On blogs and on Twitter, some have complained about Disney promoting a “politically correct agenda” in Phase Three and Phase Four of the MCU. Regardless of what your politics are, the most important factor to a conglomerate like Disney is first and foremost what the market demands. And, in this case, the global market demands diversity, and Disney, therefore, supplies it. This is true both on film (see, e.g., The Black Panther), but also for comic books. In fact, with few exceptions, the most expensive key issues of the Modern Age all feature the first appearance of diverse (racially, globally, or otherwise) characters. Let’s take a look at Miles Morales and Kamala Khan.
Marvel Previews #95 & Ultimate Fallout #4: Miles Morales
As many know, Miles is a 13-year-old biracial son of a Black father and a Puerto Rican mother who assumes the mantle of Spider-Man following the death of Peter Parker. Initially, audiences had mixed reactions to his appearance, with some criticizing Marvel for allegedly pushing a politically correct agenda, a charge that Marvel denied.
Politics aside, one fact can’t be denied: the market loves Miles. Marvel Previews #95, which displays the first-ever image of Miles Morales on its cover, is arguably the most important key issue of the 21st century, at least in terms of value. In late January, a CGC 9.6 copy of MP #95 sold on eBay for $3,327.00. Earlier that same month, a raw, high-grade copy sold on eBay for $3,459.00.
Ultimate Fallout #4, which contains the first full appearance of Miles, is no slouch itself. A CGC 9.8 copy of UF #4 sold for $1,501.00 during the first week of February. A raw, high-grade copy sealed in its polybag sold for $550 about a week later. And rarity can’t explain the high value that collectors place upon UF #4; this book is easy to find. According to the Census, CGC has graded over 9,000 copies of UF #4; 2,644 of them received a 9.8.
Captain Marvel #14: Kamala Khan
Like Miles, the market loves this young Pakistani-American. Her first appearance, which is a cameo, occurs in Captain Marvel #14 (2013). It consists of a single panel where we see Kamala watching Carol Danvers fight a villain. Yet in spite of the fact that it’s a mere cameo and she does not appear as Ms. Marvel, investors are snapping this issue up. According to GoCollect, the FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy of this book is $650. During the past two years, the value of CGC 9.4 and 9.6 copies has risen more than 50%. For the sake of comparison, let’s compare Kamala’s cameo appearance against another famous first cameo: Venom’s in Amazing Spider-Man #299. Even though Venom’s first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #300 is the most important key issue of the Modern Age, the FMV of his first cameo appearance in ASM #299 is actually worth considerably less than Kamala’s ($450 vs. $650) even though Marvel published that issue in 1988. That price differential should provide some insight as to what investors think of Kamala and her future potential.
Investors looking for a return on their investment see the future — and it looks a lot like Miles and Kamala.