There’s a growing problem surrounding comic book YouTube channels that needs to be addressed. This is something I’ve wanted to bring up for a long time, but recent events have made such an article necessary.
Now, I’m not talking about the “clickbait” channels who make silly Photoshopped thumbnails of Wolverine in Avengers: Endgame or Batman with the X-Men. That’s always been a thing on YouTube and they’re just playing the algorithm game. Most people know what those channels are doing and these days can just laugh at some of the crazier theories. I’m also not talking about those channels who would post a video every three hours about how Captain Marvel was going to bomb and destroy the MCU, everyone sees them as the joke they are by now.
What I’m talking about is a growing trend of comic book speculation channels that will push the most bullshit “scoops” they can in order to affect the prices of comics in the secondary market. This is actually a violation of the YouTube policies, and the service has shut down channels in the past for it, but it’s becoming so prevalent it’s a fire that even YouTube can’t put out.
For those unaware of what I’m talking about, whenever a major movie is announced based on a comic book (or a character from a comic is going to debut in a movie) the first issue of that book or the first appearance of the character would skyrocket in value. For example, two years ago when I broke the news about The Eternals I could’ve gone and bought the entire Jack Kirby run dirt cheap if I wanted to. Back then people were screaming it was false or a fake X-Men movie, so the comics didn’t go up in value. Once Marvel officially announced the movie all of those issues now cost a lot more money.
With the advent of YouTube and people believing whatever they see on the site, a subgenre of comic book channels have surfaced for the comic book speculation market. That’d be fine if they were talking about legitimate news and what’s coming up for the movies and TV shows, but there’s a growing side of it that’s nothing more than a deceptive scam.
Some channels will make up complete bullshit scoops, or push bullshit from other social media outlets that they know is bullshit, just because the idea (for example) that a certain X-Men team would show up in the movies would drive up the price on those comics. Then the channel would direct people to where they could buy that comic, which would sometimes be a eBay store they or someone connected to them runs or a friend’s comic book store.
It’s basically a comic book version of insider trading, and like I said before YouTube in the past has shut down channels for doing this citing their deceptive practices and scam policies. It’s also the sort of thing that tends to attracts career scam artists, some of which have a long record on sites like RipoffReport.
I actually don’t bother with this side of comics, I don’t even buy physical copies anymore, but I know people who do. And they will come to me asking me about some kind of bullshit story these channels are spreading to jack the price of a comic up and wondering if they need to buy the book. It’s gotten to a point where this article is necessary because it’s multiple times a week where some crazy revelation is made on one of these channels, complete with a picture of the comic on the screen with a price next to it. Some of these channels will also regurgitate stories run months or even a year before by legitimate outlets while taking credit for breaking it and badmouthing the outlets who ran it before them.
The good news is some of the serious comic collectors who deal in the real secondary market are starting to recognize these scammers for what they’re doing, and the prices they affect really only benefit them. The danger is if more and more people start taking these channels seriously, then comics that don’t have any real possibility of being done as a movie or TV show will go up in value for no reason all because some YouTubers wanted some quick cash by gaming the comic book speculation market.