InvestComics Hot Picks Special: Speculating Marvel Comics – B Sides

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(Disclaimer: all comic recommendations are from a speculative vantage point. Not all comics are to guarantee a return on your investment. This article is used as a guide for investments and more so for entertainment purposes. Any opinions or expression of investments should be used as a judgment upon the investor, not InvestComics. Please use your own discretion when investing and have fun.)

Within the speculators market there is one driving force behind it these day. Well actually three. One; movies, two; television, and three; rumors.

On this site throughout the years collectors would find some obscure character first appearances, their origin appearances, or maybe even their untimely departure issue. What about those whacked out characters? Got me thinking, with Hollywood and the television networks all vying for/searching for that “next” best thing within the comic book realm, why not put together a list of characters that could one day see the light of day? Well honestly, most of these dudes and dude- ette’s will probably NEVER see the light of day, but hey did anyone ever think 20 years ago that we’d see a gun touting manic raccoon on screen? There are also some very obvious suggestions in this article too. 

Before proceeding, not only will this article be all over the place, I need to point out that SOME of THESE comics hold absolutely no redeeming value other than my own meandering speculation views, personal favorite’s and just flat out fun of mere mentioning them. Take this with a grain of salt and please have fun along with me!

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Let’s start with an obvious pick that has been eluding every comic book fan of its return since 1986. The series started in 1979. Rom ran for 7 years and boy was it a fun ride. So much so that there are petitions set out there asking for the return of Rom. The character most certainly has a very large appeal, but will the cult favorite ever make it out of doldrums of hiatus hell status from Hasbro? Here’s the thing folks, If Disney NOT Marvel ever decide Rom equals potential financial gain, it WILL get done. So can Disney wrestle away Rom from Hasbro? Disney will get their way if they want Rom…..they always do.

There are exactly 4 very key issues within the 75 issue run. Rom #1, Rom #’s 1718 (both X-Men appearance with Frank Miller covers), and Rom #75 (The final low print issue of the series). These are the 4 comics to grab within this series. Very affordable, very appealing, and it’s Rom.

In 2007, an unthinkable, unimaginable, the unfathomable happened. Captain America died! It made national news and it was a shockingly sad time within the comic book fandom. During his untimely death the rumors ran rampant as to who would take over the reins and don the shield. How many remember some comic fans bringing up Frank Castles’ name? Although a time for mourning, there were some funny suggestions as to who should take the mantle. One name in particular made the most sense, but Marvel didn’t give into to it. At the time of Rogers’ departure, American Eagle was appearing in the pages of a few comics. American Eagle is a native American and it would have made so much sense to have him don the shield for a while. Well it didn’t happen. Maybe one of the Captain America movies will have American Eagle become the next big Native American hero since……Tonto?? There is an influx of African American/female/foreign characters leading the way. Why not focus on an American Indian? Why not have a character that represents the foundations of America a mainstay within the Marvel Universe? Well if you’re a believer that Disney (who’s no stranger to the native American culture) will someday put American Eagle front and center then look for Marvel Two-In-One Annual #6 (1981) for his first appearance.


Staying on topic a bit here, there has been so much talk of a Black Panther movie but nothing concrete has solidified the rumors….yet. Although the talks of this movie happening has really sparked interest in an already collectable comic; Fantastic Four #52 (1966), Black Panthers first appearance, the collector still has some time to get this comic before the comic really takes off. The Jack Kirby comic is not only the first appearance, but it’s also the first African American super-hero ever.  Once the official announcement from Marvel Studios comes, Fantastic Four #52 will see an instant spike. Then the announcement of who will play him, another spike, then the first tease of the costume, another spike, well you get the idea. Buy this comic now if you can. You’ll be very happy you did.

How about some other very cool African American characters other than Luke Cage and Blade? One that  was talk of a television show that never panned out? Brother Voodoo! He first appeared in Strange Tales #169 (1973). How about Dagger from the awesome Cloak & Dagger team? How amazing would a Marvel film be featuring Cloak & Dagger? A collector can scoop up their first appearance for mega cheap if you shop around. Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (1982) gives readers a first look at this team. Check out the limited series from 1984 as well. 

Also on the movie front we have Doctor Strange rumored, but almost certain to be part of the next phase. Besides the Doc’s first appearance and Dr. Strange #169 (his REAL number one and first solo comic) which are obvious pick ups, Dr. Strange’s main adversary is the one to go after! The villain will only command aftermarket bonuses up until a few months before the release of the movie, you’re looking at a long term investment book you’ll need to dump at the right time. Otherwise the market will correct itself and you’ll either break even or lose on the deal. Strange Tales #126 (1964) could be one to pick up now. The comic gives us a first look at Dormammu. Will this be the villain Marvel goes with in the new Strange movie? Who knows? My bet is they go right here.

How about one more Strange Tales comic to check out? Strange Tales #89 (1961) features the first appearance of Fin Fang Foom. With the new Fantastic Four movie cast just released and Galactus probably getting his proper due on screen, this villain would be cool to have as an alternative go to if Fox decides NOT to go with the big purple guy.


When will Mephisto make his movie appearance? It has to happen eventually right? Well until it does, be sure to seek out and buy Silver Surfer #3 (1968).

How about touching on the Marvel Cosmo’s? Please note (regular visitors to InvestComics have heard this before!) that the entire Marvel Cosmic Universe speculation market hinges on the success or failure of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. If the movie does well at the box office, more Marvel cosmo to come, it fails, the end of the Marvel cosmo movement. It’s a rather simple equation. Captain Marvel #26 (1973) brings us Death’s first appearance. Thor #225 (1974) is Firelord’s first appearance. Giant-Sized Defenders #3 features the first look at Korvac. Marvel Man changes his name to Quasar, thus creating the first appearance of Quasar in The Incredible Hulk #234 (1979).

A group by the name U-Foes first appears in The Incredible Hulk #254 (1980). They are so unusual and so cool at the same time. Another team that commands some serious attention came onto the scene in 1979 by the name Alpha Flight. Uncanny X-Men #120; John Byrne, Terry Austin, Chris Claremont, and the first appearance of Alpha Flight. What more does one need here? Well anyone who is a regular InvestComics visitor knows that Alpha Flight has been on the radar here for years and will continue to be. There is no reason to not speculate that this team will never see screen time. I for one believe they will. They can very easily be transcribed to film. They are a team that would dominate as the X-Men have on film. It will happen folks someday, get this valuable comic now. And also get the mega overprinted Alpha Flight #1 (1983). 

Back to The Hulk. Planet Hulk…..first and foremost you’d want to get the very beginning’s of the Planet Hulk saga. This can be found in The Incredible Hulk #88 (2006) and New Avengers: IIIuminati one shot (2006). Of course you’d go grab the Planet Hulk saga comics as a whole, but getting The Incredible Hulk #92 (2006) is a must. This issue introduces Hulks wife (deceased) Caiera. Caiera is an intricate part of the Planet Hulk storyline because the World War Hulk storyline introduces their son Skaar. Skaar would most definitely appear in a Planet Hulk/World War Hulk movie. Not only would he appear, but Skaar would be the prize comic for the speculator. What If? Planet Hulk #1 (2007) is the first appearance of Skaar and is without a doubt the next BIG comic when and if Marvel does a phase 3 with the Hulk being the centerpiece. Writer Greg Pak created the entire Planet Hulk universe, so he will be in much demand. I hope he gets a consult gig if Marvel Studios goes with this.

Speaking of an Avenger, how about Winter Soldier appearing in the new Cap movie? Sweet huh? Here’s a nugget you may have already heard or maybe not. The actor playing Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) signed on with Marvel Studios for 9 films. Yes NINE films. Crazy right? Well why not stay on the crazy train here? How about Winter Solider takes the mantle from Captain America in Cap 3 as U.S. Agent? U.S. Agent first appeared as Super-Patriot in Captain America #323 (1986) and as the U.S. Agent in Captain America #354 (1989). What if Marvel Studios go down the route of Nomad? Captain America first dons the Nomad costume in Captain America #180 (1974). Edward Ferbel was the second Nomad in Captain America #261 (1981). The third installment of Nomad (Jack Monroe) and probably the winning book for the Nomad speculation cause is Captain America #282 (1983). Jack Monroe went on to spawn a limited series (which is also one to get) and a regular series that lasted 25 issues. I won’t speak about the fourth Nomad, a female version character that failed miserably.

Hey wouldn’t it be great if Marvel Studios ever challenged DC/Warner Bros. In releasing their version of Superman? How about Sentry? He first appeared in the self titled Sentry #1 (2000). Wow this would be fantastic wouldn’t it?

If you’re been checking out the most recent InvestComics Hot Picks, you will know that I have been talking about the Marvel UK resurgence. In no way is the resurgence happening by mistake. Marvel/Disney are probably testing the market for the first major movie/animation starring a Marvel UK character. Captain Britain would be an obvious first choice, but it’s way too close to the Captain America lure. So where to go next? How about Union Jack? Check out the Invaders comics #’s 7 (1976), #8 (1976), and #20 (1977) for the key Union Jack comics. Also Captain America #254 (1981).

You know who would be great fun to see in a film. Maybe as a team member; Jack of Hearts. The colors in his costume are so vibrant that it would just pop on screen. The red heart on his left eye, the blue, yellow, and red costume….all good in my book! Check out his first appearance in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #23 (1976). Also check out his four issue limited series from 1984.

Staying with the “colorful” characters, how about picking up Adventure Into Fear with Man-Thing # 19 (1973). This comic gives collectors the first look at Howard the Duck. Remember that bad movie from 1986? How awesome would it be to have Howard revisited by Marvel/Disney? Yes, this needs to get done.

You know what also needs to get done? How about a Machine Man film? Machine Man was created by Jack ‘King’ Kirby in 1976’s 2001: A Space Odyssey #8. Jack ‘King’ Kirby had his hands all over this creation. The only thing he is not credited on is the Inking and coloring. A fantastic book to have in your collection.

Black Widow may lead the charge as the first Big Budget female hero on screen. So how about we look at some female characters that should get some more play in your spec collection.

Amazing Spider-Man #209 features the first appearance of Calypso. Todd McFarlane brought back Calypso during his solo Spider-Man run, but she hasn’t really been a factor since. What time than the present to change that?

Typhoid Mary really needs more playtime in the Marvel Universe. She’s too good of a character to be forgotten about or thrown into meaningless story lines. Marvel needs to revisit what made her work back in the late 80’s. Typhoid’s debut came in Daredevil #254 (1988). Typhoid will probably appear in the new Daredevil netflix show too.

Hellcat has made many appearances over the years, but never seems to garner the attention she should get. Check out Avengers #144 (1976) for the first appearance of Hellcat.

As previously mentioned, Daredevil will be getting his own netflix series. I’m making a call right here that you will hear HERE first. Echo will be the female go to in the series. How do I know this? A hunch. I’ve been right before. I’ve also been wrong before too! The hunch points to Echo for me and Echo’s first is in Daredevil (vol. 2) #9 (1999).

Tabitha (Boom-Boom) like Hellcat has appeared in so many comics over the years, but you’d be hard pressed to even know what her first appearance book is. That book would be Secret Wars II #5 (1985).

Well that’s it for this installment. Look for DC, Image, and more Marvel ‘B’ side comic picks coming your way.


Invest wisely. Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz


InvestComics Hot Picks #254

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Welcome to the InvestComics Hot Picks for new comic releases on 1-30-13.

Well the news has come out and boy is the aftermarket a’buzzing! Much thanks to Sebastian Piccione of InvestComics and the awesome video review show FFFIC on the InvestComics YouTube channel, if you followed his instructions you would have been picking up the Sixth Gun comic a long long time ago. NBC has partnered up with the creators; Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt to begin a pilot for them. This is great news if you’re already an owner of the Sixth Gun #1 issue from Oni Press. Why you ask? Do you really have to ask? Well here’s the scoop. On Ebay right now, a seller has 2 number one issues in VF condition no less selling for $90+!! The comics are probably well past that price point since this was as of 2 days ago. Well here’s the question to ask, do I buy? Well here’s the thing with these types of comics. I say “types” because it’s really just a hot item right now because of the announcement from NBC and the fact it may be a successful show (see Walking Dead). Now the other question comes into play, how much is too much? Well a graded copy of Walking Dead #1 sold recently for $10,000. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’d know that as a collector I personally think that paying that much for a graded Walking Dead number one is absurdity at its finest. Zombie movies, comics, stories are not a new thing. This too shall fade away eventually, leaving that buyer that spent 10 grand on a book that will be worth a third of that in given time. The same may apply to the Sixth Gun. While a spectacular comic and story, the quick bump in the pricing market may be because of the possible outcome of the show and its future. It’s a tricky/dicey bet here to go out and buy high on this comic right now ($50+ range?). The best advice to offer here may seem like a copout, but it’s the most honest. Go with your gut on this. Here are the positives here to help you along; the story itself has never really been done before, making for a fresh take on something “new” as oppose to something “old”. It has potential for a franchise in the sense that the six guns are always to be sought after for their powers, thus making for a constant chase, thus for making for constant story, thus making for constant potential. The negatives are quite simple here. What if the story does not translate to the small screen? The pilot is a flop and you are left holding a $50+ comic in your hands with no aftermarket value. The risk is big here. $50+ is not something you want to just blow away on such uncertainty. I will leave you with one certainty however. There are only 3 CGC graded Sixth Guns #1 issues out there at the moment. If you think you may own a good 9.8 or higher grade, send it off to CGC right away. If you score a 9.8 or higher (hope hope) you will then triple your money in the aftermarket. Or you may want to hold onto it and wait for A: the market to heat up some more (which probably will) Or B: wait for the good reviews (maybe/maybe not) to come in regarding the pilot. Bottom line, go with your gut, it’s usually never wrong.


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Let’s move along to the new Marvel and DC Universe’s. As said countless times here on the InvestComics Hot Picks; the best thing about the restarts/relaunch of these two companies is the influx of new heroes and villains as well as the returning/revamps of some of them. This week Marvel’s Avengers (2012 5th Series) #4 gives us the origin of Hyperion. Hyperion first appeared in the original Avengers series (1963). The issue was Avengers #69 (1969). The value here is at the $80 mark. Not too bad for a character that hasn’t really been “A rated”. Here’s a nice nugget though; only 100 total copies sit out there graded and only 5 are in the 9.8 spot. If you can muscle away a very nice non graded copy (9.8 – good luck, not an easy task), you’d be able to flip it for some decent change.

Another non- listed A rated character makes his long awaited return (who was really wanting on this guy anyway?). Dark Avengers (2012 Marvel) 2nd Series #186 sets the return of…..ready?? U.S. Agent! Okay so maybe not the biggest star in the sky, but he’s a cool dude! Check out Captain America #323 (1986) for his debut. The CGC market doesn’t really have many of these copies graded at the moment. Only 21 graded with a top heavy 6 issues in the 9.8 category. Not so bad here if you think you can score a 9.8 at $4, send it off and try to flip it by upselling it on Ebay. Not that hard of an issue to find.

X-Men Legacy #5 will introduce two new villains. Yay, more bad guys….gals. Whichever.

DC’s Flash (2011) #16 will introduce a major new villain. Good for Flash because his rouge gallery is not that impressive anyways. Justice League Dark (2011) #16 will debut a new character.

DC feels it necessary to give He-Man his own origin book this week. Masters of the Universe The Origin of He-Man (2013) #1 gives us an awesome cover though doesn’t it? If you feel like you’re in the hunting mode, look for the debut of He-Man in Masters of the Universe from Mattel (1981). Good luck finding that in NM condition.

And finally from DC, we have Batman The Dark Knight (2011 2nd Series) #16 coming out this week with debut penciler Ethan Van Sciver. We don’t have to get into how much Ethan’s pencils are boss. This guy can flat out draw. With Ethan on the new Bat book, it got me thinking of where Ethan’s earliest Batman art occurred. It brought me way back to 2001 Justice Leagues: JL? #1. What’s up with the title? Anyway, if you want Ethan’s first(?) Batman work you can probably find it hiding in a long box someplace for a buck. If you want to make a quick buck, you pair up the latest Ethan Batman with his “first Batman” and sell that on Ebay as a pair. Send me at least 7%. Thanks.

Image Comics will release Invincible (2003) #100. Expect instant sellouts on this book. More so there is a golden nugget here that will pay very high dividends if you are able to score it. With the release of the modern day Peter Parker like character comic, there will be 9 variant covers. There will be one in particular you will need to grab in order to make an almost guarantee profit. The Ryan Ottley wraparound Sketch Cover will be a cool $85 when it comes out. Look for the aftermarket to command more than the $85 you spent on it….quickly. If you feel so inclined, you may want to get it graded to make even more money. This fans is the variant to get!

On the cosmetic front we have Spawn (1992) #227 coming out. Todd McFarlane continues his very smart money grab here and continues to pay homage to various famous comic covers. Todd pays homage to himself this week with the copying of Amazing Spider-Man #300. Todd is still great and a smart business man within the comic book industry. Not so much baseball, but comics. Sorry Todd! We still love ya!

Be sure to check out an interesting title from Dark Horse this week; Emily and the Strangers (2012 Dark Horse) #1.

That’s it for now. Remember to listen to the newest and greatest Podcast ever! Breaking the 4th Wall brought to you by InvestComics. Shaun Cobble & Shaun Sorenson are doing their thing; listen in to maybe start winning some prizes too! And also the weekly video comic book review show; FFFIC! Watch that each week. This past week Ernest Mesa won a signed Mark Bagley autograph! What creator autograph will be next? Stay tuned and find out!

See you next week, invest wisely.

Jay Katz


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