Keys on a Budget

Norman G. Robinson III Jan 30, 2018
Wolverine #1

Everyone wants to own the first full appearance of Wolverine. Unfortunately, not everyone can; the good news is there are budget-friendly alternatives. Try purchasing Wolverine #1 in his ongoing series from 1988, with a script by Chris Claremont and art by the brilliant team of Buscemi and Byrne. With the recent passing of Logan in his movie; a certain amount of nostalgia has been forming around this character. Bottom line, everyone wants to own a little piece of the Wolverine who is "the best there is at what he does, and what he does isn't very nice.."

Do not buy the first Wolverine #1 the limited series 1982 version. This is a great story but too expensive for the budget. It's price and return are inferior to the ongoing series from 1988. Case in point, recently one issue sold for $304 in near mint and had returned 24% over seven years (GoCollect). Instead, purchase the ongoing series from Wolverine #1 (1988) which cost less and returned 50% ROI over that same time in near mint grade.

Because this is his first solo comic; there is great demand. With high demand and limited supply, beserk, coarse, frenzied,  wisecracking Wolverine devotees are driving the price through the roof. Instead, purchase Wolverine #1 (ongoing series 1988). This multi-key with many first appearances: first ongoing series, the first appearance of Cult of the Black Blade, first Muramasa and first Wolverine as Patch has excellent returns.

Ultimately, Wolverine #1 (1988) has fought to a stunning 50.2% return! The last known sale was for $215 in a near mint 9.8 grade (GoCollect); pretty reasonable, heh Bubb? This performance with less capital down is what I call a "gimme." Or to put another way, twice the reward for almost half the risk.

When I think of Wolverine, I can't help but picture Hugh Jackman. If they try to find another fantastic actor and get it right; we could be looking at several decades with this character on screen. Ultimately, this will cause spikes in pricing and selling points for the short-term speculator. Furthermore, almost guaranteed returns for the long-term investor.

Bottom line, don't pay almost twice as much for half the return. Purchase the ongoing series about the man who is best at what he does and hold onto it for several years. Because this version of Wolverine #1 (1988) is taking on all comers, "Snikt, Snikt."

New Mutants #1

Another first series to purchase on a budget is New Mutants #1 (1983) script by Chris Claremont and art by Bob McLeod. This group is the Marvel version of the Teen Titans. Think of the X-men but in teenage form with different power. The younger folks that don't know about this group are going to love them, i.e., teenagers.

This issue is cheap to buy. You can pick up the entire run for around $250 on Heritage, or you could directly purchase a near mint 9.8 for $150 (GoCollect). If that isn't cheap enough; try buying several raw copies for around $10 on eBay, and take a stab at the CGC Keno. You can't go wrong with this budget-friendly speculation.

The New Mutants movie has been delayed until 2019 (source: Film). What terrible news for current owners of the New Mutants #1, but great for brand new speculators. Additionally, they are going to expand the audience by keeping the New Mutants movie at a PG-13. A positive story is preferred as there is already too much darkness and depressing imagery in the current superhero cinema. This movie catalyst will push the price up on this issue, and the delay is an opportunity to purchase now.

The return on a near-mint New Mutant #1 is 23% over the last seven years. Additionally, it has moved up 72 spots to take 25th rank as most popular Modern Age comic (GoCollect). Any copy of this comic will pay off, don't miss the sunrise on this price increase. Why not buy something in the higher grades while it is comparatively cheap? Once the movie takes off, like a soaring Cannonball, it will be too late to speculate!

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