After the success of Black Panther and other comic book film properties that has spurred eBay’s comic sales to increase by 30%, eBay has launched a Black Panther destination.
This new Black Panther destination will feature “a curated collection of memorabilia from the Oscar-nominated film including high-value and accessible comics,” eBay’s Vice President of Merchandising at eBay North America Sam Bright told me. He added, “Top items include rare comics, signed memorabilia, action figures, Funko Pop and more. The collection also includes superhero memorabilia you can’t find elsewhere.”
As for what is spurring the 30% increase in sales, Bright relays they are seeing customers purchasing both newer comics as well as back issues.
“We’re seeing buyers looking for both newer comics and back issues. We have experienced collectors who come to eBay every day to find rare and hard-to-find issues they’re looking to add to their collection.”
Bright informed me that they are seeing “interest spike from novice comic collectors shopping in both the comic and collectibles categories.” He notes that “one in five Black Panther comic buyers were first time comic buyers on eBay.”
Bright would elaborate saying, “we are selling more comics as more first-timecomic buyers
As for those new Black Panther comic buyers, Bright details what they are buying on eBay:
“We have seen new comic buyers purchase new comics relating to popular Hollywood film adaptations. With novice buyers, we’ve seen this shopper looking for amazing value and newer, more mainstream comics that speak to their interests. “
Bright did indicate that the increase in sales also stems from partnerships with comic artists like Sanford Greene and Neal Adams for “‘eBay exclusive variants’ which include the following special editions: “The Return of Wolverine #1” “Black Panther: Sound and Fury #1,” “Marvel Legacy #1,” and “The Spectacular Spider-Man #1” (which sold out in 26 hours).”
He’s also seeing increased interest from a number of superheroes that have recently been adapted into feature films “such as Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Wolverine and Superman, as well as previously lesser-known characters from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Logan” and “X-Men.””
In fact, Black Panther and Spider-Man comic sales have seen a 20% increase “in the month leading up to the Oscars this year.”
I asked what was driving this 20% increase for Black Panther and Spider-Man comics and Sam pointed to “strong interest for Fantastic Four #52 (the first comic appearance of Black Panther in 1966) when the film was announced and again when it received critical claim.”
Bright would also point to a number of high-value Spider-Man and Black Panther comics that are currently on eBay:
- Amazing Fantasy #15 1962 CGC 4.5
- Edge of Spider-Verse (Marvel) #2B 2014 Land 1:25 Variant CGC 9.8
- Miles Morales The Ultimate Spider-Man TBP (Marvel) Ultimate Collection #1-REP NM
- Black Panther (1977 Marvel 1st Series) 1 CGC 9.8 SS Stan Lee
- Black Panther The Sound and The Fury #1 2018 Greene CGC 9.8
- Black Panther (Marvel 4th Series) 1A 2009 Campbell Variant 1st Printing CGC 9.8
He provided us some hard numbers on their sales figures following the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Wonder Woman, and Thor: Ragnarok.
EBay sold over 205,000 Spider-Man comics. Sam tells us they were selling on average 43 every hour. They also sold over 55,000 Spider-Man action figures.
They sold over 47,700 Wonder Woman comic books and over 17,000 Wonder Woman action figures. He also relayed that Wonder Woman was the third most popular costume bought for Halloween.
They sold over 9,000 Thor comics and 15,000 action figures “since the release of the films.”
Given they’ve seen increased sales from comics based on the films, I was curious if he sees the value of these comics remaining high. He believes that the Oscars could actually increase the value of Black Panther and Spider-Man books:
“It depends on the comic. Pending the outcome of the Academy Awards on Sunday, Black Panther or Spider-Man take home an Oscar, we can anticipate that some of the value of the related inventory will increase. “
He would point to a number of Wonder Woman comics that sold for crazy high amounts following the Wonder Woman film starring Gal Gadot:
In August 2017, three rare comic books featuring “Wonder Woman”, who has experienced a resurgence after DC Comics’ movie starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins, were sold on eBay. The three comics: “All Star Comics #8,” sold for $936,223; “Sensation Comics #1,” for $399,100; and “Wonder Woman #1,” for $226,877.77. The former was the first comic with a female lead to approach the $1 million sale mark, which would also put it in the top 10 list of all-time record comic book sales.
Bright is already seeing increased interest in Captain Marvel and notes this is common for big movie releases.
“We are already seeing increased interest in Captain Marvel and overall female superhero titles, and can share more regarding Captain Marvel ahead of the March release. A rise in sales and searches in relation to movie releases is a regular trend on eBay. For example, sales of Wonder Woman merchandise more than doubled in the month leading up to the movie release in 2017.”
The Most Valued Comics on eBay
I also got to ask Sam Bright about the most valued comics on eBay and he detailed the three Wonder Woman comics as well as a near pristine Action Comics #1.
“The most expensive comic sold on eBay, “Action Comics #1” in was in 2014, for $3.2 million. It was a nearly flawless copy of Superman’s debut, created in 1938, and sold by Darren Adams, owner of Pristine Comics. A portion of the proceeds went to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.Last August, Adams also sold three rare comic books featuring “Wonder Woman” on eBay, who has experienced a resurgence after DC Comics’ blockbuster. The three were “All Star Comics #8,” which sold for $936,223; “Sensation Comics #1,” for $399,100; and “Wonder Woman #1,” for $226,877.77. The former was the first comic with a female lead to approach the $1 million sale mark.”
The Most In-Demand Comics and Characters on eBay
As for the most in-demand comics, Bright pointed to Amazing Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, Nyx, Black Panther, and Harley Quinn.
The most popular characters are who you would expect they include “Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Green Lantern, Harley Quinn, Superman and Wolverine.”
What do you make of eBay’s increased sales and the types of comics they are selling? Do you plan to check out the new Black Panther destination? Do you plan on buying up any old comics where movies and television shows might bring the character to new heights of popularity?