The biggest question to answer on when to sell a Marvel comic is if that series will one day be picked up for a movie. Comic book publishers now make most of their income from movies, with comic books acting as a host to setup these movies. Most Marvel movies are based on the crossover events, so your Iceman #1 issue is very unlikely to hold its value. Meanwhile, if you look at how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is headed, several movies can be expected in the near future. The Captain Marvel will be in theatres in 2019, and after the recent success of Wonder Woman and the backlash to Marvel not giving females the leads in movies, expect them to push the inclusion of Captain Marvel into its movies often. Combine that with Robert Downey Jr. looking to get out of the Iron Man series soon, Hulk not much of a place in the Marvel Universe, and the success of Captain America: Civil War and you get a future Civil War II movie. After that, expect a Secret Empire series. With Chris Evans likely done as Captain America around the time a Secret Empire movie to be released and the series having a heavy presence of Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, it appears to be setting up for a future movie while these actors are still with their respected characters and send Chris Evans off as Captain America.
Marvel movies are based heavily on these crossover events and they’re beginning to run out of them. So when do you sell the #1’s of these series? The best time is likely right around the movie’s release date, no later than 2-3 weeks after they’re released in theatres. They may increase slightly with inflation over the next few decades, but I don’t see much more than that.
Another recent crossover event, Inhumans vs. X-Men, is extremely less likely to be turned into a film anytime soon. Fox Studios has shown absolutely no interest in selling the rights to any of their movies back to Marvel, so an Inhumans vs. X-Men is nothing more than a pipe dream right now. The two sides dislike each other so much that Fox would rather not produce any more Fantastic Four movies than to sell them back. And in return, Marvel would rather not produce any more Fantastic Four comics and has removed all Fantastic Four products from being sold. But let’s say Fox Studios gets new leadership, needs the money, an epiphany, something that would cause them to sell the rights to the X-Men back to Marvel Studios tomorrow. It would likely be three to four years before they get their first X-Men movie into studios. Then another 5-6 years to create individual character movies, and then an X-Men sequel. They would then need to build an Inhumans movie series, which would take a while considering they would have to end their television series first so that there’s not two different Inhumans series taking place at the same time with different actors/characters/plotlines. Then, they decide to produce an Inhumans vs. X-Men movie. That will be another 2-3 years minimum before they make the movie. So, if they rushed all of this, it would be at least 15 years before this crossover movie takes place after they receive the rights from Fox (which isn’t happening soon. Plus, the series wasn’t big enough to go through all of this for a comic book series that wasn’t that well received to begin with.
Why am I saying all this? To give you an idea how long you would have to sit on the comic in order to resell it at its peak. So, considering all of the above, when is the best time to sell the Inhumans vs. X-Men movie? As soon as possible. A couple of notable characters, with one big named character, were killed in the series (or pre-series), which gives it some value now, so selling these issues before they are resurrected (as you know they will), will be selling it before it drops in value.
Looking ahead at DC’s planned movies, they also appear to be blowing through their own big-named series’ fairly quickly, so pay attention to their schedule of movies to know when to sell. Batman is one where there are so many notable miniseries’ that it will take decades to get to all of them. Plus Batman movies are typically their own stories and take little from the comics.
When should you sell older comics and variants? Read Part 4