Get a Piece of the Galactic Smuggler

Norman G. Robinson III Feb 8, 2018
Star Wars #2

The most recent trailer for the new Han Solo movie has dropped, and Wars fans everywhere stopped in their tracks. Collectively we are all thinking the same thing; is this film going to be awesome like Rogue One or another simplistic plot that just tries to sell Last Jedi toys? As fans, all we can do is hold onto our action figures and pray for Roguelike tendencies.

As comic book speculators, we don't need to pray for profit; we already know what a particular issue can return historically. Enter: Star Wars #2 (1977) Marvel comics first appearance of Han Solo and Chewbacca. Roy Thomas wrote this Star Wars saga based on the movie from the same 1977 period, while he was teamed with Howard Chaykin on art.

I have no real idea if the new movie is going to inspire purchases of Star Wars #2, or not. But this comic book does possess a movie catalyst. One of three critical elements in speculating, and or investing in back issues. Do you want my early Robinson Review after a glimpse of the Solo trailer? Sorry fans, nobody can play Han Solo, like Harrison Ford. You can give the actor in Solo the feathered hair from the 1970's but not Ford gravitas. However, there will be speculation and money to be made off this comic regardless.

When we focus our blasters on the three-month trend for Star Wars #2, there are encouraging profit examples. Specific high-end grades like near mint (9.4) have returned a star blasting 82%. Currently, the most recent price paid for Star Wars #2 was $129 (GoCollect). At this price point, a comic book that old, seems very reasonably priced and currently relatively inexpensive. When we widen the speculative blaster to a cone effect; the previous six years in (9.0-grade) dominate all other comic book grades with a 45% ROI over that period.

Be aware there is a small amount of skew due to $.35 variant printings that are very rare and too expensive for most of us to own. The good news, baring this slight skew you can still purchase Star Wars #2 for $20 raw on eBay. Ultimately, it appears Star Wars #2 has fallen behind on price inflation compared to its sister copy Star Wars #1. Perhaps this is an opportunity to smuggle a few issues into your cargo hold (trunk) and high tail it out of the system before the Imperial Cruisers (current price inflation) blow you into Bantha chunks.

Warning: stay away from Marvel Special Edition Star Wars #2 (Marvel Whitman Treasury Edition) these books are cumbersome, oversized, hard to maintain and appear to be overproduced with little current demand. Stick with a winner in Star Wars #2 (1977 Marvel) and everyone's favorite galactic smuggler Han Solo.

Avoiding Second Prints

This is a warning to collectors and speculators everywhere! The second print of a comic can sometimes be profitable with very limited first print runs. More often than not, they are just so much pulp paper. I recently purchased a Thanos Quest #1 and unfortunately did not confirm it as a first appearance. This book looks almost the same as the first print. The casual glance would not illicit concern or a different speculative cover, nada. I should have opened the indices and confirmed the printing.

Unfortunately, I did not and went on to have it signed and authenticated with CGC. Yep, it came back as a 9.4 grade, and as I marveled at the high grade. Suddenly, I noticed it was the second print. By the power cosmic it couldn't be, but sure enough, it was a not a first print. This second copy made the comic have almost zero value, especially after the cost of slabbing.

Here are some comics with notorious second printings to avoid: Star Wars #1, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles books #1, Marvel Team-Ups various, and 1970's Western comics like Giant-Size Kid Colt #1. For all of the above titles use caution and double check for second printings. Bottom line, stay away from these books unless you verify the print first.