Most Valuable Comic Books of the 1990s
The comic book movie boom of the past decade will create a new generation of comic book readers and investors. Investment takes time. Still, comic book film hype has caused the value of some 1990s comic books to rise in value due to the announcement of upcoming films. Most of the most valuable comic books of the 1990s are not very valuable now. Not yet, anyway.
What’s important to remember about collecting comic books from the Modern Age is to keep perspective. We live in an era where comic books are making a billion dollars at the box office.
That is why you should research the most valuable comic books of the 1990s. The older a rare comic book is, the more valuable it becomes.
That is something to bank on in the future. Still, whether you’re interested in investing or not, the best way to understand comic books is to dive in and start reading them. This is especially true if you’re a casual reader.
You will find two pivotal and valuable comic books from the 1990s that are worth finding for an investment. Additionally, each suggestion in this list will also have a link to a graphic novel featuring that character as suggested reading potential for casual readers who want to learn more.
You should invest in the most valuable comic books of the 1990s now. Someone bought a rare copy of Action Comics #1, printed in 1938, for $3.2 million in 2014. That comic would not have been worth $3.2 million in 1942. A return on investment takes time and planning.
Investments in stocks, companies, or valuable comic books take time. It could take decades to get a return. But as previously mentioned, comic book news and hype are making comic books from recent decades more valuable quicker depending on the announcements of new films.
So, you should understand what would appeal to a comic collector a decade from now. Get into comic books as a hobby if you are a curious casual.
The Most Valuable Comic Books of the 1990s
Modern comic books are not as rare as comics published in the early 20th century. But the 1990s are far away enough to feature pivotal comic book moments or now-popular characters where investing in them now could make them much more popular in the future.
The most valuable comic books of the 1990s that featured the first appearances of characters like Deadpool and Harley Quinn could be shrewd investments to make now.
New Mutants #98 (February 1991) Marvel
Do you know the reason why Ryan Reynolds, now synonymous with the fourth-wall-breaking, wisecracking superhero Deadpool, secured the role?
Reynolds’s first attempt to headline a comic book film franchise, 2011’s disastrous live-action Green Lantern, was a disaster. That film’s failure sidelined his securement of the Deadpool role for years.
Legend has it that every studio was rejecting the Deadpool project Ryan tried to launch. Tim Miller, a noted video game designer, and aspiring film director was hired to direct the live-action Deadpool in 2011.
However, filming on Deadpool didn’t begin until 2015. Meanwhile, there was no interest from studios. Miller, or someone in his department, leaked a pre-visual demo for a Deadpool stunt sequence online before filming began. The stunt worked. The leaked stunt demos created a fan fervor that couldn’t be ignored. 2016’s Deadpool and its 2018 sequel Deadpool 2 collectively grossed over $1.5 billion at the box office.
Comic book fans all over the world are now feverishly awaiting Deadpool 3, featuring Hugh Jackman’s return as Wolverine and wearing the iconic yellow costume, for release sometime in 2025.
Deadpool made his first appearance in the pages of the X-Men spinoff comic book New Mutants #85 in February 1991. The character was created by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Rob Liefeld.
Deadpool began life as a deadly supervillain but has since morphed into an antihero. And, a bankable household name due to Reynold’s portrayal.
A copy of New Mutants #98 with a CGC grade of 9.8 currently has a collectibles market value of over $1,517. You could buy a copy with a 9.2 or an 8.0 CGC grade for just under $400. If I were you, I would buy this comic. Watch the market movement on this comic for the next 3 or 4 years – it could increase in value as Jackman makes his return as Wolverine in Deadpool 3.
Suggested Reading For Casual Readers – Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe
Deadpool is actually a very tragic comic book character. There is a secret program that uses people with extraordinary abilities and enhances them via intrusive experimentation to groom them as super soldiers. Deadpool was given a healing factor after it was learned that he was dying of cancer. However, the overload of his healing factor keeping the cancer ravaging his body in check has caused his body to be horribly scarred. This process overwhelms his sanity as well.
Deadpool is basically immortal – if you decapitated him, he would survive. This comic is a non-canonical story about Deadpool methodically killing every superhero in the Marvel Universe. If you enjoy Deadpool’s 4th wall-breaking antics in the films, you’ll enjoy his gonzo goriness and killing skills in this classic series.
Get it for $13.49 at Amazon now.
The Batman Adventures #12 (September 1993) DC Comics
Dr. Harleen Quinzel was a psychologist working at Arkham Asylum. Dr. Quinzel was working on a project to cure the Joker of his murderous insanity.
Instead, Quinzel’s mentality and personality were corrupted by the Joker. She was transformed into his lover and sycophant Harley Quinn.
However, Harley Quinn is now an independent antihero in modern comic books. The character’s first comic book appearance was in The Batman Adventures #12 in 1993.
Harley Quinn originally appeared in a 1992 Batman cartoon and later became a comic book hit. Harley is female, powerless, essentially a Joker-derived analog, and yet is a pop-culture icon. This was not the norm in the 20th century.
The evolution of Quinn from cartoon to comic books to the big screen will appeal to collectors decades from now.
Margot Robbie has portrayed Harley Quinn in several films already. Whether or not she will be recast in the near future is undetermined. A new actress will assume the role in the coming years because WBD will definitely keep using the fan-favorite character on the big screen.
Suggested Reading For Casual Readers – Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 Years
This is a 409-page graphic novel that collects over a dozen of Harley Quinn’s most memorable comic book adventures since her first canonical comic book appearance in DC Comics in 1999. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to Harley Quinn, this is a great way start your immersion into the character.
Get it for $39.99 at Amazon.
Value is in the Future
As a collector of Modern Age comics, it’s important to keep perspective. In an era of relatively larger print runs, there is no scarcity of copies right now.
E-comics are popular. This may be the last era of large print runs of physical comics.
The most valuable comics of the 1990s exist now but won’t be valuable until the future. Consider it an investment akin to investing in stocks that you believe will accrue more value in the future.
Allen Francis is a full-time writer, prolific comic book investor and author of The Casual’s Guide: Why You Should Get Into Comic Book Investing. Allen holds a BA degree from Marymount Manhattan College. Before becoming a writer Allen was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including saving and investing in your own small business.