In an attempt to not the hit the Secret Wars speculation dead horse over and over again, here we will look beyond the Beyonder’s key first appearance comic book of Secret Wars #1 and more towards some of the other possible players.
Can’t have the Beyonder without the man who makes it all possible, Owen Reece. As a scientist at the ACME Atomics Corporation, Reece accidentally opens a wormhole to the Beyond-realm, a dimension just “beyond” the omniverse. From the radiation, Reece himself is turned into the Molecule Man; this would, later on, be revealed as a purposeful experiment by the Beyonders. Outside of the intertwined introductions of Molecule Man and the Beyonder, Molecule Man plays a key role in all the iterations of Secret Wars from the original to the 2015 one.
Molecule Man’s first appearance preceded the Beyonder and Secret Wars by almost two decades with Fantastic Four #20 (1963). For a quick look at a cross-section of the market for the book, we focus on the sales history of CGC 9.0, 7.5, and 6.5 (representing the top 11.3%, 33.9%, and 50.3% of the CGC census, respectively). Overall, the sales prices have trended upwards for the last decade, with the growth rate noticeably accelerating around early 2017. In the market, Fantastic Four #20 has easily outperformed Secret Wars #1.
If you do speculate on Molecule Man, you might also be interested in picking up the key book of Volcana (Marsha Rosenberg), who first appears in Secret Wars #3 (1984). When Denver was transformed as a piece of Battleworld, Denver resident Marsha was thrown into the fray when Dr. Doom found her and turned her into the volcano-powered Volcana. While fighting against the heroes, Volcana soon develops a romantic relationship with Molecule Man; she even bargains with the Enchantress to save his life when he is gravely wounded by Wolverine. After the conclusion of Secret Wars, Volcana and Molecule Man retired to a quiet life in Denver.
Currently, CGC 9.8s of Secret Wars #3 go for just under the $100 level. The market hasn’t moved very much, but it could be ripe for a breakout.
With all the X-Men speculation in the air, the Stranger could easily tie Secret Wars and the X-Men together. In the 2006 limited series title Beyond!, a similar plot setup to Secret Wars occurs where the Beyonder appears on Earth and pits the heroes against the villains. The twist is that the Beyonder is actually the Stranger in disguise, and the whole thing was a secret experiment.
The Stranger makes his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #11 (1965). For the last decade, sales prices for the book have trended ever so slightly up. There is a rather large FMV spread at the top third of the CGC census which could allow for a strategic investment in an undervalued grade; particularly CGC 9.0 and 8.0 with respect to the surrounding grades/FMV. Uncanny X-Men #11 could be a good speculation pickup for anyone looking to bridge the gap between Secret Wars and the X-Men.
“I am from beyond! Slay your enemies and all you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!” – the Beyonder