BY MATT TUCK
Guess who's back in the buzz feed? It’s Michael Korvac, and now Giant-Size Defenders #3 is reaching ridiculous heights. Luckily for you, there are cheaper Korvac alternatives for the collector on a budget.
Take it for what it is worth, but the latest Captain Marvel 2 speculation is that Michael Korvac will play the film’s primary antagonist. Before you get too excited, don’t forget that this would be the third villain rumored for the sequel following theories of Norman Osborn/Iron Patriot and the more plausible scenario of the X-Men’s Rogue joining the cast. Captain Marvel 2 seems to be the revolving door of rumors, so anything is possible at this point. Who knows? Maybe the X-Men will show up for no apparent reason.
Still, there could be something here when it comes to Korvac, the man who desperately needs a villainous codename.
The thing to remember with Korvac is that, aside from being a character never-before seen in live action (he was part of the animated Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), and he has been heavily rumored for a couple of years now. This could be the best way to introduce the character to the big screen even if Captain Marvel 2 is just there to establish his origin story and save him for a bigger fight down the road with the Avengers.
WHO IS HE?
Michael Korvac was a human born on an alternate Earth in 2997. The alien race, the Badoons, from Silver Surfer’s solo adventures transformed him into a cyborg against his will, and he would later be forced to battle the original Defenders to entertain the Grandmaster. After intentionally losing the fight, he fled to Earth 616, where he would unwittingly imbue himself with Galactus’ power cosmic. (Galactus really should stop leaving that stuff lying around just anywhere.)
Korvac, now with his godlike powers, begins his most famous story, “The Korvac Saga,” battling the Avengers until his demise in Avengers #177.
The Korvac keys have been popular for years ever since his name first came up in rumors for various MCU projects. However, if he is confirmed for Captain Marvel 2, they will all reach new heights. As you prepare for the official word, here is your shopping list.
GIANT-SIZE DEFENDERS #3
In the mid-1970s, Marvel Comics was especially fond of its “giant-size” comics. Practically every title got a “Giant-Size” special, and Defenders got to enjoy theirs, too. Here we have the debut of Korvac in all his glory. Don’t forget that this issue came with the vexing Marvel Value Stamp, so always be sure that hasn’t been cut out of the comic.
Don’t expect to get a near-mint grade of GSD #3 for cheap. Two years ago when the initial rumors hit, the 9.6 was an $800 comic on average. As recently as January, a graded 9.6 sold just shy of $900, which was still relatively affordable compared to the recent price hike. This month has disintegrated those values. It has already set a new record high after one sold for almost $1,700 on March 1. That same day, two other copies broke $1,300 each.
The best value looks like the 8.5. If you are willing to dip below the near-mint grades for what is still a very nice copy, especially for a comic printed in 1975, the cost stays near the $200 mark, and that is based on March sales data.
THOR ANNUAL #6
The consolation prize of the Korvac keys is his origin story, which was told in the pages of Thor Annual #6. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this issue could be the hidden gem. Here's my logic: Korvac would make more sense in a Thor movie rather than Captain Marvel 2. After all, Thor: Ragnarok already introduced the Grandmaster, and Korvac is tied to him. Just food for thought, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. That would make this issue much more valuable overnight.
Since this is not Michael’s first appearance, the prices fall dramatically. The highest grade sold this year so far has been the 9.6, and it brought less than $200. Fall back only 0.2 of a grade, and the 9.4 is averaging under $100.
As best as I can tell, this is Korvac’s first cover appearance. In today’s comic collecting markets, those cover debuts can bring serious profits, depending on the character and how much of him/her we see in the artwork.
With all the Korvac speculation, this issue is experiencing modest gains of its own. The 9.8, which had averaged $82 last year, recently sold for $100 in January. The 9.6 cuts that nearly in half as it has a fair market value of just $65.
THE FEIGE RULE
When it comes to the MCU, nothing means anything unless Kevin Feige says so. Unless Feige confirms Korvac for Captain Marvel 2, the rumors mean very little. At this point, there are other more viable options for the film’s lead roles.
Up until now, the indication was that Rogue would follow her comic origins and steal Carol’s powers, paving the way for Monica Rambeau to assume the mantle. It is not to say that Korvac can’t play a major role in a film with those two heavy-hitters opposite Captain Marvel. It isn’t like WandaVision has not dropped massive hints to Monica becoming Photon in the near future. That would play out much more fittingly if Carol had her powers stolen by Rogue, setting up the teased Carol-Monica feud from WandaVision. That story arc is packed with characters, which doesn’t leave much room for Korvac.
The bigger picture is that, whether or not Korvac shows in Captain Marvel 2, he is being with power levels on par with Silver Surfer. Marvel will want to utilize him at some point, and that is why his name keeps surfacing in the rumor mill. Just like Beta Ray Bill and Man-Thing, sooner or later, Korvac will be in the MCU.
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.