The greatest trick Mysterio ever pulled was convincing the world the Elementals existed. Or at least causing one of the worst bubbles in recent comic book speculation.
It was everywhere “Elementals, Elementals, Elementals.” From the marketing to articles to interviews and to set photos. Then the first Far From Home trailer nailed home the presence of monsters based on the elements of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. From all of this, the key comic book for those seeking to capitalize on the Elementals was none other than Supernatural Thrillers #8 (1974). The issue featured N’Kantu the Living Mummy battling against the villainous Elementals (Hellfire, Hydron, Magnum, and Zephyr) in their 1st appearance.
Before the first hint of the Elementals being used in the movie, sales of Supernatural Thrillers #8 was stagnant at best with a very low volume of sales; copies of the book graded CGC 9.8 sold for under $100 and CGC 9.6 for under $60. When the Elementals fervor struck, in just a few months sales prices shot up to as high as $840 for 9.8 and $450 for 9.6. Despite these sky-high prices, the first hint of a bubble should have been the very low volume with which the high sales prices were achieved, if not also the prior low volume.
Just as Mysterio’s illusions disappeared, so did the market for Supernatural Thrillers #8 following the worldwide release of Far From Home. The latest CGC 9.6 sold for $180.53 in August 2019; down almost -60% from the high. Even worse, there has been 0 sales for CGC 9.8 since. With the Elementals unlikely to be revisited again in the near future, the market for Supernatural Thrillers #8 has an extremely poor investment outlook.
It is necessary to point out that the sales volume for Supernatural Thrillers #8 is indeed very low, so it might not be indicative of the overall market sentiment of the Elementals; to this end, fortunately, we can look to the two characters of Molten Man and Hydro-Man.
MOLTEN MAN AND HYDRO-MAN
Although Molten Man and Hydro-Man were not a part of the original Elementals team, they were heavily featured in the merchandise surrounding Far From Home. Furthermore, all the comic book number Easter eggs spotted in the trailer fueled the rumors of Molten Man and Hydro-Man inclusion in the Elementals. This included a boat numbered as “ASM 212,” a reference to the 1st appearance of Hydro-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #212 (1981); and a car’s license plate of “2865 SEP,” which was a reference to Molten Man’s 1st appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #28 (1965). All the signs pointed to Molten Man and Hydro-Man as members of the Elementals. It wouldn’t be the first time the members were interchanged with other characters whose characteristics exemplified the elements. On a random thought, why does Hydro-Man get a hyphen, but Molten Man doesn’t?
Back to the market behavior of the books; the sales prices of ASM #28 and ASM #212 at CGC census data as close to 20% and 50% of the top will be used. For Molten Man’s Amazing Spider-Man #28, CGC 8.0 and 6.5 copies of the book sold at about $750 and $230, respectively. From the Far From Home movie, they reached highs of $1,726.43 and $499.95. Likewise, for Hydro-Man’s Amazing Spider-Man #212, CGC 9.8 and 9.6 sold for pre-movie levels of $375 and $100 then reached highs of $527 and $220, respectively. Where are they now? ASM #28’s 8.0 and 6.5 are $968 and $293; with a very low volume of sales on the higher end. And ASM #212’s 9.8 and 9.6 are at $200 and $100. Pretty hefty losses across the board; despite declining sales prices, holders of the books seem unwilling to sell and realize the losses.
All signs pointed to the Elementals, including Molten Man and Hydro-Man, appearing in Spider-Man: Far From Home. With all the information available at the time, the assumption of that was the most likely outcome. Unfortunately, it all collapsed as soon as the movie was released and the notion was, in one fell swoop, disproven. As a result, the foundations of any speculation built on Supernatural Thrillers #8, Amazing Spider-Man #28, and Amazing Spider-Man #212 collapsed.
The hard truth in this instance, the best decisions were likely made on the information available; but unfortunately, it just didn’t work out. Accepting that and moving forward, with the best foot forward, is to move on to the next speculation.
“What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.” – Harry Houdini
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