Here are the highlights of the comics that had the biggest buzz during the year and saw, in most cases, overnight growth in value.
The year began with a big buzz for recent Image books that had modest print runs including Sex Criminals #1, Black Science #2, Manifest Destiny #1. By the end of the month every comic collector was on a massive hunt for Manifest Destiny #1 as it became the hottest and most valuable Image comic of the year. Most retailers skipped ordering copies of Dredd Underbelly making it one of the hottest indie comics of the year.
Oni released Bunker #1 shortly after news had already been reported that the comic could be a potential TV show and copies sold out everywhere instantly. High demand for DMZ #1 with also a new TV/movie deal reported. Captain America #6 and #14 became super hot featuring 1st appearances of the Winter Soldier. Manifest Destiny continued to grow even hotter with all early issues now sold out and up in value. The Strain #1-9 all continued to climb in demand as more progress in the upcoming TV show was made. DC released their most popular variant theme covers ever with a steam punk edition with record prices being paid for the Wonder Woman steam punk variant.
Manifest Destiny #1 hits an amazing peak of $70.00 a copy for a 4 month old comic. Afterlife With Archie #1 had come out in Fall 2013 but demand was constant for the zombie walking dead inspired title and prices kept increasing for 1st prints of #1 and #2. The two most constant popular back issue titles are Batman and The Walking Dead. Collectors continually are hunting out back issues making all early issues increasing in value. Ms. Marvel #1 from Marvel kept selling out new prints (eventually reaching a 7th printing by the end of the year). Green Lantern #28 with a Supergirl crossover story sold out everywhere. Demand for all issues of Preacher were constant since TV news reports but issue #13 became particularly hot at this time. Demand for the ever popular Harley Quinn found constant sellouts of early issues making this the hottest current back issue title for DC.
Invincible #110 featuring the controversial rape story became the super hot back issue of the month. Epic Illustrated #3 had come out way back in 1980 but this 34 year old Marvel magazine became super hot reaching over $100.00 a copy for the 1st appearance of Dreadstar. Boom had a hit on their hands with Dead Letters #1 selling out instantly. Runaways from Brian K Vaughan continued to hit record prices as a back issue. The month ended with the release of the year's biggest comic book Amazing Spider-Man #1. Even with a super high print run collectors went crazy trying to collect the 45 different variant covers. Livewire instantly became the DC character to collect and small print run issues from the 1990's all hit record prices including Superman Adventures #4 and #5. Image had its first major hit in 4 months as Southern Bastards #1 sold out and increased in value instantly.
For the first time since January all the hot books were Image titles. Satellite Sam #8 came out with a sexy Tijuana bible that was not even shipped overseas. Instant demand for this mini black and white comic. Image released Nailbiter #1 to more instant sellouts. The frenzy for Guardians of the Galaxy reached crazy heights in anticipation of the upcoming movie and the 2008 ongoing series hit $150.00 a copy for #1.
Red 5 Comics had two hits on their hands with the amazing mini-series Bad Dreams and Haunted which both constantly sold out and all issues would rise in value and demand. FCBD 2014 occurred in early May and many issues were instantly hot back issues especially the Mouse Guard free book. The demand for Livewire reached its peak becoming by far the single hottest comic back issue comic in Superman Adventures #5 after being ignored for 18 years. Now all early appearances of Livewire were in demand. Titan Comics released the Ordinary mini-series and #1 sold out quickly and rose in value. A surprise collectable hit came from Itty Bitty Bunnies In Rainbow Pixie Candy Land #1 featuring a variant Action Comics #1 swipe cover was a hot property. The older 2007 Image title Pax Romana became very hot after TV show news was announced. John Constantine and Hellblazer key issues were hotter than ever with the approaching debut of the new Constantine TV series.
Kurt Wiebe had another hit on his hands from Image as Rat Queens #1-5 all sold out and jumped up in value as a new cartoon TV series was announced. Rai #2 from Valiant had a recalled mask cover and prices jumped as high as $80.00 Chuck Dixon's 1984 mini-series was brought back from IDW and Winter World #1 sold out quickly. Image Comics Whats Next 2013 also sold fast featuring the 1st printed appearance of Rat Queens. Big Hero 6 #1-6 from Marvel (2008) kept rising in price as movie news continued to break. Brass Sun was a huge indie hit with all early issues selling out and going up in value quickly. Boom had a surprise hit with Lumberjanes #1-2 both selling out and going to later printings.
Robert Kirkman released his new series Outcast and even with a hefty print run sold out and shot up to $16.00 within days of release before settling. Most retailers overlooked ordering a new Joker cover on Adventures Of Superman #14 causing this book with a smaller print run from DC to hit $20 within days. V-Wars #1 from Dynamite hit up to $20 with reports of a new TV series. Saga was the most highly acclaimed commercial hit for Image comics and demand never stops for copies and #1 would pass the $100.00 mark for this 2 year old comic. Alpha Flight #17 (1998) with the 1st appearance of Big Hero 6 became the latest Marvel back issue hit.
215 Ink brought us Enormous in July and this amazing series was all the buzz over the summer with a very small print run under 3,000 copies made issues #1. #2 and #3 all hit up to $20.00 each. Originally the series had debuted in treasury format from Image in 2012 and that even sold out at Diamond and hit up to $30.00 Marvel had a surprise hit with their new Disney tie-in series Figment as most retailers ignored it and all issues would go to second printings and #1 and #2 hit up to $15.00 each. Image had a lot of praise for their latest title Spread. Archie Andrews died in a major marketing campaign in Life of Archie #36 and #37 with 10 different covers and an instant sellout everywhere. The magazine sized edition of the death would hit up to $60.00 a copy. Confirmation of a new TV series had back issues of Five Ghosts: Haunting Of Fabian Gray #1-5 from Image jumping in value overnight. Wolverine sales had been weaker lately and so they decided to kill him off in a 4 m onth long storyline that began with #8. Most retailers did not up their orders causing a quick sellout of issues #8-10 which all had big increases in price.
Enormous #1-2 from Big Ink continued to be the hottest back issues of the month with super small print runs. Author Hugh Howey had his book "Wool" turned into a 6 issue mini-series and once again with super small print runs these comics sold out within seconds with big increases in price overnight and #1 even had a 1:4 ratio variant cover which almost no retailer ordered. Spread #1 had sold out so quickly that they went to a 2nd printing but they decided to have some fun and create a fake action figure cover which became more valuable than the original 1st printing. Dark Horse rarely had back issue hits but Breath of Bones #1-3 (2013) became super hot with reports of a potential show in the works. Image released The Fade Out #1 as a comic and as a magazine. The magazine was severely under ordered and hit $20.00 immediately. Comixtribe was the latest indie publisher with a hit as the high quality And Then Emily Was Gone #1 sold out with instant increases. Kaboom also had a surprise hit as Bee And Puppy Cat #1 and #2 sold out their 1st printings and had constant demand. Bob's Burgers #1 sold out instantly with super high demand from collectors. Marvel's Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe had been a popular back issue for 2 years straight and prices just kept increasing now hitting up to $150.00 for a set.
A big month for recent and older back issues. Face Value #1 featuring an autistic hero reached TV news media cover age and became instantly hot and hit $80.00 within days of release. News of a new Shazam movie featuring The Rock as Black Adam created a frenzy for the bronze age Shazam #28 (1976) featuring the 1st full appearance of Black Adam since 1945. Grant Morrison took his writing skills to indie publisher Legendary Comics with Annihilator #1 and had an instant hit. Wayward #1 from Jim Zub at Image comics sold out even with 4 different covers. Marvel killed off Wolverine with the biggest selling series of the month. But even hotter than the regular series Death of Wolverine was the Canada variant covers of every issue which has now became a constant trend with Wolverine related comics. Rebellion released the one-shot small print book Jaegir which of course sold out instantly as most retailers didn't order any.
The Guardians of the Galaxy movie was the hit of the year and Howard The Duck makes a surprise appearance at the end creating a rush to buy his early appearances in Adventures Into Fear #19 (1971) and Howard the Duck #1 (1976). Demand for Ant-Man continued with movie news announced and everyone wanted the 1st appearance from Marvel Premiere #47 (1978). Deadpool movie news was announced and everyone started buying up back issues of X-Force #2 and #11 from 1991 even though they had massive print runs. These books finally had value. Squirrel Girl first appeared back in 1991 in Marvel Super Heroes Winter Special but this book overnighgt became a $100.00 book as Marvel announced a new ongoing series to debut in 2015. Marvel created a massive new Spider-verse storyline featuring various versions of Spider-man and created some new ones including Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman in Edge of Spider-verse #2. Not only did the book sell out with a big print run of 50,000 copies but would go to multiple printings which all jumped in value and this book would become the hottest Marvel comic of 2014 and by far the most valuable eventually hitting $50.00 a copy for a high print run book. The 1:25 ratio variant was even hotter hitting $150.00 a copy. Shazam back issues were so hot that #25 featuring the 1st appearance of Isis became the latest issue of the series to become hot. Dc/Wildstorm 2004 series Ex-Machina #1 hit up to $50.00. The Deadpool variant cover of Black Widow #11 1:25 ratio variant with a small print run became the latest big Marvel book to have. Rumours of X-23 first appearing in Wolverine #80 from 1994 found prices jumping. With demand for Squirrel Girl found people next speculating on Speedball in Amazing Spider-man Annual #22 from 1988.
Everybody wanted Gwen Stacy Spider-woman !!! Legends #3 became the hottest back issue for DC collectors featuring the 1st modern appearance of Suicide Squad. Even with a hefty print run Wytches #1 from Image sold out quickly with a lot of buzz. With high demand for Black Adam appearances DC Comics Presents #49 from 1982 became another $50.00 book. A Town Called Dragon #1 became the latest small print run indie book to sell out and heat up. With constant demand for new 52 Batman comics collectors started finding it harder and harder to find Batman '66 #1 which did have a 50,000 print run a year earlier but copies had now dried up. Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel was the character everyone wanted all of a sudden with strong demand for Avenging Spider-man #9 (2012) and Captain Marvel #1 (2012).
Suicide Squad demand continued on with demand for the 1987 series #1 up to $50.00 and everyone wanted the Harley Quinn key issues from the 2011 series including #1 #6 and #7. Early appearances of Squirrel Girl such as Great Lakes Avengers X-Mas Special become $20.00 books. Firestorm appeared on the Flash TV series and demand was at a record high for the 1977 DC series including key issues #1, #3, #7 and #23. Roman Ritual from Amigo Comics was the latest sell out indie title.
Everybody wanted Gwen Stacy Spider-woman !!! Movie news reported that Chris Platt would star in a new movie based on Cowboy Ninja Viking from Image (2009) with copies hitting up to $100.00 The controversial sexy butt cover of Spider-Woman #1 from Milo Manara had some of the biggest news comic coverage of the year – the book finally came out and the butt was covered up by the logo but fans still made it a $125.00 book. DC/Wildstorm 2002 series Global Frequency became the latest "old dead" series to become hot due to a potential future TV/movie.
Everybody wanted Gwen Stacy Spider-woman !!! Kaboom had a surprise hit with the small print run Over The Garden Wall one-shot based on the Cartoon Network show. It took a month to heat up but then went crazy hitting up to $40.00. The Marvel mini-series Secret War from 2007 attracted new buyers with demand for the 1st appearance of Skye Daisy Johnson from Agent of Shield. Flash Annual #2 from 2013 was a year old annual that all of a sudden collectors realized they could not find copies anywhere and it heated up to be the last big DC book to have featuring the 1st new 52 meeting of Green Lantern and The Flash. The Walking Dead continued to be a constant back issue giant and issues hovering between #60 and #70 were the latest back issues to heat up as they tied in to current episodes of the TV series Season 5.
Terry Hoknes, comic historian, writes for www.HoknesComics.com. We are pleased to welcome him to Bleeding Cool.