Everybody Loves Ronin!

by Michael Vlachakis

279330_82670e7462367a8f56fcf109464e52ae3835a93a-193x300 Everybody Loves Ronin!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) can be a stark driver of comic value to collectors and the open market.  If a character makes an appearance in the MCU you can witness an almost immediate impact in the value of that character’s brand and the value of comics featuring the character.  This rule is not perfect and speculation is more of an art than science.  Because not all characters achieve the same value adjustments, and not all increases in value last forever…even for cool characters like Ronin!

Speculation can drive a market crazy.  A few months ago, speculation about the character of Ronin set off a frenzy.  There was an immediate buyout of online stock featuring the character, and then 9.8 graded copies hit the market at inflated prices.  A 9.8 copy of New Avengers #27 went from a $100-$200 comic book and soon hit the $300-$400 price point in the day following the trailer.  It was beginning to look like the future of Ronin comics was going to be insane.  Then something happened that I never expected…the frenzy stopped and prices settled a bit, then back down to below the initial pop, then back down again.  The price on Ronin books not only settled after a giant pop, it settled to a spot that was lower than before the pop.  What happened?

It seems like a few factors influenced the Ronin market.  First was the cautious speculation that occurred after the End Game trailer.  Was that actually Ronin, or is it just EMO Hawkeye?  Is that the new reality of the MCU, or is it a time warp, alternate reality, or other?  Thankfully, most people were unfamiliar enough with Ronin to have missed the queue whatsoever.  We have also seen the fact that a character in the MCU does not mean infinitely increasing gains on a comic.  In this instance, rarity was a huge factor.  This is not a Bronze Age gem that has only a few copies (as an aside, an awful lot of Ms. Marvel #1 9.8 grades appeared out of thin air when she got famous) and once the market demand popped, every copy went to be graded for a cash-in.  As copies flooded the market, many sellers were happy just to cash in at lower price-points, and the prices started to trend downward.  There was also a bit of confusion on the market as to which Ronin first appearance was the correct one (you can learn more about this topic on my previous blog here).

Currently you can scoop up a copy of New Avengers #27, which features the amazing Ronin vs. The Hand cover, for just over $100 for a 9.8 copy.  With the trend in pricing definitely moving down, is is a smart time to buy?  In this case, End Game is going to be the ultimate teller of where this comic goes.  If we are treated to Ronin and his contribution is substantial, and memorable, we should see this comic gain value as exposure increases.  If we get more of a flash of Ronin, or none at all, the trailer fooled those trying to be speculator kings, then gains on this comic are probably more limited.  I guess we will all find out the fate of Ronin soon.  I feel that there is value left to be gained in this book, but don’t expect a major pop or Spider-Ham like gains.

What are your expectations for End Game?  Are you excited to see EMO Hawkeye?  Drop your comments and join in the speculation!

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