It's all starting to become a little bit expensive this month.
I'd started to notice last month that the price of Batman back issues especially 'Key Books' had started to rise. At first I though it was the result of the upcoming 'The Dark Knight Rises' affecting the market.
Of course, it certainly has helped the value of Vengeance of Bane #1. But the real culprit is the highly addictive, and really good video game, 'Batman: Arkham City'.
Yes, I bought it this month. And spent way too much time playing the blasted thing. So it's good. In a 'I've-lost-three-hours-looking-for-riddles' kind of way. To hell with it, I was hooked.
I reckon, and this may be fleshed out with a bit of research, that since 'Arkham Asylum' game was released there was a slow rise in prices of all the those key books that have been referenced in that game. And I think this has happened again since the release of 'Arkham City'.
It's a theory at the minute, but I'm reliably told that the 'Arkham City' toys/figurines (especially Catwoman and Poison Ivy) have been unbelievably great sellers by those who sell them. And logic dictates that when something becomes collectable, the source material value also rises.
Now, how did this affect me this month?
Well, I managed to pick up three #360-ish 'Batman' books on eBay and had to pay over £5 for each of them. Usually, there are a few bidders for these books, but the aggressiveness of the bidding was truly astounding. It got so cut-throat that more than one sniper was present at the end of each auction.
Best expample was a NM Batman #366 (1st Jason Todd as Robin) which finished at £13 after 29 bids! This was proper mental for a UK auction. Once it went past £10, I decided to pick it up Near Mint from a proper dealer for less than a tenner included the p+p, while it stinks of panic buying (and believe me, the British went panic buying in spectacular manner over the potential Petrol Tanker Strike this month), I have this horrible feeling that this might turn out to be a shrewd purchase. And a clever investment, should I ever be interested in that part of the hobby.
Oh, and while I am on a Key Book rant... and after last months bemused statement about what the hell is so important about Detective Comics #871, I was able to get a copy (thanks to an eBay 'Second Chance'- the original buyer bottled the purchase!). It is said that this will be a modern key due simply due to this being the first written work on Batman by Scott Snyder.
I'd heard that this Snyder character was getting a strong fanboy following (there was a ridiculous forum on CBR wondering if this guy was going to be the next Alan Moore. No pressure then...), now I've since read the entire 'Tec run. And I haven't made up my mind whether it is as great as people believe it is. I'll have to cogitate that one, I think.
Fortunately to off-set this Key-Book Bubble nonsense I have been able to pick up one copy of Harley Quinn and several Nightwing issues for a snip. Maybe I'll concentrate on the periphery titles until all the furory over the film and game dies down.
Already hinted in 'Batman: Arkham City' there is a suggestion that follow-up will heavily feature Hush and The Ventriloquist (as in the Albert Wesker incarnation). Both characters debuts are relatively recent, neither are considered 'rare' but I have a feeling the value of these books will start to rise, as of this moment.
Just watch, and blame the The Batman Quest, for starting the panic buying.