speculation update: Karl Mordo, Grandmaster, Shocker

by James Jou

119494_c6d6ef86aa756478233c8c4a4a2c8f5a15dc11be-150x150 speculation update:  Karl Mordo, Grandmaster, Shocker

Like the recommended twice-a-year dentist visit nobody does, it’s time for another round of checkups on the key comic books for some recent silver screen appearing characters. The previous sentence may or may not be grammatically correct. Moving on, here we follow-up on the current state of the market for the 1st appearance comic books of Karl Mordo, Grandmaster, and Shocker.


STRANGE TALES #111 (1963)

116731_982de91d45636836bc3758212400baabc44ebeae-197x300 speculation update:  Karl Mordo, Grandmaster, ShockerUnlike in the movies, Karl Mordo (also known as Baron Mordo) was actually the one who worked with Dormammu and Kaecilius was his disciple. He first appeared in Strange Tales #111’s “Face-to-Face with the Magic of Baron Mordo!” in which he plots to steal mystic powers from Yao, The Ancient One. With the use of the Amulet of Agamotto (not the Eye of Agamotto), Doctor Strange is able to thwart Mordo.

Sales prices from the last 4 years are shown below. With a relatively low number of CGC graded books, we can only examine the book graded in CGC 7.5/7.0 and 6.0/5.5, which are the top 29.6/38.1% and 56.1/63.9% of census, respectively.

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In both grade ranges, sales prices for Strange Tales #111 appears to have rapidly dropped in value throughout 2016 and early 2017. While the general behavior for comic books speculated on due to movies has the book’s value declining slightly after the first trailer for the movie is released and spiking up around the actual theatrical release of the movie, Strange Tales #111 defied that trend and experienced only decline.

Given the book’s relative low quantity of CGC graded books and the in-movie plot suggestion that Karl Mordo would show up again in a future Doctor Strange sequel, the recent sentiment towards the book seems to be neutral; evident in its flat sales prices in the last 2 years. On the positive side, its current price levels could be the floor. On the negative side, it could be flat for who knows how long time, with any upwards pressure depending entirely on Karl Mordo appearing again in the movies.


AVENGERS #69 (1969)

121524_357117ab0ae8cfbb4a7fcdfa10b7823100c0786c-198x300 speculation update:  Karl Mordo, Grandmaster, ShockerIn this issue, the Avengers are unwittingly drafted by Kang the Conqueror to fight in the Grandmaster’s games. Avengers #69 was not only the first appearance of the Grandmaster, but also that of Nighthawk, Hyperion, Doctor Spectrum, and Whizzer (later known as Speed Demon). Below is sales for this book in CGC 9.4/9.2 and 8.5/8.0, which represent the top 32.6/42.2% and 62.8/74.8% of the CGC census.

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On the high end, the volume of sales is low, but is slightly negative. When we look to the lower end, the sales are, for a lack of better words, all over the place. Oddly enough, this book’s market behavior more closely resembles that of a modern variant than that of a silver-age key. Perhaps fitting of the quirky Grandmaster himself.



119494_c6d6ef86aa756478233c8c4a4a2c8f5a15dc11be-196x300 speculation update:  Karl Mordo, Grandmaster, ShockerIn the “The Sinister Shocker!” story, we are introduced to an iconic member of Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery, the bank robber and escaped convict Herman Schultz, better known as the Shocker. Outfitted with his vibro-smashers, the Shocker attempts to rob the Federal Reserve. Below is the sales data for Amazing Spider-Man #46, graded CGC 9.0/8.5 and 6.5/6.0 (the top 22.6/34.8% and 73.3/79.2%).

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Of the books examined here, Amazing Spider-Man #46 has undeniably the most robust market. It spiked in value surrounding the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming in July 2017, and subsequently fell like most comic book/movie speculations. Since 2017, the book’s value has returned to a state of slow and steady growth. It took about two and a half years for the book to finally return to the highs of that spike. The main difference, however, is that the price levels this time around are more stable.



  • Strange Tales #111 – If Karl Mordo was officially confirmed for a sequel, this book would be a HOLD. For the time being, the flat values point towards REDUCE.
  • Avengers #69 – REDUCE. From here on out, any potential upside to this book is more likely to come from Nighthawk than from the Grandmaster.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #46 – ADD. Its relatively low growth rate is the only thing preventing it from being upgraded to BUY.



“Wait a minute. What just happened? Was there a fight? Did I win? I am invincible in New Jersey.” – The Shocker



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