The Crazy 2020 Year In Comics - A Look Back

This is a copy and paste from my main CHU article at:

It’s the end of what most would consider a really crappy year except most would say, it ended up being a great year for comics, at least on the speculation and flipping side of the aisle.

So, Happy New Year!

So let’s review all the hot books released in 2020 with some possible mentions of some of the other crazy back bin issues that saw some crazy love with people stuck at home with extra cash burning holes in their pockets (at least for those that weren’t furloughed, lost their jobs or got sick).

Before we get started though, I just want to send my heartfelt condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one this past year due to COVID-19 or knows someone who was impacted either physically or financially from this horrible pandemic that we are still facing daily. Stay strong and stay safe going into 2021. Wear a mask, even if it’s not mandated or required, it’s a small gesture to show respect to other fellow humans until all this virus gets under control while vaccines get rolled out.

I’m going to try and go in order by release but I’ll still likely jump around at times if the books are related, etc.

The first character that stands out and that truly took off (the more notable that is) right before the pandemic started to lock people in their homes was… Punchline.

Tynion started pumping this character with messages stating she’ll be coming in Batman #89, Year of the Villain Hell Arisen #3 but also claimed her first prominent issue would be in Batman #92.

Of course nerds went crazy and Batman #89 was not found on most LCS shelves. Since Batman sales were slumping, this all came to a surprise for most so we saw Batman #89 shoot up in value with crazy demand as everyone was trying to get their hands on it with a brief cameo first appearance happening at the end of the book for Punchline.

Things then settled as the next book to nab was Hell Arisen #3, which gave us more panes, more views of Punchline. Most will consider this the first full despite Tynion claiming Batman #92 is the issue she comes to the forefront, which she does. But the market spoke and Batman #89 and Hell Arisen #3 are the ones to own as this allowed retailers to go nuts with Batman #92 orders to meet demand and caused DC to kick off the 1:25 Design Variants they are still pumping out with their titles. I’d consider the only winner so far out of Batman #92 is the design variant, if you found for cheap as prices have leveled off.

Around the same time Batman #89 was stirring up the speculator market, another book that saw some love on the secondary market after Keanu Reeves was quoted praising the book was BANG! #1 from Dark Horse. Great series, was a quick flip for most but cooled off rather fast. You can find these for cheap and I think it’s a great grab and stash book for the long term gamble.

Although Punchline dominated this time frame in 2020, the real winner books go to Something is Killing the Children additional printings.

Most didn’t even think these would likely shoot up in value, with a going price range averaging 40x over cover price goes to Something is Killing the Children #1 6th Printing.

Yes, you heard me, the 6th printing is selling on average $150 to $160. The 5th printing was released in November of 2019 so with such a large gap from November to February between printings, this 6th printing definitely got overlooked by retailers who likely already fulfilled their customer needs with the previous printings.

Even SIKTC #2 4th Printing that came out the same day will set you back a good $50 or so.

The other big winner for this title is the uber hard to find #3 second printing that goes for $250+ currently with the #4 second print going for around the $40 range, but it seems some are really trying to push the value with BIN listings in the mid $100 range with only a handful of listings.

Now I could keep bringing up Something is Killing the Children’s additional prints up through the most recently released issue but we’ll just stop here, SIKTC is seeing a lot of love for the harder to find additional printings. So if you find them or have them, now’s the time to sell I think.

What’s truly humorous going back to 2019 around NYCC, is when we were telling people to buy this book, particularly the Frison FOC Variant, pre-FOC talk. This comment from a reader truly stands out in mind (and probably until the day I die) when I made a post about the FOC Frison SIKTC variant.

Sorry Steve Laprade for throwing you under the bus. I truly hope you didn’t end up cancelling your order since you thought all the pre-FOC talk ruined the spec.

Other notables earlier in the year (January and February) that were brief and quick flips go to Lois Lane with the Kiss of Death making their debut in Lois Lane #7 and #8.

Also Aggretsuko #1 saw some brief early love when it debuted but it faded just as quickly as it arrived.

Thor #1 was the title that started some crazy speculation mid-summer and sells anywhere from $8 to $20 itself currently.

Star Wars Rise of Kylo Ren #2 and Issue #3 are easy $25 to $30 books. We’ve all learned in the past few months that it’s just best to buy Star Wars for any and all future spec potential (Mace Windu #5, Rogue One Adaptation #1, Darth Vader #14, etc). Disney+ is gonna keep on pumping out Star Wars shows and we nerds just gotta have them all (to sell eventually for some).

Now with all the momentum going into March, looking like a great year with DC headlining most of the buzz talk with Punchline and The Designer (Batman #90 which still sells decently considering that guy was dead before his actual first even occurred), we skip ahead to June and July after the comic halt hiatus from Diamond and the big DC divorce, with them going off and using Lunar and UCS as their distribution for comics.

But before Thor took over, we saw the Virus craze coming out of Venom with the late May release of Venom #25 that not only introduced a small glimpse of Virus but also the new guy named Codex. Lots of speculation that Codex would make his way into Venom #26 but sadly, all we got were a bunch of store exclusives with him on the cover and no interior appearance, which didn’t happen until Venom #27.

Outside the world of Venom, the next book that comes to mind that really took off was Thor. We got a few issues up before the halting of new comics and during that time, we saw Thor #2 start to slowly increase as most were speculating the dark cloud was in fact Black Winter (which it was, it’s a cameo). I was picking these up and selling for $20 with relative ease. We then also see him at the end of Thor #4.

Then comes Thor #5 at the end of June, the true first appearance of Black Winter. This went from around the $25-$30 mark and slowly crept it’s way upwards of $70 to $80 from demand. It’s still an easy $45 book on average.

All the Black Winter hype caused all issues to go-to multiple printings up through issue 5 before the delay of Thor #6 which retailers didn’t sleep on since there was almost 2 months lapse but I think this is still a potential winner of things to come.

All around this same time frame of Venom and Thor, we then see Knull early appearances start to skyrocket on the secondary market along with the secondary market start to take off with Strange Academy #1 which hit stands right before most of the major lockdowns in early March and with a delay until Strange Academy #2, caused a lot of folks to seek out the first book after restrictions started to lift, life started to get somewhat back to normal for some.

Slowly building up was Darth Vader early issues. The Darth Vader #1 ended up being an easy $20+ book while Darth Vader #2 is an easy $12 to $16 being the first time we get Sabé in comics (she’s Padmé Amidala look alike decoy if you haven’t been keeping up or reading).

This all later leads to the more recent Darth Vader #6 that has Ochi’s first appearance in comics get some love on the secondary market. I will also admit, despite the first appearance, the issue was a fabulous read as well. Pick this up for the read and the potential spec value they could hold.

AWA found a hit with their Year Zero #1. It’s not as hot now as it’s cooled off a bit but was seeing prices around the $20 range for both A and B at one time.

DC had a few more hits around this time Marvel and Cates were seeing a lot of buzz. Batman: The Adventures Continue #2 introduced a new character that forced a second printing of it. Still sells well as it was overlooked and under ordered. So when demand exceeds supply, you get a lot of love.

Wonder Woman #759 took off briefly with the new Liar Liar villain that was introduced. Sadly there’s recent solds now for $1.50. So if you like first appearances and think Liar Liar might be around later, nows a good time to buy, it’s like picking from the $1 bins…

And then Snyder tweets about Robin King making his way into Death Metal. Nobody was really paying attention and we ended up with everyone scrambling to get their hands on Death Metal Legends of the Dark Knights #1 which gives us a backstory and what’s the first full appearance of the Robin King (cameo in Death Metal #2), who becomes Batman Who Laughs (Darkest Knight) sidekick with first full as such sidekick in Death Metal #3.

Legends was an easy $25 book at one point but it’s now hovering just above cover, sometimes $10 on a good day. One of the most recent auctions for a #1 NM first print went for a whopping $5.51. Maybe it’d be worth more if we talked about it pre-FOC instead of the pumper and dumpers getting their hands on all the copies to swamp the market. If you missed out, nows the time to buy again while it’s dirt cheap. It took awhile for BWL to really get to his peak price so maybe we’ll see the same with Robin King.

Some groups were starting to speculate that Captain Marvel becomes the new Accuser. While true (some went far in pumping the 2nd printing as the overall winner for Empyre #2 as the book to grab, sadly it was dead on arrival), we should never speculate on such titles that are part of a bigger tie-in as we all knew she wouldn’t keep such title. Instead the real spec ended up being the first person she has to go accuse being her half sister (Lauri-Ell) in Captain Marvel #18, who goes on to become the new Accuser.

Gunslinger Spawn shows back up in our comic lives this past August. All the Spawn Nerds had nerdgasms that caused this to explode with Spawn #306 and then again with Spawn #309, but #306 is the front winner with the more recent covers of the Gunslinger. Retailers were more prepared for #309 to meet demand.

With the success of Spawn spinning off variants with Spawn, old and new not even in the story has created a marketing ploy for Image and McFarlane to pump out freebie copies if you order X amount of covers A, B and C to get 20% of D… appears to be working, I’m sure there’s 20 issues to each single Spawn reader for each issue being released as of lately.

IDW and then Retailers said the magic word, “allocation” when it came to the highly anticipated TMNT The Last Ronin #1 which was a cover price book on the secondary market for those doing pre-sales to instantly a $25 to $30 book almost over night. This sent people scrambling, creating demand and the book is still selling around the $35 range or so.

Batgirl #50 was the final issue and it introduced the first comic book appearance of the new CW Batgirl. This briefly shot up in value, still sells around the $10 to $15 range for the regular cover (not too much profit when the cover price is $5.99). The 2nd printing which is actually a pretty cool cover you can still find available online at cover price

Captain Marvel The End One Shot had a Momoko cover that saw some love but it took a bit for it to take off (as it was open order). After the recent Captain Marvel titles that have been introducing Ove, Brigid and others, some realized this had a few new characters that some are seeking out making the regular cover go up in value along with that Momoko becoming a $35 book on average now.

Now with some of the more recent highlights, I won’t dive too much into the details but list out some of the titles still fresh ending out this 2020 year.

X-Men #12 gave us the Summoner first cover, who actually first appeared way back in X-Men #2.

Wolverine introduced the new Solem character. Both Wolverine #6 and X-Force #13 both showed up on the same day. X-Force #13 had him on the covers while Wolverine was still clearly the first full.

Champions #1 second printing saw some love, probaly primarly due to it’s cover art with Kamala Kahn. I’m not even certain if anything important occurs in this issue other than it being a new #1.

Daredevil #25 we got Elektra now as the Red Devil. Still selling pretty well.

The indie book A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night #1 is still selling quite well. Most shops don’t go heavy on the really small indie titles so supply/availability vs demand really helps boost the value.

Aftershock finally found a hit with We Live #1. This series is quickly turning into one of my new favorite reads of the year as well. Was this the only Aftershock title that got some love this past year? I truly can’t recall any other title they put out that got this much attention and love.

Wonder Woman Annual #4 has the new Future State Wonder Woman apparently in it, named Yara Flor. Wasn’t this the one with the flashback scene of the little girl? Hey, they’re selling for like $20 so buy low, sell high right?

And now to end the year, we got Amazing Spider-Man #55. A book I’ve been telling you people to order for the past 2 months or so. Yep, pre-FOC kills spec alright… sigh!

Great cover, too bad Amazing Spider-Man story has sucked donkey balls. I use to buy every copy of Amazing Spider-Man but I stopped after around issue #10 with this volume. I was just throwing money away as I knew I wouldn’t read them anyways. If and when I do read them, I’ll just read off the MU app.

That’s all I got for my 2020 year in review. I’m sure I missed a book here and there. So anything you want to throw in the list, please do so here or on the forums (I plan to post this on the forums as well).


Holy Moly, at the beginning of the year I went to my lcs and bought one of each of the additional printings of SIKTC because I liked the series so much. Them books shot through the roof. Great list!


Great write up!! Just what I needed…a reminder of how much money I spent this year… :wink:

Haha… and how much money you could have made if you sold at the time times… :wink:

My wife did the same up until issue 8. She does not want to sell the extra copies yet. She says the book is so good, that Netflix will pick it up soon. I have to agree with her on that one.

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I always sell one copy to fund the rest, that way it’s a win/win situation, no money spent with a bunch of books for future spec and if nothing happens then it doesn’t matter, books paid for themselves.

Best books this year for me spec wise was Strange Academy #1 and Thor #5. I have a Peach Momoko variant for Strange Academy #1 at CGC at the moment for my PC, I bought 2 sets with the Trade and Virgin, in total it cost me $50 for both sets, I sold one of the Virgin covers for $360, in addition to getting the 1:25 and Campbell Virgin cover, both cost me $20. Bought a couple #2 for cover price and sold them for $35

Same with Thor #5 bought 25 copies for cover from my LCS which came with the 1:25 for cover price, sold 20 copies for $40 each, later found another 8 copies at other comic stores for discount prices which I then sold for $35 and kept 5 copies for myself all I which I believe are 9.8.

Those where the only ones that I bought a lot of copies of, the rest on the list I only picked up 3 or 4 copies each, sold one of each to cover the costs of weekly books and kept the rest. I have sent off a SIKTC #1 to CGC though.


Nice write up. But, lol, Gunslinger Spawn, and all the other Spawns, are, have, and will be, part of the story. The entire story right now is focusing on all these ‘other’ Spawns from different ‘universes’, and bringing them into Al Simmons timeline. Jus’ say’n.

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There’s an actual story in Spawn? :grin:

I’ve was collecting that run of Toddfather ASM cover swipes on Spawn 298-301, so Ive ended up buying, and reading, the run from 297-current. It’s not a great story, but it’s kept my interest, to a degree. I will say that the editing is not good. There are quite a few spelling and/or grammatical errors, or missing words in the dialogue of seemingly each issue. :man_shrugging:

Yeah… It’s horrid. People aren’t buying for the inside… Just the covers.

Have you read it?

I thought the Mcfarlane era was decent. Todd draws a great spidey but I always found how he draws other characters to look awful and have way too many lines for more “details”.

Yes, I’ve given it a go a few times and I just can’t… it’s horrible story and writing nowadays.

That’s always been a big complaint from some in the industry. Some claim he makes his art “noisy” to hide the imperfections and such… which I can also sense at times. I liked his Spidey run in the early 300’s but it got to be a bit too much for a while. His spinoff (that was the start of the downfall of the 90s comics) Spider-Man title was awful…

Usually a fan of Todd… he’s been annoying lately. Spamming his FB, instagram, etc asking fans to vote his crowd funded Spawn figure as “action figure/toy of the year” in some contest?
Ummmm 99% of those who ordered it don’t even have it yet? A crowd funded toy like that with a pretty big cost isn’t quite inline with most other toys.
Again, I’m a fan…but quite the ego stroking maneuver.

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That spawn figure looks decent but the torso stuck like that kills it for me

I think it’s a business play as much as an ego play… wanting to add “award-winning” to the conversation when he negotiates future toy deals.


Awards don’t mean much to me. “Norbit,” won an academy award, for Godssakes. “Norbit!” It was for the crazy make-up Eddie Murphy was in.

Todd has talked about the millions he spent on home run record baseballs… I think it comes up in the documentary SyFy did about him. While he is a baseball nut, it was also a “get people talking” strategy that he leveraged to get meetings for his sports toys.

Winning awards, or breaking records like 300 issues… it’s pride, but it’s also another factoid he can point to on his resume if/when he needs partners.

Oh, the continuation banner of “World Breaking Comic” at the top of every new Spawn issue is no longer “Pride”… that’s just ego at this point. And it’s effing annoying if you ask me.

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