There are comics which are worth incredible sums of money, but so many of the most interesting, tragic, or just downright weird can be found for a simple dollar or less in a store's "dollar bin". There, comics that never gained much popularity can be found alongside those that sold so much as for a copy to be worthless. "Tales From the Dollar Bin" aims to explore these comics, be they a single issue or an entire run of a series. From the great to the miserable, some of the best treasures and worst nightmares can be found in those infamous boxes. Let's have a "tale" now..
The Twisted Saga of "X-Force #1"
It is no secret that I basically now don't care for Rob Liefeld as he went from a mediocre artist who at least seemed like a really nice guy, to a complete and utter jerk. He used to be quite the hot property though, and this dollar comic I found attests to that.
The first-ever issue of X-Force (in their own self-titled comic, at least) is the 2nd best-selling comic ever, behind the first issue of X-Men back when it was re-released in the 1990's. This comic came out during the speculation-craze when people were buying poly-bagged comics with all kinds of extras (trading cards, shiny covers, etc.) and storing them away unread in the hopes they would someday be worth something. Considering how many copies this comic sold it should come as no surprise that even still in its original plastic bag with the trading card it is basically worthless despite the label on the plastic packaging declaring it a, "collector's item." The fact that there are people who spent so much money out there on comics such as these and then went broke when the market crashed makes the whole thing as fascinating as it is sad.
|The comic speculation market, seconds before the bubble popping
Maybe one day our theoretical person just gave up, sold all their comics in bulk--the valuable and worthless--and the store where I bought this got a few of the copies, didn't even bother to open them, slapped a "$1.00" sticker on the copies, and shoved the four sealed-up issues of "X-Force" into their dollar bin never to be seen again until someone with a passing interest in curiosities such as these (me) bought one.
How is the comic itself though? Well, its a 90's-era Liefeld "X-Force" comic, that's all you really need to know. It's classic over-the-top Liefeld and otherwise is unremarkable other than how the comic itself kind of stands for everything that went wrong with comics back then--the mindless buying of multiple issues, gimmicks, and the inevitable bursting of the speculation bubble. I mean, the cover seriously declares itself a special collectible twice with the labels on the poly-bag, is that not absurd?
|It's 2013 and we're still doing this poly-bag nonsense?
The Story Comes to its End
I've always felt if you're buying new comics in the simple hope they'll go up in value you're doing comics as a hobby wrong. Go ahead and buy old ones that have some worth and maybe sell them, but if you truly believe that snatching up a hundred copies of some new series or big event's conclusion will make you rich, well, you're living in a fantasy land (although, to be fair, anyone who did pick up a bunch of "Walking Dead" #1's probably is living the high life right now).
In the end, whether that first issue of a comic turns out to be worth thousands, or barely a dollar, is purely up to the desires of the market and a healthy helping of sheer chance. Only the passage of time will determine if something becomes worth a lot of scratch, or just another...tale from the dollar bin!