The original Rob Liefeld artwork for page 17 of New Mutants #98, the first appearance of Deadpool and Domino, published by Marvel in 1991, was purchased this week in a private transaction for $205,000 by an anonymous buyer, rumoured to be a known entertainment figure and notable art collector. This is a record-setting price for an interior comic book page from the nineties and also a record price paid for a page by Rob Liefeld.
Only seven pages from New Mutants #98 actually feature Deadpool on them at all, making those 7 pages highly sought after. In comparison, the CGC census shows that 13 copies of the actual comic have been graded at the exceptionally rare 9.9 designation. Making a 9.9 graded copy almost twice as common as a page from the book with Deadpool.
Deadpool has gone on to become one of the most popular characters of his era along with Venom and Harley Quinn. Deadpool has become a cottage industry with arguably more cosplayers than any other Marvel character, every conceivable type of merchandise and appearances in video games, animation, and film. After appearing in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie in 2009, Deadpool launched his own film franchise starring Ryan Reynolds that has grossed more than 1.5 billion dollars at the global box office over two films. Kevin Feige has publicly stated that a third Deadpool film is slated to shoot next year that will bring Deadpool into the MCU. Deadpool was the first Fox character confirmed to make the jump to MCU (Evan Peters has since appeared in WandaVision as Quicksilver…maybe?) sending fans and collectors into a frenzy. 9.8 graded copies of New Mutants #98 have since more than doubled in price fetching as much as $3,000. A 9.8 graded Mark Jewelers variant recently sold for $10,000.
Rumors circulate that the owner of the original art to the cover of New Mutants #98 has turned down $1 million, but that does set the bar for these things.
Two other Deadpool pages from New Mutants #98 are in the collection of James Halperin, co-founder and co-chairman of Heritage Auctions. Heritage's own system shows that last month, he turned down an offer of $165,000 for a page he bought in 2018 for $51,000.
In comparison, Incredible Hulk #180 page 32 which features the very first appearance of Wolverine, sold for $657,250 in 2014. Dark Knight Returns #3 by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson page 10 sold for $448,125 in 2011. Amazing Spider-Man #18 page 22 by Steve Ditko sold for $288,000 in 2018. And for cover artwork, The original Mark Bagley Miles Morales Spider-Man artwork to the cover for Ultimate Fallout #4 was purchased in a private transaction for $225,000 earlier this year.