The first full appearance of Alpha Flight was in X-Men #121. Alpha Flight was a team of superheroes sanctioned after the calamity with Weapon X. In fact on Vindicator’s first solo run, he tussled with the X-Men to bring Wolverine back to the Canadian fold. Vindicator tried but had to contend with the combined might of several X-Men when Wolverine alone could have trounced him. He retreats tactically and realizes Wolverine is a lost cause. Wanting to sell him as more of a team leader and less of a weapon they put him in charge of Alpha Flight the Canadian version of the Avengers.
Vindicator is a very typical superhero, kind of like a poor man’s Iron Man; he wears a suit that has multiple magnetic abilities, flight, moving with the Earth’s gravity, some energy blasts and superhuman strength. But his true ability is as the leader of Alpha Flight. When will we see these guys get their own movie; who knows? But that is exactly the point of this blog; buy now while people are focused on other titles. What kind of returns can you expect?
The first full appearance of Alpha Flight was in X-Men #121. It was created by John Byrne (artist) and Chris Claremont (writer) in 1979. It is squarely in the Bronze Age, though the characters have a real 80s feel to them. The current CGC Census has 2,467 outstanding books, a little high but still some room to run. I have seen worse to be sure. Is this still cheap speculation?
- Grade 9.8 $700 last sale 3-2-20 returns positive +54%
- Grade 9.2 $120 last sale 3-3-20 returns positive +44.5%
- Grade 8.5 $85 last sale 11-29-19 returns positive +58%
- Grade 6.5 $36 last sale 2-5-20 returns positive +20%
These long-term trends are as strong as the North Star. Further, this book has solid gains up and down the spectrum of grades. It even has a grade 5.0 that returned +54.8%! A shockingly good return for such a mediocre grade. In contrast, in the short-term, it has been more of a mixed result up and down the grades. I especially like the following declines grade 9.0 which has fallen -10% short-term, grade 7.5 -40% and grade 6.0 negative -37% in the short-term. These grades offer the opportunity to pick up a relatively cheap copy.
After all, a grade 9.0 for $72 c’mon, what is not to like here? That is VF/NM for under $100. Personally, if I didn’t already own two copies I would go after for grade 9.8 for $500-600. Think of it a Bronze Age key in grade 9.8 for under a 1000 quatloos! The chance that this could change due to a movie is very strong. Then you could be looking at a double or even a triple with your purchase of X-Men #121.
The feud between Alpha Flight and the X-Men ends and ultimately during Alpa Flight #12 they kill off Vindicator, now Guardian. Yep, completely insane self-series emulation. There really aren’t that many genius level armored energy blasters in the superhero ranks. It would have been nice to have him, Guardian, around a while longer with Alpha Flight. But, nope they kill him off. In quite the most unglamorous way possible, his suit explodes. However insane some of the writing was this initial series lasted 130 issues and spawned four volumes. There is definitely enough of a fanbase for this Canuck team. Now is a good time to pick up X-Men #121 and you can own this “Northern Exposure” to superheroes. Buy now, before there is even a hint of an Alpha Flight movie.