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Despite some of the occasional negative jibber-jabber about modern variants, they in fact are some of, if not the most, valuable and highly sought after books of the modern age. I recently decided to do an analysis of the values of the current top variants in the hobby, and rank them in value. Obviously this list will be fluid, but as of now, these are your top books.


In coming up with the list I gave the most weight to historical 9.8 sales. I included all label colours. Where the books are so rarely offered in that (or any) grade I factored in strength of 9.6 and down grade sales, in addition to raw sales. All closed sales used are public information (meaning I did not count private sales even if I personally knew them to be valid). Where the rankings were close I used the strength of non-9.8 sales and raw copies as a tie-breaker.


The criteria:


1) Book must be at least three years old. No newly released "hot" variants were used, as we all know, the vast majority of them do not hold value. The books used need to have shown some kind of staying power;


2) No recalled/error books were used. Those are not "variants" as intended by the publishers;


3) First prints only;


4) Blank covers and/or sketched books were not considered.


With these standards in place I came up with a "Dirty Dozen" list of books. Not very many at all, considering how many variants are released by the publishers in a given year. The list is so small, in fact, that it validates the warnings by many who advise against "over-spending" on a variant the day (or even year) it comes out.


But these books are the exception. They are the cream of the crop. The diamonds in the rough. These are your modern variant keys:


#12- Batman #1 Sketch Cover (2011)- Batman, Batman, Batman. It's not surprising that the most popular DC character would have a spot (or two) on this list. This hard to find cover easily breaks $1k in a 9.8 nowadays, and why not? It's the first issue in the run in one of the best artistic pairings on the title ever.


#11- Amazing Spider-Man #688, J. Scott Campbell (2012)- Did you really think we'd get very far on this list without seeing a JSC? Typically known for his pin-up work, this cover by him is actually kind of scary, and has broken $1500 in a 9.8 as the folks who missed it when it first came out (or did not even realize it was a JSC cover) scramble to add it to their collections before it moves even further up the list.


#10- Amazing Spider-Man #700, Ditko (2013)- A ridiculous 1:200 ratio made this ridiculously expensive right out the gate, with some SS copies skyrocketing as high as $4000 upon its initial release. It has since settled down, but a recent uptick in prices, coupled with the strength of its past sales earns this the #10 spot.


#9- X-23 #1, Dell'Otto (2010)- Another great and hot artist lodges his first cover here. Combined with the fact that X-23 may be Marvel's hottest female character right now, a rumoured movie appearance, and a breath-taking cover, and you have a book that has been fetching $1300+ in a 9.8 and $600+ raw.


#8- Saga #1 RRP (2012)- Image's premier issue of its second best selling title gets the nod here. A signed copy has gone for as much as $1900, and its cult status should keep this book held in high regard for years to come.


#7- Walking Dead #100, Lucille/Red Foil Editions (2012)- The introduction of the iconic Negan in these crazy- rare issues has some people paying as much as $1800 for a 9.8 since word first leaked that he would (finally) be making his appearance in the show. Depending on how they ultimately end up depicting him there, these books could easily move up the list!


#6- Siege #3, J. Scott Campbell (2010)- A bizarre retailer incentive that involved destroying other comic books, a super hot artist, and one of Marvel's most trendy characters flossing on the cover are the perfect recipe to catapult this book to $2000+ in a 9.8.


#5- Batman #608 RRP (2002)- The granddaddy of the RRP's (and possibly all modern variants) makes the top 5. And why not? It's Batman, a first appearance of a new villain, and Part One of a story line that put the Batman title back on top. Oh yeah, and it has Jim Lee art. With prices at well over $3,000 for 9.8's and copies seeming to have disappeared into personal collections, don't expect to get this one on the cheap ever again (if you can even find one).


#4- Uncanny X-Men #510 Partial Sketch Cover, J. Scott Campbell (2009)- Without a doubt the most valuable and hard to find convention book out there, 9.6 copies of these have sold for $2800, and only proves once again that Campbell + crazy rarity + beautiful pin-up art = salivating fans and $$$. All things considered, it wouldn't take much for this book to jump up higher on this list.


#3- Wolverine #1, J. Scott Campbell (2010)- Yet another JSC cover, this one his best, lands at #3. Featuring a stocky Wolverine bulging out of Deadpool's costume, this book easily commands $3k+ in a 9.8 and is very strong in all down grades, as well as raw. It was another "destroy comics" incentive to retailers, an incentive that was so derided in the industry that it has yet to be repeated, but resulted in a book with a very low print run and insatiable demand. It was the uber-high sales prices of this book a couple of years ago that really got the JSC train going at 100 miles per hour, and if it ever stops chugging along, people will still be paying big money for this book.


#2- Amazing Spider-Man #678 (2012)- This now classic and oft-reprinted and homaged cover features Mary Jane in mid-possession by the alien symbiote known as Venom. Its character mash-up and spoof elements made it an instant hit right out of the gate and it never looked back. A 1:50 variant released when ASM sales were barely cracking 50,000, this book has gone for $3500 in a 9.8 (on the rare occasion they're offered), and still breaks $1000 in an 8.5! Raw copies routinely break $1000 and its scarcity on the market, its "modern grail" status, and presence in the ASM run should keep it at the top of this list for a very long time.




#1- Amazing Spider-Man #667, Dell'Otto (2011)- Really? Like, what else was it going to be? We're talking about a book that sells in raw, 8.0'ish condition for $2500. Possibly one of the rarest books of all in the entire ASM run, this book is a completionist's nightmare, and a rare variant hunter's wet dream. Hardly ever offered for sale, in any condition, there have been rumours and reports that as few as ~200 of these were produced. Whether this is true or not, however few copies there are seem to have already disappeared into permanent collections, and it is a veritable feeding frenzy when a copy does find its way to market. If there is such a thing as "Golden Age rarity" in the Modern Age (whether that rarity is "manufactured" or not), the ASM 667 Dell'Otto has it, and at this rate, there could easily come a time when years go by without a copy seeing the light of day.




Well there's the list. Not surprisingly it is Marvel, J. Scott Campbell, and ASM heavy. Let me know if you think I'm way off base or missed any that you think should be a part of the "Dirty Dozen" instead of the ones that I've selected. As I said, the list is fluid and I would like to keep it updated as the market moves and changes.


Honourable mentions to Amazing Spider-man 648 Colour, J. Scott Campbell (2011), Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat #1, J. Scott Campbell (2010) and Uncanny X-Force #20, Venom Variant (2012). They don't quite make the cut now, but hey you never know what will happen later!


If you made it this far, thanks for reading. It was fun to put together. :banana:






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Nice work Jay! I am actually happy to see the Saga RRP on that list. Book has achieved this through no TV and movie hype , just through great story telling and awesome artwork.


Can't really argue any of the books on there . I will say I am pretty surprised about walking daed #100. Interesting to see what happens with the pricing in the future.

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So the Saga #1 is the only one with any valuable content inside? That's notable.


I collect Saga. I buy the monthlies and hardcovers and even have a cgc service with Dre. That's how much I love this book. I think it's the best modern out right now.


As far as the other books on the list. People collect books for the story and people collect it based on cover art. So I don't see a problem there really.

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Missing 3 of 'em, but I don't care about the WD #100. #2 and #3 are soo close, but I agree with your list buddy, well done!


I feel like this should be an article on CBSI ;) I can make a few calls if you want, Jay.


You had me at

...rare variant hunter's wet dream.




Edited by Lethal_Collector
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If this thread is to celebrate these books that is one thing, but some things stated can be very misleading. These books are definitely not among the most sought after books in the modern age. Several of them have a smaller print run or harder to find in the desirable 9.8 grade that drives up the price but that in no way means they are among the most sought after. This is clearly indicated when you look at how few people bid on some of these books in auctions compared to the truly most sought after modern age books. It also may be beneficial to readers to state how each of these books are considered first prints.


It is wrong to give the impression to people that the values of these books are not only secure, but also have a strong chance to continue to rise in value, those are completely unknown waters. Several of these books I absolutely love even though I do not own any of them. I support whatever people want to collect so this is not an attempt to bash these books. I just feel it's best to be very clear and point out that it is a very real possibility that these may tank in the near future along with several other books we collect, but that's just the reality of our hobby.


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