Market Report – May 2018 Heritage Signature Auction (Part 2)
This is the first Bagley Amazing Spider-Man cover offered at public auction in five years, and given how much Mark’s ASM OA has appreciated in value since then, I expected fireworks. It also features a huge full-figure image of a shredded Spidey, and is the only ASM cover exclusively penciled and inked by Bagley. I was slightly disappointed therefore, by its $13.1k final hammer, and expect the new owner to easily pocket $15k+ if they ever do resell it.
As previously discussed, when Capullo started selling his “New 52” Batman OA, many considered the pricing exorbitant. However, the $4.2k sale of #36 page 17 in March 2017 on ComicLink suggested that Greg’s valuation of his artwork may actually have been too low! This $4.3k sale of #32 page 9 seemingly confirms that, as I believe it sold for around $2.5k a year ago on artist representative Spencer Beck’s site.
Top 10 from Alan Moore’s America’s Best Comics remains one of my favourite series of all time, for its wildly creative and sensitive look at a world populated by super-powered beings. It’s a pity that the title (and ABC as a whole) was short-lived, and many of the imprint’s starring characters have fallen out of the public eye. This is good news for fans of those series however, as decent OA pages can be picked up in the lower 3-figure price range. $4.3k actually seems quite strong in light of these circumstances, and probably goes to show that Moore’s ABC universe maintains an enthusiastic cult following.
Decent Infantino Star Wars action panel pages sell for $1.5k+, as reflected by this #54 Luke and Leia fight page. Separately, I’ve long been enamoured of the capital starships in the Star Wars universe, so was extremely interested in that #45 page 23 – showcasing an Imperial Star Destroyer and Corellian Corvette in flight. Well, it looks like other SW fans like these things too, judging by the stellar $3.8k price tag!
The MCU’s decade-long preoccupation with the Infinity Gems (or the pedestrian-sounding “Infinity Stones” as they call it) came to a head in Avengers: Infinity War, and look to play a role in next year’s sequel too. This Marvel Premiere #1 page happens to feature the 1st Appearance of an Infinity Gem, and also marks the momentous occasion when High Evolutionary bestows “Him” with the name “Warlock”, while gifting the Soul Gem! With Warlock set to appear in the MCU, this page possesses a great deal of upside due to its triple whammy of significance!
The “Venom Tax” is definitely strengthening as we draw closer to Tom Hardy’s October 2018 movie. Ron’s depictions of Venom in The Vault were the first time another artist adopted Erik Larsen’s hyper-exaggeration of Venom’s eyes, teeth and tongue from his ASM run. The overly-fanged, grotesquely-tongued look is what fans expect these days, and we have Larsen and Lim to thank for that!
Decent The Vault pages used to cost around $200, which I felt was a massive undervaluation, given that they hail from the same prime-period as Lim’s soaring Marvel Cosmic OA. In addition, they're all oversized art boards with roughly 13″x17″ image areas. It's gratifying that the market finally seems to recognise their true worth!
As mentioned last week, Lim Infinity Gauntlet OA prices were thrown for a loop with the unloading of a large amount of pages in this auction. In my opinion, the strongest page of the lot was this #5 page 16, featuring multiple shots of Thanos using the Gauntlet and that large, detailed last panel. However, out of a whopping sixteen Lim IG pieces on offer, it fetched a middle-of-the-pack $4.8k. Whereas, the far more sparse #4 page 32 reeled in a staggering $7.8k! There were several other such instances this auction, and I’m still struggling to figure out the reasoning behind them.
Staying on the MCU-fuelled Marvel Cosmic theme, Perez IG OA appears to have benefitted from the same ballistic value bump that Lim artwork has. A year ago, I reported the sale of this $3.6k non-action, non-Thanos #3 panel page, which was a robust price at that time. Today, the arguably weaker #2 page 40 above commands $6.3k! What do Perez IG pages which actually feature Thanos fetch now, I wonder?
Modern JRJR OA values are going up, but the above two results phenomenally exceeded all expectations. Five years back, complete early-2000s JRJR Spider-Man stories (sans covers) cost around one-quarter to one-third of that ASM #505 OA’s $20.3k price tag. Those books arguably contained superior (and more) Spidey images too!
Separately, the Avengers #4 double-page splash cost more than what covers from the same run were fetching earlier this year! Is this due to JRJR’s white hot market and/or the “Cosmic Beings Tax” for Galactus’ presence?
Speaking of cosmic beings, here’s one of the best pages from 1994’s seminal Marvels series – depicting a key moment with many of the most desirable elements of Jack “King” Kirby’s Fantastic Four run – painted by modern maestro Ross at the height of his powers.
That $18k final hammer seems pretty reasonable to me, considering it previously sold for $16.9k in September 2016 on ComicLink, and costs just over twice this $8.5k #1 Human Torch splash from December 2017.
Until next time, happy collecting!