Alright true speculators?! (Thought I would try that on for size…Sorry, won’t happen again). Anywho…now is the time where the rubber meets the road. If you were a stock trader, you would be judged on how your portfolio does. If you were a sports better, you would be judged on how many bets you got right (the most successful sports betters choose just over 50%, which may not seem impressive, but actually is). And as for baseball, hit 1 out of every 3 and you are a Hall of Fame batter. Marvel has indicated that Phase IV will officially end with Spider-Man: Far From Home so now is the time to pick those big comic book value wins before the masses figure it out.
As I think about what may be coming down the pipe in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), there is a real desire to maximize character value pops and get copies that exist on the market before they rise in price or run out of stock. Here are some good bets and some bad bets to put out there in anticipation of Phase IV…from my perspective.
Bad Bet: Professor Hulk – We all love a Smart Hulk. Kids want selfies with him, he solved complex math equations, yadda yadda. This is a load of crap. HULK SMASHES and that should be all he does. If you believe that the future of the Hulk character will be more sweaters and poetry than pummeling things to a destructive heap, then, well, I hope you are wrong for everyone’s sake. Prices for Hulk #377 have seen a spike since the release of End Game, but don’t expect those gains to hold long-term.
Good Bet: Spider-Man and his Universe(s) – It appears that the trailer for Far From Home insinuates Alternate Realities. I say “insinuates” because trailers are deceptive and if Mysterio says he is from an alternate universe I don’t necessarily have to believe him because you know…he is a bad guy…so all that logic. If we are to believe alternate realities exist in the MCU, I am betting on Spider-Man being a big part of that story arc. I have previously pointed to Madame Web, who I believe will be an integral part of Phase V. She ties into the idea of a fractured reality quite nicely and could make Spider-Man a very prominent part of the MCU going forward.
Bad Bet: Major Storylines – Bouncing off of the Madame Web debate, it may also be a good time to begin speculation on some sort of Secret Wars tie-in. However, major storylines are being used at a frightening rate for Marvel. They used the Civil and Infinity Wars, threw away the Kree/Skrull War, and let us not forget what they did to the poor Mandarin. I am wondering what may be next? Korvac was a focus of one of my recent blog articles, but I have no clue what Marvel may be planning over the broader storytelling of the MCU.
Good Bet: Teams – Iron Man is gone, Hulk is a boring nerd, and Thor is a chubby (As)Guardian of the Galaxy. Who is going to step in and fill the void? Well, why push a single hero when you can merchandise an entire team. Look for some new crew to be the talk of the MCU in the coming phase. The question is will it be The New Warriors, an Ultimate or Young Avengers assembly or, hopefully, some Alpha Flight trecking in from the North?
Good Bet: The Unknown – Like gambling, trading stocks, or anything that may drive value…it is definitely not easy. Thankfully, in the world of graded comics, you can get some advantages over the house. I like to lean towards things that are rarer on the census. Thor #337 is on fire right now, but plenty of copies are for sale. I advise looking for a cool-down and buying when the hype dies down…especially if you think there is still value in a comic when the dust settles. Be smart about characters and understand that the MCU is not the only driver of value.
What are you expectation for the next Phase of the MCU? Who are you placing bets on to show value pops? Drop you comments and join in the speculation!