Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.

by James Jou

116565_1f9dfaca586eccc500e2bef2e5a463095c10aff4-200x300 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.

You check the mail, check the news, check on the pizza delivery status, but how often do you check on your investments?  Comic book investments, that is.

In a previous article, we examined the market performance of key comic books for some of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s phase 3 antagonists; specifically, the 1st appearances of Ghost, Hela, and the Skrulls. Here was expand on that to a few additional MCU phase 3 antagonists: Dormammu, Ego the living planet, and the Vulture.




STRANGE TALES #126 (1964)

Before Dr. Strange faced off against the interdimensional conqueror Dormammu in the 2016 Dr. Strange movie, they first met fifty years earlier in the pages of Strange Tales #126’s “The Domain of the Dread Dormammu!” This issue is not only Dormammu’s first appearance, but also that of Clea. In later stories, Clea is revealed as Dormammu’s niece, trains with Dr. Strange, becomes Sorcerer supreme, and marries Dr. Strange.

117629_6cddc8614320f119bd4a5e8d62dbd0972ac4631c-200x300 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.Let’s begin by examining the sales for the high end of the book; cgc 9.0, which is the top 15.3%:

p3m_1a-300x180 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.

The number of sales is low, but the pattern of behavior provides an initial impression. The value for the book appears to have been on a decline since late 2014 and flattened throughout 2018 and 2019. From here, we can look to the lower grades to confirm this market behavior. Below is the sales data for the book in CGC 7.5/7.0 and 5.5/5.0, which represent the top 37.5%/47.6% and 74.5%/82.2% of the census, respectively:

p3m_2b-300x180 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.p3m_3c-300x180 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.

The previously observed decline and subsequent flattening also occurs in the middle and lower grades. The main difference, however, is that the larger volume of sales at these lower grades provides us greater insight into the apparent sales flattening in the above 9.0 grade in 2018 and 2019. Rather than a complete stall, the value actually appears to be on a subtle climb. Only examining the higher grade would have yielded a sell recommendation, but the reversal in value decline at the lower grades, coupled with Clea possibly making a debut in a future MCU movie, point to potential upside.


THOR #133 (1966)

While Ego the living planet’s first cameo appearance was in Thor #132, the market has deemed his first full appearance in Thor #133 as more valuable. The classic cameo versus full appearance. And let’s face it, the cover of Thor #133 is definitely more favorable in featuring Ego.

119132_f3bf8a49da6698836c3746aa9350dd18ae2e8d2e-202x300 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.

Like the book above, Thor #133 also has a low volume of sales on the higher end. To this end, we examine the sales of CGC 9.2 and 9.0 (25.2% and 39.1% of top). 9.2 is indicated by blue, 9.0 is orange:

p3m_4d-300x180 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.

Again, with the low volume of sales, it’s difficult to be confident in a pattern of market behavior. 9.2 appears to have decreased in volatility, but remained flat overall. 9.0 appears to be on a slight increase.  Perhaps the mid and low grades can elucidate. Below is sales for CGC 8.5/8.0 and 7.5/7.0, which represent the top 50.8%/60.9% and 71.8%/81.8% of the census, respectively:

p3m_5e-300x180 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.p3m_6f-300x180 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.

The mid-grade of 8.5/8.0 were in decline, but have flattened in 2018. At 7.5/7.0, the book is flat, but has increased in volatility.

Overall, this book does not appear to have any catalyst for growth in the horizon. Holding a book that is plateauing in value is not a good financial investment. If it can’t even beat inflation, you are losing money.



In the Marvel Comics universe, four different people have used the Vulture moniker, but here we focus on the original Vulture Adrian Toomes, who first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #2. In this issue, Spider-Man struggles to stop the Vulture as he goes on a robbing spree throughout New York City. Ironically, their final battle ends underground. Below is sales for this book in CGC 6.5/6.0 and 4.5/4.0 (the top 22.3%/28.3% and 52.0%/62.9% of census, respectively):

p3m_7g-300x180 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.p3m_8h-300x180 Speculation Update: Dormammu, Ego, and Vulture.

Unlike the other books examined above, Amazing Spider-Man #2 has been on a steady rate of growth in value and large volume of sales. The market performance of this book is the picturesque example of the ideal investment.



  • Strange Tales #126 – HOLD
  • Thor #133 – REDUCE
  • Amazing Spider-Man #2 – STRONG BUY



“Love be a Vulture Tonight.” – Stan Lee



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1 comment

Alan July 16, 2019 - 11:05 am

Would you mind naming a few other silver age comic books that are plateauing in value?


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