BY MATT TUCK
Which comics should you be watching this week? From Thundercats to an actual Marvel troll and all points in between, here’s your top 10.
10. STRANGE TALES #179
The hype surrounding this issue comes from “leaked” plot details for The Eternals movie. All of this is simply hearsay at this point, but the gossip is that Pip the Troll will play an important role in the upcoming film. That has collectors on the lookout for his first appearance in Strange Tales #179. Bear in mind, this is not the first time details were reportedly “leaked” from a Marvel movie. Before Endgame premiered, there was a fake script making the rounds that described Tony Stark evolving into Kang the Conqueror, so don’t believe it until Kevin Feige confirms it.
9. ENIAC #1
The new publisher in the independent comic realm has made a splash with its first comic. Last month, Bad Idea released the first print of Eniac #1 on a very limited basis, and that has helped inflate the price for the debut issue. On eBay, sales for raw, ungraded copies have risen into the $100-$150 range. Whether or not it will sustain those high prices remains to be seen, but we have seen this kind of activity before, and we are likely to see it again. With only about 200 or so comic shops getting these on the initial release, that rarity will make the first print collectible for the foreseeable future.
8. MARVEL POINT ONE #1
This one has been climbing ever since Marvel and company announced a Ms. Marvel series was in development. Since Kamala Khan has been officially cast for the Disney+ show, all of her key issues have gotten a sales bump, beginning with Marvel Point One #1. What makes this issue particularly special is that it features the first appearance of Kamala. Another factor to consider is the Young Avengers and their imminent arrival in the MCU, and we can assume Ms. Marvel will be part of that faction. That will only make these early appearances that much more collectible.
7. WOLVERINE #1 1988
We can thank The Falcon and the Winter Solider for giving the first issue of Wolverine’s ongoing solo series a surge in popularity. Then again, everything related to Wolverine has been on fire in 2021. For years, this was one of the lesser appreciated Logan keys, but now that Madripoor and Wolverine’s favorite bar have been established in the MCU, collectors and speculators alike are drawing plenty of conclusions. Could this be the moment Marvel Studios reveals its first direct reference to Wolverine? Better yet, could we get introduced to “Patch,” Wolverine’s alter-ego that he first used in 1988’s Wolverine #1? That is why collectors are showing this issue a bit more love these days.
6. SUPERMAN #4
Marvel and DC are making more obscure characters into recognizable names these days. Of course, The Suicide Squad is filled with the obscure and quirky, with characters ranging from Polka-Dot Man to Arm-Fall-Off Boy. While Bloodsport may be a lesser-known member of the DC pantheon, it looks like he will ascend into household name status judging by The Suicide Squad’s trailer. That has collectors rushing for what was once an overlooked first appearance. Thanks to Idris Elba’s casting as Bloodsport, we can expect to see him get plenty of screen time when the movie finally premieres, which will only escalate prices a little more.
5. THE ULTIMATES #1
Once more, FATWS has given buyers incentive to reevaluate an old issue. What has collectors excited about this issue? That answer comes straight from Wakanda itself. In the pages of this 2002 issue, the world was introduced to Ayo, one of Black Panther’s Dora Miljae. With both Black Panther 2 and World of Wakanda on the horizon, it stands to reason that Ayo’s arrival in the last episode of FATWS could prove to be a plot point for one or both of those projects. Even better, she could be on the cusp of having a more important role in either BP 2 or Wakanda. That has resulted in collectors wanting a piece of Ayo’s first appearance in The Ultimates #1.
4. X-MEN #4
The Falcon and the Winter Solider is proving to be another hit for Disney+ and Marvel Studios, and it is also becoming a boon for 1990s comic collectors. Here we have the first appearance of Omega Red, the Russian mutant and Soviet experiment that went horribly wrong. Ever since some Deadpool 2 concept art was falsely portrayed as Omega Red’s FATWS set photos, this issue has been gaining steam. Now that Madripoor has been introduced into the series, many fans and speculators are thinking “Big Red” will make the perfect antagonist to Bucky’s Winter Soldier. The pairing definitely makes sense, and the theory does sound plausible.
3. UNCANNY X-MEN #282
The X-Men excitement continues to build. We know they are coming, but who will be the MCU’s X-Men once they arrive? Many are gambling on Bishop being a core member of the new incarnation, and that is driving the sales figures for his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #282. Of course, he was only on the final page, but having him on the cover makes all the difference in this being the most collectible of Bishop’s key issues.
2. YOUNG AVENGERS #1
The high grades of Young Avengers #1 in all its editions have been blowing the roof off for a couple of years now. Feige has hinted at wanting an MCU Young Avengers for years, and that is clearly being brought together on Disney+. What added fuel to the speculation fire was the introduction of Isiah Bradley and, more importantly, his grandson, Eli, in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. If Marvel stays true to the comic origins, Eli will become a super-soldier of his own and take up the mantle of Patriot and lead the Young Avengers. Considering the plot of FATWS has revolved around the super-soldier serum to this point, it stands to reason that Eli will gain his enhanced abilities by the end of the series.
1. THUNDERCATS #1
The single hottest comic at the moment is the 1985 debut of the Thundercats. This was published by Star Comics, which was a subsidiary of Marvel, who did most of the publishing duties for the cartoon/toy line come tie-ins. Back in those days, Marvel had a hand in many of the comics that were inspired by those old cartoon franchises. Now they are worth serious money. If you have paid any attention at all to the latest entertainment news, you know that WB has given the green light to an animated Thundercats movie. Practically every grade has been setting new records in the past week, and that surge won’t slow down quite yet.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.