As rumors explode surrounding the X-Men in the MCU, collectors, and speculators are playing a guessing game of what may hit the big screen. From Gambit to Magneto and even a new actor for Wolverine, the possibilities at this point seem endless due to the lack of concrete information. However, in the midst of this X-Men hype, some books have cooled off in price because speculators are assuming they will not make an appearance in a film anytime soon. Specifically, due to 20th Century Fox’s use of Apocalypse, many are banking on the fact that he will not reprise a big-screen role in the near future, and that is great news for collectors. As Mr. Sinister and Magneto appear to be the popular choices, now is the time to acquire or complete your Apocalypse collection while prices are cooling off.
X-Factor #5 and #6
Debuting as a cameo in X-Factor #5, Apocalypse appeared alongside the super cheesy villain corp of The Alliance of Evil. Despite this terrible name, this issue is still extremely affordable and still rocks a cool X-Men cover. Presently, collectors can find this book in a CGC 9.8 at an affordable $100. Even better, a CGC 9.6 carries a fair market value of under $50. Unlike other big-name villains who have made it to the big screen, Apocalypse’s earliest appearance is still extremely affordable and will likely cool off in price even further.
Apocalypse makes his first full appearance in the very next issue of X-Factor #6. This issue also serves as Apocalypse’s first cover appearance, although it’s only his face. Regardless, it’s still a very cool looking cover with the X-Men looking defeated surrounding Apocalypse’s head. Unlike the previous issue, X-Factor #6 has still maintained steady prices despite cooling off following the release of the 20th Century Fox film. It’s unlikely the price of this book will increase due to movie speculation, but rather due to collectors wanting to complete or start an Apocalypse collection. In a CGC 9.8, X-Factor #6 maintains a fair market value of $260.
X-Factor #19 and #24
The first appearance and technically the first cover appearance of Apocalypse occurs in X-Factor #6, however, Apocalypse’s “full” cover appearance first occurs on X-Factor #19, where you see slightly more than just his head. X-Factor #19 also doubles as the first cover appearance of the Four Horsemen. This book looks great next to X-Factor #6 as you see the full rise of Apocalypse and his henchmen. Collectors can find this book in a CGC 9.8 at approximately $50.
Apocalypse’s main tie to the X-Men was his transformation of Angel into Archangel, which fully plays out in X-Factor #24. Archangel makes his first appearance and has his origin told in this same issue. Additionally, the cover marks the first cover appearance of Archangel as a horseman of Apocalypse. If that wasn’t enough to make this book attractive to collectors, it also contains the origin of Apocalypse, making this book one of the few quadruple keys out there. In a CGC 9.8, this book carries a fair market value of $200.
House of X #5 and X of Swords Chapter 12
Since the Age of Apocalypse event, there had been a lull in Apocalypse appearances between his initial storylines and the 20th Century Fox film. It wasn’t until recently that Apocalypse re-entered into the main picture of the X-Men with the recent series of Powers of X, House of X, and X of Swords. In the pages of this series, Apocalypse is provided a wife, Genesis, and has his origin expanded by Jonathan Hickman. In addition to expanding Apocalypse’s storyline, there are a couple of covers that may have collectors interested due to their fabulous and rare artwork of Apocalypse.
House of X #5 has an amazing cover of Apocalypse walking through a canal or river. Though the trade dress cover carries a fair market value of just $26 in a CGC 9.8, there is a virgin variant that collectors seem to want more. The virgin variant still has a pending fair market value but likely is in the range of $50-75.
Finally, X of Swords Chapter 12 has a really cool cover of Apocalypse holding a sword and standing on the skulls of his enemies he just defeated. The cover perfectly captures the meaning of Apocalypse as a big bad villain and archetype of Death. There does not appear to be any CGC 9.8s of this book on the census and can likely still be found at your local comic shop for cover price or less.
Although collectors will inevitably vary on what minor keys of a character one should collect, the major keys in the form of first appearances and origin stories will largely be the same. When a character cools off in the market, such as is the case of Apocalypse, it’s important to research all the possible keys out there to see if you can find them at a steal of a price while the books are cold. Speculators are likely correct that Apocalypse will not make a big-screen appearance any time soon, however, his role in the X-Men storyline has greatly increased during the X of Swords series. For these reasons, collectors may be interested in scooping up the Apocalypse keys now that they may not have in their collection currently.