In a previous post I mentioned that I picked up three of the 2019 NYCC Marvel exclusives while at the show – Ghost Rider 1, Strike Force 1, and House of X 5. Earlier this week, I added another 2019 NYCC exclusive to my collection by purchasing a copy of the Something Is Killing The Children 1 Retailer Exclusive from my LCS – Albany’s Earthworld Comics. The comic was given to attendees at the Diamond Retailer Breakfast held at NYCC on October 4, 2019, and features a B&W version of Jenny Frison’s variant cover.
I shipped these four NYCC exclusives to CGC yesterday (Sat 10/26/2019) and will report back on the grading results upon their return to me in a couple of months. The three Marvel books haven’t been touched since they were bagged/boarded for sale at the Marvel booth at NYCC where I bought them. My handling of Something is Killing the Children, was limited to swapping out the bag and board prior to shipping to CGC. That book has some minor corner dings, but I’m hopeful that they won’t impact the grade too much. Given that these books were uncirculated, opted to not have them pressed prior to grading. In my assessment, any minor corner dings on the books would be improved by pressing. While I’m hoping for 9.8’s for all four, my gut feeling is that the Strikeforce book will grade the best.
For those looking for info on costs associated with CGC grading/slabbing, consider the following. I shipped to CGC via USPS Priority Mail insured for $400, at a cost of $20.15 to me. of As a CGC Premium Member ($149 annual cost), I receive a 10% discount on grading costs. Following application of that discount, CGC Modern Tier grading fees for the four books total $72. Add in the $5 invoice handling fee, return shipping to me by USPS with insurance of $200 per book at a cost of $40. So absent pro rating any portion of the annual membership, the expense to me to have these books graded comes in at $137.15, or $34.29 each.
Although I didn’t read these copies of the books submitted, I have read other copies of all but Ghost Rider (and hopefully I’ll catch up with that one). A few comments about them.
House of X 5
Not specifically about this issue, but some thoughts on the concept… I grew up with the Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne X-Men, and as a longtime fan, really enjoyed Hox/Pox. the anticipation of where the story had me a little sentimental about what it was like as a young comic reader – eagerly awaiting what the next issue would have in store. With the Dawn ox X line going forward, I have added X-Men to my pull list, and read and enjoyed Marauders. However, I can’t realistically make the financial commitment to buying the whole line of six or more books on an ongoing basis. I do like the idea of the recently announced Giant Size X-Men one shots, and the X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover, so will likely grab those.
While the most, if not all, of the characters featured in Strikeforce have some history of Avengers membership, I think it is important for Marvel to have a team (or teams) that are not officially affiliated with the Avengers. At NYCC, I expressed the same to Strikeforce writer Tini Howard at her table in Artists Alley. She was suffering from laryngitis at the time, so we couldn’t discuss further, but at least I was able to say i enjoyed the first issue, and its concept. Sure I was an Avengers fan as a kid, but I also loved the Defenders stories of the 1970’s-1980’s. It’s understood that the Avengers brand name is critical to the company’s movie and merchandise revenue, but there are other great stories to be told beyond that team brand, such as the Defenders back then, and Strikeforce now. This series is on my pull list, and I’m looking forward to how this collection of characters gels together to fight the new threat they are facing in this first story arc, and whatever other challenges they run into thereafter.
Something is Killing the Children 1
I’ve had the chance to read the first two issues of James Tynion IV’s Something is Killing the Children, and really like what I’ve seen. The story so far is a horror adventure with a mysterious lead character, supported by a supernatural or extraterrestrial entity or organization, battling horrific child killing entities (as the title suggests). The setting, and some themes remind me a bit of Stranger Things, but clearly this comic is telling its own story. There’s already good buzz that Something is Killing the Children will be optioned for TV/movie production and there is an excitement associated with reading a story from the beginning that has such potential. I’ve sent the first two issues (4th printing of #1, and 1st printing of #2) to my son Jacob, who is in his freshman year at Binghamton University, and I’ll be interested in hearing his thoughts after he’s checked them out.
That’s all for now. Check back for the results of these books submitted to CGC for grading, as well as my thoughts on these series as they develop.