2019 in Review

By James Gilbreath, CPV researcher and comic historian/contributor, on Instagram @cpvkingcomics, October 2019

“Once a niche topic, CPV discussion has exploded on comic forums everywhere in the last few years.”

Greetings from the land of milk, honey and wildfires! Another trip around the sun finds us here again, discussing this ever expanding sector of the hobby, Marvel and DC Canadian newsstands. Awareness of Type 1A price variants in the collecting community is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Once a niche topic, CPV discussion has exploded on comic forums everywhere in the last few years. As interest in these type 1A price variants heats up, available high grade copies have shrunken accordingly.

Batman #386, 95¢ Variant

While there were a few record sales set this year, (Batman #386 CGC 9.8 fetching an eye popping $2040.00 comes to mind) there were less of these types of record breaking sales than last year, simply because there were less of them offered up for sale. Most of the super high grade copies (9.6-9.8) are either being privately held, haven’t been found yet, or (gasp) don’t exist at all. Much of the previously available product from years past has all but dried up.

Thor #337, 75¢ Variant

While a few of the major keys (Thor #337, Amazing Spider-Man #252, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8, Tales of the Teen Titans #44) are easier to find because of their larger print runs and collectability from jump street, demand is so strong for these issues that even the modest uptick in survivorship numbers for these copies aren’t enough to sufficiently satisfy it.

Marvel Movie Showcase #2, $1.50 Price Variant

I had assumed that following the increased spotlight Type 1As have been recently enjoying, there would be a significant increase of CPVs catalogued into the census during the 2019 calendar year, substantially inflating the number of registered copies above 9.0. Another 12 months of data would seem to show that while there was an increase in the numbers of high grade copies logged into the census for some titles, it was far smaller than I expected. It also revealed that some of these books are even more scarce than it previously appeared. A mid grade Marvel Movie Showcase #2 CGC 5.5 (the single copy on census) recently netted a cool $320.00 due to its extreme scarcity. (For reference: Star Wars #1 Type 1 35 cent price variant has 234 graded examples).

Swamp Thing #37, 95¢ Variant

A few of the more notable copper keys also fall into this category. Pristine copies of GI Joe #21 and Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 are so difficult to track down, even low grade copies command eye opening premiums. A GI Joe #21 CPV in GD 2.0 recently realized a healthy $57.00 while a Swamp Thing #37 CPV in VG 4.0 sold for an impressive $85.00.

Here are some of the noteworthy CPV sales I tracked for 2019:

Marvel Movie Showcase #1 CGC 8.5: $720.00
Marvel Movie Showcase #2 CGC 5.5: $320.00
Avengers #257 CGC 9.2: $190.00
Batman #386 CGC 9.8: $2040.00
X-Factor #1 CGC 9.8: $437.00
Transformers #1 CGC 9.4: $420.00
X-Men #201 CGC 9.4: $240.00
Detective Comics #532 CGC 9.4: $130.00
Batman #350 CGC 9.2: $175.00
Thor #337 CGC 9.8: $942.00
Amazing Spider-Man #238 CGC 9.4 qualified: $780.00
Booster Gold #1 CGC 9.8: $715.00
Care Bears #1 CGC 9.8: $527.00
Wonder Woman #1 CGC 9.8: $486.00
Daredevil #232 CGC 9.8: $338.00
Punisher #1 CGC 9.0: $270.00
Fury of Firestorm #24 CGC 9.8: $700.00
Wolverine #3 CGC 9.8: $1000.00
Batman #408 CGC 9.8: $1500.00
Amazing Spider-Man #252 CGC 9.8: $1748.23

Batman #423, $1.00 Variant

The thing I have enjoyed so much about researching into type 1A price variants over the last few years, is delving into the sheer volume of it. There is so much to sift through. So many roads to travel down. The 10/82-10/88 CPV time frame window contained a cornucopia of creativity produced by a cadre of super talented writers and artists that were stretching the boundary of the medium. It was a six year span in which Marvel and DC created so many iconic characters and storylines. The window opened with Miller’s Wolverine mini and closed with McFarlane’s Batman #423. From Secret Wars to Crisis, the issues in between are so numerous it will take years before we get a complete picture of what is really out there.

I encourage everyone to help in this endeavor and add their findings to the knowledge of the community. Look around. There are lots of places to start digging. It’s time we all turn on the lights of our miner hats, get dirty and start unearthing these hidden gems.

Happy hunting everybody!

You can follow me on Instagram @cpvkingcomics