Hollywoods Stranglehold on the Secondary Market!
In the wonderful world of comics several things dictate value; rarity, significance, print run, artwork, etc. Yet here we are in 2019 and I believe the biggest factor for the rise and fall in value of new characters as well as many old characters is Hollywood. Yes, Hollywood. Even in our small but stellar world, the rich and wealthy control the potential value of a comic book. More specifically, casting directors. This isn’t a direct science, but it’s certainly a trend that’s becoming more and more apparent.
Though comic book movies make up only a small portion of films that come out annually, they rack in a huge percentage of the worldwide box office gross. I’ve stated before, that it’s because of these movies that our hobby will survive and some books will hold value. Your average teenager doesn’t read comic books. Hell, they don’t read any books. I coach high school athletes, and I literally get bullied by the kids for being so passionate about comics. That being said, almost every one of them went to the movies to see Avengers: Infinity War, and loved it! What does that mean? It means once these little derelicts wise up some, get jobs, become productive members of society, they too will want to recapture their youth. Old trends always become cool again. And although hipster culture is in right now, and comic books in the main stream are popular, the print runs don’t show that type popularity.
The 1990s may have been the downfall of comics sure, but they were printing in mass amounts and people were buying. Now they were buying for the wrong reason (hopes of wealth and riches, sadly Stephen Platt on Prophet gives you a better chance at getting beaten up then adding zeros to your bank account) but books were selling. In the mid 2000’s books still had massive print runs in comparison to the current market.
This leads me back to future and current buyers. As little as hearing news of a new big screen adaptation or character appearance in a movie will at least slightly raise the value of a character or title. The smart gambler sells when it’s hot and doesn’t hold on to long. Books like The October Faction and Reborn; SELL. First appearances such as Ronin (New Avengers #11) and most MCU villains; SELL. These are tertiary characters and secondary titles. They are great turn and burn books no doubt, but my job is to show you the secrets and tricks in using comics like stocks. Buy low and sell high. Buy smart and buy educated. Those books have a very low ceiling. There are always outliers (The Walking Dead, and that's even losing traction), but I digress. Ronin is a cool and bad-ass character, but will never be a lead character. Jeremy Renner is a fine actor, Academy recognized even, but he’s just kind of bland. He lacks star power. So much so they brought Matt Damon back for the most recent Bourne film.
In order for a character to get legs and sustain legitimate value in today’s market, he/she needs a transcendent portrayal. They need an RDJ/Iron Man, Brandon Lee/Crow, or a Chris Pratt/Starlord. Obviously Heath Ledger took the Joker to heights unseen, but due to that books already ridiculous prestige and pedigree, his Academy Award performance just adds to the characters legacy. With all of these new characters from the Fox deal crossing over, there is more opportunity than ever for speculators to keep their ears open and stay atop the market.
I know many people may be stuck thinking an actor like Hugh Jackman was the end all be all for Wolverine, and that’s fine. I don’t. I prefer Tom Holland over Tobey Maguire just like I prefer Chris Evans over Michael B. Jordan. Also, love it or hate it, I prefer Ben Affleck tenfold over Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I’ll argue that until the death of me. Affleck was never given a fair shake as Batman. Bale was given one of the finest directors of our time (Christopher Nolan), and was out acted by the villain in each movie of the trilogy. I don’t even think that can be argued. Rant over.
All I’m trying to say is that with Hollywood dictating who plays our superheroes, they also play a key role in the secondary market. Superheroes who appeared in Marvels first wave of comics are starting to become unattainable for the average buyer, as two listed below are extremely valuable. But with the right push, there are many characters out there that I feel are extremely undervalued (Daredevil being a big one). This is why I’ve come up with a few casting calls of my own;
-The Sentry/Alexander Skarsgard
-Doctor Doom/Leonardo DiCaprio
-Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider/Dylan O’Brien
-Marc Spector/Channing Tatum
-Johnny Storm/Zac Efron
Those are just a few of my casting calls. What are some of yours? More importantly, who do you want to be the new Wolverine? I also want to continue doing fun giveaways, and appreciate the comments and participation! Although the last two times, a majority of the winners never reached out with their addresses! My next article will be another comic book giveaway, so stay tuned!