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Frankie's Trending 10: Pip the Troll Rules the Land

Frankie's Top 10


Now that the world has finally seen Eternals, specifically the post-credits scene that has everyone talking, Marvel’s latest spectacle is causing waves in the secondary market. Let’s take a closer look at the 10 issues that are trending across the collecting community with the latest market data to keep you up to speed. #frankiestrending10


The Eternals shook up the market this week, particularly with its bonus scenes. Blade and Eros have stolen all the headlines, but savvy collectors are making the connection between the vampire hunter and Eternals, specifically the Black Knight. That is putting buyers hot on the trail of the MI:13 keys, specifically Captain Britain and MI:13 #1.

It’s anyone’s guess what tricks Marvel Studios is playing, but it would appear that MI:13 is on the list. Not familiar? They are a British government taskforce of superhumans. Their primary objective is to deal with supernatural threats to both the United Kingdom and the world at large, which is why they recruited Blade to join their ranks. Other famous members include Captain Britain, naturally, and the Black Knight, which is why theorists are wondering if the Blade cameo during Dane Whitman’s scene is a preview of MI:13. 

At the moment, there are plenty of Captain Britain and MI:13 issues that are suddenly getting second looks from collectors. There’s issue #4, when Black Knight joins the team, followed by #5, in which Blade is recruited to the British supernatural operation. There’s also #8 that features the initial meeting between the vampire hunter and the Black Knight. However, the biggest seller so far has been the first issue to the series that is suddenly worth checking out.

As of now, this issue is still affordable. Most listings for raw copies are being purchased for about $10-$20. Keep in mind that if MI:13 is confirmed or there are more clues that the team is coming together, those prices will keep inflating.


There were plenty of not-so-subtle hints that Nathan Garrett will appear in the MCU. Throughout Eternals, Dane and Sersi referred to Dane’s uncle and how the two needed to reconcile before the Emergence brought about the end of the world. It was clear that Marvel wanted audiences to take notice of Dane’s relationship with his uncle and ask questions. For longtime comic fans, those questions already have answers.

Nathan Garrett, whom we can assume is the uncle Dane referred to, was the second Black Knight. The original Black Knight was Sir Percy, created in 1955 for Marvel’s predecessor, Atlas Comics. Years later, the Ebony Blade was handed down to Nathan, who used the sword for evil. To solidify his ill intentions with his power, he joined the Masters of Evil in Tales to Astonish #52, which also happened to be Nathan’s first appearance.

Although Eternals did not let audiences in on the secret of their family rift, comic fans assumed that it stems from Nathan having used the power of the Black Knight for villainous purposes. That leads to many theories that when Nathan appears in the MCU - and it seems very likely that he will - he will align himself with other members of the Masters of Evil, thus forcing Dane to take up the Ebony Blade once and for all.

If you want a piece of the action, but Avengers #47 and #48 are too pricey, this is the key for you. Given that this is a Silver Age key, it was relatively expensive in higher grades before Dane’s uncle was mentioned in Eternals. In September, a 9.6 sold for $3,450. Since Nathan is neither the first nor the most famous Black Knight, his keys are still less expensive than either Percy or Dane’s early appearances. As it stands, raw copies have been selling for $40-$50 for lower grades.


Speaking of MI:13, the team’s early appearances are getting the bump thanks to collectors making the connection between Black Knight and Blade. It is creating a new market for several overlooked keys in the organization’s history that were otherwise ignored to this point. One of those happens to be New Excalibur #1.

Originally, the team was known simply as The Department, which was first mentioned in 1996’s Excalibur #101. At that time, they weren’t a team, but rather a covert operation in the vein of Weapon X. Instead of building mutants of mass destruction, The Department focused on the supernatural. A decade after The Department debuted, it was officially renamed MI:13. If you have watched any British spy and espionage movies, you will have heard of MI:6, so that should tell you something about the mysterious MI:13. The curious part is Captain Britain’s involvement with the team. From the beginning, he has been the field team leader, which makes me wonder if this is the first clue that Brian Braddock is on his way to the MCU. 

Be that as it may, New Excalibur #1 is heating up a little more each day, but it’s still very much an affordable prospect. Since the weekend, most raw copies are hovering in the $10 range.


Not everything on today’s list was movie related. In this case, the hype for the second print of Thor #6 is the image of Thanos with a black Infinity Gauntlet. Technically, there are no character debuts in this issue, and that counts for magical items as well, since the black gauntlet was first seen with Thanos’ son, Thane. Still the picture of the Mad Titan sporting a new gauntlet has been enough to drive collectors to this issue in case it is tied to Marvel’s next crossover, Timeless. The idea is that the image of Thanos not only wearing the new gauntlet but also wielding a version of Mjolnir covered in Infinity Gems will play out during the Timeless crossover. 

What makes this issue special, even more so than the first print, is that Thanos and the black gauntlet are on the cover art. The other factor is that second prints have smaller print runs, and that makes this particular issue slightly more rare.

Just this month, a graded 9.8 standard cover sold for $80, but that’s nothing compared to the sketch variant that was earning $300 only a month ago. If you are looking to save money and don’t mind taking the risk on the grade, check out the raw copies. Those tend to sell in the $10-$15 range.


The Eternals may have gotten top billing in their new movie, but the future MCU Black Knight has won the popularity contest. Marvel and the Eternals cast and crew had been clear well before the movie’s release that we would see Dane Whitman and not the Black Knight on the screen. However, the exciting post-credits scene sparked an entire fandom for the character that is propelling his key issues even higher than before.

Ever since Kit Harrington was cast for the role, collectors have been amassing those copies of Avengers #47, which saw the debut of Dane Whitman, and more importantly Avengers #48, when Dane took up the Black Knight mantle. We have already seen plenty of record highs since then, but the post-credits scene of Eternals should catapult all the grades of Avengers #48 to new heights. Because prices were already so high, it kept many buyers away from the third Black Knight’s debut. Still, those graded copies were reaching eye-catching numbers. Yesterday, a 7.0 sold for $781, and an 8.5 hit $1,615.

As expensive as those Dane Whitman keys are, they are still cheaper options than 1955’s The Black Knight #1, which featured not only the character’s debut but also was the first time readers saw the Ebony Blade. 

5. AVENGERS #232

While not the first appearance of Eros, it was in Avengers #232 that Wasp nicknamed him “Starfox.” The title has stuck, and he has since been known better by that name than Eros. If you have seen Eternals, then you will have noticed that Marvel covered its bases by having him introduced as both Eros and Starfox, though I suspect we’ll hear the latter name more often. That is why this issue has suddenly become so popular.

What’s also helping this issue’s popularity among buyers is the price. While the FMVs are on the way up, this issue is far cheaper than his earlier appearances. Plus, cover collectors will enjoy having him front and center on an important issue in the character’s history. True, this does not rank as high on the collecting scale as say, Captain Marvel #27, but it is worth adding to your Starfox sets. 

At this point, most raw copies stay under the $50 mark. Last week, a graded 9.8 sold for a record $1k, but a 9.4 was purchased for $220, so there are plenty of affordable options even amongst the slabs.


Marvel Studios has made introducing new characters an artform. After the pandemic kept the MCU out of movie theaters throughout 2020, the studio made up for it in 2021. For that matter, Eternals alone added enough new faces to the MCU to keep fans happy for an entire year all by itself. Besides the Eternals themselves, there was the Celestial, Arishem the Judge, Dane Whitman, Eros, Pip the Troll, and firm allusions to Dane’s mysterious uncle, Nathan Garrett. Then came the post-credits scene, and with just one line of dialogue, Marvel outdid themselves.

As the rumors and gossip make the rounds, most MCU fans have already heard the news. After the credits rolled on Eternals, Kit Harrington’s Dane looked to be ready to become the Black Knight and take up the Ebony Blade. Then a voice warns him, “Sure you want to do that, Mr. Whitman?” In the past week, director Chloe Zhao has confirmed the voice belongs to none other than Mahersala Ali, aka the MCU’s Blade. 

We’ve known for two years that Ali would play Blade in the coming reboot, but I doubt many people expected him to appear in an Eternals post-credits scene. That has created a market boom like no other this week as collectors pan the auction sites for the first appearance of “the Daywalker” in Tomb of Dracula #10. On November 3, a 6.5 brought $1,400. Three days later, a 5.5 earned $1,375. The same day, a 3.5 sold for $898.


To the delight of Harry Styles fans everywhere, the singer/actor has made his way into the MCU. Appearing in a Guardians of the Galaxy-inspired entrance, complete with a 1970s pop soundtrack, Eros/Starfox strolled onto the screen to cheers from his significant fanbase. Of course, none of this was a surprise. Variety ruined the moment weeks ago when one of its reviewers posted a spoiler on Twitter. Before that, there were rumors that Eros was coming to the MCU, and another that Styles was in negotiations for a superhero role. Put it all together, and, voila, we have Eros in the MCU.

Those familiar with Starfox’s comic history know that he first appeared alongside his brother, Thanos, in Iron Man #55. Since that issue was already a popular selection, not to mention a major key thanks to the Mad Titan, it forced collectors on tighter budgets to consider alternatives. With Eros, there are convenient options, most notably Captain Marvel #27. This issue featured Eros’ first full appearance as well as his first cover appearance. 

Since fans knew to expect Eros in an Eternals bonus scene, this issue has already had time to inflate in FMV. Still, it’s much easier on your wallet than Iron Man #55. On Friday, a 9.6 sold for a record $1,800. Yesterday, an 8.0 brought $440.


The Eternals and its numerous cameos and first MCU appearances may have ruled the collecting week, but Morbius captured the imaginations of audiences across the comic circles. That is thanks to the newest trailer for the upcoming Morbius movie, and this latest footage gave fans their first look at his full transformation into the “living vampire.” There were connections to the Sam Rami Spider-verse, Homecoming, and Venom, sparking the fan theories worldwide.

One of the biggest question marks is tied to Eternals, specifically Blade. After he made his MCU debut in the post-credits scene, it begs to reason that the vampire hunter will eventually cross paths with the living vampire. It all leads to a plethora of gossip and speculation for the movie, which had largely been forgotten up to this point. 

With that added attention on Morbius comes an increase demand for his comic debut in ASM #101, and that translates into inflated FMVs. Only yesterday, a 9.2 sold for $3,120, and an 8.5 was purchased for a record $2,450. Even a 2.0 is now selling for $300.


Like the Eros appearance in Eternals, Pip’s MCU debut was not exactly a well-kept secret, and there was gossip about his involvement in the film for months ahead of time. Since the alcoholic troll heralded the arrival of Starfox on the Eternals’ ship, it has left many fans curious about the space troll’s part in the greater MCU.

For fans of the Bronze Age, they will remember that Pip was actually the companion of Adam Warlock in the comics. He debuted in Strange Tales #179 when Warlock waged war against the intergalactic Universal Church of Truth. When Eros walked into the MCU in his gold and red costume, it should draw comparisons to Warlock, who was recently cast for GOTG Vol. 3. Will Pip follow his comic origins and join Warlock in GOTG? That has not been announced just yet, but it would appear that Marvel Studios is crossing Eros and Warlock’s history in the case of Pip.

In the comics, Pip is not one of the major characters, so that should help keep prices for his first appearance within reason despite the surge in popularity. Still, his first appearance is hitting record numbers. On November 4, a graded 9.6 Strange Tales #179 sold for a record-breaking $850. Looking for something easier on the wallet? The raw copies have mostly been selling for under $100.

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, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.


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