Many things have changed in the X-Men universe over the past year, and this could position Apocalypse as the title’s breakout star thanks to X of Swords.
As X of Swords is set to begin, Apocalypse will take a starring role as a hero. The crossover delves into his history, revealing his wife, Genesis, and his original Four Horsemen, whom Apocalypse sacrificed to save Earth eons ago.
These days, every other issue of any given series delivers a new character. There have been so many new faces to the comic world that it has been hard to keep track of them all. Here we have something different: a new take on an old favorite who could rise to much bigger things.
When House of X and Powers of X hit comic shelves, Jonathan Hickman began his journey to rewrite both the history and future of the X-Men franchise. As Charles Xavier and Magneto joined forces, they built a nation atop the living island, Krakoa. For all mutants, that meant a clean slate. Even the most bitter of feuds were laid to rest for the greater benefit of Krakoa. Good or evil, all mutants were welcomed to Krakoa and able to claim citizenship.
As heroes and villains of the X-Men unite for a common goal, Hickman reimagined several familiar faces, such as Moira MacTaggert gaining mutant powers and becoming the X-verse’s linchpin.
ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT APOCALYPSE
Of all the revamped characters, the one with the greatest overarching potential is Apocalypse.
During the Hickman run, En Sabah Nur has shed his armor and “survival of the fittest” mindset and taken up the mantle of hero. As he pointed out upon entering Krakoa during House of X, Apocalypse no longer sees the need to wage war to decide who is the strongest. By establishing Krakoa, mutants have ascended and proven their worthiness to become the dominant species, at least in his eyes.
Since then, we have seen Apocalypse serve on the Krakoan council, aid the X-Men, and join the newest iteration of Excalibur. He even put on a suit and tie for one issue, which marked a huge departure for the character.
We are already seeing higher prices for his first appearances thanks to the X of Swords attention. Take a look.
It is all about that first cover appearance, and this one is oft-imitated. Even better is it is an affordable addition for any Apocalypse fan.
In the past 12 months, virtually every grade of X-Factor #6 has shown gains compared to the 2019 averages. At the top of the heap, there is the 9.8. After a fair market value of $187 in 2018, it has been on the way up for two years now. Last year, it rose to $214, and now it is edging closer to the $300 mark. For the past 90 days, it has carried an FMV of $296. Two of the last three sales were for $333 and $350.
Need something to better fit your budget? Opt for the 9.6. Without giving up much in terms of presentation, the 90-day average drops to $110, but it is steadily climbing; six of the last seven sales were for over $100, and one reached as high as $152.
If you want something a bit rarer, keep an eye out for the Canadian price variants, which generally double the value of the U.S. counterparts.
It is the tradition to tease a new character’s debut with a shadowy glimpse in a single panel or two. In Bob Layton’s final issue on the title, he does just that with Apocalypse.
Speaking of budget-friendly options, X-Factor #5 has you covered. Over the past three months, every grade has experienced gains in FMV. The best part is it is still relatively cheap. Even for a 9.8, the average is just $87.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Between heroes and villains, the more valuable first appearances belong to the good guys. Switching Apocalypse to the role of anti-hero, if it is played properly, could boost the values of his key issues. The deciding point will be whether or not fans accept this new En Sabah Nur and how he is positioned in the overall Marvel Universe.