A Fisherman’s Tale: Cris Crossover will make you Jump! 1
I have noticed recently on our Facebook and MeWe sites people beginning to really question the validity of buying into a Crossover Event. I, myself, have jumped on the latest crossover mega event before, and I still struggle pursuing the latest hot cover for an event. When I first started visiting my local comic shop in pursuit of the latest Wednesday comic was when Marvel was starting their 3rd, or maybe it was the 4th reboot. Secret Wars was the event.
The idea of all marvel comics leading up to an event was exciting to me I collected all the action figure covers, and jumped on a few side stories like Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Old Man Logan, Planet Hulk, and Secret Wars 2099. The stories were good revisiting some What if… stories I had always wondered.
Sadly I also began to grab those variants. I would check prices and try and grab the hot cover for a book. I never flipped and did not realize that a 1:25 variant you got for $15 would more likely drop in value than climb. I eventually had to take my collection of Secret Wars variants to the local comic shop and trade in for a few dollars in trade credit.
My cover price investments only a few months ago were now going into their dollar boxes in the back. I do feel these past few years has gotten a little ridiculous with Marvel Crossover events. Civil War II, Secret Empire, Spidergeddon, War of Realms, Absolute Carnage, Spiderverse, and coming soon 2099 event.
Each event did come with its own shocking revelation or new character which moved the needle on the Speculation market.
I was curious so I decided to dive into some of the major crossover events to see which books start valuable, steadily climb, or crash and burn.
We start with the Three early crossover events that helped start it all.
1: Marvel’s Contest of Champions (1982)
Before Contest of Champions there were comic crossovers, but this was the first separate crossover that had its own mini-series. It had a few first appearances of minor characters, but you can still find the entire mini-series in dollar bins.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars (1984)
This is the first major limited series crossover event that I really remember. The entire series has seen a renaissance in interest recently. Issue 8 has always been highly sought after, which would have been the first black costume if there hadn’t been publishing delays. This series even with some characters having recent speculation can still be found for $5 to $20 raw and only 8 demands more, but you can get it raw for $40.
- Issue 1 has first Beyonder
- Issue 3 has first Volcana and 1st appearance of second Titania (potential She-Hulk tie)
- Issue 6 cameo of Julia Carpenter (2nd Spider-woman)
- Issue 7 first full Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter)
- Issue 8 origin of Spider-man’s Black costume
Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985)
This DC limited series rebooted some characters stories with issue one. Both Wonder Woman and Flash started over after the events of this series. There are some classic covers and a major character death which held true for several years which rarely happens. I am only hitting the highlights of the series, because even with all that happens in this 12 issue series you can probably get the entire series for under $50 and High grade probably under a $100.
- Issue 1 has 1st appearance of Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) in DC, 1st Pariah, 1st full Monitor
- Issue 4 has early cameo of John Constatine
- Issue 6 is debut of many of the old Charlton characters (Captain Atom, Judomaster, Nightshade, Peacemaker, The Question and Thunderbolt)
- Issue 7 classic cover (Death of Supergirl)
- Issue 8 Death of Flash (Barry Allen) wasn’t brought back until Flash:Rebirth though he made a few appearances before this series.
The next big crossover limited series took place in the nineties, if it hadn’t been for the movies no one would care. Infinity Gauntlet saw a big spike when Thanos was first revealed to seek the infinity stones. A couple of issues of Silver Surfer leading up to the story saw a bump too.
These books saw a spike of nearly $50 raw at its height, but now after everyone has been dollar bin diving the market is flooded and you can find issues for $15 dollars raw. High grade issues can still fetch around $100, but no one is making tuition payments off their stashed Infinity Gauntlet sets.
DC had a crossover event which even made it on the cover of Times magazine in the nineties. The Death of Superman (1992) was one of the biggest comic events ever. When we all had hope of a DC movie universe. Copies of Death of Superman suddenly were $20. First Doomsday was $30. I found many of these in the dollar bin thinking I was set.
I still have many copies of first Doomsday and now I am willing to let them go as filler in my other sales just to clear space. Death of Superman saturated the market and yes you might find someone to buy your copies for a few dollars, but why hassle with shipping, taxes and eBay fees. (there were 4 printings of Superman 75 as indicated by the Roman Numeral under the number)
One crossover event from the nineties which is starting to receive a bump is the Rise of the Midnight Sons (1992) crossover. With renewed interest in Ghost Rider, Son of Satan, and a new Blade in the mix fans are anticipating some form of Midnight Sons. Too bad Morbius is currently being developed by Sony. A lot of these issues could be found in dollar bins a few months ago, and still will be found at yard sales. The main issue you want is Ghost Rider 28 (1st Caretaker, 1st Lilith)
DC saw the success of Death of Superman and decided to break Batman with Knightfall (May 1993) which crossed over all the Batman issues at the time. I mention Knightfall because the key characters from the series had their first appearances in mini-series just before the series started.
Sword of Azrael 1 ( September 1992) first Azrael. (dollar bin book, but could get you $10)
Vengeance of Bane (January 1993) first appearance of Bane. (easily a $30 book upwards of $200 for 9.8) There is a less valuable 2nd print
Batman 489 (January 1993) 2nd Bane and Azrael as Batman. (dollar Bins but nice copies can get you $15)
Batman 497 (August 1993) classic cover Bane breaking Batman over his knee. (dollar bin book, nice copy with cardboard flap can get you $15)
DC produced quite a few crossover mini-series that can be found in dollar bins. Only completionists want these copies. Though a few issues can hold significance because they have a DC Universe UPC. Topher wrote a good article about these variants DC Universe UPC
DC in 1996 decided to kill and redeem one of their favorite characters who had turned evil with the Final Night story line. Green Lantern Hal Jordan had become the evil Parallax and sacrificed himself at the end of Final Night. You can get the entire series and tie in issues for $30, so another crossover event with no value.
Marvel decided it was time to reboot some of their main characters so why not have a huge crossover event with the most 90’s name ONSLAUGHT (1996). Even the font they use on the cover screams 90’s.
By the end of this crossover event Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers were going to restart, in Heroes Reborn (1996-1997) all the characters get a creepy 90s makeover and expanded backstory.
These story arcs were all short 13 issues runs which culminated with a crossover with the Wildstorm universe. Issue 13 of each series was a connecting cover for the story World War 3.
After doing my research I am leaving out some big crossover events. I am trying not to cover crossovers that only took place in one world (only X-men, Spiderman, or Batman related characters for example), though I might touch on a few (if they have significant spec value) and I tried to stick to crossovers which had a Limited Series tie-in, otherwise I wouldn’t have started with Contest of Champions.
I have only made it through the nineties and I have begun to realize how often the big two had a major comic event. I am going to follow this through the 2000’s and up to todays major crossovers.
It is nice to look at all these books and know that I have found each of them for under $5 at some point in the last 5 years. Secret Wars 8 was one I found at a used book store on my way to my very first free comic book day. It was $2.75 and I found ASM 252 for the same price. The book store watches their comics a little closer these days, but back then they just priced all Spider-man books for $2.75.