Welcome back to the Blogger Dome! Here, bloggers will argue different topics involving the comic book market and industry. This will be a combination of the Big Bang Theory meets the WWE. Smack talk mixed with comic book debates. Bloggers going at each other to amuse and educate our readers. And we want to hear what YOU have to say about it. Today’s topic is “Moon Knight VS Batman.” So tune in, get comfy, and let’s go!
Ding ding! Allow me to present your newest fighters in the Blogger Dome ring… HARRY AND JOSEPH! Fight!
HARRY: Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Blogger Dome. This week I’ll hand Joey O his fourth whooping as we debate the benefits of investing in Moon Knight versus Batman. My friend apparently loves getting beat as much as Batman loves letting Joker get away. It may seem like I got the raw end of the deal here, but I accepted this challenge happily. I love Moon Knight. Whether as an investment or as a character, Moon Knight is better than Batman in every way imaginable. Let’s take a look at this fan favorite and see if I can convince you that he’s a smarter play for your hard-earned bucks.
JOSEPH: Batman vs Moon Knight. Is this a joke, Harry? This has to be a joke because Batman tops Moon Knight on so many levels. I thought this was a joke but I guess we can start the fight. Who am I kidding? Well, I guess we have to start this now.
Harry, you are my friend and I know you will fight for the little guy, but I cannot spare you in this blogger dome. Fans want blood. Readers need to know that not all Marvel books are better than DC Comics to invest in. I am going to hurt you now, Harry, to teach them an important lesson, but I will not enjoy it. Remember, all of you Marvel die-hard fans, HIS BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS!!!!
Round 1: First Blood!
Moon Knight, aka Marc Spector, debuted in Werewolf by Night #32 in 1975 and went on to have his own solo series starting in Moon Knight #1 in 1980. Until he was murdered in the desert by frenemy Raoul Bushman, Marc Spector was a mercenary. The Egyptian god of the moon, Khonshu, resurrected Spector and tasked him with revenge, granting him powers linked to the lunar cycle. Marc Spector adopted the moniker of Moon Knight, as well as multiple secret identities, in New York City.
Moon Knight has frequently been referred to as a Batman knockoff since his debut. This enduring parallel seems unfit, as their similarities begin and end with their wealth and penchant for throwing sharp, pointy objects at the criminals they pummel. Batman’s character is arguably one-dimensional. And his motivations? A one-note symphony. He has been avenging his parents’ murders and taking out his abandonment issues on criminals since the 1930s. It’s comic book Groundhog day.
When creators such as Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams gave the series a fresh look, it had must more to do with the fact that they revamped Batman’s villains than it did with Batman himself. Even in the 1980s, the most shocking moments in Batman lore were villain-centric: Joker killing off Robin and later shooting Barbara Gordon. In the 1990s, the jaw-dropper was Bane snapping Batman’s back. What would Batman be without the Joker or his other unforgettable villains? If anything, the team of Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz on Moon Knight was the precursor to Frank Miller’s grittier Batman years later. Dare I say, Batman is a poor man’s Moon Knight?
Moon Knight creators took an approach opposite to that of the Batman series. Moon Knight’s complexity has increased over the years, depending on who is writing him. His secret identities became schizophrenic personalities. Unlike Batman, he does not hesitate to maim or kill. He sliced Bushman’s face off in one of the more jolting moments in Marvel Comics history. Shortly after, Moon Knight became a drug addict and alcoholic.
Simply put, Moon Knight’s brand of crazy is second only to that of the Punisher, and that’s up for debate. Unlike Batman, Moon Knight is the center of the story in his comics. Even die-hard Marvel fans would be hard-pressed to name more than one Moon Knight villain. Moon Knight is often the villain himself, which deepens his complexity.
If you’ve never heard of Moon Knight or read a Moon Knight comic, you’re not alone, but I wouldn’t expect that to last much longer. I have had my Moon Knight #1 since I was a kid and never gave it a second thought until a few years ago when I was hanging out at Midtown Comics. Admittedly, I wasn’t a big fan of Moon Knight and didn’t know squat about him. The guys there all insisted he was the absolute best and to check him out. The next thing I knew, I was burning through every series of his on the Marvel Unlimited app.
The willingness of his creators to give you an often rabid, volatile character in Moon Knight has created a cult following over the years. He may be an obscure character for the moment, but he is one that commands loyalty from his readers. Unlike other antiheroes with household names like Wolverine or Punisher, Moon Knight has never really appeared outside of comic books. Expect that cult following to finally turn into a mainstream following (and cash money) when he does.
Many of you reading this blog war will not be able to afford the first appearance of Batman. I bet very few of you will be able to afford Batman #1. You may be able to afford the first appearance of Moon Knight or Moon Knight #1. The question Moon Knight supporters have to ask themselves is now what? Moon Knight only has a few key issues that investors and collectors can target. Batman fans have many key issues that are not out of the reach of the common collector. Harry, my god, stop this now! You would have been better off choosing to write about Wayne Knight being better than Batman!!!
I guess I have to prove my point with facts to bring you back to reality. There are many Batman key books that the average investor can afford. One book that I have seen sell raw at auctions well below the FMV is Batman #16. This is the first appearance of Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, Alfred Pennyworth. At the time I am writing this post, a 6.0 copy will cost you roughly $4,700 while the first appearance of Moon Knight will cost you $1,150. Alfred has been around for years and will still be around long after Moon Knight’s MCU appearances will be forgotten. Do not buy the hype Harry is selling because it is only fool’s gold.
Round 2: Second Swing…
Harry: The Dogecoin of Comic Investing
This might sound like an overstatement, but memes have the power to change the world. A meme is generally defined as a funny image that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users. The funny viral images your uncle might have sent you from his old AOL account are far more than just jokes now. They have the ability to undercut free and fair elections and make people unexpectedly rich.
Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency with a Shiba Inu meme as its logo. For years, it was generally used to tip people because it was extremely cheap compared to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Covid came along, boredom ensued, people became even more consumed with their phone and computer screens and speculative markets have been in a frenzy since. In the last 6 months, Dogecoin memes started going viral thanks to tweets by proponents such as Elon Musk. I had friends tell me Dogecoin was a joke because it was based on a meme. Since then, it has increased 6000%. Clearly, investors should no longer take meme-fueled markets lightly. Memes matter.
You’re probably wondering, what the hell does Dogecoin have to do with Moon Knight? Moon Knight has the best memes of any comic book character, hands down. There are entire boards on Reddit dedicated to making and circulating these hilarious and mostly ridiculous memes about punching werewolves and cursing out Dracula. Sure, Batman slapping Robin is a quality meme, I’ll admit it. The thing is, Batman is already one of the most popular pop culture figures in the world. He doesn’t need additional exposure.
We always look to the movies and television as the main catalysts for comic growth. I invite you to consider for a moment the idea of adding memes or other variables to the mix when considering the potential for growth in a character’s keys. If Moon Knight’s memes escape from the Reddit boards to the mainstream and go viral, who knows how popular Moon Knight might get and how high his books will fly? It’s a brave new world out there Joe. Stop living in the 1930s and let’s get these meme comic dollars.
Joseph: Bring the Heat
I want to apologize to Harry, but your first blow was so weak I did not even feel it. Did you even start, Harry? I feel like you are tossing cotton balls at me trying to hurt me. Argue this point, my friend. Who has the better rogues gallery of villains? Batman has Penguin, Joker, Riddler, Bane, Ra’s al Ghul, and on and on. Moon Knight has who exactly? Moon Knight was created to be similar to Batman but Marvel never bothered to give him any memorable villains to battle. How can Moon Knight be so great when his villains are second-rate? My god Harry, at least Wayne Knight’s Newman had Jerry Seinfeld as a nemesis!
Investors believe in Batman villains’ key issues. One key that has seen a recent surge of interest but that I still believe has a lot of room to grow is Batman #181. When fans hear issue #181 they automatically think of Wolverine. Heck Harry, Wolverine vs Batman would have been a better match than Moon Knight, but I digress. The first appearance of Poison Ivy is a book that features a villain that has yet to be done correctly in films. Furthermore, this book came with a centerfold that many kids tore out, so finding a complete copy is difficult. Making it even harder to find a great copy is that solid red border.
Yes, the search can be difficult, but if done right this book could rise very quickly. The benefit I see in this book is the long-term investment potential. Even if you cannot find a great copy, you should look for a copy you can afford. Buy it and hold it.
Round 3: Third Strike!
Harry: The Marvel Cinematic Universe Debut
Now it’s time to state the biggest and most obvious reason Moon Knight is a great investment – The Marvel Cinematic Universe. Moon Knight might be the coolest, most complex superhero with the funniest memes, but if no one knows who he is we can’t expect his keys to go up in value, right? Well, Moon Knight will soon be appearing in his own Disney+ series and will be played by veteran actor Oscar Isaac (of Ex Machina and Star Wars fame). Isaac is a talented actor who will do the character justice in his first on-screen appearance.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the rapid increase in a comic book’s fair market value. I have been outspoken about the recent explosion in the rise of comic books across the board and think the market is accelerating toward a correction. That being said, Moon Knight’s first appearance in Werewolf by Night #32 is one of few comics seeing recent growth that remains a safe investment. Those familiar with Moon Knight know how potentially popular he’ll be if Marvel gives the character proper treatment. Moon Knight keys would be increasing in value right now with or without bored people playing fast and loose with stimulus checks.
Moon Knight is most likely going to be a mainstay in the MCU for the next 5 to 10 years, making his first appearance a better investment than most comics right now. It appears that Marvel is rolling out the horror comics of the 1970s for big-screen adaptations. We already know Blade and the Darkhold are coming and that there are rumors of Mephisto, Werewolf by Night, Morbius, and Ghost Rider soon coming to the MCU as well. Moon Knight would be a perfect fit for the horror genre with his connections to Werewolf by Night and the moon god Khonshu.
Even without various Marvel horror films, Moon Knight will most likely be a central figure in the MCU for years to come. We recently saw several issues of West Coast Avengers adapted for WandaVision on Disney +. Moon Knight joined the team in West Coast Avengers #21. Kevin Feige has demonstrated his intentions to continue expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU is going to be needing new teams and I’d bet one of those will be the West Coast Avengers with Moon Knight. Moon Knight can fit in anywhere in the MCU, unlike most comic book characters, whether it be street-level crime or the supernatural. In a recent Avengers storyline, he robbed Ghost Rider and Iron Fist of their powers and knocked Thor into space with Mjolnir. How many Marvel characters can say that?
On the one hand, we have Moon Knight, one of the most compelling and flexible Marvel characters ever created, about to make his cinematic debut. On the other hand, we have Batman, a dated and out-of-touch character who hasn’t had a good movie since 2012. Ben Affleck? I mean c’mon Joe, are we talking superhero flicks or movies about Boston? I’ll take the guy who’s about to be the king of the MCU for the next decade any day.
Harry, I am still waiting for you to throw a valid first punch and here we are in round three. This is not a movie where you can pull out a Rocky-like finish. Harry, you still are my friend and I hate doing this to you, but I have to hurt you even more now. One of the greatest strengths of Batman is his versatility. You can see him dance the Batusi one decade and then see Robin get killed in another. He is a character that you never really know who is the alter ego. Is he really Batman that uses Bruce Wayne as his cover or is he Bruce Wayne that uses Batman as his alter ego.
Investors can look to many incarnations of Batman because he has been around so long. One version that I always find undervalued is the classic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1. Frank Miller is a genius that I believe does not get his proper due. This issue is an example of why he is so great. This story was so influential that it served as the template for not only the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice movie, but one could argue it was the inspiration for the Logan film as well. Right now Harry is trying to think of a classic Moon Knight story. Fans, give him a break. He is at least trying to tell you why Marvel will always dominate DC Comics.
Harry: Room to Grow
Now, we all know that Moon Knight is awesome and has multiple factors set up to potentially make his key comics explode. Most importantly, his keys have plenty of room to grow when those catalysts ignite. GoCollect data is the most important tool I use when coming up with speculative theories. For instance, Punisher and Wolverine both debuted in 1974, one year prior to Moon Knight. The three have a similar antihero status and are part of the same graduating Marvel class in my mind. Despite this, only two have had screen adaptations making them household names.
Currently, an 8.0 for Moon Knight’s first appearance is $2,400 while Punisher’s is $2,450 and Wolverine’s is $5,750 in the same grade. The most interesting thing when sifting through GoCollect data is that the population for Werewolf by Night #32 is 25% of Amazing Spider-Man #129 and Hulk #181. I’m not going to say Moon Knight will ever be as mainstream or as popular as Wolverine or Punisher, but if demand for his first appearance merely doubles with that MCU debut and that smaller CGC population? Fireworks. I would also keep my eye on other keys such as his first solo story in Marvel Spotlight #28.
On the other hand, Batman comics either have inaccessible entry prices or are simply stale. Detective Comics #27 and Batman #1 are admittedly great investments if you have a few million laying around. The rest of Batman’s key issues have been relatively stagnant, even with the recent gold rush atmosphere that’s overtaken the comic market. You might as well put your money into a savings account with a .5% interest rate. Joe is trying to get you to invest in railroad stocks while I’m pointing you towards Tesla. The future is now Joe.
Joseph: The Death Blow
Harry, I am tired of beating you up with how much better Bruce Wayne’s Batman is to Moon Knight. I mean, do you really believe the words that are coming out of your computer? We are both attorneys, but even I am impressed with how you are trying to make the comic book fan jury believe you have a case. I have to end this now for your own good, so let us look at numbers.
There have been how many Moon Knights? Well, my friend, many characters have donned the cowl to become Batman. Every one of them is better than Moon Knight. Furthermore, Batman is more than a character. He is, in fact, an icon known worldwide in the many forms he has been portrayed. Historic characters such as Dick Grayson, Alfred Pennyworth, Jason Todd, Damian Wayne, and even Clark Kent have been Batman. I mean, why would these characters not want to be Batman? Girls dig the man in the cowl. Just ask Selina Kyle.
The non-Bruce Wayne Batman I want to focus on is the Terry McGinnis. I like the take the comic books had that deviated from the cartoon version, but I think Batman Beyond #1 is a very undervalued book even at its current price. Imagine what could be done with this character if he ever appeared in a film. You can still find a nice 9.4 copy for less than $500. This is a book to keep your eyes on in the future so look to it for its long-term growth potential even at its current FMV.
Post- Fight Cool Down
HARRY: Battle Dome aside, which character to invest in depends on your bank account and goals. Old Batman keys will always be some of the most sought-after collectibles in the world, but are price prohibitive. Newer Batman keys, while not as explosive, are safe investments as they aren’t nearly as volatile as everything in the Marvel market right now. If the comic market does crash, I don’t expect them to tumble as much as some of the Marvel books. If you have some gamble in you though, grab those Moon Knight keys. I see a whole lot of upside in their future.
JOSEPH: Harry, I wanted to say that I respect you for taking this battle. Most of the other bloggers would have mailed it in, but you came with some great points. I do think Moon Knight is a viable character to have invested in, but I believe the time to buy has passed. It is true that his first appearance came in a book that had very few copies, but people know about this already. I have seen raw copies sell well beyond the FMV of graded copies because people see all key Marvel characters appearing in the MCU rising in value, but are these characters going to be popular in the long term? Should I remind you of the Inhumans television show?
Everyone looks to his MCU future as a reason to invest in him, but that is all I hear about this character. Investing in a select few books only because he is going to appear in the MCU is not a good formula for success because everyone else is running from the same playbook. If the bubble bursts on his MCU appearance, what do you have in the end? Harry is a great advocate, but I bet you that if they told the truth even he will admit he would go for Batman books over the few keys for Moon Knight. To my jury, I must say in closing that if you want to shoot for the moon make sure you think of the bat!