WHAT IS IT ABOUT STAR WARS COMICS?
The Mandalorian is a great show and has quickly become the most beloved addition to the canon in decades. Not only has it rejuvenated the film franchise, but it has given new life to Star Wars comics in general. When I say Star Wars comics, I mean all Star Wars comics, whether it was the original 1977 series, the Dark Horse Comics era, or the second Marvel run. Any key issue, big or small, is feeling the price inflation.
Collectors and speculators alike are looking for those key moments that could play out on Disney+, and that has put a premium on Star Wars first appearances. With that in mind, here are the first appearances of three more characters that could surface in The Mandalorian.
Yes, Asajj Ventress died during the Clone Wars. But this is Star Wars, a fantasy galaxy where dudes can be cut in half, lose their legs, get set on fire, and be chucked down a shaft and explode in a burst of lightning, and they still manage to come back to life. So, yeah, death is not exactly permanent here, and Asajj could easily return. With her rival Ahsoka getting added to the mix, it would make sense to bring Asajj into the story to confront her.
In the comics, Asajj made her debut in 2003’s Star Wars: Jedi Mace Windu #1. If you are looking for a 9.8, this one may be too expensive for many collectors. It has a 90-day average of $522. The better bargain is the 9.6, which last sold for $220 in September. While that may seem pricey now, it will be nothing if she does appear in live-action.
Another Asajj key issue, Star Wars: Republic #52 features her first cover appearance, and this could be a much cheaper alternative to Mace Windu #1. If you have been keeping up with recent trends, early cover art for famous characters is a hot market, and Asajj could become very hot very quickly.
For basically the same price as that 9.6 Mace Windu #1, you can have a near-mint-plus Republic #52. Going down the ladder, a 9.4 sold for only $26 in October, but you won’t find one that cheap anymore, not when a 9.2 brought $135 last month.
By no means is this issue flying under the radar, but it does not get nearly the attention that it should. That will be especially true if an obscure character finds his way into The Mandalorian. I allude to Fenn Shysa, who premiered in Star Wars #68. This issue also featured the first reference to the planet Mandalore and the Mandalorians.
In the pre-Disney canon, Shysa is a Mandalorian and Clone Wars veteran. Many claim this is the re-introduction of Boba Fett since that is clearly him on the cover, right? Not so. In this story, it is revealed that Shysa wore the same armor as his fellow Mandalorian. That makes me wonder if the armor we saw in the second episode of The Mandalorian may, in fact, have belonged to Fenn rather than the legendary Boba Fett.
This is a comic that has been blowing up without much fanfare. It has quietly earned a near $900 three-month fair market value for a 9.8, and the last sale was for over $1k. Just days before that, one brought a record-high $1,544. There is a significant dropoff in price for anything below a near-mint copy. For less than $100, you can buy up to a 7.5, but those prices could change quickly.
Speaking of that Boba Fett armor, if it doesn’t belong to Boba Fett, who could the mysterious man have been? This could turn out to be a surprise reveal of Captain Rex. Of course getting his first appearance will be difficult, considering he debuted alongside Ahsoka in Star Wars: The Clone Wars #1.
Much attention has been put on the ridiculous prices for the near-mint-plus grades of Clone Wars #1, but what about the other grades?
The lowest graded copy that has traded hands this year was the 4.5, which brought an astounding $325. The better option is to aim for “raw” copies on eBay. According to the sold listings, entire unslabbed sets of the first four Clone Wars comics have sold for close to $400, which is a far cry from those graded prices.
THE STAR WARS BUBBLE
The Mandalorian has thrown the comic market into a feeding frenzy for all things Star Wars, but these prices can only inflate so much before the bubble bursts. Could this mad grab for Star Wars keys be a result of not having any new MCU content in 2020? When Marvel Studios begins churning out the new movies and shows, we will see if Star Wars still holds its grip on the collecting world.