Getting Ahead of the Variant Market
Recently on the G+ board I posted about the practice of getting ahead of the comic market. This means moving on a book priced low before it pops. Often times you see in various groups, forums, and communities confuse the speculation and a flip.
You will see one person fought a book, defended by solid logic, only to be shit down due to current market levels. The definition of speculation is predicting an outcome with no evidence toward the result. Flipping is crucial and can help an investor make quick bucks but the real money (ROI%) is in the long term investment.
When picking books to spec on, it is important to remember factors that make a book pop. Print run, cover artist, character on cover, and difficulty to grade can all pop a book. Today everyone loves variants. High ratio seems to be king.
Some of my favorite variants happen to be 1:10 ‘s from 2008 / 2009. Below I will detail 4 books I believe have the potential to pop over the next few years. I believe so much I have put my money where my mouth is and bought several of these books over the years. My target was $5 and under. That now seems tough as cheap copies have dried up.
Now I look for under $10 as I see $25-30 potential in each.
Young X Men #9 & X Force #10 (2009)
These variants are picks for essentially the same reason, the New Mutants movie. I know, I know, it’s been delayed. But that’s a good thing. How? Because prices have dropped on all New Mutants spec.
I’ve picked up 1st apps cheaper than they were going months ago. But collectors love variants and these two feature a lot going for them. 1st off they feature the rumored villains foe the movie Demon Bear (Confirmed) and Warlock (not that one- rumored). At 1:10 ratio, they are essentially 3k print run books each.
That’s the same as a 1:25 with a 75k print run. So there isn’t a ton. Secondly, part of what makes a book pop is when it has multiple collector basis vying for it. And here we have that with each. The Demon Bear X Force #10 Variant comes from the popular New Mutants OG artist Bill Sienkiwicz.
The Young X Men #9 featuring Warlock was done by current cover heavyweight Adi Granov. If the reboots improve the movie and make it a seem less addition to the MCU, the short term potential could be great for these come movie time. There are very few covers of each and virtually no variants.
At their current prices…..I’m in.
Son of Hulk #13
This is again is a 1:10 Variant with a print run of about 3k. Now unfortunately we do not have a movie to the this one into just yet. This cover depicts Red King from the Skaar Son of Hulk Series.
Unpressable Defects own Mel V recently pondered if these characters could return in the current hulk climate with Immortal Hulk and Ammadeus Chi Hulk. People enjoyed the run and although these characters have been largely abandoned there is always a possibility.
New creators are always mining for bold characters and stories yet to be told. Again the price is sub $20 but has dried considerably over the years. That is mainly due to cover artist completionist as this one is too from Adi Granov.
Dark Wolverine #79
Daken was once a read hot Marvel property that has since fallen on tough times a bit. People love specing on this character (and anything Wolverine related) as evidence by the current price of the Dell Otto variant and 1st app variant.
But what is the next tier Daken book? There really isn’t one. You have multi hundred dollar books and then dollar bin fodder. But one stands out above the rest. Dark Wolverine #79. This is part of the Zombie series of variants. Printed at 6k it’s double the amount of the other 3 but comes from current cover artist Kingpin Francesco Mattina.
Mattina is red hot and anything he touches turns to fire. This is one of his earliest variants and has somehow eluded the masses. About a year ago his Moon Knight variant in the same vein blew up a bit so the precedent is there. If either Daken’s notoriety increases or all the Martina collectors swallow cheap copies prices are sure to rise.
Plus the white cover makes this a tough seeing how most forgot and neglected it. This book has dried up a bit since people started searching out Martina work and doesn’t have much to go before you can start to see returns.
So whether you agree with my picks or not, what I really hope is you look into the future rather than stay stuck on the current. All too many times people have busted out of the game by chasing the hot flip.
See the trend and act on it. I may be wrong with my picks but they don’t cost me much and the potential to be right is there. I've hedged my bet by sticking with popular cover artists. Worst case I can turn them slowly to cover collectors or put them in variant bundles.