Who Watches the Watchmen?

Matt Tuck Nov 27, 2017
Watchmen #1

It all started back in 1986

Three decades ago, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s defining take on anti-heroes amidst the threat of nuclear war rewrote the rules for superhero comics.

Published under DC’s Vertigo label, until now, the Watchmen have existed outside the DC Universe in their own standalone limited series not counting “Before Watchmen.” That was until “DC: Rebirth” #1 when Batman found the Comedian’s button.

Now that “Doomsday Clock” has kicked off, the Watchmen will be introduced into the DCU, and the first appearance of the Watchmen will be a hot item. Over the past 18 months, all sales of copies graded 8.0 and above have been on the rise. The 9.6s and 9.4 have been the most popular, combining for 101 sales.

At the moment, you can get one of those 9.6s for around $100 and a 9.4 for $70. Those prices will jump not only depending on the popularity of the new storyline, but also the reception of the HBO “Watchmen” television series that is in the works. All of this will bring the Watchmen to the forefront of popular culture, and you’ll want to have your “Watchmen” #1 when it happens.

But what about those other issues of the original “Watchmen” series? Are those worth the investment? Good question. Glad I asked.

For the most part...no.

The story itself is a fascinating read. If you put together the full, 12-issue run, you’ve got something worth having, which translates into something worth selling. Presently, raw copies of the entire series, all first prints, are ranging from $200-$300.

Those individual issues, aside from “Watchmen” #1, aren’t averaging much beyond grading fees at anything below a 9.8. And let’s face the truth - we’re talking about 31-year-old comics that had a print run of less than 100,000, so finding crisp 9.8s aren’t as simple as finding 9.8s of, say, “Spawn” #1 or 1990’s “Spider-Man” #1 with huge print runs.

From “Watchmen” #2 all the way to issue #12, they’re averaging anywhere from $20-$30 at a 9.6. Is that worth investing in? If you can get out for $20 or less, sure. Anything over that isn’t worth it.

HOWEVER…

There is that one random issue that brings a decent amount: “Watchmen” #11. It was only last month - October 5, to be exact - that a 9.6 sold for $69.99. In August, another 9.6 brought an even $70.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Whether or not pushing the Watchmen into the DCU will prove to be a good idea in the long run completely depends on the DC creative team’s handling. So far, it’s proving to be a hit, but we’re only one issue deep in a 12-issue run. Let’s see if Geoff Johns can keep up that pace. What I’m most interested in is where will the Watchmen be left when “Doomsday Clock” winds down and the comics have to stand alone in their own monthly title. Will we still care if anyone watches the Watchmen or will the legacy remain intact? Time will tell.

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