BY MATT TUCK
Today’s spotlight is on the scene-stealer of Loki, Mobius, and his rising keys, but pay close attention to a couple of overlooked issues as you collect. Here’s which ones.
MOBIUS’ BIG BREAK
Owen Wilson’s turn as Mr. Mobius M. Mobius has captured the attention of MCU fans everywhere and shed light on an obscure character in the Marvel Universe. As pointed out in the show, Mobius is one of an infinite number of clones, and that is what makes collecting his key issues so much fun. There are so many variations of Mobius that exist in the Marvel Universe, and any of them could appear in Loki, causing that ever-important first appearance to balloon.
First appearing in Fantastic Four, Mobius and the Time Variance Authority were a joke aimed at the slow, soulless bureaucracy that surrounds us all without us always realizing it. At the focus of that is Mobius, the everyman who is literally almost every man in the TVA, since he’s a clone. No matter how hard the FF fought, they always ended up face-to-face with yet another Mobius. Draw your own conclusions from that.
With so many Mobiuses existing in the TVA across different timelines, it suggests that Owen Wilosn will be playing the character (or a version of the character) for years to come. He could very well become the linchpin of the MCU, showing up in virtually any movie or Disney+ series to help connect it all back to Loki and the Sacred Timeline. For that matter, Mobius could take over Stan Lee’s legendary cameos, appearing in the background of every Marvel project. Even better, he would make the perfect host of the animated What If…? series, presenting alternate realities for the heroes, though the Watcher has that job at the moment.
As Mobius gains popularity and importance on the screen, I suspect he will get a larger role in the current Marvel comics. It would not at all surprise me to see him star in his own limited series in the near future, and it could be interesting in the right creative hands.
All this attention has given his key issues a sizable bump in fair market values, at least at the higher grades. Here’s your market breakdown.
You can’t have Mobius without the Time Variance Authority. This is proving to be the hottest TVA key around even though they didn’t actually appear; the TVA was just mentioned for the first time here.
Don’t look for Thor #372 to cool off anytime soon as the implications of the show are that the TVA and the Time-Keepers are the most powerful entities in all of the Multiverse, and that includes Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet. It only helps the FMVs that since Kang will appear in the third Ant-Man film, we can anticipate time travel and the TVA’s involvement.
Up until last year when the TVA was confirmed for Loki, no one cared about this issue. There was a good probability that you could find it in the dollar bins at your local comic shop. Even graded 9.8s were only selling for around $30, which is not enough to cover the costs of having it graded in the first place. Then last year’s Loki news hit the internet, and collectors turned Thor #372 into a minor key issue. So far in 2021, that same $30 for a 9.8 has blossomed, and it has yet to sell for less than $201 this year. The last sale on June 1 saw it net a record-breaking $386. Quite the profit for whomever bought the one copy sold in 2018 for $35.
FANTASTIC FOUR #352
Now we get into those Mobius keys, but there’s other reasons to want this issue besides the TVA chairman or at least one of his many clones. Along with being the first cameo appearance of Mobius (he’s only featured in a single panel and is not named), FF #352 introduced the TVA’s police squad, the Minutemen.
Just like Thor #372, this issue went from overshadowed and ignored to hot in a matter of minutes following Marvel’s Loki announcements. From 2005-2011, this comic generally stayed in the $20-$40 range. It picked up slightly in 2016 with a $76 sale, though it dropped to $65 last year.
Since the hype from the show revved up in 2021, this has been a much hotter issue. March 10 saw the 9.8 jump to a then-record $110. Yesterday, that was shattered after another 9.8 sold for a whopping $400.
FANTASTIC FOUR #353
For a Mobius fan, this is the comic to have. After his clone is seen in a single panel the previous issue, here we have the full debut of the TVA Chairman, Mobius M. Mobius. Usually it is the newsstand edition that collectors hunt down, but in this case, the direct edition is the better investment. Instead of a famous face like Spider-Man in the UPC box, this issue featured Mobius in what would technically be his first cover appearance.
As much inflation as we’re seeing with FF #352, issue #353 is much more dominant over the secondary market. All the way up to last year, it had similar numbers compared to FF #352. For the most part, this had been a $40-$50 comic for a 9.8, which is only marginally better than its predecessor. A year ago, it climbed to $90 on the heels of Marvel’s Loki announcements.
This year, the roof has been blown off. Since March, there have been 15 sales of 9.8s, the most this comic has ever seen in a year. Prices have gradually increased to the record-setting $662 on June 17. If Marvel does more with Mobius and the TVA, this comic will only get more expensive.
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #27
This could be a diamond in the rough because of another TVA character, Mister Alternity. While that name probably doesn’t mean much to you now, there is a strong possibility that he will appear in Loki very soon. You see, this is yet another clone/variant of Mobius who happens to be the single highest-ranking member of the TVA besides the Time-Keepers.
FF Annual #27 also introduced readers to Mister Tesseract (don’t forget that the TVA is in possession of the Tesseract, so this is a possibility) and Justices Might, Truth, and Liberty. Any or all of the five could appear in a future episode of Loki, but my money is on Mister Alternity being the first. That will send values for this issue skyrocketing, at least if you have it in a higher grade.
Speaking of higher grades, there has not been a 9.8 sold in the past 10 years when one brought $143 in 2011. Adjusting for inflation, this issue will easily be a $300+ comic particularly if Alternity shows up. The only grade sold this year has been the 9.6, earning $120 only two days ago.
Since Mobius is one of an infinite number of clones, it is fitting that we have another issue with the first appearances of more Mobius copies. What is intriguing is how the TVA fits into She-Hulk’s lore, as she first encountered Justice Love in She-Hulk #1. This issue sees She-Hulk meet two more Mobiuses, Mister Paradox and Mister Ouroboros. That implies that we could see Owen Wilson make an appearance in the She-Hulk Disney+ series and tie her show to Loki.
Other collectors must be thinking the same thing because a 9.8 sold for $105 in February. In May, a 9.2 brought just $32, so you will obviously want to aim for a higher grade to have the best chance at making a profit.
Mobius is such an unassuming, “average Joe” in every way, and that is precisely the point. He is the generic bureaucratic, and that is why he is unexpectedly such an important character to the future of the MCU. I predict we will continue seeing Wilson’s Mobius for years to come, and that will only add to the FMVs for his keys.
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.