WandaVision could give collectors another reason to want Avengers #52 as a fan theory points to a Grim Reaper Easter egg in the second episode.
THE WANDAVISION THEORY
As we waited for WandaVision to premiere, all we knew was to expect the unexpected.
The series so far has been an eclectic mash up of the Marvel Universe with silly I Love Lucy/Bewitched sitcom antics. The series’ offbeat tempo could deliver virtually any storyline and character.
If you look closely in the Episode Two opening credits, there is a clue that could be pointing to the Reaper. As an animated Vision is phasing through the walls, there are bones and a headdress that looks familiar. Could it be a Grim Reaper allusion? Nothing is certain quite yet, but it would make sense for him to be included in the series.
WHO IS THE GRIM REAPER?
Wonder Man’s less-popular brother, Eric Williams, turned to a life of crime.
Following Wonder Man’s Avengers debut, Simon Williams’ brain waves were copied into Vision. After Simon’s apparent “death,” Eric blamed the Avengers and was bent on revenge. To achieve his goal, he became a supervillain with a scythe that Ultron enhanced with the power to induce comas with those it touched.
With the prospect of him joining the MCU, here are three of his keys to keep an eye on.
Thanks to KeyCollectorComics for much of the useful information contained in today’s post.
Grim Reaper is not the major selling point for this issue. In these pages, Black Panther officially joined the ranks of the Avengers, and that is why most collectors want it. If the Grim Reaper rumors pan out (pun intended, considering how he later died), collectors will have a new reason to put this comic in their collections.
So what is it worth at the moment? I’m glad you asked.
The highest grade that has traded hands recently was a 9.6 that sold for $390 on December 16. That gave it an average of $463 for 2020.
For a better deal, look at the 9.2. This is still a great-looking copy that you can have for less than $200. Last year, it averaged $191, but the most recent sale was for $167 in December.
Overall, prices are down for Avengers #52, but there are signs that things are beginning to shift as of the time of this writing. Consider this: the highest grade to sell in 2021 was a 6.5, and it brought $158. That is more than even an 8.5, which sold for just $125 in January. I expect to see the other grades catch up to the 6.5 quickly, especially if the WandaVision rumors turn out to be true.
Let us assume that Grim Reaper is coming to the MCU. What would be next? After all, the Reaper has never been a major character. His biggest piece of the spotlight were his guest appearances on the animated Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon series. If he were added to the live-action realm, could he be part of a nefarious superteam? That is exactly what happened in Avengers #78.
In this issue, Grim Reaper joined Man-Ape, Power Man, Living Laser, and Swordsman to form the Lethal Legion. Don’t remember them? That is because they were a B-team (maybe even C-team) made up of lackluster villains.
What would be the appeal in bringing the second-rate bad guys to life? Marvel Studios likes to have fun with their movies and series, and a version of Lethal Legion could have potential as a comedy troupe. They could be the incompetent villains who are more fun than dangerous, and that could make them very popular. Now that we see the whacky tone of WandaVision, they would definitely fit the series.
Need a copy to call your own? A 9.6 is averaging just over $200, and a 9.0 has been selling for about $65 in the past year.
Don’t fear the Reaper, right?
In Tom King’s lauded Vision series from 2015, the Grim Reaper met his match when he crossed Vision’s wife, Virginia. She then beat him to death with a baking pan.
Could that be his fate if he is added to WandaVision? Is that why there are bones next to the headdress? Perhaps.
Of course that was not his first death. He has been killed nearly as often as Jean Grey, and he keeps returning for more. I could see that being a theme to his character in an offbeat show like WandaVision.
The bigger selling point for Vision #1 is that we could see Vision’s children, Viv and Vin, in WandaVision. The series appears to be a trippy look at the multiverse, so there could be a look at Vision’s alternate-timeline life with Virginia Vision and the kids. Then again, Viv and Vin could be retooled as part of Wanda and Vision’s family.
Other collectors have noticed this issue, and the price is going up. The 9.8 has a 90-day fair market value of $201, and the last sale was for $240. Two years ago, that same near-mint-plus sold for just over $100.
THE GRIM FUTURE
Will Grim Reaper be a major force in the MCU? Not likely, but he could be a great addition in a comedic element. And either Virginia or Wanda could bash his head in with a baking pan just to have him reappear in another alternate reality. He could basically become WandaVision’s Kenny McCormik, and that would be entertaining.