BY MATT TUCK
Loki’s Easter eggs had the market in an uproar this week. It’s time for your only top-10 list with the current market report for each issue.
No question, Loki had the single biggest impact on the market this week, spurring sales for a number of once-overlooked issues. From Alioth to the Thanos-Copter and the Living Tribunal, collectors were scouring the auction sites for their keys.
10. AVENGERS: THE TERMINATRIX OBJECTIVE #1
It was only months ago that no one cared about this 1993 issue. The Terminatrix Objective was a forgotten, time-hopping adventure, but that can be said for most comics tied to the Time Variance Authority. Loki has put a magnifying glass over so many ignored comics, and this week’s episode should have you digging through your collection for this issue.
What makes this one special is that Terminatrix Objective #1 saw the debut of Alioth, the cloud-monster guardian of the end of time. Where this issue could take off, however, lies with the Council of Cross-Time Kangs, who also premiered in Terminatrix Objective #1. Kang’s complicated Marvel history has seen numerous versions of him from different realities, and it resulted in a group of Kangs that monitored the timeline, the Council of Cross-Time Kangs. They could very well be the power behind the TVA, which would have a huge impact on this issue.
As it stands, raw copies are generally selling for $20-$30. There have not been any graded sales since a 9.8 brought $50 in February, but that should change in the near future.
9. X-FACTOR #10
Here you have a direct result of the FOMO effect - the fear of missing out. Marvel did an excellent job of marketing this comic, making fans believe it was one they couldn’t miss. The result was not only a sell out, but prices immediately inflated on eBay before the release date.
Kicking off the upcoming “Trial of Magneto” storyline, X-Factor #10 touted a major moment for the X-Men comics. While some readers and collectors may have been expecting a first appearance, the major development was Scarlet Witch’s apparent death at the end of the comic.
Typically, death issues don’t hold their inflated values since hardly any character stays dead for long. This is especially true for a heavy hitter like Wanda Maximoff, who is an integral part of the MCU’s future. Still, the hype and intrigue surrounding X-Factor #10 helped beef up the fair market values for this issue, at least in the short term. Last week, raw copies were selling for as much as $28 for the standard cover, though most were in the neighborhood of $15. These days, prices have fallen into the $5-$10 range.
8. WHAT IF…? #1
A new trailer for the Disney+ animated What If…? series has hit the internet, and it is causing quite the buzz for the non-canonical comics. With the rise of the alternate versions and variants of MCU characters, those What If…? issues have newfound importance to collectors and speculators. Now that Marvel has issued an official release date, it should get collectors even more interested in the series’ debut.
As the show pulls from those classic tales, expect there to be an influx of What If…? comics popping up on the collecting radar. As for What If…? #1, last weekend, a 9.8 hauled in a record-breaking $1,300, and there will be more records to fall in the coming weeks. At the moment, there are still plenty of quality grades selling for reasonable prices. Anything up to an 8.5 can still be yours for $100 or less.
7. THOR #364
Another hot comic thanks to the Loki Easter eggs has been the first appearance of Frog Thor. This has always been one of those oddities in the convoluted Thunder God history that made fans raise eyebrows, and it generated a cult following for that reason. Now that Throg has made it to the MCU, his first appearance is in demand like never before.
After being alluded to in Thor: Ragnarok, audiences were treated to a brief glimpse of the Frog of Thunder trapped in a jar and seemingly buried in the Void. That raises the question, can we expect to see Puddlegulp pick up Mjolnir sometime in the future?
Sales for Thor’s first appearance as a frog have made this an unlikely hot issue. Only two years ago, the 9.8’s high sale was just $175. Before that, it peaked at $79 in 2018. This year, that record has bumped to $495, though the most recent sales have been closer to $300.
It’s not just the graded copies that are getting a push. Yesterday, a raw Thor #364 sold for $130.
6. MARVEL PREMIERE #47
Loki has caused a stir in the secondary market, no question, and it even has implications for other upcoming MCU films. All those Easter eggs have led to an uptick in sales for many keys, particularly the first appearance of Yellowjacket.
Reportedly, Darren Cross will return to the role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Couple that with Yellowjacket’s helmet appearing in the Void, and you have a recipe for a hot comic. Not that this issue needed more reason to heat up. Along with Cross making his first appearance, MP #47 is more famous as the debut of the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang. The future spec for this issue comes from Cassie Lang, whom many believe will be part of the MCU Young Avengers.
There have not been any records broken in July for graded comics. The highest grade to trade hands this week was a 9.4 that brought $300, and a 9.2 earned $252 on July 5. While there is nothing impressive happening on the graded side of things, the raw copies are moving quickly and at surprisingly affordable prices. Issues are routinely selling for $200 or less for what are described as very-fine grades, though buying raw is always a roll of the dice in terms of the actual grade.
5. STRANGE TALES #158
The speculative market was all about the God of Mischief this week. One of those many Easter eggs happened to be the head of the Living Tribunal that was seen while Loki was exploring the Void. Now fans are wondering what this means for the Tribunal’s future.
After Mordo introduced the staff of the Living Tribunal in Doctor Strange, there was plenty of speculation that the cosmic god would fully arrive in the MCU. Here we are years later, and it appears there are definite plans for him to be part of the future movies and streaming shows. Either that or Marvel is trolling its fans again.
All the attention from Loki has made Strange Tales #158 one of the hottest comics on the market, and it is now breaking records. The highest grade sold this month has been the 7.5, and it brought $580 only two days ago. Meanwhile, a 6.5 set a new record of its own, selling for $399 after hovering near the $200 mark all year. Likewise, the 6.0, 5.5, and 5.0 all set records of their own.
4. STRAY DOGS #1 FIFTH PRINT
Even though the five-issue run of Stray Dogs has come to an end, the speculation is hotter than ever. Image has hit on a gold mine with the horror movie poster variants for the series, and the publisher continues to churn out more. This week, The Thing movie variant for the fifth printing hit store shelves, and the prices were immediately inflated to the $20-$30 range. Meanwhile, the Evil Dead, Midsommar, and Pyscho variants are earning about $15-$20 each.
The big question mark is whether or not Stray Dogs will get the movie or streaming series treatment, and that possibility is fueling much of its popularity. If it gets optioned, look for the variants to get even more expensive.
3. SPIDEY SUPER-STORIES #39
Out of all the nods and allusions in the fifth episode of Loki, the Thanos-Copter has captured the attention of the comic world like nothing else.
In recent years, the goofy helicopter with Thanos’ name emblazoned on the sides has become a viral meme. Of course, it spawned from a non-canonical comic aimed specifically at young children, and Thanos was understandably depowered and made less scary for the little ones. In its wake, it produced one of the most absurd images in all of comics that contradicts the imposing Mad Titan from Infinity War and Endgame. Now, it appears the Thanos-Copter is officially part of the MCU.
As soon as the episode dropped on Disney+, collectors took to the auction sites. A 9.4 jumped from $128 in April to $303 on Wednesday. Just below that, two 9.2s sold for $190, and then a record-breaking $200. Even the 9.0 got in on the action, selling for $149, which happened to be the first sale in two years for that grade.
Raw copies are on the move as well. On the eBay sold listings, the raw comics are routinely selling for $100+. Before the Thanos-Copter made its live-action debut, Spidey Super-Stories #39 typically stayed in the $30 range.
2. INCREDIBLE HULK #181
Once again, the speculation fires have been lit under Wolverine’s arrival in the MCU. Earlier this week, Hugh Jackman posted a Tweet with pictures of the Wolverine claws and one of Jackman with Marvel chief Kevin Feige. While there was no context placed around the pictures, that has not stopped the theories from abounding that Jackman is leaving less-than-subtle clues that he is getting set to return to the role.
In any event, this has led collectors to pounce on all those Wolverine keys, beginning with the holy grail, Hulk #181. Last week, a 9.0 set a new high after selling for $15,158. At the low end, a 0.5 is knocking on the door of four digits following an $850 sale in July 2020. When a copy in that condition is edging towards $1k, it tells you all you need to know about a comic.
1. AVENGERS #8
Of all the upcoming characters in the MCU, none are propelling the market quite like Kang the Conqueror. The rumors have been churning for him since a fake Endgame script claimed Tony Stark would become Kang. Although that did not pan out, the enthusiasm for the time travelling villain has not ceased.
Marvel announced that Jonathan Majors would play him in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. But what if he arrives sooner than that? That’s been the idea since Loki introduced the Time Variance Authority. Heading into the final episode, fans are ready to see him make his presence known as the power behind the Time-Keepers, which is fueling rising prices for Avengers #8.
Last weekend, a lowly 3.0 brought $895, while the 3.5 is now regularly selling for $800. The 4.0 hit a record-breaking $1,080 on July 5, and the 4.5 is now a $1,300 comic. The records keep falling from the 5.0’s $1,400 to the 5.5 selling for $1,999.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.