Welcome to Part Two of a deep dive into some emerging Star Wars series and characters that are all benefitting from the Disney+ Mandalorian Effect. There is some definite heat with several recent Star Wars series and characters, so let’s take a look at the breakout character of…Doctor Aphra!
Doctor Aphra’s first appearance was in Darth Vader #3. At the time this book was released, the hype was: “The most sought-after book on the planet” which was touted on more than one comic book site back in 2015. There was truly some serious buzz around this book and character as Marvel introduced Doctor Aphra into the Star Wars universe.
Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra was the creation of writer Kieron Gillen and artist Salvador Larroca. She is a “rogue archaeologist” in search of rare artifacts from the galactic center to the Outer Rim with an entourage of murderbot droids Triple-Zero and Beetee-One, a Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan, and Vulaada Klam, Aphra’s crony. This character was created to be the moral inverse of Indiana Jones. Aphra is selfish, driven, and consistently unpredictable. And her relationship with Darth Vader? Definitely complicated. The Star Wars: Doctor Aphra comic book storyline takes place between Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.
What are the numbers and possibilities on Doctor Aphra’s first appearance? There are five choices to consider:
- The regular issue has an FMV of $200 for a graded 9.8 (987 sales).
- The Larroca variant busts out at $775 FMV (284 sales) for a graded 9.8 and $250 for a graded 9.4!
- The 2nd printing trails the field at a $110 FMV (69 sales) on a graded 9.8.
- The 3rd printing stays even with the regular cover at a $200 FMV (15 sales) for a graded 9.8.
- The 4th printing is a climber with an FMV of $525 (8 sales) for a graded 9.8 and $110 FMV on a graded 9.6!
Doctor Aphra got her own series in 2016. A couple of issue #1 variants are worth checking out:
The McKelvie variant is a 1:100 ratio Retailers Incentive Variant Cover. It has an estimated FMV of $220 for a graded 9.8 with 6 sales. There were actually no 9.8 sales recorded. The FMV is an estimate based on sales of graded 9.6’s which had an FMV of about half the 9.8.
The Shirahama Black and White Limited Retailer Variant has a $170 FMV for a 9.8 with 18 sales. However, none of those sales were in 2020.
This variant was a 1:25 Retailer Incentive Variant Cover. Using a snow scene on a cover seems to be mighty popular these days. The Witter Variant has an FMV of $110 with 5 total sales of this recent issue.
There are lots of upside to Doctor Aphra. A fun, unpredictable, female anti-hero character has plenty of potential to like. This character also has a unique niche being the hugest character Marvel has brought to the Star Wars universe instead of it originating in a movie.
So, what is the spec potential for Doctor Aphra?
We have something for everybody when it comes to the Doctor and spec. In the category of a solid climber, the regular cover Darth Vader #3 has been on a slow and steady rise with lots of sales since it was published five years ago. It is a solid pick that has room to grow.
The 4th printing has the wow factor but the lack of sales means it will be tough to move and it is potentially due to a price correction. So, definitely worth your consideration, for a long-term hold.
The McKelvie and the Shirahama variants aren’t seeing much heat. They are both long-shots until they get more of a track record of sales.
For the long-shot spec pick, the Witter snow variant is worth a look. Find it for a good price and hold. After all, who doesn’t love a good snow cover for spec?