BY MATT TUCK
Did a replica helmet listing just spoil a major Loki plot point? That appears to be the case, and it explains why Dark Reign: Young Avengers #1 and Journey Into Mystery #103 are suddenly two of the hottest comics on the market.
In the closing moments of Episode Two, Loki and Mobius are tracking down another Loki variant. This one appears to be even more sinister than the original God of Mischief. Loki follows his doppelganger to a department store in Alabama, and the big reveal is a female Loki. Being this is Loki, this is not a surprise, really. Genderfluidity is nothing new for the trickster god, either in the comics or the ancient Norse Mythology. Thus, in preparation for just that moment, collectors everywhere rushed out to find copies of Thor Annual #18 for the first appearance of Loki as a woman.
Hold on. Maybe she’s not actually Loki after all. Sure, she wore the right colors and sported a similar-yet-smaller version of his headdress. Taking into account Loki’s history, it would make perfect sense for this to be his female form.
Not quite. A Zavvi listing for a replica Loki helmet set may have spoiled the coming surprise. According to the ad, that’s not a female Loki; that’s Enchantress masquerading as Loki.
The Zavvi listing describes the headdress as “the Sylvie and Loki helmet replica set.” The site goes even further, possibly divulging a massive plot detail in the product details, describing that what the TVA believes is a Loki variant is actually Sylvie.
That begs the question, who is Sylvie?
In her comic origins, Sylvie Lushton is the Marvel-616’s second Enchantress, first appearing during the “Dark Reign” crossover in 2009. She was created by Loki as a means to cause chaos and given mystic powers to carry out her purpose.
Sylvie took up the name Enchantress, modeling herself after the original Enchantress, the Asgardian, Amora. Traditionally, Amora is an evil sorceress who is in love with Thor.
The news will put a premium on the one Sylvie Lushton key issue: her first overall and first cover appearance. Lucky for collectors, they are on the same issue. Since she is an Enchantress, that will also give Amora’s first appearance a boost as well. On that note, here is the latest market data.
DARK REIGN: YOUNG AVENGERS #1
This is the all-important first appearance. As an added bonus, she’s also on the cover art, and that will make this one even more lucrative. In this issue, the new Enchantress is part of a violent group of criminals pretending to be the Young Avengers, which was the theme of virtually all the titles under the Dark Reign banner.
Up to this point, this comic has been largely ignored, and that explains why there has been just one graded 9.8 sold online in the past year. That one happened to earn $78 in September. Before that, there had not been a 9.8 sold since 2013.
Just because there aren’t any graded sales doesn’t mean this one isn’t ballooning. Over on eBay, the raw copies have been moving quickly with prices ranging from $50-$70. Once Sylvie is named in Loki, these will easily surpass the $100 mark.
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #103
Even though it looks like Amora won’t be the MCU’s Enchantress, this issue will nonetheless get the rub from the Loki fanfare. Of course, this was never exactly a cheap comic. Why would it be? This is a Silver Age first appearance of both the original Enchantress, Skruge the Executioner, and, to a much lesser extent, Bloodaxe. For that matter, fans have been waiting for her to appear in the MCU since Thor’s first movie, and that speculation has been pushing values for years.
Sales for JIM #103 have been huge this month. Nine different grades have been sold online this month, and all but one of those saw a record-breaking sale. At the top, the 9.2 set a new record high on June 16 after selling for $3,694 while June 6 saw an 8.5 reach a record of its own with a sale of $2,500. The lowest grade sold this month has been the 3.0, and it set a new personal best of $309.
BUT IS IT REALLY SYLVIE?
Could the Zavvi listing be a fake? It would not be the first time someone has posted a fake, but Zavvi’s helmet set appears to be legit. Considering that Sylvie was created for the sole purpose of causing chaos across the Multiverse, it would make perfect sense as part of the story for this to be her. Since she was made by Loki, that provides an easy plot device to explain why the Time Variance Authority registers her as a Loki variant; all the show’s writers have to do is say they have the same time signature or whatnot.
As for Amora, I would not be too sure that we won’t see her in the MCU in the future. The time of Enchantress has finally arrived.
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.