Just when we thought Ben Affleck was all set to direct a DC movie, a new rumor has him stepping into a Marvel role.
If the gossip can be believed, it would seem Affleck is following Christian Bale’s lead, switching from Batman to a Thor villain. The latest speculation is that Affleck will bring to life a modern God of Thunder antagonist, Dario Agger, aka the Minotaur.
Dario is a fitting villain for the modern world. In an age when corporate billionaires flaunt their extravagance with trips to space and buying up Twitter while the working class struggles to make ends meet, Dario personifies the idea of corporate greed. In the comics, he is the ruthless head of Roxxon Industries and has frequent clashes with Thor. When Dario’s manipulation tactics stop working, he transforms into the monstrous Minotaur to take on the Thunder God.
While many of us lament the loss of Affleck as Batman, there’s no denying that he would be a great Agger for the MCU. That’s what makes this round of scuttlebutt so believable, which is sure to impact these issues.
The first time readers met Minotaur, he was in his human form as the smug corporate billionaire. Just like you would expect the likes of Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos to behave in the situation, the Roxxon CEO was more than happy to speak with Thor, god-to-god. He’s not intimidated by the Thunder God, but it didn’t hurt that he had his secret alter ego all primed and ready for a throwdown.
Thanks to the rumors, prices are slowly creeping upward. After averaging $70 over the past 12 months, December has seen the graded 9.8’s fair market value inch to $81. It wouldn’t be a modern comic without a plethora of variants. The most interesting is the Jenny Parks edition with a cat replacing Thor on the cover. The last time one of those traded hands online, it was to the tune of $245 in 2021.
This is the bigger issue between the two first appearances. It’s here that Dario reveals his secret and fully transforms into the Minotaur. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dario make a few appearances simply as the Roxxon executive to begin with, there’s no way Marvel Studios will cast him without eventually revealing the Minotaur.
We haven’t seen any 9.8s being sold online since August, but one did earn $89 that day. Of course, that was a step down from the spring when it was consistently selling for over $100.
Here we could have a worthy group of adversaries for the Avengers. In 2016’s issue, Dario helped form the Dark Council. Similar to Norman Osborn’s Cabal, this group is basically the evil version of the Illuminati, only these guys are all linked to Marvel’s fantasy and mythological realms. Unsurprisingly, Loki is part of the team along with King Ulik, Enchantress, Sindr, Malekith, and King Laufey. This would be an interesting team to add to the MCU, though it’s a bit of a long shot.
Need a copy for the collection? The standard cover graded at a 9.8 last sold for $65 on December 3. Before that, one brought $95 on October 1.
WHY NOT BOTH?
As fans, sometimes we forget that there’s no line in the sand being drawn between Marvel and DC Studios. While we may view it as akin to a sports rivalry, the actors and creators appear to see it as simply a business. Just because Affleck may take on the Dario Agger role for Marvel Studios doesn’t mean he won’t still direct a movie for DC Studios. When you think about it, that would be a win for fans on both sides.