Coldest Comics: Spider-Verse and X-Keys' Slow SalesIt was a hard week for the Spider-Verse, but none took a hit quite like this classic issue of ASM.

As I pointed out in last week’s Hottest Comics blog, there are certain titles that find their way on one list or another each week. ASM #252, 1991’s X-Men #1, specifically the collector’s edition, and Omega Men #3 showcase the ebbs and flows of the market by moving up and down the ladder by the week. It looks like we can add three of today’s entries to that dubious list after two early Venom keys and Spider-Gwen’s first solo title follow a similar pattern.

What does this tell us about the secondary market? These are the go-to collectibles, and they also have such strong upsides. Sure there are week’s when all those titles can drop through the Hottest Comics rankings, but they will inevitably rebound. The hottest movie and streaming gossip will usher other comics to the front of the line, but collectors know that the perennial contenders are just one announcement from superstardom. 

On the topic of the Hottest Comics, what does the data mean? Based on eBay sales for the past 30 days, these are the top 100 single issues sold on the most famous of auction sites. It is a compilation of graded and raw comics, and the numbers reflect the number of copies sold, not the fluctuating fair market values.

With that in mind, let’s break down this week’s movers and shakers.

100. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #299 (-44)

Coldest Comics: Spider-Verse and X-Keys' Slow Sales

There was a time when ASM #299 had the distinction of being Venom’s first full appearance. Fans got a glimpse of him in Todd McFarlane’s first issue on the title in ASM #298 before getting a better look in #299. That made this one of the top targets for symbiote collectors for years. The change came when collectors began gauging a cameo versus full appearance based on how much we see of the character. In ASM #299, Venom appears on the final panel whereas he is the star of the entire issue in ASM #300. Thus, modern collectors view the latter issue as the bigger key.

Losing the “first full appearance” designation has a silver lining. Considering the ridiculous prices for ASM #300, being labeled the second cameo keeps the values more reasonable. If you are a more casual fan rather than a hardcore collector or investor, you can own a piece of Venom history without taking a loan from the bank. 

It was a surprise to see #299 take such a beating in this week’s rankings. It’s not uncommon to see this issue on the list, but it doesn’t typically make dramatic moves. For this comic to suddenly fall 44 spots is enough to grab your attention. On the plus side, that could mean this is an opportune time to buy. At the moment, the graded 9.8 has averaged $725 for the past 30 days, down almost $100 from the 12-month FMV. 

74. SPIDER-GWEN #1 (-41)

Coldest Comics: Spider-Verse and X-Keys' Slow Sales

Here is another issue that has the yo-yo effect in the Hottest Comics rankings. One week, it has a jet on its back as it zooms up the index. Days later, it can land on the Coldest Comics blog. Here we are chronicling its fall of more than 40 positions as of late. While that may raise an eyebrow, Spider-Gwen collectors are not concerned with the drop. They know that this will be a wise investment in the years to come.

There’s too many reasons for either Sony or Marvel to introduce the alternate reality Gwen Stacy to the world of live-action. Spider-Gwen was a breakout star of Into the Spider-Verse, and she is poised to make another impact when Across the Spider-Verse’s two parts reach theaters. With the Multiverse firmly established, not to mention Sony spotlighting more female members of the Spider-Verse, the stage is being set for Spider-Gwen in one fashion or another. It’s going to be a major event when she arrives in live action, and you’ll want to own this issue.

Since there isn’t any gossip of her coming to live action anytime soon, Spider-Gwen #1 isn’t the major buying target. Like the case of ASM #299, that could be a boon for collectors on a budget. Over the past month, the graded 9.8 Spider-Gwen #1 has averaged $123, which is much cheaper than her first appearance. 

76. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #298 (-37)

Birds of a feather flock together, as the adage goes, and ASM #298 was just seven more drops from being even with its brethren. At least they each had company, right? At any rate, it was not a good week for those early McFarlane and Venom key issues, but there’s nothing to worry about. This issue was the Toddfather’s first step to building his legend status as an artist, and it offered the first overall appearance of Venom. Those are two good reasons to own this comic.

Just like everything else on today’s list, this is simply a bump in the road to a bright future. On one hand, you would think that Sony’s recent announcement that Venom 3 is in development would push both issues toward the top of the list. Instead, both ASM #298 and #299 suffered a fall. I attribute this to “been there, done that.” In other words, fans knew it was coming, so there wasn’t any real surprise. Neither Venom movie was particularly good, but fans enjoyed them for what they were, and the latest entry clearly pointed to at least one more movie. Until there’s something to get excited about, Sony’s third act won’t impact the market on a large scale. 

The real difference maker will be when Marvel Studios puts its symbiote plan into motion. Most Venom fans were sorely disappointed with the character’s use in Spider-Man: No Way Home. All will be forgiven if the studio makes good use of the bit of symbiote left behind in the post-credits scene. That will make you wish you’d bought ASM #298 when values were down. Of course, prices aren’t exactly low. The graded 9.8 averages around $800, but the 9.6 is currently under $200, which is not a bad deal.

75. X-FACTOR #6 (-34)

The X-Men joined those Spider-Verse keys on the Coldest Comics this week, and two of the team’s most infamous villains were the first to feel the cold shoulder.

En Sabah Nur would disapprove of his first appearance’s ranking. This week, X-Factor #6 hit the skids, falling over 30 spots into the 75th position. Although Apocalypse and his giant “A” belt buckle had appeared in shadow an issue earlier, he truly entered the fray in this 1986 comic. From there, a legend was born, and Apocalypse grew into one of the X-Men’s most dangerous foes. 

In the current run of X-Men comics, En Sabah Nur is closer to being an anti-hero than a full-fledged villain, and that should help his key issues. There’s no arguing that heroes have a much stronger upside than villains, especially in the MCU. While we are destined to get our dose of Apocalypse in X-Men ‘97, his live-action career is a different story. Oscar Issacs may have won over fans with his Moon Knight portrayal, but his time as Apocalypse left much to be desired. He’s one villain fans aren’t anxious to see return to the screen, and that directly impacts those key issues’ FMVs.

Despite the lackluster reception for the live-action Apocalypse, don’t give up hope just yet. If he gains a new following in the animated X-Men ‘97 cartoon, it could get the attention of Kevin Feige, and that would boost values. Presently, the graded 9.8 has averaged a respectable $575 for the past 30 days. The better deal is the 9.6, which sells for around $150.

78. UNCANNY X-MEN #221 (-33)

Rounding out the Coldest Comics is a much-rumored X-Men villain, Mister Sinister. This could be an excellent time to grab his first appearance.

There are rumors that Jon Hamm, who made an odd cameo in the latest X-fashion show, the Hellfire Gala, as well as Javier Bardem are in the running for Nathaniel Essex, aka Mister Sinister. Normally, that would catapult a first appearance well into the top 20 Hottest Comics. However, Sinister has been a source of gossip for years. Once things begin to narrow down, then it could impact Uncanny X-Men #221. 

Right now could be your time to add UXM #221 to your collections. After averaging $457 for the last year, the 30-day FMV has dipped to $389. That will be a small price to pay if Sinister is announced for the future X-Men movies that Marvel is gearing up for.

Want more of what's Moving and Shaking?

*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.