The Black Panther Inflation Effect

Matt Tuck Feb 16, 2018
The Avengers #87

Movies and television shows spur the comic book market. This is a given. But what we’re seeing with Black Panther is the massive effect that a good movie can have on the market for a particular set of characters.

Ever since the first Iron Man film kickstarted the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, most of the major Marvel characters have been featured in a movie or television show in one facet or another. This typically causes an immediate spike in that specific character’s key issues, and that is to be expected. However, what Black Panther’s sales data is demonstrating is that when critics really get moviegoers and comic fans buzzing, the impact on the market is substantial.

FANTASTIC FOUR #52

Not that FF #52 has ever been an unpopular or even mediocre comic, but it’s definitely gotten the rub from the movie hype.

As the premiere date has drawn closer, there have been 13 sales of mid-grade CGC 6.0s so far in 2018. In the month of February alone, there have been nine sales ranging from as high as $695 and no lower than $534. Only two of those nine sales dipped below the $600 mark. Compare that with this past January, when four 6.0 copies were sold, and only one of those made it to $600 and two of those were below $500.

Let’s take it a step further and look at what happened to the same grade when the first trailer debuted back in June of last year. From the first of March to the end May (there were no recorded eBay sales of a 6.0 in January and February 2017) there were eight 6.0 copies sold on eBay, averaging about $490. From June to August, another eight copies of the same grade saw an inflation in price and suddenly the average ballooned to $576.

The Panther’s second appearance in Fantastic Four #53 is getting the same price bump from the movie. Last year, a 6.0 averaged a little less than $80. The last two sales have both been for over $120, and its 90-day average is over $100.

AVENGERS #87

As all things Black Panther are going up in price, so too does the first comic origin of the King of Wakanda.

For three years, a nice CGC 7.5 brought less than $100. From 2015 to 2017, the highest a 7.5 sold for on eBay was $96. This year, it’s averaging $108 and two copies have sold for over $100 with a high of $130 at the end of last month.

Speaking of Wakanda, let’s not leave out the movie’s main villain, Erik Killmonger. With Michael B. Jordan receiving high praise for his role as Killmonger, you can expect that the character, who was virtually unknown to anyone outside comic circles, will garner a substantial following. That’s also going to raise the value of Killmonger’s first appearance in Jungle Action #6.

Actually, it’s already on the rise.

Before Black Panther made his MCU debut in Civil War, you could get a near-mint graded 9.4 for no more than $100. Last June, copies of the same grade cracked the $300 mark and are still going up. Jungle Action #6 continues to increase its fair market value, and that same 9.4 grade moved to a high of $325 last month. Now that the movie is close and Jordan’s performance is being applauded by critics, it sold for $385 just last week. My bet is that it will reach $400 by the end of March.

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