Market Report – May 2018 Heritage Signature Auction (Part 2)

 

Continuing from last week’s article, today I’ll be looking at other items that caught my eye in HA’s Signature Auction on 10-12 May 2018!

 

Amazing Spider-Man #389 (1994), cover by Mark Bagley – $13,145

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.

 

Batman #32 (2014), page 9 by Greg Capullo & Danny Miki – $4,302

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 #6 (2000), cover by Gene Ha & Zander Cannon – $4,302

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.

 

Star Wars #45 (1981), page 23 by Carmine Infantino & Frank Giacoia – $3,824

Star Wars #54 (1981), page 15 by Carmine Infantino & Frank Giacoia – $1,673

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!

 

Marvel Premiere #1 (1972), page 27 by Gil Kane & Dan Adkins – $7,768

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!

 

Avengers: Death Trap, The Vault (1991), page 6 by Ron Lim & Jim Sanders – $1,434

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!

 

Infinity Gauntlet #4 (1991), page 32 by Ron Lim, Joe Rubinstein & Bruce N. Solotoff – $7,768

Infinity Gauntlet #5 (1991), page 16 by Ron Lim & Joe Rubinstein – $4,780

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.

 

Infinity Gauntlet #2 (1991), page 40 by George Perez & Joe Rubinstein – $6,274

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?

 

Amazing Spider-Man #505 (2004), complete 22-page interior by John Romita Jr. & Scott Hanna – $20,315

Avengers #4 (2010), pages 14 & 15 DPS by John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson – $4,780

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?

 

Marvels #3 (1994), page 30 by Alex Ross – $17,925

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!

 

Here’s Part 1 & Part 2 of the guide to collecting original comic art; and my CAF gallery.

 

Original Art Aficionado archive

 

2 comments

  • Ben C

    That Ross…

    Love these articles, reminds me to get my game together and buy smarter!

    Thanks!

  • That Top Ten cover hammer price was astonishing. Especially when you consider that, maybe, two years ago the Ross painting for the ABC Special #1 (which features the Top Ten cast + 6 inset boxes of all of Moore’s main ABC characters) went for 5k and change on Clink and his Top Ten #1 cover hammered at 10k! I can’t begin to understand why this one went so high.

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