Rebirth: Top 25

I want to talk about Rebirth too, and I think it’s time that the #1s start creeping up a little bit more. We’re 40 issues into some of these almost…

– Trey Kenyon during Unpressable Defects #93. February 21st, 2018

Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI Members. That above quote was the genesis for this project. That thought set off a whirlwind of work to try and take 30+ titles at 30+ issues to the tune of 1000+ total books and come up with a list of Top 25 Rebirth issues so far.  Most importantly, I need to thank Matt Crispin and Topher for their time and efforts day after day, night after night for the last few weeks bringing this to life. It was a true labor of love and we all hope you enjoy it.

First, a few thoughts to better understand how this list was constructed. The complexity of the “how” behind this makes it challenging. With these titles so new, how do you differentiate monetary value, from potential spec, from Cons and Store Exclusives? It’s not like we have years of data to refer to for these books, so it was not easy. At the core, CBSI is a comic speculation site. With this, the value of the comics were the main driving point behind each decision. Secondly, we took into account potential future specs due to new characters, universes, etc. Lastly, to make it a true apples to apples comparison, we only looked at strictly A and B covers. Because of this decision, we added another variant Top 10 list which you will see in the honorable mentions.

One more note:

This list can be debated and books can be slotted in different places based on various opinions. There is no perfect science. Sure there will be “Well this should have been listed” or “Why is this book there” questions. This whole column is done as a conversation piece, and to banter back and forth with. It’s healthy to debate, but nothing is in stone. We all can get better together by sharing views and beliefs.

Alright let’s get started…

25. Green Lanterns 38

1st appearance of Liseth

28.2K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $5
eBay average 9.8 $50

This 1st appearance by Liseth shows promise as a new baddie. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are being called into action by John Stewart. A star is about to go supernova and a race of subterranean life has been discovered on the only inhabitable planet in its solar system. The Lanterns are tasked with evacuating the creatures. As the pair get ready for action, Jessica recalls her last session with her therapist where she lays out that she is ready to move forward in her life and get a real job. Jessica’s confidence is evident as the pair make their way through the magma to get to the creatures below.

24. Justice League 26

1st appearance of Super Kids

51K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw
eBay average 9.8

While the cover B is valued at a higher clip, the A cover has these “Super Kids” on the cover. Appearances by Hunter (Wonder Woman’s son), Cruise (Flash’s Daughter), Cube (Cyborg’s kid), Jenny, Jason, and Serenity could make this a huge issue if they show up permanently down the road. This book has great potential, will it come to fruition? Time will tell.

23. Batman 38

Origin of Matthew Warner (aka Bruce Wayne)

98.4K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $4
eBay average 9.8 $45

This is another book that could be huge down the road. Matthew is a young, wealthy boy with deceased parents. In an act eerily reminiscent of Hush, Matthew wants to be like Bruce Wayne. He sees the life Bruce lives and the good he performs as a direct result of his parents’ deaths. You’ll find him carving the names of Thomas and Martha Wayne onto his own parents’ tombstones as well as own face by the end. Moore and Brusco bring this story and its events to disturbing life.

22. Flash 30

1st appearance of Bloodwork

52.9K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $5
eBay average 9.8. $50

A new baddie is introduced. Barry Allen’s personal life is in shambles, his new Negative-Flash powers aren’t working properly, and someone has been tampering with evidence at the Central City Police Department. The Flash is not having a good day, and it’s going to get worse when he comes face to face with Bloodwork, a terrifying new villain with secret ties to Barry Allen.

21. Batman 32

The Answer

109K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $4
eBay average 9.8 $50

After a long story arch, the conclusion is finally reached. With all the chaos and war going on with Joker and Riddler, everyone gets the answer they have been waiting for in this story arch – She says yes!

20. Batman 26 Cover B Josh Middleton

107K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $9
eBay average 9.8 $60

Middleton is at it again in the middle of this war between two villain icons. Riddler and Joker's feud expands in scope here, as each villain recruits new allies to his side and the spillover begins to claim the lives of more and more Gothamites. In a way, this conflict actually works better framed as a flashback story than it would set in the present day.

19. Aquaman 32 Cover B by Josh Middleton

25.2K / 2 covers

eBay average raw $5
eBay average 9.8 $65

This haunting cover portrays Middleton’s artwork at its very best. Aquaman frees Mera from King Shark’s imposed prison. Mera tells her story, pertaining to what she’s been up to since Arthur’s been presumed dead hanging out with the Justice League, and now seems resolute in the fact that she may have to rule Atlantis to bring about peace.

18. Wonder Woman 34 700th Issue

21K print run

eBay average raw $10
eBay average 9.8 $70

Darkseid’s daughter Grail has been killing gods on Earth and stealing their essence for Darkseid who reverted to a toddler years ago. Each godling essence ages Darkseid who is now an adolescent or pre-teen. During the Darkseid War arc, as well as DC Universe Rebirth #1, we learned of Wonder Woman’s twin brother Jason. She finally meets him in Wonder Woman #700.

17. Deathstroke 21

1st appearance of Defiance Titans

24.9K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $5
eBay average 9.8 $60

This is yet another potentially big issue down the road if these characters pan out. This issue is primarily there to set up the team and the players. Story goes Adeline is controlling Slade. Kid Flash and Power Girl are a couple of kids who have lost their mentors. Rose and Jericho want to know if their father has really reformed. Terra is there as a plant for Adeline. In addition the return of Deathstroke’s Energy Lance is seen.

16. Deathstroke  19

1st speed force suit

34.7K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $12
eBay average 9.8 $65

Deathstroke gets super speed and what all this means has made this a sought after set. What is the Lazarus Contract? How does it affect the continuity of events? This issue helps answers those questions and many more.

15. Nightwing 29 Cover A

26K print run

eBay average raw $10
eBay average 9.8 $75

These Metal tie-ins had small print runs and were under ordered. To combat the intruders and restore order, the Teen Titans, the Suicide Squad, and for some reason Green Arrow have joined forces.  They made their way through a cool maze and took out the Riddler, only to be set upon by an armored Nightwing. Finally it comes into reality, a snow covered Gotham that’s been overrun by Mr. Freeze and a bunch of ice giants.

14. Batman 25 Cover B Tim Sale Variant

102.7K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $10
eBay average 9.8 $65

When you break it down, “The War of Jokes and Riddles” is essentially a telling of Joker and Riddler snapping. You should know, up front, that this isn’t Batman’s story. It’s the Joker’s and Riddler’s. Joker has been on a rampage in Gotham, and he’s been giving both Batman and the GCPD a run for their money. To help try and solve Joker’s pattern and stop his next attack before it happens, the GCPD turn to Riddler for assistance – as we learn they’ve done many times over the year-plus that he’s been incarcerated. Interestingly, much like the Joker, he’s at his own wit’s-end.

13. Flash 1

1st appearance of Godspeed

102K print run / 3 covers

eBay average raw $10
eBay average 9.8 $55

This # 1 gives the readers a lot right off the bat. We see Barry struggle with the fact that despite his incredible speed, he's not fast enough to save everyone. We see flashbacks to the fateful accident that turned him into the Flash and the equally fateful night where his mother was murdered. As confusing as it is to now have two versions of Wally running around, this issue makes a strong case for keeping the New 52 Wally in play.

12. Batman 21

Doomsday Clock Prelude

130K print run / 3 covers

eBay average raw $4
eBay average 9.8 $50

This well-known smiley face button has turned many into a frenzy trying to figure out this crossover event. Who is the unseen foe and how has he or she been rewriting the fabric of the DCU? How these events tie back to the events of Flashpoint, and what the Watchmen potentially have to do with all of this has made this book a must own and a staple within the Rebirth lore.

11. Superman 1

1st appearance Kathy Braden

118K print run / 3 covers

eBay average raw $8
eBay average 9.8 $60

Any Supes #1 will have some value, however time will tell if this one is a gem. Is Kathy Braden going to be the next Lois Lane? Chances are no, but there are big plans for her. These factors encompassed within a #1 has seen this book hold weight in the Rebirth world.

10. Action Comics 976 

Superman Reborn

46.8K / 2 covers

eBay average raw $8
eBay average 9.8 $50

Action Comics 976 really did go unnoticed by the majority of fans and collectors and that is a very sad fact.  When Rebirth began, there were, and still are, many questions about the New 52 and its demise.   Action 976 does in one issue what many past events have taken multiple issues to achieve. This issue fuses the pre new-52 and new-52 universes into one cohesive existence for all DC characters.  This is achieved through the combining of the Lois and Clarks from both universes.  That is a big deal, so much so that the man whom Mister OZ ( Jor-El ) serves is impressed.  Knowing that OZ’s master is not all-powerful is also quite important. If Clark can achieve what “He” thought was impossible, it proves that he is not a god and so our heroes must have a fighting chance.This comic basically sets the stage for everything to come in the DCU.  It might not have the Flashy covers or the recognition it deserves but the origin of the modern DCU is nothing to gloss over. I suspect that time will treat this one well.

9. Dark Knights Metal 2

1st full appearance of Barbatos

150K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $10
eBay average 9.8 $55

Released on the same day as Teen Titans #12, this story continues on from Metal #1. It revolves around lots of heroes chasing down Batman in the forest, a thirteen year old driving the Bat-Hog through the Amazon on a Tuesday morning, an important baby, and the opening of a dark, sinister portal. There is, of course, the splash page at the end that brings all the Dark Knights and Barbatos into the spotlight. Dark Knights indeed…

8. Supergirl 12 Cover B Artgerm Variant

13.5K print run

eBay average raw $13
eBay average 9.8 $80

Artgerm has simply had an amazing run with his Rebirth B covers. This beautiful rendition caught the eye of many a comic lover. This being the 1st Rebirth B cover for him, along with this issue’s small run, has made this highly desirable and has helped it trend up and hold its value. Artgerm’s full run down the road will fetch a pretty penny. Grab this one while you can.

7. Wonder Woman 25 Cover B Jenny Frison

44.1K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $15
eBay average 9.8 $65

Jenny Frison truly came into the popular mainstream of comic lore with her Wonder Woman Rebirth run. There were so many amazing covers to choose from for this list. She has nailed each cover beautifully, but this one is the overall leader in terms of profitability so far. Every time I look at this cover, I want to watch the movie Career Opportunities again. I wonder why?

Aquaman #26 Josh Middleton Cover

6. Aquaman 26 Cover B Josh Middleton

27.7K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $8
eBay average 9.8 $85

Josh Middleton’s run on Aquaman has been nothing short of spectacular. This book was red hot from inception and has held strong. The smaller print run being under 13.5K really helps its cause. This, in many circles, is THE book from Rebirth to have the most value without any major importance within the panels. Will this hold true down the road? Ah the reason we spec right? As time goes on, this issue will continue to grow.

5. Batgirl 6 Cover B by Francis Manapul

1st appearance of Ethan Cobblepot

32.1K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $5
eBay average 9.8 $60

Wait…who has a son?  Rebirth has given us many great issues and artwork, but it has also given us a few new standout characters. Long before his first appearance in costume as Blacksun, Batgirl #6 gives us a simple “missed connection” at an airport between Barbara Gordon and what would turn out to be the son of the Penguin.  The character recently returned in Batgirl #20 (with father in tow), so Hope Larsen and the DC crew just might have some future plans for him.

4. Batman 24

The Proposal

116K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $10
eBay average 9.8 $65

While this book will be forever known for its final panel, within this issue is a variety of poignant moments. The biggest being when Batman states “I am not Batman because I like being Batman, I am Batman because I am Batman”. This defines a lot about the emotional makeup Bats has going on inside which at times Tom King brilliantly brings to light. In addition, we do get “the kneel down” many fans have been waiting for that sent shockwaves around the water coolers of comic kingdom.

3. Red Death

1st appearance of the Dark Multiverse

81.9K print run/ 2 covers

eBay average raw $24
eBay average 9.8 $85

Metal has arguably been the biggest “event” in Rebirth so far. As most of The Forge, The Casting, and Metal #1 were used to set up characters and situations to overcome, this issue was the one to give us a first glimpse inside the Dark Multiverse and the rules within.  It is not only a key for Metal, but is also a great origin story for how the Earth 52 Batman became The Red Death. This book shows no signs of losing value anytime soon.

2. Superman 10

1st appearance of Super Sons

66.5K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $15
eBay average 9.8  $85

Iconic fathers, and their very likable Sons, have made this book stand out within the Rebirth line. Long before the popular spin-off series Super Sons, this book showed popularity out of the gate. In addition, that new series has been loved within the comic community adding even more value to this original book. Finally, the ripple affect this book had on Damian and Jon’s 1st appearances has culminating in Supes 10 being a strong hold book for the future.

1. Teen Titans 12

1st appearance of Batman Who Laughs 57.3K print run / 2 covers

eBay average raw $45
eBay average 9.8 $350

This is THE book to have in the direct market Rebirth line so far. Smaller print run, amazing potential within the DC Universe, a character who is already getting Cosplay love and is here to stay in the foreseeable future make this book a must have. With 9.8s hard to come by with this book, it increases the value even more as the demand far outweighs the supply. There will always be the smaller debate on 1st TT 12 being 1st appearance vs. Metal 2, however this seems to be the winner of the two within the marketplace. Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: Can you name the cover artist? Stjepan Sejic. In the world of covers controlling the ROI, and secondary market within the modern space, this is a book that’s not talked about only because of the cover, but more importantly the inside. Which means this is a true, long-term winner!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Top 10 Con, Variant, Store Exclusive Books

10. Doomsday Clock Ashcan

eBay average $45
eBay average 9.8 N/A

This NYCC 2017 exclusive created a frenzy and became a must-have book for those visiting at the Con and beyond. This book has some 1st appearances in it that will keep it desirable going forward.

9. Batman #21 C2E2 Retailer Summit Sketch Variant

eBay average $45
eBay average 9.8 NA

Interesting these Retailer Summit books pop up at least once a year with some fire. This year’s was attached to “The Button” storyline, making it a book people want at the right price.

8. Batman # 1 David Finch La Mole Con Variant

eBay average $35
eBay average 9.8 N/A

Well let’s see, popular artist, 800 print run, a La Mole Variant? This is more of an eclectic completist piece, but a damn fine one at that!

7. DC Rebirth #1 German Euro Chrome Variant

eBay average N/A
eBay average 9.8 N/A

With a run of 777, this book is a ghost and has been hunted by a multitude of different collectors. Some could say gimmick – yes. Valuable in some corners of the world – absolutely.

6. Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Panel Variant

eBay average $55
eBay average 9.8 $350

Again, a small run given to those who attended the 2016 SDCC Wonder Woman panel. Tack on wear and tear to and from the Con and a 9.8 is gold. Nothing flashy about the cover but its a piece of history destined to make anyone’s collection better.

5. Batman # 1 Tyler Kirkham Euro Variant

eBay average $60
eBay average 9.8 N/A

With a growing market of Euro Variants, this book is highly sought after with a print run of only 666. The artwork is second to none and it has become a collector’s item that stands among the very best of Rebirth titles.

4. Bulletproof Comics Dell Otto Harley Quinn Pink Variant

eBay average $75
eBay average 9.8 $225

At one point this book shot into the stratosphere with an initial print run of 800. This cover saw heights of $1K at its peak. With a Harley and Dell Otto combo, anyone can see why the popularity exists. However, what goes up must come down.

3. Bulletproof Comics Dark Knights Metal # 2 Dell Otto Virgin Variant – Red Cover

eBay average $100
eBay average 9.8 N/A

Often imitated (colors) never duplicated, this 950 print run beast soared up within no time to sit up high on the most wanted Rebirth list. An absolutely beautiful and haunting cover.

2. Dark Knights Metal # 3 Mattina Virgin Variant

eBay average $275
eBay average 9.8 $450

Wow! This book had a minuscule print run of 600. Add on the fact that it was a black cover and shipped out, 9.8s are at high premium. What else can you say about this art? It’s iconic and captures the hottest character to come out of DC in a long time. Good luck finding one, even more in a high value.

Front

Back

1. NYCC Wonder Woman Gold Foil Error Variant

eBay average $700
eBay average 9.8 $1500

This is the crown jewel in terms of Rebirth. Story goes they shipped these out to NYCC with gold fronts and silver backs in very, very limited quantities. Exact print run is unknown and 9.8s are even more scarce. A true book for the hard-core collectors.

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