Vixen: Return of the Lion #5
I admit it. I sometimes buy comics just for the covers. Obviously, many speculators do too and profit from doing so. This column’s featured issue is more of a cover spec than a content one.
With the recent unconfirmed rumor of a potential Vixen solo TV show, Action Comics #521 (1981) has been trending up. Whenever a rumor or announcement drops, besides first appearances, I tend to look for and research covers that pop. Perhaps the only significant cover appearance the character has made outside of Justice League (Detroit) in the 1980s was her 5-issue mini-series from 2009. The series was written by G. Willow Wilson with art by Cafu (Carlos Alberto Fernández Urbano).
Besides some minor first appearances in the first three issues (or perhaps major if they become main characters on a TV show), the most notable aspect of the series is the Josh Middleton covers, especially the cover to the final issue. This cover, which is striking, has sales of 8463 copies according to Comichron. The lower print run makes this book difficult to find online and in the wild.
However, as with any book, rarity alone does not make a book a good investment. For Middleton fans, this cover could have tons of appeal and as history suggests, obscure covers can blow up in the secondary market. There are no graded copies in the census. (As an added bonus, for collectors of “error issues,” all issues from 2-5 are mislabeled as a six-issue mini-series.)
Although Vixen has had her own animated TV show and has appeared on CWTV’s Legends of Tomorrow, a case could be made that DC could position her as their Black Panther. While there are few major keys, a low-print issue with a gorgeous, hard-to-find Middleton cover could eventually be quite sought after.