Why Movie-Based Comics are a Bad Investment

Beginning in the mid-seventies, comic book publishers were encouraged to create content in which the material for the characters and plot originated from a movie or television show. As name brand recognition resulted in higher sales and better placement on the shelves. Bronze Aged classics like Star Wars and Aliens, first see on the big screen, were being extended and expanded in ways that had never been done before with comics. If you care to remiss any and all the movies turned then into comics, there so happens to be a wiki page:

No doubt, these comics have had some impact on pop-culture and at the same time served a devout band of fans that circulated around anything related to their favorite film. With the increased number of options and continual interest in these comics, it stands to reason that the potential of additional films in a popular franchise which the comics were based would increase the value of these early books. But is there an improving fair market value for these issues, considering that neither the characters or plot first appeared in a comic?

Let's start by digging into one of the most sought after titles based on recent popularity of the franchise, Star Wars #1 from Marvel published July 10, 1977.

  • 9.6 9.4% 04/02/2020 121 Sales

  • 9.4 -2.2% 04/04/2020 96 Sales

  • 9.0 1.3% 04/04/2020 51 Sales

  • 8.5 - 16.7% 04/06/2020 42 Sales

  • 8.0 26% 04/05/2020 21 Sales

  • 7.5 -6.9% 03/29/2020 26 Sales

  • 6.5 -23.4% 01/30/2020 4 Sales

Where there has been some modest gain in books with a CGC rating of 9.6 of almost ten percent with a massive 121 book changing hands, the lower graded books have taken a significant dip. Notably, a 8.5 graded issue has takes a dip of almost 17% in recent months. Oddly, 8.0 Grades have increase in value by over 25% while we will note that the 8.0 Grade is on of the smallest sample sizes of all available grades. We will also note that the 50/50 over under on the CGC census is between 9.2 and 9.4, most likely due to the number of books on the market at an astounding 9,210.

Let's take a look at another highly popular movie franchise, Indiana Jones, also had a successful comic run in The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones that lasted several years starting in December of 1982.

  • 9.8 29.9% 03/31/2020 92 Sales

  • 9.6 38.8% 03/10/2020 62 Sales

  • 9.4 39% 12/07/2018 14 Sales

  • 8.5 178.5 05/13/2017 3 Sales

Indy shows much more promise in rising fair market value over the past year, even though there have been no more Indy movies released for several years. This increase in price may have something to do with the announcement of Indiana Jones #5 film which is reported to be the final appearance of Harrison Ford in the iconic role. The values may also be affected by the fact that there are only 356 copies of this book currently listed on the CGC Census.

So while the popularity of these books remain consistent, various factors including the number of books originally printed in large numbers and the fact that neither the plot or the characters featured in these issues are original or key, acts as a ceiling on the potential long term value appreciation of these movie themed comics.


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