10 of the Top Modern Age Key Issue Comics to Date
Love them or hate them, some Modern Age comics can be quite valuable. The recent onslaught of comic book-based movies and television shows has caused the value of quite a few (those previously thought to be worthless) to skyrocket.
This is especially true for Modern Age titles, like the Walking Dead #1, that had low first print runs. This article will list a few of the most valuable Modern Age comics. Some of the more recent entries made the list due to the hype surrounding the announcement of new shows based on their stories.
Oh, yes, and for the purpose of this list, we will define the Modern Age as the era from 1992 until the present. Sorry, I won't include Copper Age books (1984-1991), and this will not deal with the CGC Signature Series. Only CGC Universal will be the basis of value and why these comics are on this list.
It will also exclude variant covers with over-inflated prices upon initial release that quickly go down in value. The comics listed are from various publishers. They are issues that could've been gotten relatively cheaply and have steadily increased in value.
1. The Walking Dead #1
No doubt that TheWalking Dead is hot! The popular television adaptation has made the comics, by writer and creator Robert Kirkman, in very high demand. Issue #1 is a limited print run, and this has added even more value for those trying to hunt down a copy. The Walking Dead #1 only had a print run of 7,300 copies and only came out in 2003.
This issue sold for a whopping $10,000 on eBay back in 2012, and it was a CGC graded 9.9. More recently, a CGC 9.9 sold on eBay for probably a little more than $10,000 in May 2014. It was listed for $15,000 and had a Best Offer accepted, so not entirely sure just how much it really sold for.
CGC 9.8s are already selling near or a little above $2,000 for 1st printings. The Walking Dead comics are still hot, and collectors are still gunning for various key issues within the series. The Walking Dead #1 has been labeled "the most valuable Modern Age comic," and so far that title still rings true.
Issue number #1 holds the first appearance of Rick Grimes, the comic book's main character, as well as a few other characters. Beware of all the recent reprints for issue #1. There's quite a few of them!
2. The Walking Dead #2
Is it a surprise that another Walking Dead comic made this list? In the modern world of comic collecting and investing, it's not much of a surprise at all.
So why is this one so valuable? Well, of course, the popularity of the television show has a lot to do with it. However, this issue also has quite a few important first appearances, such as the first appearance of Lori Grimes, Rick's wife, and Carl Grimes, Rick's son. We also meet Glenn for the first time.
In May of 2014, a CGC 9.8 sold on eBay for $1,000! There aren't too many Modern Age comics at that grade going for that much, let alone a second issue. Therefore, Walking Dead #2 is one of the top key issue comic investments to date and, much like #1, this issue is still going strong with little-to-no signs of slowing down.
The real question is whether The Walking Dead will remain in such high demand after the television show ends. Only time will tell.
Who're you? Batman's squeeze?— Harley Quinn
3. Batman Adventures #12
Batman Adventures #12 also makes this list and is a welcome change of pace from our previous entries. Why is this comic, based on the Batman cartoon series, so popular and sought out?
Well, it's because of a popular, whacky female character that comic fans absolutely love and her name is Harley Quinn. The female counterpart to the Joker, (the top villain ever in comics according to most comic fans) Harley Quinn, was first introduced on the cartoon show. Batman Adventures #12 is her first ever comic book appearance.
CGC 9.8s for this issue are starting to sell around the $600 mark, but are quickly moving upward toward $700. For a comic that came out in 1993, this is such a great investment, wouldn't you say?
This comic is in high demand and has been for quite a while. It looks like it won't be losing momentum anytime soon, either. Neither will Harley Quinn's popularity in the world of geekdom.
4. Preacher #1
Preacher #1 is a more recent example of a comic that has been greatly affected by news of a show. When AMC announced the Preacher television series, demand for this key issue shot through the roof.
CGC 9.8s for this comic are selling on eBay for around $500 to $600! Preacher #1 is also a subject of debate amongst comic fans. Although the industry totes this issue as the first full appearance of Jesse Custer, Tulip O'Hara, Cassidy, and the Saint of Killers, some are saying that's wrong, and their first appearances are actually in a comic called Absolute Vertigo #1, which had a preview of the upcoming Preacher comic title.
Regardless of this debate, Preacher #1 was still highly sought-out before the show had even aired. This comic has become even more in-demand and valuable since the show premiered.
5. Chew #1
Chew #1 was a surprise hit! It is one of the more valuable Modern Age comics out there on the market. Published by Image Comics in June of 2009, issue #1 first prints had a low print run of about 5,246 copies, making it more scarce than The Walking Dead #1.
The series, created by John Layman and Rob Guillory, won an Eisner Award. The last CGC 9.8 of Chew #1 sold on eBay for $462.
This issue sees the first full appearance of Tony Chu, the main protagonist, and Agent Mason Savoy. Definitely a Modern Age comic investment that was a huge surprise for collectors.
Welcome to my neighborhood, Spider-Man! Would you be my... could you be my... neighbor?— Venom
6. Amazing Spider-Man #300 Chromium
Finally, a Marvel Modern Age comic makes this list. In 1998, Marvel decided to add The Amazing Spider-Man #300 to its Marvel Collectible Classics series and reprint the issue with a gimmicky chromium variant cover so typical of the 90s and even today.
Who knew that it would become so valuable that it would even rival the first printings of ASM #300? Well, it's not that surprising since only an estimated 3,300 copies were printed.
As we all know, Amazing Spider-Man #300 marks the first full appearance of Venom and the story of how the symbiote merges with Eddie Brock. Issue #300 is perhaps one of the most favored and popular comics from the Copper Age—Venom likely had a hand in that.
Bids for regular Universal CGC 9.8s went up to $560 in 2014, making this quite a valuable and rare Modern Age comic.
7. Spawn #1 Black & White Reprint
Back in 1997, Image Comics published this B&W reprint cover for Spawn #1, almost five years after the first printing of the same comic was published. An estimated 3,100 copies were printed.
Throughout the years, this comic has proven to be a good investment. Today CGC 9.8s are selling for around $400 to $500. That's not bad at all. It's worth a lot more than the actual first printing of Spawn #1. This is a gem to have for any Todd McFarlane, Spawn, or comic investing enthusiast.
It definitely deserves to be on this list.
8. NYX #3
For a comic that wasn't published that long ago, NYX #3's value has surprisingly skyrocketed. However, its popularity is not without reason. Laura Kinney X-23 makes her first appearance in this issue, and she has become quite the fan favorite.
Wolverine's female clone, she started off in the limited NYX series and eventually became the new Wolverine. Laura Kinney and her first appearance in NYX #3 is nearing the $1,000 mark for CGC 9.8s on ole eBay. Crazy!
Rumor has it that this character just may be hitting the big screen in the 3rd Wolverine movie. If not, it's only a matter of time before this character gets her live action debut.
9. Harley Quinn #1 (2013) Adam Hughes Variant
With the Suicide Squad movie and Margot Robbie finally bringing the character to live action, it's no surprise that almost every Harley Quinn-related comic is in demand. None more so than this one with a variant cover created by the popular, fan-favorite artist, Adam Hughes.
This Adam Hughes variant reportedly only had a print run of around 9,000 copies. CGC 9.8s of this variant sold for almost $1,000 back in 2015 and an average of $800 from late April to mid-September of 2016.
Since then it has cooled off some, but for a Modern Age comic, it's pretty up there in terms of value. Of course, this is not surprising considering that Harley Quinn is the current Queen of DC Comics. It was recently reported that Harley Quinn would star in her own spin-off film, Gotham City Sirens, with Catwoman and Poison Ivy.
Casting for those two other femme fatales has yet to be announced.
10. Walking Dead #100 Skybound Red Foil Edition
The Walking Dead is hot for sure, and the TV show just keeps adding characters plucked directly from the comics. This issue has the debut of the menacing Negan and his barb-wire bat, Lucille.
This issue also sees the death of fan-favorite Glen. While CGC 9.9 and 10 grades are no slouches in terms of value, the Red Foil Skybound edition is perhaps the most valuable when it comes to the 100th issue of The Walking Dead.
The cover came in two editions. Prints of the "Lucille" edition were all signed by creator Robert Kirkman, and the Skybound Red Foil edition had red foil covering the logo. There are only an estimated 250 copies of the Skybound edition. The "Lucile" edition only has an estimated 500 copies.
For CGC 9.8s, the Skybound Red Foil editions are going for a whopping $1,902.35 and even hit $2,050.00 back in June of 2016. Rare and definitely sought-out, Walking Dead #100 has quite a few variants other than these two, but this one seems to be one of the most popular besides the Hero Initiative blank sketch covers that include unique artwork from around 105 different artists.
On the show, Negan is played by actor Jeffery Dean Morgan, who also played the Comedian in the movie Watchmen.
So far, these are some of the highest selling comics from the Modern Age, 1992 to present. Also, the comics listed here are based on high-grade CGC 9.8 Universal copies. No Signature Series is taken into account here.
Modern Age comics can be a great investment for sure depending on the demand and print run.