotta comic books. So, with that, right off the bat, we get rid of the scarcity portion of the equation. Well, somewhat. There are so SO SOO many “limited” variants available, it’s borderline absurdity. Think Marvel Star Wars #1. And we all remember how that faired out, right? We can’t remember the last time a Marvel Star Wars #1 limited variant was shown on a social media outlet, let alone discussed. Actor Keanu Reeves stepping into the comic book arena feels a bit like Oprah Winfrey stepping into the Sirius XM model. When she signed a big contract with Sirius XM, she never made a public announcement (marketing ad) on television, cable, nowhere. She simply took the money and ran. Which is okay, anyone has the right to sell their name like this to cash in, money is enlightening, makes some feel warm inside. Oprah really wanted nothing to do with satellite radio, she just liked to see her own channel name. She never appeared LIVE on the channel. The experiment lasted a few years and Sirius XM dropped the channel. Now, with Keanu, it’s a tad different. He’s signing some comics (more on that in a little), and he cut a video promo for BRZRKR #1. This is immediately more than Oprah has done after receiving her millions of dollars from Sirius XM. So, Keanu is off to a good start regarding the comic book he’s writing/involved with. Here’s the thing. In order for this comic to sustain its mainstay in 10 years’ time (when the series is long over and forgotten), a few things have to occur……
Number one, Reeves has to be involved in a good story here. He’s teamed up with one of the best in the comic book business, Matt Kindt. The interest must have readers coming back, otherwise, we are looking at one of, if not the biggest bust in comic book history. Artist Ron Garney will absolutely kill it. This dude is fire and will have the eyeballs all over it. So, the artwork is not even a question in tow, the story will be the deal-breaker. Number two, Keanu has to be proactive in promoting the book. A one-cut video promotion will not have a lasting effect because it’ll have the feel of being dated. No one will care about a promo from 3 months ago. Yes, it’s wonderful to have an actor of Keanu’s caliber marketing the comic book industry, but if this is a one-and-done, that’s not good news for anyone. Consistency will always win. Always. A consistent marketing campaign will have fans interested and coming back. The hype machine should never cease (see Todd McFarlane). Three, find new innovative ideas for promoting the comic. The signed limited edition number one issue is great and all, but what next? Is anything going to occur for issue 3? Issue 5? Keeping up with hype means enticing fans with new shiny things. The upside-down modern market is full of useless spending and hype and now is the time to strike.
A few days ago, a limited signed Keanu BRZRKR #1 sold for $2500. That’s some nice change. Here’s what else you could buy RIGHT NOW for $2500 or LESS. First appearance of Iron Fist (CGC 9.6) for $1700. First Appearance of Shang-Chi (CGC 9.6) for $2200. First appearance of Moon Knight (CGC 6.5) for $1600. First appearance of Black Panther (CGC 8.0) for $1900. We can go ALL DAY with this, but you get the idea here. So, is the Keanu signature more scarce than some of these comics, yes, but the iconic substance of the comics listed will always and should win outright. 25 years from now, that Moon Knight first appearance will outshine that signature tenfold. Why? The sustainability of the Moon Knight character will still be known, a validity unmatched, while the actor will be forgotten. Not in a bad way, just not as important in a collectors market as the debut of a character like Moon Knight. With Moon Knight on the cusp of some HUGE gains (again) we spoke of the Werewolf By Night #32 back in 2009. By our math, that is 12 years ago. At the time, a decent copy would have put you back a hundred bucks. Let that sink in. InvestComics speculated the Moon Knight first appearance at $100 at one time. Actually, we consistently spec’ed that comic for YEARS and YEARS. We’re just showing off here, let’s get back to Keanu, shall we?
Let’s wrap this up and weigh the pros/cons before you go throwing hoards of money at BRZRKR #1. Is this a precursor to a possible film? If so, this will be a hot commodity until the film ever does arrive. The 600k release is a bit of a turnoff regarding the regular release. Yes, there are the limited variants, but no matter, 600k does not sit well with a release of the same comic on the inside across/over half a million copies available. The opposite bodes well too. A limited-edition signed Reeves copy is a nice addition to any collection. Although, if BRZRKR is nothing but a quick hobby for Keanu, that signed copy could become a Keanu Reeves fanboy collectible and that’s it. In turn not fetching the numbers it is now. Remember the few examples given earlier of books to get at or below $2500 right now, those are true key comics, this new release here is a gimmick that will solely depend on two things. If Reeves continues the comic book career and if BRZRKR becomes the next Rocky, Terminator, Aliens, or even John Wick.
BRZRKR #2 – This series was and still is being pushed with scarce variant issues and signed copies. Nothing wrong with marketing tools/ploys. Gotta make the bread, right? Then the “movie announcement” (or show?) came out soon after the number one issue sold like 600k copies. Someone got paid! Here’s the thing. First and foremost, nothing wrong with making a buck. Speculators are in the game for money, that’s understood. That said, buyers have to really do their due diligence and ask themselves a whole bunch of questions before jumping in and spending a boatload of hard-earned money on scarce comics and announcements. There really needs to be more validity to the cause and effect here. See, when InvestComics spoke of Beta Ray Bill 12+ years ago or Silk 7+ years ago, we were talking about an investment that would grow in time. We weren’t talking about a current fad or comic being pushed because of its gimmick or a possible film. Yes, possible film, because in Hollywood, scripts tend to die and never see the light of day. Not saying that BRZRKR won’t happen, just stating that the investment RIGHT NOW, this day, doesn’t equate to the pricing. So, understand that prices will come down before possibly going back up because talking about doing something (a film) and actually having it carry out are two different things. A buyer would be wise to wait this out a bit and let the overpriced market settle down a bit before jumping in. What if this film never happens? What does that RARE $1000+ spent on a BRZRKR variant take in then? A lot less because no one will care about it. Please, be vigilant about this hobby. Do your homework. Wait things out. Too many places have their own agenda in pushing comics and are leaving many holding the empty bag. Well, there you have it. Our take over a year ago.
And what about that Amazing Spider-Man comic coming out this Wednesday? With Zeb Wells writing and John Romita Jr. providing the art, it will be a good book. How long will this superstar creative team last is anyone’s guess? How long before another relaunch to further water down the number one Spidey issues for the speculation side?
Knights Of X #1 – Marvel telling DC, whatever you can do, we can do better. DC says the same to Marvel all the time too. For months, InvestComics has spoken highly of the new DC Knights Universe with the ongoing Dark Knights of Steel series. Stating an entirely new DC Universe was being created and fans should be aware of it. Who knows if a silly animation series comes of it and hits. Speculators will be scrambling for these books quickly. Now, this week, Marvel answers the bell with their “Knights” series. Again, just like DC’s Knights, nothing groundbreaking here, just a new universe getting put together to make for fun stories regarding superheroes with swords and horses. And just like we spoke of the DC series, look for new “knight characters” to be introduced throughout. Writer Tini Howard and artist Bob Quinn start things off.
Gunslinger Spawn #7 – A cameo or first full appearance here. Not too sure, but someone, something is lurking in these pages.
Carnage #2 – Has the Carnage Symbiote found a new host? A possible new character here gets to become Carnage.
Silver Surfer Rebirth #4 – InvestComics has spoken of the D-list character, Jack of Hearts, ad nauseam for many years now. For some reason, we like this dude. He’s making his colorful self be a bad guy on the cover here. He’s possessed by something. But a recent appearance on a She-Hulk variant and now this? What gives here? Maybe Disney doesn’t want to lose the publishing rights so they have to show his face? Or maybe, just maybe he’s going to be the next big Marvel/Disney character?! Haha, just kidding, but here is a quick reminder of what we said for the past 15 years about JOH; “Jack of Hearts #1 (1984). One of the best D level Marvel characters ever. Back in 1984, this limited series hit with little fanfare but was still a great read. Writer Bill Mantlo brought Jack of Hearts to a new level here. So much so (insert sarcasm here) that Jack of Hearts went on to appear about 10 more times in various comics in the next 7 years. Jack first appeared in The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #22 (Cameo). His first full appearance is in the next issue; The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #23. Here’s a cool thing here. The creator of Jack of Hearts (Bill Mantlo) teamed with the great Keith Giffen on the cameo issue, then teamed with Legend Gil Kane for the first full appearance. That’s an impressive cameo and first right? Oh, Jack of Hearts where art thou?” ~ “Jack of Hearts. Here is a long-forgotten Marvel character that literally shines with expectation. The costume alone could get eyes glancing over to see what is going on. An interesting player in the Marvel universe that would make for some fun screen time. A cartoon would be as colorful as live-action would. Make this happen, Marvel. *First appearance; The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #22 (1976). This was a Marvel magazine. Jack of Hearts’ first comic book appearance was in The Incredible Hulk #213 (1977). Jack of Hearts four-issue limited series from 1984 is an easy get.”
Thor #24 – As our lengthy diatribe from earlier regarding the original numbering, here is Thor’s 750th issue, but Thor #24. Okay. A superstar who’s who within the comic industry are appearing in this book. Including Mr. Thor himself, Walt Simonson. The man single-handedly responsible for the Thor character you see and read today. Simonson will spin a new tale in these pages with his beloved creation Beta Ray Bill.
Blood-Stained Teeth #1 – New series from Image Comics. Want to become a Vampire and have eternal life? You’ve come to the right place (comic). Written by Christan Ward and drawn by Patric Reynolds.
The Naughty List #1 – Christmas in April? Sure, why not? Someone steals Nicholas Sinterklass’ naughty list and he’s pissed. Not too sure what that list even consists of, but we’re sure to find out in this “Santa Claus” origin story. Getting National Lampoon vibes from that cover for some reason. Check out the new comic from AfterShock Comics. Writer Nick Santora and artist Lee Ferguson.
Two new Spider-Man mash-up first(?) appearance covers this week; Thor #24 and Silver Surfer Rebirth #4. We love the mash-ups Marvel puts together on an often basis. Whether it’s Mary Jane, Deadpool, Gwen, Spider-Man, etc. If or when one of these covers ever becomes a reality, as in one of these mash-ups becoming a Marvel Universe regular, the first appearance cover will blow up. They are fun to collect nonetheless even if nothing becomes of them, now.
Last week we reported on two comics that were delayed and we want to reiterate their importance for their release this week. Silk #4 and Justice League #75.
Justice League #75 – DC Comics going with the flare for dramatics this Wednesday. “The Death Of The Justice League.” Complete with a “coffin cover” and a “black die-cut word cover”. An oversize issue. And a marketing campaign slogan that says “…..The Next Big DCU Event.”
*insert eye-roll here. The Dark Army will be the cause of the Justice League’s demise this time around. So, writer Joshua Williamson spins the tale here of the last issue of Justice League. Until a new Justice League is formed after the Big Event with 20 variant covers accompanying the new number one issue. All of this is basic speculation knowledge of what is to come down the pike. We are 99.999999 percent sure a Justice League number one will happen after the Big DCU Event. But, until then, let’s see where this issue and the Big Event truly take us.
Silk #4 – The first (full) appearance of Old-Lady Cindy? No one is talking about this. Maybe because we’re incorrect? Maybe because no one gives a rip? That’s her on one of the regular covers too. Her name should be VERY Old-Lady Cindy.
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