All summer, the speculation is that Nightmare will square off against the Sorcerer Supreme in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While Nightmare’s first appearance may be too pricey for most collectors, there are other options that no one is talking about at the moment.
Ever since San Diego Comic-Con (and even before), the rumors have been swirling about the Doctor Strange sequel. With the title reveal at SDCC, it lends to the theory that Nightmare will be joining the MCU with a grand entrance.
For three years now, director Scott Derrickson made statements that he wanted the inter-dimensional demon to appear in a Doctor Strange movie. He later said at SDCC that Multiverse of Madness would be the first “scary” movie entry in the MCU. While nothing has been confirmed, when you put those two ideas together, it adds up to Nightmare.
What does this mean for collectors? This is one instance where collecting the first appearance is not a viable option. After all, Nightmare made his debut in Strange Tales #110 back in 1963. That also happens to be the same issue that saw the premieres of Doctor Strange, the Ancient One, and Wong, so it’s not like it wasn’t already a grail-level key. But just for fun, lets look at the current prices for that issue.
Once an official announcement is made (and, as always, when a trailer debuts) about Nightmare, then sales for Strange Tales #110 will get a boost. When dealing with a key of this magnitude, it’s not expected to necessarily boom simply because of price. To give you an idea of how big this key has become, an 8.5 sold for over $11k in the past week. Even a 1.8 is breaking the bank after one sold on eBay for $830 in July.
The cheaper options, then, are Nightmare’s second appearance and his first cover appearance.
Like all the early Strange Tales comics, Doctor Strange and Nightmare served as backup stories at the end of the comic. Still, they cover their share of the pages. In the case of Strange Tales #116, it is much more cost effective than Tales #110. Granted many grades are reaching new record highs this year, but it’s still easier on the budget than its predecessor. While an 8.5 Tales #110 has cracked five digits, the same grade for Tales #116 is averaging $269 in the past 12 months. While that’s not necessarily cheap, it is cheap by comparison with #110. If you’re willing to go with a lower grade, you can go all the way to a graded 5.0 and stay under $100. In fact, the last 5.0 sold for $75 in May.
Another issue to consider is Doctor Strange #170. This issue marks Nightmare’s fourth overall appearance but is the first time he is featured in the cover art. For the villain’s fans, this is a great issue to collect, and it is flying well below the radar at the moment. Over the past 12 months, only seven graded copies have traded hands on eBay, and two of those were signed by Stan Lee. Even those signed copies didn’t sell for over $300. As for the universal grades, the prices are low. Back in May, a graded 9.2 sold for $112. A month before that, a 9.0 went for just $85.