BY MATT TUCK
Marvel Studios announced a major voice casting that could have bigger implications for the MCU and cause values for Secret Wars #1 to skyrocket. Here's why.
Just days ago, it was reported that acclaimed actor Laurence Fishburne was cast as the voice of the Beyonder for the animated Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur Disney+ series. While it may be easy to dismiss this as simply a voice casting for the animated side of the MCU, there is more to consider here.
Ever since Endgame wrapped up the Infinity Saga, there has been ample speculation on the MCU’s next universal threat. Then we had the Infinity War and Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo adding fuel to the fire in 2019 by mentioning they would like to adapt Secret Wars for the big screen if given the opportunity. That fanned the flames that the next Thanos could be the Beyonder.
Then in 2018, after he was cast as Dr. Bill Foster in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Fishburne said in an interview that he would like to play a cosmic role in the MCU. While that may seem like nothing more than wishful thinking, Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios creative force have shown that they plan well in advance. It is plausible that Fishburne was hinting at his MCU future.
Let’s take this a huge, far-fetched step forward in the conjecture department in lieu of another online WandaVision theory. This one, posted by CBR, references the infamous Strucker watch commercial from Episode Two and cites the time at 2:42. The post’s author goes on to theorize that this is an obscure reference to Avengers #242, an issue that saw Vision foreshadow the Beyonder with a warning of a being with “near-infinite power.” Could WandaVision have given us a subtle clue that the Beyonder is coming? Although I cannot say I am completely sold on the 2:42 theory, it is interesting all the same.
THE IMPACT ON THE MARKET
Put Fishburne’s casting, his 2018 comments, and the different Secret Wars rumors together, and we get an intriguing theory: the MCU could be preparing for a live-action Secret Wars event. If that is the case, it will make these two issues very hot very quickly.
MARVEL SUPER-HEROES SECRET WARS #1 FIRST PRINT
In the first Secret Wars in 1984, the Beyonder revealed himself simply as a voice and a bright light in a cameo appearance.
At the higher grades, this issue is already heating up. Since February 11, the 9.8 has jumped and has sold for $380 and $400 in the last three sales. Before that, SW #1 was already on the rise, and last year, it set a new record-high sale of $411. With these prices, it is likely to eclipse that mark in short order.
The 9.6 may be your better buy. Although this grade is getting more expensive as well, the most recent sale was for $125, which is nearly a quarter of the 9.8’s price tag.
MARVEL SUPER-HEROES SECRET WARS #1 SECOND PRINT
Do not overlook the value of the second print. In recent years, those subsequent printings have become highly collectible, and the SW #1 second print is often overlooked as it was included in a multipack. That could result in serious profits if Fishburne’s Beyonder does indeed cross over into the live-action MCU.
These are relatively rare on the comic market. The CGC census data lists just 40 copies having been graded, and only five of those landed at 9.8s. That accounts for why there has only been one graded 9.8 sold online, and it happened to bring $138 last June. With the casting news, I anticipate much higher prices for this one going forward.
SECRET WARS II #3
The Beyonder made his first full appearance a year later in the Secret Wars sequel, Secret Wars II. In the third issue, the Beyonder was rocking a leather jacket that he could have stolen from Michael Jackson music video.
This one is likewise heating up, but it is far overshadowed by its predecessor. The good news is that it keeps the prices more affordable for a collector wanting a piece of Beyonder’s history. At a 9.8, there have only been two sales this year - one for $150 on January 13 and a second for $85 on February 4. In light of the Fishburne casting announcement, it will be interesting to see how high this one goes.
The only thing truly clear at this point is that the Beyonder is coming to the MCU, but having him be part of a show aimed at younger children does leave many unanswered questions. Whether or not his role expands outside the confines of what looks like Marvel’s answer to Teen Titans Go! remains to be seen, but I doubt Marvel would cast an actor of Fishburne’s caliber for such an important role and not do more with him.
On the bright side, it gives us plenty to discuss in the comments, so fire away.
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.