While Doctor Strange #169 usually gets the majority of attention, a few other nearby books in the realm have been quietly gaining popularity in the market. But are any of them worth getting into?
When Nightmare haunts the Ancient One’s mind, it’s up to Dr. Strange to dispel the monarch of magical menace. The key attribute to this book’s rise in market activity in the last few years is none other than Nightmare. Sales volume has increased, but not so much the prices. For reference, in Feb 2021 a CGC 9.4 sold for $186 on Heritage; 13 years earlier in March 2008, a CGC 9.4 sold for $167, also on Heritage.
Nightmare has been rumored as the antagonist for the Dr. Strange movie sequel. The original filmmaker had thrown the name around, but that should be taken with a grain of salt. Namor’s name had also come up around the time Captain America: Civil War was released in 2016. The underwater earthquake didn’t really pan out.
Behind Agatha, Nightmare was even rumored as the final antagonist for the WandaVision show. Well, Nightmare and Mephisto. Detailed analysis of Easter eggs really made people confident their antagonist was surely the right one. Now that the series has concluded; option 3, the double zero roulette, was the outcome.
Sure, Nightmare seems almost inevitable, but Doctor Strange #170 might not be the best book to spec on. It’s not his first appearance, which was in Strange Tales #110. For that matter, it’s not even his second appearance, which was in Strange Tales #116. The book will likely see the usual price bump from anything official, but it’s not the best long-term opportunity. What it does have is a cool cover.
Nope, not the Game of Thrones “Song of Fire and Ice,” but the Marvel Comics’ Fire and Ice event. It spanned multiple titles and issues, but the ones we’re interested in here are the two Doctor Strange issues, #175 and #176, which have risen in market popularity. The aptly named event centered around the Sons of Satannish attempting to cast the Spell of Fire and Ice to summon Surtur the fire giant and Ymir the ice giant.
So why are these books rising in popularity? Is it related to movie speculation? Surtur has already appeared. In addition, although it wasn’t Ymir, they also had Laufey and the Frost Giants. Is it for first appearances? Dr. Strange #176 doesn’t have any, while #175 does have the first appearances of Marduk and the Sons of Satannish, but their leader Asmodeus’s first appearance is in #169.
If it is, indeed, buyers speculating on the event or the Sons of Satannish, why not look to the demon Satannish’s own first appearance book of Doctor Strange #174. That book hasn’t moved much until the last year, where sales prices have only slightly ticked up. And for the movie speculators, he’s just as likely as the popular rumor mill specs of Nightmare and Mephisto.
It’s kind of easy to see why this book has gained popularity in the market; it’s the cover. Unlikely to be another reason; because due to the original artist assigned getting sick, all the stories are just reprints from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2. Despite the increase in sales and slightly higher sales prices, this book isn’t an attractive long-term opportunity.
“These are the most talented hands in the annals of medicine! They don’t touch a band-aid for anything but cash!” – Doctor Strange
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