Is it Time to Re-invest in The Eternals?

by Matt Kennedy

Eternals-Reinvest-banner Is it Time to Re-invest in The Eternals?With current values on Eternals key issues falling more than 80% from their peak pricing a year ago, is it time to buy in the dip or cut your losses?

How to Measure Success

My colleague Norman Robinson III wrote a great analysis of the collapse in pricing on Eternals comics, which you can read here on GoCollect. But where he sees bricks, I see a potential foundation.

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2021’s Eternals has the lowest Tomatometer score of any Marvel Movie: just 47% making it the only Certified Rotten movie in the MCU, but it grossed just over $402 million worldwide and maintains an audience score of 78%. With a production budget of $200 million, and a marketing and advertising deficit of only $15.5 million (with the bulk of promotional expenses covered via $100 million in publicity partnerships with Lexus, Geico, and the L.A. Rams), Eternals was a bonafide hit that had the tough luck of releasing during the pandemic.

What was good for Disney stockholders has not been as good for comic collectors.

At least not yet.


There is a new, “common” wisdom among collectors that advises steering clear of comics that weren’t well-received when they first appeared on newsstands –even following the hype of a new movie announcement, but the fact that The Eternals was not a best-seller back in 1976 is anecdotal to its failure as an investment property today. And even categorizing the 80% drop in price of Eternals #1 as a failure assumes that one bought at peak pricing and sold at the bottom of the market.

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Savvy collectors bought all those Eternals keys back when the movie was first announced and sold them a week before it opened. Those people made a fortune. If we judge all investments by the folly of Johnny-come-latelys we can find failure in almost every slab.

My advice? Recognize the pattern: Buy on the rumor, sell on the hype.
And if the FMV on a book doesn’t warrant paying for Express grading, sell it raw.

Whether or not you think Eternals is a good movie,  the plunge of Eternals-related keys is part of a larger pattern that has seen almost ALL key issues drop significantly in the post-pandemic resale market. Spider-Man: No Way Home was Certified Fresh by critics and garnered a near perfect 98% Audience Score. It earned almost $2 billion at the global box office, but in the six months between opening theatrically and debuting on streaming services, the first appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15  had gone from setting the record as the most expensive comic book ever sold (a 9.6 for $3.6 million) to one of the most steeply declining comics across most grades.

eyJidWNrZXQiOiJnb2NvbGxlY3QuaW1hZ2VzLnB1YiIsImtleSI6ImU0N2M3ZjYyLTBlNGYtNDY2Zi1iOTIzLTQ3NjA2N2FiYmQxNy5qcGciLCJlZGl0cyI6W119-1-199x300 Is it Time to Re-invest in The Eternals?

Much of the reasoning behind the crashing value of AF15 is that hundreds of copies of lower grades flooded the market after the record-setting sale, and hundreds more were submitted for grading in late 2021. Some are just now getting back to their owners and they continue to hit the market. What is inarguably the most important single issue of the Silver Age is a much more common commodity than it used to be.

Similarly, thousands of Eternals comics were backlogged in the grading queue and not returned until after the film had been released to the luke-warm reception that begat the currently perceived “superhero fatigue.”  It is possible that there are still hundreds if not thousands of them awaiting return, but if the current census report is indicative of what will soon be re-entering the market, the abundance of the premiere issue may have created a false impression of availability of the subsequent issues, and that leaves potential for some of them to catch a bounce.

Crazy Rich Asians

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From 2020 to 2021, there was a massive boom fueled by stimulus checks and market conditions that saw comics double and triple in value. And now in 2022 at the head of a recession we are seeing comics drop on average by 50%. This could be viewed as a market correction and not a crash, but the steeper the decline the better prospect for values to bounce back quickly.

Interestingly, Eternals #3, the first appearance of Sersi has only experienced a 30% drop from last year’s peak pricing. There are a total of 2444 copies on the census across all grades, making it rarer than Amazing Fantasy #15 by more than a third.

Gemma Chan, of Crazy Rich Asians fame has signed a multi-film contract with Marvel Studios. We know that several other actors from Eternals have inked similar deals, so by the time we get to a Black Knight movie, Sersi may have appeared in numerous MCU projects. Hopefully, she’ll be back in the spotlight and given more to do.

I have to imagine the MCU has bigger plans for Kumail Nanjiani, as well. Kumail is a fan favorite who kickstarted his career by hosting a live comedy show in the back of Meltdown Comics in Hollywood. His weekly comedy show picked up traction which led to a Nerdist Podcast and ultimately a series on Comedy Central. As an actor he has been scene-stealing his way to leading man status for about a decade. Big Sick, the autobiographical romantic comedy written with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay and cemented his status as a versatile talent with broad appeal. Indeed, one of the criticisms of Chloe Zhang’s film was that Nanjiani is absent from the coda.

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It is worth mentioning that the best MCU films have been helmed by comedy writers. And the most timeless films of any genre have a poignant blend of comedy with the action or drama. If the next Eternals film follows the template of Guardians of the Galaxy (the MCU’s original who-are-these-guys) by keeping a brisk pace with good laughs that are anchored with a lot of heart, Kingo could be a real asset.

As luck would have it, Patton Oswalt (on the Today Show) revealed that a second Eternals film was already in the works right as I was sitting down to write this.  A Kingo solo film or Disney+ series with the right creative team could greatly benefit from low expectations to become a massive hit –think Loki, but Bollywood. Eternals #11 is not just the first appearance of Kingo, it’s also the first appearance of Druid, and I can’t envision Kevin Feige failing to capitalize on having Barry Keoghan under contract.

Considering that there are only 908 copies across all grades on the census, it should come as no surprise that this is actually rising in price. The current FMV is about 10% above the 1-year average.


A wise man once said, “Never confuse the product for the stock,” and I think it helps to think in those terms regardless of the investment. While MCU Phase Four has thus far been a bit of a hot mess, when all the seemingly stand-alone projects are revealed to be connected by things we don’t know yet, many a forgotten key could spike in value.

There is no better time to buy than at the bottom of the market, and I can’t imagine we get to Galactus without some Eternals being involved.

Want more MCU spec?

This blog is written by freelance blogger Matt Kennedy: Matt Kennedy is owner of Gallery 30 South and author of Pop Sequentialism: The Art of Comics. The first comic he bought on the newsstand was Werewolf by Night #32 which he somehow managed to keep in good enough condition to get it graded 9.0 forty years later. Please follow him @popsequentialism on Instagram & Twitter and visit his website:

AAA-Matt-Kennedy-Blogger-Footers Is it Time to Re-invest in The Eternals?*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not reflect advice on behalf of GoCollect

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CE2World - $DAG #Hedera $Grape (@CE2World) August 8, 2022 - 4:15 pm

Great review. Also there are saying there might be Eternals 2 and that will go even deeper into the story. First i feel explained the story and we will get to the good parts as more stuff is released.

GQGuyforComics August 8, 2022 - 11:54 pm

this is great ! thank you , the advice and the state of the comic market. i learn 2 things here !

Sqa August 9, 2022 - 10:03 pm

“Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”

Words to live by folks!

Matt Kennedy August 11, 2022 - 4:20 pm

I generally agree. That said, for years now, whenever I come across that altruism, I hear George W. Bush’s malapropism (and in his distinctive voice), “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? We don’t get fooled again.”

arco330032 August 13, 2022 - 3:25 pm

Agree with the take here, except for the hair-pulling use of the all too common and completely nonsensical “massive boom fueled by stimulus checks” line.

Did plenty of collectors whose income wasn’t effected by covid take those checks and spend them on comic books? I’m absolutely sure they did. But the idea that three checks totaling at most $3,200 over the course of a year to people in the US (many of which were using that money to stay alive since their jobs & businesses were closed) caused tens of thousands of collectors to start buying $1,000-$1000,000 comic books doesn’t make sense.

Just taking a single book as an example: a 9.8 CGC Incredible Hulk #181 was selling for around $35,000 when Covid broke out. Six months AFTER the last of those 3 checks was delivered, the book was selling for $85,000.
So the narrative here is that people were lining up to pay $85,000 for that book cuz of they got $3,000 in stimulus checks?

If there was only some other reason to explain why people suddenly had tons of extra cash to spend on collectibles….
some massive world-wide event that completely shut down every other discretionary spending option…like if there were no restaurant dining, no bars, no concerts, no sporting events, no movies, no performing arts, no amusement parks, no hotel stays, no flights, no museums, no conventions, etc. etc. etc. Something like a world-wide pandemic…..

Conservative estimates say that the elimination of those options from COVID put an extra $450 BILLION DOLLARS in American consumer pockets alone in 2020, and another $450 BILLION in 2021. Worldwide (which the comic collectables market is), we’re talking close to $20 TRILLION in extra disposable income up for grabs.

Maybe it was the $3,200 in checks that some Americans got.
Or maybe it was the $20 TRILLION in additional world-wide disposable income.

PS – I know this a rant. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. Thanks for listening.

Matt Kennedy August 15, 2022 - 8:59 am

Thanks for reading my column and for this response. Pardon my shorthand, but since the stimulus checks were born of the fact that everything was closed I felt that all the factors you mentioned were implicit. I didn’t list them all out here because that’s not what this column was about.

But something that also doesn’t get mentioned much in that same discussion is how many people SOLD their collections during the pandemic. Some people who needed those checks to survive held back a little to put toward getting keys graded for sale or toward buying bags and boards to make old collections more presentable. And a lot of people who had inherited collections caught wind of the demand for collectibles during the pandemic and so a lot of comics that were in closets and storage lockers hit the market. Some of those collections became the cornerstone of side hustles that became main gigs. I personally know of at least a dozen people who had worked previously in retail that became eBay power sellers during the pandemic. And while they may have only received $3200 in government assistance, they turned that little nest egg into a homestead by buying and selling comics, cards, LPs, video games, VHS, etc. I, myself, purchased several collections during the pandemic and while there wasn’t a Hulk 181 in any of them there was a Daredevil #1, several Fantastic Four #48-50s, and hundreds of other Silver Age keys. Those hit the market and sold at peak pricing because those stimulus checks padded my safety net allowing me to invest.

I don’t think anyone is making the argument that people were buying 9.8s for $85K with stimulus checks, but if you look into economic causality you will find the relationship between buyer and seller often depends on the former’s abundance and the latter’s desperation –possibly enhanced by hype.

Speaking of hype, the number of comic-centric youtubers and influencers (and certainly the amount of content produced overall) increased exponentially during the pandemic –and were it not for a little stimulus money, most of them would not have been able to maintain and even grow their channels to the point that their only source of income is now viewer-generated. Most of them have also been buying up collections they found advertised locally, and reselling them.


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