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100 Copper Keys
🗝 The Top 100 Comic Books From The Copper Age 🎁 Please utilize the eBay links when making ANY purchase to help the continued development of Key Collector Comics
- 1st appearance of Beta Ray Bill, a Korbinite alien worthy of picking up Mjolnir
- [November 2017 - a sculpture of a familiar face jutting out from the Grandmaster's tower in Thor Ragnarok proves that Beta Ray Bill exists in the MCU and adds credibility to the persistent rumors that he will appear in either Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or Thor 4: Love & Thunder]
- 1st appearance of Storm Shadow, a former friend of Snake Eyes and the Young Master of the Arashikage Clan
- Solo story featuring fan-favorite G.I.Joe Snake Eyes, a character who was severely injured in a helicopter explosion during a mission that left him disfigured and without the ability to speak
- This issue is unique in that it has no dialogue text throughout which was rumored to be the result of the book being so late to production that there was no time for lettering, thus it became the "silent issue" - creator Larry Hama denies this rumor
- 1st team appearance and origin of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo
- 1st appearance of Splinter, the Turtles' mentor
- 1st appearance and death of the Shredder
- First printing: 3,000 copies
- 1st appearance of Blue Devil, a 16-page original story preceding Blue Devil #1
- 1st appearance of Bug
- Origin of Byte
- 1st appearance of Marla Bloom
- 1st appearance of Edward Bloomberg, later becomes Kid Devil then Red Devil
- 1st appearance of Miyamoto Usagi aka Usagi Yojimbo (Yojimbo is Japanese for bodyguard).
- This week's number 10 is another example of the movement brewing of collectors gravitating towards 80s and 90s low print run, beloved independent books.
- Partly fueled by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which is certainly part of the group though it's sheer popularity and media ubiquity transcends it).
- Partly by potential media adaptations.
- Partly because collectors have realized just how rare some of these books are in the highest grades.
- And partly because a lot of them are now entering their 25-30 year nostalgia cycles (they've made it through the threshold where many once hot characters disappear and are now becoming iconic).
- Albedo #2 is often brought up in the same breath as TMNT and for good reason. While not as popular to the mainstream just yet, it is catching up quickly in the price department.
- And file this under 'did you know?' for when you need to impress your friends or lock in that date: The turtles appeared as guest characters in Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 8. Additionally, Miyamoto Usagi and other characters from the Yojimbo universe have made guest appearances in TMNT animated shows.
- A rare book that does not see sales very often saw one monster sale this week.
- A CGC 9.0 copy traded hands for an new all-time high in grade of $5,500 (up almost 50% from last year when a copy sold for $4,050).
- As I said when this was on the list last time, expect the 9.0+ range to see massive gains when copies surface. And look out for fireworks if a 9.8 copy comes to market. The last sale of $28,800 will likely seem like a bargain.
- There are only 10 blue label 9.8s making this book in this grade an event every time a copy comes to market.
- For context, even the famously rare first printing of the 1st app of the turtles counts 28 blue label 9.8 copies.
- Further driving collectors to grab copies asap is the upcoming Netflix animated series announced in July. Produced by James Wan of Aquaman, Saw & Conjuring fame, the show titled Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles follows a teenage descendent of Usagi Yojimbo.
- Other books from the 80's/90's independent comics explosion that have caught collector's eyes include Bone 1 (1st Bone with just 16 9.8 blue labels on the CGC census), The Crow 1 (1st Crow ongoing. Though Caliber Presents 1 will likely overtake it soon. Is there any other character in comics whose first ongoing is more expensive than their 1st appearance?) & Comico Primer #2 (1st Grendel with 36 copies).
- Books of this era have very small print runs and were mostly self distributed making surviving copies rare with high grade copies having become incredibly rare. Despite having a print run of 2,000, Albedo #2 has only 177 universal graded copies present on the CGC census.
- The closest contemporary comparison is The Hero Trade which was also self distributed, has a small print run and has famously rooted itself onto the Hot 10 for much longer than any comic from the Golden Age thru today
- 1st appearance of Black Mask, a crime boss who wore a mask carved from the casket lid of his deceased father
- [January 2021 - Black Mask to be one of the villains in Batwoman S2]