BY MATT TUCK
Just like that, WandaVision has made West Coast Avengers #45 the hottest comic on the market. Now we watch the balloon expand until it bursts. WARNING, SPOILERS AHEAD.
WANDAVISION EPISODE EIGHT SPOILERS. STOP SCROLLING IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED IT.
Ladies and gentlemen, collectors and speculators, Spectral Vision has now entered the MCU.
After Episode Eight of WandaVision, which centered on how and why Scarlet Witch came to create her own sitcom-themed pocket of the multiverse in Westview, a mid-credits scene featured the birth of a new, white Vision.
This loosely follows the events in the Marvel Comics. Vision was kidnapped and dismantled in John Byrne’s epic, “Vision Quest,” though the android was rebuilt by Hank Pym in West Coast Avengers #45. When Vision returned, he was now solid white, hence the nicknames “White Vision” or my preference, “Spectral Vision.”
Now that the new and improved Vision has made his official MCU debut, speculators are hopping on the West Coast Avengers #45 bandwagon in full force as a 9.8 sold for over $1k the night before the episode premiered. Time to examine the data.
In the words of Ron Burgundy, that escalated quickly.
With the return of Vision in WandaVision, many fans theorized we would finally see the MCU debut of Spectral Vision. That caused values for WCA #45 to keep a steady climb for the past year. The closer the series came to revealing the new incarnation of Vision, the higher the values went. And then things really got out of hand.
Let’s back up for a moment, two years, to be exact. In 2019, a 9.8 West Coast Avengers #45 sold just four times and averaged a mundane $87. A year later, that same 9.8 traded hands a total of 20 times and almost doubled the fair market value as it leaped to $170. Over the course of 2020, it set a new record high after a $250 sale in August. Then came 2021, and that near-mint-plus grade kicked in the afterburners.
From that August record sale all the way through January, the 9.8 West Coast Avengers #45 stayed within the $200-$250 range for the most part. By February, the fuse was lit. Those high grades moved into $600 territory with a February 3 sale that netted a then-record breaking $660. Twelve days later, another copy brought $650, and it appeared that would be the new standard price going forward. That was obliterated on February 25, only one day before the premiere of Episode Eight, with a $1,500 sales sticker.
Despite the enthusiasm for anything connected to WandaVision and Spectral Vision, West Coast Avengers #45 is not a $1,500 comic. Could this prove to be an outlier? Time will tell that particular tale, but I question the validity of such a radically different sale price, especially for an issue that is not a true first appearance. Yes, Vision is resurrected in those pages, but it is just a new version of Vision. While his first appearance in Avengers #57 with its iconic cover art is well worth that price in a higher grade, the debut of Spectral Vision will not maintain a $1,500 price tag. Is this a case of market manipulation? I cannot say, but I will be curious to see where March’s sales take this one.
If you are in the market for a West Coast Avengers #45, I recommend downgrading to a 9.6. However, values for this one are gaining quickly, too, but at least it has not approached the four-digit range quite yet. After remaining in the $100 range since January, two February 25 sales saw it set and surpass records with a $345 sale soon followed by another for $450. To think, two years ago, this was a $37 comic.
That ballooning trend continues down the line. The 9.4, which averaged $31 in 2020, jumped to a 90-day average of $111 after two February 25 sales of its own; one brought $150 and the other secured $199.
DID PAUL BETTANY TROLL MCU FANS?
Astute fans theorized this was going to be the case. I was not one of them, sadly.
Weeks ago, Vision actor Paul Bettany set the internet ablaze when he remarked there was an actor whose appearance on the show had yet to be revealed. He went on to say that this was an actor he had wanted to work with his entire life and described their wonderful onscreen chemistry. Although there is still one episode remaining, it appears that legendary actor Bettany alluded to...is himself.
What about that “Luke Skywalker” cameo that Elizabeth Olsen acknowledged last month? Was she hinting at Spectral Vision all along? I doubt it, so I am holding out hope that a mind-blowing moment is still on the way for the season (and perhaps series) finale.
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.