It’s all about Thanos.
Whether we’re talking comics or movies, Thanos is reigning over Marvel with an iron fist. While he’s consistently been a top-tier villain in the Marvel Universe, the release of Infinity War along with the blisteringly hot Thanos Wins storyline in the comics has truly set him above all others. So the question is, is now the time to capitalize on this success?
It was in the pages of Invincible Iron Man #55 where fans caught their first glimpse of the Mad Titan. Not only does this comic give you the first appearance of Thanos, but you also get the first appearance of Drax the Destroyer, albeit he is nothing like his modern counterpart.
Clearly, this is your big ticket item if you’re collecting the Thanos keys. This comic has been popular for decades, but it’s accelerating into the atmosphere, so if you don’t have one already, it may be getting too expensive if you’re goal is to flip it for a profit. Anything in the near-mint and up range is averaging a minimum of $1,400. If you are hoping to keep the price below $1,000, you’ll have to drop the grade back to an 8.0, and those are still averaging nearly $800 each.
Here’s the thing. As we are a year away from the release of Infinity War Part Two, Iron Man #55 is only going to increase in value. This is very much a sound investment at this point, but you’re unlikely to see a huge profit if you’re only just now buying a copy.
Donny Cates is on fire, and much of that is thanks to his work on Thanos. The Thanos Wins storyline, which tells the story of the futuristic Old Man Thanos abducting his younger self in order to basically finish killing off the universe to please Lady Death, has been absolutely huge. Personally, I rank it as one of the best story arcs Marvel has published in recent years, and it’s ushered Cates into the upper echelon of comic writers.
There are variants and multiple prints galore with these issues simply because it has been incredibly popular. Thanos #13, which supposedly had a relatively lower print run since no one expected it to blow up the market like it did, is the main issue to have. The standard cover, drawn by the talented Geoff Shaw, in a CGC-graded 9.8 has surpassed the $200 mark and is averaging $219 over the past 90 days. The Rafael Albuquerque variant, which had a much smaller release, is averaging $780 in that same timeframe. Even then third print of Thanos #13 is hot as it currently stands at $67 in a graded 9.8.
The other issue you want in this storyline is Thanos #15. While we were given the first appearance of Cosmic Ghost Rider in #13, in this issue the secret of his identity was revealed as Frank Castle. If you have a CGC-graded 9.8 of this particular issue, you’ll be happy to know its value is on the rise. It’s averaging $130 at the moment.