One Year Later: Spec Review for 5/24/17

What up CHUllectors!?! Shawn B., the One Year Later Investigator, back with another One Year Later round up, where we take a look at some of the comics that Anthony, Mel, and Poyo specced on one year ago. Their specs turn out to be quick flips, slow burns, straight up misses, straight up winners and on and on. Sometimes they spec with their hearts out of their passion for comics. Sometimes they spec based on data. And sometimes they spec based off the word on the street. Either way, all their specs appeal to a few or many collectors whether it is due to them having similar taste in writing or art, or just an opportunity for a collector to flip a book and make money to “support their habit”. So, this is our weekly chance to look back at how some of our buys from a year ago are doing today.

Wonder Woman #23 Variant Jenny Frison Cover – Mel & Poyo Pick
Original Value: $3     Current Value: $8
No shocker here. These Jenny Frison variants might be the most consistent winners when it comes to the Killer Bs covers. Cho is up there too.
Quick Flip Winners

Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur #19 Incentive Marcos Martin Variant Cover – Anthony & Mel Pick
Original Value: $25 Quick Flip Value: $40 Current Value: $25
First appearance of Girl Moon. With the success of the series and the show coming out, the drop surprises me a little on this one. If Girl Moon is introduced in the show this could be a great long-term hold. Regular cover goes for cover price and below still.

Normals #1 Incentive Elizabeth Torque Variant Cover – Mel & Poyo Pick
Original Value: $15 Quick Flip Value: $25 Current Value: $7
You’d a had to move faster than a speeding bullet to get the quick flip value out of this one. Last sale on the bay was for $1!

Seven To Eternity #6 Variant Jerome Opena Spawn Month Color & B/W Cover – Anthony & Poyo Picks
Original Value: $4 each        Quick Flip Value: $25 for set         Current Value: $5 each
I don’t do any quick flipping so I hate the fact that I fall for these variant themes when I shouldn’t.

Elektra #4 Incentive Christopher Stevens Variant Cover – Mel Pick
Original Value: $25     Current Value: $10
These Elektra variants had a little juice off the bat but quickly fizzled out. Unsure of any Quick Flip value.
Unspecced Winners

Deathstroke #19
Original Value: $3     Current Value: $10
The B Cover is at the same value.

Totally Awesome Hulk #19
Original Value: $4     Current Value: $12
Who knew at this point?!

34 thoughts on “One Year Later: Spec Review for 5/24/17”

    1. And that is why the best advice for buying comic books is…Buy what you like…you will never be disappointed.

    2. Most variants fall in price over time. You get the collectors who seek the artist for their own PC and then all the leftovers sit and gather dust from those who couldn’t sell. One must consider that most shops are the ones who set the initial value in attempts to cover the costs they paid in buying X amount of other covers (which they anticipate will take longer to sell over time) to qualify for the variant.
      The only time a higher ratio variant stays hot or goes up in value is if it’s a variant that has a first appearance or carries some other significance to the title or story, etc.
      When you really break down the reason we have high ratio variants, it’s a way to boost initial sales on books that might not actually demand such print numbers. If comic shops only pre-ordered the number of books their actual customers want, we’d see a whole lot more smaller print runs across the board from all publishers.

    1. Yep… agreed. How often does one see misses on high grade silver and bronze 1 year later? There might be outliers here and there, but generally not happening

      1. Can everyone stop comparing the modern market to silver age books. We get it. Old valuable comics are better to own than a book that came out last week/month/year/decade. That is as obvious as the difference between the sky and the ocean. Every collectible market is like that! But, I wouldnt call gold/silver/bronze books speculation either. They are already established for the most part. Flipping moderns is pure speculation, and a wildly turbulent market. But there is money to be made. Different people like different things and if you can think outside of your accustomed box, and look at the current market from a different perspective, then there is no need to compare the apples and oranges that silver keys and moderns respectively are.

      2. Golden age and silver age market values are tied to the stock market and housing market. They only go down when many people are financially strapped and need to sell their collection and there’s less buyers out there with money. If you were buying up golden and silver age between 2008 and 2011 when the stock and housing market were in shambles your probably are doing well today. You probably could of just put your money in Amazon stock and done just as well. Moderns are all just about losers unless you happen to buy a 100-1000 copies of a book that heats up and you can flip for 10x cover then you can make money on moderns but for every hit you probably have a few misses sucking your profit anyways. Of course you can flip moderns to pay for your weekly modern books you won’t get rich but you will pay for your hobby like many CHU people do. Variants will see how long the variant market lasts I foresee its only a matter of time until you can buy fake covers for any book pop the staples and change covers.

        1. I agree with you, Alana, that there isnt a butt load of cash to be made flipping moderns, but as you stated, it can pay for the hobby. That is exactly what they do for me. My hobby, including any keys or slabs i may buy, are payed for with 100% profits from flipping moderns including gas money and some money for my pocket. Yes, there are a few misses too, but there are ways of recouping losses on those books to minimize any red.
          As far as counterfeit covers, Alana, it wouldn’t surprise me if they hit the market eventually, but that undermines your argument that the modern variant market is worthless. Why counterfeit something that has no value? Wouldn’t counterfeit CGC silver keys be more likely, due to the profit? Either way, counterfeits, if they do appear, will be noticed eventually and the informed collector will be able to avoid them. So, stop buying comics from Hong Kong, Alana, in order to not encourage any potential counterfeiters. ?

      3. The problem with counterfeiting golden and silver age books is you can’t fake how the interior paper ages, unless you have unused comic paper from the 50’s and 60’s it would be near impossible to make an undetectable fake under the eye and jeweler loope of a CGC grader. Modern books all you need is the regular cover that goes for cover price and swapped with the money incentive variant. So you could take those lenticular Thanos #13and swap with a fake cover for the 1:25

        1. I was trying to insinuate that the counterfeit silver book would be in a counterfeit CGC case. No need to fake the paper if the whole thing is a fake. Slab and all. Either way, like I said, no counterfeit is 100% exact as the authentic product. Any counterfeiting would be discovered and most likely wouldnt have a lasting affect on the industry. The industry, like all others who have been infiltrated by fakes, would correct itself and implement features to curb the counterfeiting. Who knows though. Anything is possible, just about.

      4. Wow that would be crazy to buy a slab and it have a blank book inside you would never know unless you cracked it, which how many people crack the slabs they buy second hand.

    2. Tis is why I never buy variants over cover price. I’m also lucky that my primary shop doesn’t sell any book over cover price. So if they get a variant and it’s not shoved into a pull folder for someone, those who show up Wednesday morning got a chance at it.
      I really like seeing how books played out over a year as well. It’s interesting to see how some books slowly go up while others go down. I hope people who walk into a shop and drop $50 for a book don’t anticipate that the book will always be worth $50 or more.

      1. Hey Poyo, just wanted to say thanks for being so helpful with the whole spec hobby. You guys are awesome

    3. Your missing one key aspect of this in your assessment. These may not be long term holds, we all should know that by now, but there is room to make money on the quick flip. I dont buy into every variant that is hyped on any spec site, but I do quite well selling new books on, or shortly after, its release date. There is more than one way to skin a cat. I feel vindicated reading Seans fantastic article every week when I think of all the money I made flipping some of these books.

      1. I do extremely well with moderns. I sell the heck out of them. That’s why I started the site to begin with. I use the money to reinvest I’m new stuff for flipping and older stuff for long term plays. Not every book I pick is a winner but I sell more than I pay for each week. It’s not a bad thing. I look at it this way. Moderns are the day trading of comics. Silver and gold (bronze now too) are the blue chips. It’s a mentality that i have kept for a long time. I move in and out of modern books on a daily/weekly time frame where as older books are longer term holds.

        1. I believe i do as well as I do on moderns because of the tutelage of CHU and its patrons. I think your perspective on the modern and older markets is spot on, Tony.

    4. Fabricate a counterfeit book, counterfeit a slab and all that goes with it and then add the book to the Database .. ?? Now that’s funny ..

      1. Im sure a good counterfeiter would use established barcodes already established in the census. So, the counterfeit would be paired with an existing book in the database. Not so funny, imo. Anyone who thinks they have a fool proof plan, greatly underestimates the creativity of fools.

      2. Fabricate a counterfeit cover of silver/gold/bronze. Apply said cover around a book from same era that has no value. Have CGC grade a worthless book. Take that new CGC slab with worthless book and crack it. You now have a template to scan for CGC labels. From that point it gets a bit more technical, but the more I think about it, the easier it seems to be. Faking Slabs might be hard, but if you learned to crack them without wrecking them, then you could technically buy aunthentic slabs by sending in cover price books for grading. Crack the authentic slab, replace label and book with counterfeit, reseal slab. You then have an authentic slab with the counterfeit materials encased in the slab. Make sure your serial number on fake label is matched to one in the database of the same cover/book. List n sell.

  1. Some new comics tend to be the most volatile with potential to go up or down like a rocket. Older blue chip comics show less fluctuation unless something extraordinary boosts demand.

  2. Where do you guys think BG#23 Middleton cover will be in a year? I just sold one for $30.50 this morning. I’m thinking this will just be a quick flip winner.

    1. Depends…who is this Martina Falcone?
      Is this a first appearance?
      I don’t normally read Batgirl, I just collect the Middleton variants, but in paging through this one I’m wondering if this isn’t a first appearance. I’ll defer to those of you that are much more knowledgeable on this history of this title, but this could certainly be something that helps this book sustain its value over time.

      1. I am not 100% sure either, but I do believe this is her 1st appearance. Now, I dont know that for fact, but lets suppose it isnt. I still think given that given the demand and supply for this book, that it will retain its value and slowly appreciate over time. Its an instant classic, imo. If it is Martine Falcones’ 1st, and she becomes someone of significance in the mythos, that will only help the book. I flipped a few, but am holding 1 for the PC and one as a long term hold. Im already in the black on that book, so the rest is cake.

      2. Interesting points. I personally think this book will be in demand for quite some time just given the cover art and print run. If this is a 1st appearance that has some measure of staying power, then the prices would firm up even more and continue to rise.

      3. You can get the first appearance of all the other Falcone family members from the last 30years combined for less than that Batgirl book that came out this week. Just another example of the bs modern market.

      4. BG 23B reminds me of Detective 880 (Jock Joker cover). It was an instant classic. Nothing about the interior gives it value above cover price. But a NM raw fetches $100 and a 9.8 graded fetches $300 I believe. Why? Low print run + classic cover. Will it always be that way? Probably not. Jock will lose steam after a while but it will always be a classic.
        I have no idea how quickly ‘Tec 880 rose in value. Was it as quickly as BG 23? I picked one up off the rack back in the day…put it away and lost interest in the hobby…when I came back years later I discovered it in my collection…so I have no idea how fast it got hot.
        But that’s the closest comic I can compare BG 23 to.

    2. As long as the demand sticks, likely results in a solid $10-$20 book I think long term. We’re still in the hype stages where those who missed out are buying them up. With this seemingly being limited (since my shops didn’t get any). Now if there is a 1st appearance of a new character that gains popularity, one could only hope demand goes up as the character becomes more prominent thus increasing the value of the book.

  3. Has anyone seen a concrete figure of the print run for BG 23? I think we’re all curious to know how many copies are out there.

    1. I don’t think we’ll know a more precise figure until comichron comes out with their numbers. JayClue gave a pretty good estimate with rationale for around 6,800 copies.

      1. And even then they’ll just have totals. These DC cover A and B are not evenly distributed since one can order Cover A or Cover B or both. I have one local shop that doesn’t even bother in ordering Cover B and only orders Cover A now (not sure why, sometimes they might have 1 or 2 cover B in the mix, maybe just to simplify their ordering).

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