The Thrill Of The Hunt – The New 52 One Year Later

Brock Dickinson of Millier Dickinson Blais Inc. writes for Bleeding Cool;

This week marks the first anniversary of the “The New 52” from DC Comics, and I thought this might be a good time to take stock of the back issue market for titles involved in the relaunch. Of course, 52 titles provides a wide variety of variables, and there’s no one-size fits all trend we can identify here – but if you’d predicted a year ago that 30% or more of DC’s new releases would be selling significantly above cover price on the aftermarket a year later, few would have taken you seriously. Today? The numbers tell a different story…

First, let’s be clear… not every New 52 title has been a huge hit – and 10 of them have even been cancelled. Tracking ebay sales over the last few months suggests that about 20 of the first issues from the relaunch can now be purchased for less than cover price. While there are some obvious titles in this group (like many of the now-cancelled series), it’s interesting to see that some of these are also titles that sell very well – Green Lantern #1, for example, can often be found for less than cover price.

A further 16 titles continue to sell for approximately cover price (plus $1 or so). There are also some surprises here – Aquaman has been something of an unexpected hit within the New 52, but the first issue can still be had for cover price. It appears that the high initial orders have been sufficient to meet even the increased demand for title.

However, 16 titles now routinely sell for a premium, and in some cases it’s a significant one. Some of these were commanding higher prices right out of the gate: Detective Comics #1 with its gruesome Joker twist ending was an overnight hit, for example, and continues to sell for about $25. But others have been stealthier hits, with prices increasing steadily but more quietly – Nightwing #1 is a case in point, with its recent sales trending to the $25 level.

Other books have spiked, and then dropped – Catwoman #1 saw a quick initial rise in price, but has now dropped back to about cover price. The same seems likely in the long run for Justice League #1, with its massive initial print run of 231,000 or more, though it is holding for the moment in the $12 range. But overall, a number of books command sizeable premiums, including Animal Man, Batman, Batman and Robin, Batman: The Dark Knight and even Red Hood and the Outlaws. Others appear to be moving up to join them, including Superboy, Swamp Thing and Wonder Woman.

The following chart provides a quick summary of recent sales trends for the first prints of New 52 #1’s, with each listing providing a price range for recent sales, and my best attempts to capture whether these prices appear to be trending up () or down ().

Title

< Cover

Cover

$5-$10

$10-$15

$15-$20

$20+

Action Comics

All Star Western

Animal Man

Aquaman

Batgirl

Batman

Batman and Robin

Batman The Dark Knight

Batwing

Batwoman

Birds of Prey

Blackhawks

Blue Beetle

Captain Atom

Catwoman

DC Universe Presents

Deathstroke

Demon Knights

Detective Comics

Flash

Frankenstein, Agent…

Fury of Firestorm

Green Arrow

Green Lantern

Green Lantern Corps

GL: New Guardians

Grifter

Hawk and Dove

I, Vampire

Justice League

Justice League Dark

Justice League Int’l

Legion Lost

Legion of Super-Heroes

Men of War

Mister Terrific

Nightwing

OMAC

Red Hood & Outlaws

Red Lanterns

Resurrection Man

Savage Hawkman

Static Shock

Stormwatch

Suicide Squad

Superboy

Supergirl

Superman

Swamp Thing

Teen Titans

Voodoo

Wonder Woman

 

Thrill of the Hunt is a new weekly column tracking trends and spikes in the values of modern comics. It’s written by Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Advisor Brock Dickinson.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.