Most comic book investors generally believe that storylines alone -- no matter how popular they are -- are generally not worth investing in. We'll put that general rule to the test with X-Men '97's adaptation of Chris Claremont's "Lifedeath" storyline. Has X-Men '97 driven up volume of sales or the value of Uncanny X-Men #186?

The "LifeDeath" storyline is one of Chris Claremont's longest running story arcs in the Uncanny X-Men. The broader story of Storm losing her powers begins in Uncanny X-Men #185 (September 1984) and doesn't conclude until Uncanny X-Men #227 which was published three and a half years later in March 1988. While many fans have loved the evolution of Storm's character throughout this storyline, Uncanny X-Men #186, entitled "Lifedeath: A Love Story" has historically been worth very little. This is likely a reflection of a general rule in comic book collecting -- value is generally driven by first appearances of important characters and not by stories no matter how beloved they are.

X-Men '97 has increased the value and volume of sales of raw copies of Uncanny X-Men #186.

Although I expect recent sales of X-Men #186 to be nothing more than a few blips on the radar, it is interesting to see that X-Men '97's adaptation of "Lifedeath" has at least temporarily bucked that general rule. There is a clear correlation between the TV show and increased volume of sales of X-Men #186. Back in January and February of this year, only two to three copies of this issue were selling per week and many of those were sold as part of larger lots and not individual copies. For those buyers who bought individual raw copies, those copies typically sold for a mere $1 to $3. From mid-January through the end of February only three graded copies sold on eBay.

Compare that to the week of April 3rd (the date the episode premiered on Disney+) when nearly 40 copies of X-Men #186 sold on eBay over a seven day period. And it wasn't just sales volume that increased; the value of these raw copies sold during the week of April 3rd also rose substantially. Specifically, raw copies sold for anywhere from $3 to $22.50 for a high-grade raw copy.

Again, I'm not expecting the value of raw copies of this issue to stay in this range. It could be related to FOMO and, to a lesser extent, some comic book fans wanting to read the original story in print.

X-Men '97 Will Likely Adapt the "Fall of the Mutants" Storyline.

The "Lifedeath" storyline culminates in the epic "Fall of the Mutants" crossover that occurs in Uncanny X-Men #225-7 and in several issues of X-Factor and the New Mutants. We will likely see X-Men '97 adapt this story for several reasons including: (1) the introduction of the Adversary (the primary antagonist in Fall of the Mutants) at the end of episode four; and (2) Storm regains her powers with Forge's help in Uncanny X-Men #226.

Throughout most of January and all of February 2024, there were only ten individual sales of X-Men #227 (more copies were sold as parts of larger X-Men lots), or about one or two copies sold per week. Most of these were raw copies that sold in the $1 to $9 range depending on the condition. However, during the past week alone, nine copies sold on eBay (eight raw copies and one graded one) which suggests that several collectors anticipate that X-Men '97 will adapt the "Fall of the Mutants" storyline. We haven't seen any bump in value though as these copies also sold in the $1 to $5 range.

Would you consider investing in either of these issues? Are there great stories that you'd consider investing in? Please let us know what your opinions are in the comments section below!