What did it cost to collect all six Infinity Gems? In the fictional Marvel universe, abstractly priceless; but in the comic book collecting sense, a few credit card swipes away. Like our favorite superheroes and supervillains, the Infinity Gems themselves have 1st appearances in the comic book. Making it possible for a collection centered on the gems. On a random curious musing, I wonder if anyone has an Infinity Gauntlet-shaped display filled out with the gems’ key comic books. That would be a sight to see.
Back to the matter at hand, here we take a closer look at the current market for the key comic books containing the 1st appearances of the Infinity Gems.
The Soul Gem first appeared in Marvel Premiere #1 (1972), in which the High Evolutionary gave the gem to Adam Warlock, “a man god reborn!” The High Evolutionary would later send Adam Warlock to Counter-Earth; there he would fight against the New Men and Man-Beast, who were previous creations of the High Evolutionary. Below is sales for Marvel Premiere #1, graded in CGC 9.4 and 8.5 (the top 16.5% and 52.85 of the census).
Worthy of the Soul Gem name, there is much life in the market for Marvel Premiere #1. The book has experienced relatively high rates of growth in sales prices. Interestingly, following the 2017 release of the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 feature film that contained a cameo of Him, there wasn’t a large spike in prices. Instead of the spike, 9.4 continued to grow at a similar but slightly higher rate than before; 8.5 however, did see a more pronounced increase in growth rate. With years of steady prices and positive trends, Marvel Premiere #1 offers a low risk long term opportunity.
The Mind Gem’s first appearance was in Captain Marvel #41 (1975), in which the Kree Supreme Intelligence attempts to obtain the gem from Deneb IV. Mar-Vell and Richard “Rick” Jones are tricked into entering the gem, where their minds fight it out. Unlike the book examined above, Captain Marvel #41 has had a substantially lower volume of sales and sales prices. The last book graded in CGC 9.8 sold for $117.50 in June 2019. Without any other key comic book aspects, it’s unlikely that Captain Marvel #41 will ever develop a larger market. On the positive side, this makes the book a cheap pickup for someone looking to complete an Infinity Gem collection.
POWER & TIME
In a two-for-one, the Power Gem and Time Gem both first appear in Marvel Team-Up #55 (1977). The story of “Spider, Spider on the Moon!” centers on the Stranger attacking Adam Warlock and Spider-Man. The Stranger’s ultimate goal is to collect Adam Warlock’s Soul Gem. With the fight looking dire for the heroes, the Gardener joins in and fights off the Stranger. In this issue, the Stranger’s and the Gardener’s gems are both referred to as “Soul Gems.” They would both later be properly identified: the Stranger’s Soul Gem was the Power Gem, and the Gardener’s Soul Gem was the Time Gem. Below is sales for the book graded in CGC 9.8 (blue) and 9.6 (orange).
The sales for Marvel Team-Up #55 are just slightly less sparse than Captain Marvel #41. Again, this makes it unviable for financial investment, but on the bright side, a lower priced pickup for an Infinity Gem collection. On a side note, the cover art on this book is kind of cool; Spider-Man in space!
REALITY & SPACE
Last but not least, in Avengers Annual #7 (1977) Adam Warlock arrives to warn the Avengers about Thanos’ plans to collect the Infinity Gems and snap the universe in half. It is revealed in flashback that the Space Gem and Reality Gem had been in the possession of Xiambor on a prison satellite. Below is sales data for the book in grades CGC 9.6 and 9.4 (the top 35.0% and 59.5%).
Compared with the prior two book, the market for Avengers Annual #7 is far more robust; with a volume of sales exceeding that of Marvel Team-Up #55 and Captain Marvel #41 combined. Given this, unfortunately sales prices have held flat for the last six years. The range is wide, but it’s the same range across those six years.
Although Avengers Annual #7 does contain key comic book moments such as the arrival of Adam Warlock to warn the Avengers and the death of Warlock, it would take a tremendous catalyst to change the flattening sales prices. On the bright side, the flat trend/wide range combo combination could offer ample opportunities for a quick flip.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Marvel Premiere #1 – BUY
- Captain Marvel #41 – N/A
- Marvel Team-Up #55 – N/A
- Avengers Annual #7 – REDUCE
“There are many actors in this grand drama, and I, Thanos, appear to be the only participant with a full grasp on the situation.” – Thanos