Barbarians at the Marvel Gate

Norman G. Robinson III Jan 15, 2018
Conan the Barbarian #1

Everyone's favorite barbarian Conan has had reliable returns in his key books over the past decade. He first appeared in Conan the Barbarian #1, with Roy Thomas on the script and the perky pencils of Barry Windsor-Smith. Since that appearance, Conan has fought his way into our lives with several movies,TV shows, multiple comic books renditions,TPB and even a few video games. Bottom line the public has a fascination with the barbarian fantasy epic.

The financial analysis looks reasonably convincing for Conan the Barbarian #1 as a speculation play. If we plunge back over the past seven years, the data shows a grade of very fine plus can return approximately 7.1% ROI (return on investment). All middle grades of this comic from 6.0 to 9.0 have official gains of between 7% to 13% (GoCollect). CGC census has about 3000 outstanding slabbed copies; these can create a reasonably accessible comic market. Currently, the purchase price is approximately $200 for an 8.0 very fine comic grade.

The significant catalyst for Conan the Barbarian has been his recent return to Marvel triumphantly! "Marvel Entertainment and Conan Properties International announced an agreement..to bring Robert E. Howard's famed pulp hero back to comic publishers beginning January 2019," (per CBR). Apparently, this is going to happen, and Marvel will soon be producing a new Conan comic or TPB. I can't wait to get the first copy of this bad boy's comic. Naturally, this will stoke the flames of interest in Conan titles and speculation on his key comics as well. There are hints that Mike Deodato and Esad Ribic are one possible creative team for the new Conan, though this is not confirmed.

The second book I might consider a good purchase against the backdrop of Conan's return is the first full appearance of Red Sonja. This beautiful, swashbuckling hero was a contemporary of Conan's in the Hyborian Age. Her first full appearance was in Conan the Barbarian #24. This comic has had consistent returns over the last 5-7 years, and these profits are very similar to Conan the Barbarian #1.

With the barbarians literally at the Marvel gate, and the popularity fantasy dramas like Game of Thrones. It would be straightforward for Marvel to craft a dramatic world out of Conan's Hyborian Age from scratch. Then create spin-off movies and or a series from the new Conan comics.

Sharpen your swords, strap on your armor and do battle with your budget to obtain the first appearance of this character. Whether as a long-term buy and hold, or short-term speculation until the first movie is announced; Conan the Barbarian #1 will "crush his enemies and see them driven before him," make sure you are part of the speculative horde at the Marvel gate before this happens.

The Laughing Bat

Batman's Metal series has been quite popular and gaining in rank for most recent popular comics. For instance, Batman Who Laughs #1, with art by Riley Rossmo and writing by James Tynion IV has gained the 23rd rank of most popular recent comics (GoCollect). It essentially Bat-glided up 229 spots, to the top 25, an excellent accomplishment for such a new comic. There have only been nine sales at 9.8 grades for this comic. If you consider that a category of near mint turns a $3.99 comic in November 2017; into a $99 comic in January 2018 (GoCollect), nice return. This speculation has some get up and go.

The Batman Who Laughs #1 shows a slight decrease in price very recently against a meteoric rise in price previously. I think this is merely temporary. Besides this comic hasn't been out long enough to establish a genuinely consistent pattern. The cover concept alone is going to draw popularity with the joker amalgam, not to mention the storyline which has our heroes essentially fighting their evil alter egos.

This series is too new to see if it garners a catalyst for a movie or TV series deal. However, there is a lot of buzz, and if you owned a copy when it first came out and scored a 9.8 near mint; then your return averaged $114 give or take CGC costs, not a bad performance in two months!

"Can the world's greatest heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful nightmare versions of themselves (GoCollect)?" The cost of admission to this intriguing storyline is right around a $100 GCC 9.8-grade issue and probably much less if it is a raw copy. See who gets the last laugh if you don't own this comic book issue of Batman Who Laughs #1.

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