Comic Book Checklist: Movie Related Back Issues Worth Tracking Down

by Brett White

A movie or television adaptation has long been a surefire way to drive up prices and interest in comic book back issues. A “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie gets announced and suddenly no one can find “Marvel Super-Heroes” #18—simply because that’s where the original team made their debut!

Even celebrities aren’t immune to this movie-based buying. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the guy rumored to be Joss Whedon’s top choice for Quicksilver in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” revealed to MTV News that he now owns a key Quicksilver comic, simply because of his rumored involvement!

With that in mind, here are five comics that you should keep an eye out for as the next batch of comic book movies near release!

Marvel Premiere #47
April 1979
Written by David Michelinie
Penciled by John Byrne and Bob Layton
Claime to Fame: As anticipation and speculation heats up surrounding Edgar Wright’s “Ant-Man,” this obscure back issue could end up getting some significant attention. Why? It’s the first appearance of Scott Lang, the average Joe who stole Hank Pym’s Ant-Man suit in order to steal money to pay for his sick daughter’s health care. While Wright has confirmed that Pym will be in “Ant-Man,” there’s still a possibility that Lang will show up. Plus, this was one of our five stories fit for film; if Lang is included, the movie could end up being partly based on this story line.
Value: Near mint copies are going for $10 right now, according to Comic Book Realm.

Superman/Batman #1
October 2003
Written by Jeph Loeb
Penciled by Ed McGuinness
Claim to Fame: Now that Superman and Batman will be teaming up—or tearing each other up—on the big screen, people could start hunting down key issues from the duo’s long, long history together. You could track down one of their first encounters in in “Superman” #76 from 1952, but that one comic book would set you back about $4,000. Even more out of reach is start of the Supes and Bats team-up series “World’s Best Comics” #1 from 1941, which is worth $20,000. That series would go on to become “World’s Finest Comics,” a term that’s become synonymous with any adventure starring Clark and Bruce. Instead of breaking the bank, try to track down this single issue from the pair’s long-running team-up comic book, “Superman/Batman.”
Value: $16

Captain America #1
January 2005
Written by Ed Brubaker
Penciled by Steve Epting
Claim to Fame: There’s a little movie called “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” coming out, and this is the issue where the Soldier first appears. Of course this isn’t the characters actual first appearance; the character first debuted as Bucky way back in 1941’s “Captain America Comics” #1, which also happens to be Captain America’s first appearance, and also happens to fetch around $190,000. So… his Winter Soldier debut is probably the more affordable one. Unlike most comic book movies, though, “Winter Soldier” directors Joe and Anthony Russo have been very upfront about how much of the film was pulled straight from the source material. Odds are with this one, what you see will be very close to what you get.
Value: $12

The Flash #1
November 2011
Written by Brian Buccellato
Written and penciled by Francis Manapul
Claim to Fame: Now that the DC Universe is expanding even further into the CW’s territory, with a planned “Flash” series spinning out of “Arrow,” the time could be right to hunt down some key Barry Allen issues. Of course, his first appearance in 1956’s “Showcase” #4 will set you back around $54,000, so that’s no good. But since Barry Allen has a new ongoing series as part of DC’s New 52 clean-slate(ish) initiative, people might go for an easier and cheaper starting point. Other comics of interest could be “Crisis on Infinite Earths” #8, where Barry dies, or “Final Crisis” #2, where Barry comes back.
Value: $4

Age of Ultron #1
May 2013
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by Bryan Hitch
Claim to Fame: Recognize that title? That’s because it’s the subtitle for the Avengers sequel! And no, the movie won’t be based on this limited series, but that won’t keep the speculators at bay. And the story does involve Ultron—a lot of Ultrons, actually—so it will be of interest based solely on that fact.
Value: Near mint copies are going for $4 now, which is cover price. The variant to watch out for, though, is the Bryan Hitch sketch cover variant, which is fetching around $60 according to Comic Book Realm.

Now, keep in mind that comics are really only worth what you and everyone else are willing to pay for them, and that crazy levels of outsider speculation nearly killed the industry back in the ’90s. There’s no guarantee that any of these will be worth anything; the only guarantee that I can make is the fun you choose to have by hunting these issues down. Collecting, specifically searching for a particular issue, can be a lot of fun, especially if you let go of the delusions of sending your kids to college on comic book money. So, with the entirety of this post in mind, happy hunting!

What other movie and TV related comics do you want to track down? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!