Phoenix is an incredibly popular member of the X-Men. So, it stands to reason that her first appearance in X-Men #101 would become a sought-after collectible. It’s a comic that appears to be hotter than ever. Let’s take a look at sales volume and prices for X-Men #101 to see if we can determine the factors contributing to its rise.

X-Men #101 – Some Background

Released early on in the “New X-Men” run, X-Men #101 introduced comic audiences to the Phoenix, a new name for Jean Grey, an original member of the team. It also increased her power set exponentially. The cover by Dave Cockrum was a fan favorite from the moment of publication. As Phoenix became a more important member of the X-Men, the desirability for this issue increased and was fully cemented with the culmination of the Dark Phoenix saga in X-Men #137. It’s been one of the most sought-after issues by X-Men aficionados ever since.

Recent Sales of Bronze Age Keys

When looking up X-Men #101 on GoCollect, the first thing you’ll notice is that there have been sales in all but the lowest grades – 5.5 being the lone exception – in the past 30 days. This can’t be said for many blue chip Bronze Age keys. Across the board – from Incredible Hulk #181 to Marvel Spotlight #5, Giant-Size X-Men #1 to Tomb of Dracula #10 – there has been a distinct lack of sales in the highest grades over the past 30 days. Lest you think that the lack of sales in the high grades is just an issue with blue chip keys, we’re also seeing the same in many books the next tier down, books like Iron Man #55, Marvel Premiere #15, Hero for Hire #1, and Incredible Hulk #180 – those in a similar price range to X-Men #101. The volume of sales is certainly in X-Men #101’s favor.

First Phoenix – Recent Sales

In just the first 11 days of June, there have been seven sales of graded copies of X-Men #101, and that could be considered something of a slowdown after a May that saw 46 sales and an April that saw 35. With some notable exceptions, prices are up as well. In 10 out of the 14 grades between 9.8 and 4.5, the 30-day average exceeds both the 90-day and one-year averages. Those notable exceptions, however, include both the 9.8 and 9.6 grades. Of note, the price dropped in the 9.8 grade in each of Heritage’s weekly auctions between May 7 and May 21, from $8,100 the first week to $5,280 the second week to $4,560 the third. In grades 9.4 to 8.5, though, we’re seeing 30-day averages $50 to $100 higher than one-year averages. Overall, prices below the top two grades are up.

X-Men #101 Analysis

There are numerous factors that go into a particular comic rising or falling in value. In the case of X-Men #101 there are a few to consider. As mentioned in the beginning of this blog, Phoenix’s first appearance has always been a popular back issue collectible. Like nearly every Bronze Age key, it took a hit in the recent downturn. Sales volume, though, has been strong this year with a pace that should top last year’s volume of 468 sales, which in turn bested the 425 sales in 2022. As sales volume has increased, so have prices – for the most part. There is also the factor of affordability to consider. Being that it’s not generally regarded as one of the top tier Bronze Age keys yet contains the first appearance of a popular character and an excellent cover, means that it’s often a comic that’s considered for purchase if Giant-Size X-Men #1 or X-Men #94 is out of reach. Then, of course, there’s the “X” factor. In this case, that’s the X-Men boom we’re seeing of late coming off of X-Men ’97 and leading into Deadpool and Wolverine. In short, X-Men books are hot.

While we’d all like this to be a story that shows how all Bronze Age books are rising in value and we’re maybe coming out of the market downturn, that’s not the case. Sales volume for many Bronze Age keys continues to lag. However, in the case of X-Men #101 we have a perpetually desirable comic where sales volume has increased due to the intrinsic factor of the book’s popularity among collectors, its relative affordability, and the outside factor of other media – in this case television and film – driving an increase in volume which in turn has led to an increase in value. Keep an eye on sales volume for X-Men #101. If it continues to outpace last year’s volume, prices should remain elevated and, perhaps, continue to rise. If volume drops, however, as could very well be the case post-Deadpool and Wolverine, prices could very well follow.

Do you have a copy of X-Men #101? Are you holding or selling? Let us know below.