When we flagged this auction for your attention a couple weeks ago, I was expecting a strong result — but this sale has re-written the record book for Copper Age Marvel comics: The first and only CGC 10.0 copy of New Mutants #98 – the first appearance of Deadpool — written by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Liefeld, has just sold for $15,449 at the current Comiclink auction.
Tonight's result eclipses the controversial 2009 sale of a CGC 9.9 copy for $12,500. There have been over 3900 copies of this 1991 Marvel comic graded by CGC, with only this single copy evaluated at 10.0.
How did we get here? Earlier in the week, I crunched some numbers in anticipation of auction close: The first CGC 9.9 hit the census in 2005 when there were a mere 275 total copies graded. The $12,250 sale for that copy took place around December 2009 when there were 1244 total copies graded.
By March 2013, there were 9 copies in 9.9 on the census (including 1 signature series copy) out of a total 3082 copies graded. So, in the time since the $12k sale up to this time, 1838 submissions produced 8 additional cgc 9.9 copies on the census. So, everything else being equal, another 9.9 appeared for every 230 copies submitted during this "gold rush" period, with prices for these additional 9.9 copies ranging from $3500 to $6000.
None of which says anything much about this CGC 10.0, besides what we already knew about it being one out of 3900 submissions. However, let's look at other highly-submitted books from roughly the same period:
- Amazing Spider-Man #300: 10 copies in 9.9, 0 copies in 10.0 out of 7700 copies graded.
- Wolverine (1988) #1: 12 copies in 9.9, 1 copy in 10.0 out of 5100 copies graded.
- Uncanny X-Men #266: 10 copies in 9.9, 0 copies in 10.0 out of 4200 graded.
Confining it to the year of New Mutants #98's publication, there are 25,129 comics from 1991 on the CGC census, with only 130 CGC 9.9 graded and only 9 CGC 10.0 graded out of those. (much of this data derived from the CGC census and the fabulous cgcdata.com, incidentally).
Nothing in all of that prevents another CGC 10.0 from showing up on the census tomorrow, but it does go a ways towards explaining why an important comic from 1991 has just sold for $15,449 at public auction.