Expect the Unex”SPEC”ted: AJ Diesel
By AJ Diesel

Zap-Kapow Comics enthusiasts, AJ Diesel here! You may have read some of my work on other comic book platforms, and now I’ll be dropping inklets of knowledge here on one of my favorite comic book sites, Zap-Kapow Comics!

The current comic book climate and market is absolutely bonkers. Dollar bin fodder is shooting from long box obscurity to hundreds of dollars on the secondary market. If you’ve been keeping your eyes peeled, there are patterns beginning to form. Remember, once you’ve read about it on one site, so has everyone else, so you need to start speculating before the books starts disappearing from the $1 bins. If you heard that a character is going to appear in a new Disney+ show, or that a new independent has been optioned, everyone else has heard it too. Instead of gambling on a book that is already experiencing its rise, distribute that money on several copies of one issue, or several different issues.

First appearances, cool covers, and now classic artwork (see Jim Lee on X-Men (1991) No. 11), are all going bananas. It’s frightening that the 1990’s are being considered “classic”, but I digress. Understand that these tertiary characters first appearances are more than likely going to be flash in the pan and fast burn books. At this point in the game, people are just reaching for whatever could make them a quick buck, especially since all of the vintage gold, silver, and bronze age classics are hitting heights unimaginable. But there is fun money to be made in these flavor-of-the-week books. You get rich, but suddenly those 1990’s collections that people couldn’t giveaway a few years ago, are becoming something of a hot commodity. Not only are there a bevy of first appearances in those comics, but the kids from those days now have money to spend adult money to reclaim their childhood.

Begin by making your own educated guesses, rather than following the masses, and battling with people in $1 bins looking for the same book. Be a trailblazer and get books you believe have potential, before anyone else does. For my first article on Zap-Kapow Comics, I’ll be bestowing upon you all some of the books that I have been snatching in the shadows, while others are fighting over Agatha Harkness.

X-Men 2099

X-Men 2099 (1993) No. 1

Hitting shelves in 1993, this futuristic X-Men book has seven first appearances. It only takes one first appearance being announced to make a book go nuclear, so why not gamble on seven? With the Disney/Marvel tandem getting back the rights to the X-Men, I’m sure they’ll be spitting movies, streaming shows, and cartoons out ad nauseam. At that rate they’ll run out of characters in what, three years? They’ll start reaching and dipping their hands into the lesser knowns and alternate timelines. Massive print run? Sure. But these copies have just been sitting, bending, and being tossed in the trash. Mark my words, this is a can’t miss book. Get it now, while it still is flooding the dollar bins.

Grifter 1 Image Comics

Grifter (1995) No.1

The only cool thing to come out of Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.S, the first solo Grifter series dropped in 1995. Grifter has already made transitions from Image to Wildstorm to the DC Universe, and could become a character along the lines of Angela in the Marvel Universe. If Grifter is done right, he could really make a name for himself in the DCU. Also, this book came with a trading card in the centerfold, which if not stored properly, warped the spine.

Lastly, start speculating on any first appearance of a Moon Knight villain. Let’s call a spade a spade, his villains are trash. But that doesn’t mean that one or two of them won’t heat up as the Disney+ show draws closer. Make the gamble, and you’ll be happy that you did.

That’s all for my first issue of Expect the Unex”SPEC”ted, drop me a line if you have questions or comments, I welcome the feedback!

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