“Variants are great, exclusives are nice, but we all know that what’s inside make a comic last. This column is about the meat between the shiny incentive cover and the final full-page ad on the back for a toy you’re a little to old to admit to owning! What is going on inside that is going to be a big deal? This is where we guess. This is DrunkWooky’s Crystal Ball Spec!
Twas the night before Comic Con and all through the land,
Not a creature was worried, exclusives would soon be in hand,
Every news source had reported each publisher’s exclusives with care,
there was not a single exclusive of which attendees were unaware….
Ok, I’m not going to keep that up. Late on the eve of SDCC Jedi Bobliothek, a German blog dedicated solely to Star Wars print memorabilia, broke the news that the Marvel booth at SDCC would have an extremely limited Lando #1 variant. The limited variant would have classic Topps illustration and the original white starscape on bright blue background from the original Topps Star Wars cards.
As Tony can attest, Star Wars is my own particular weakness. I was contacting anybody who would know somebody on the ground floor there at SDCC. Well, I finally broke down and just bought the darn thing from the sole Ebay seller for the personal collection.
Ok, so this spec is shaky ground. Proceed at your own risk, but rest assured that I have put my own money where my mouth is, buying two copies here. Star Wars fans pony up cash for everything. Then again, Star Wars memorabilia is notoriously over-produced. Oftentimes when something has been produced in a relatively limited quantity in the Star Wars world, we find out far too late.
Lando #1 SDCC Topps Variant are selling between $15.00 and $25.00 now on Ebay. I’d say I paid a bit more than that for it prior to SDCC, but I apologize for nothing! After an initial feeding frenzy surrounding the extremely late exclusive announcement, the prices cooled off a bit.
What does the content of Lando have going for it, though? Lando #1 is the first time a comic publisher has taken Lando out of the background, basically flying valet to the other characters and placed him at the forefront with some character development. This isn’t even to mention the fact that Lobot actually gets lines in this series. Mix that with threatening Ughnaughts and a mute crime boss with space fairy-trolls who do his bidding, and I’d say there’s adequate content here to support some speculation. This series has an entirely different feel from either the Darth Vader or Star Wars series. It’s light-hearted, while at the same time keeping the stakes high. It has more substance to add to the Star Wars canon than Princess Leia did and it appears that Soule is providing a strong foundation from which to write Lando in future series.
While Alex Ross 1:50 variants are always pretty, this variant would be my personal preference for both an item in the personal collection and some long-term speculation. An Alex Ross will always sell for $39–$40 down the road, but few retailers let them go for much less than that. This exclusive, though, is novel enough that people may seek it out later on down the road once the copies on Ebay get neatly tucked into longboxes worldwide.. Lando, although only a mini-series like Princess Leia, is off to a strong start and I wouldn’t be surprised if the creative team of Soule and Maleev crank out a classic here.
My copy arrived today, and lo and behold, it came in a poly bag. Thus, we’re hit with the age old question: to release from the poly bag or not? Some collectors see more value in an intact poly. Some cringe at the chemical make-up of that cheap excuse for a protective sleeve. The real deciding factor with Lando #1, was the fact that there were exclusive Topps card inside, though. So, I decided to forge ahead and release Lando from carbonite! Because I did, you don’t have to if you don’t want to! Aren’t I a nice guy!?
As you can see, nestled neatly along the spine inside were two Topps card promoting new lines of trading cards coming out just in time for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. I got a classic Luke Skywalker right before he gets Bespin smoke machines force-hurled at him. In addition, I got Poe Dameron in his X-Wing. We recognize this scene from the infamous first teaser trailer where a squad of X-Wings skims the surface of a body of water. Being a huge Star Wars fan, I probably should have known the character’s name by now, but this was a learning experience for all.”