The Ascension of Classic Thor

by Michael Vlachakis

120578_89b0891c3f880da670f5ac5c70ff6d1d5d8142f6-198x300 The Ascension of Classic Thor

When Thor was initially chosen as a solo movie for Marvel, it seemed like a natural lead in to the Avengers since he was a founding member.  However, some would argue that Thor may have been the least popular of the Avengers prior to them making the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  He is not Tony Stark when it comes to personality, he does not have the universally recognizable image like the Hulk, and he’s no Captain America.  Yet Thor has endured over the first 4 Phases to be perhaps the lone holdover moving into the next era for Marvel.  What will the continuation of Thor mean for comic prices moving into Phase V and beyond?

The best part about the potential for more Thor in the MCU is, of course, the potential for more speculation value in Thor comics.  I had been seeing a spat of high-grade Silver Age Thor comics hitting the marketplace and have been very impressed with the price jump many of these comics have taken in recent sales.  As an example, a 9.8 graded copy of Thor #154 from 1968, featuring the first appearance of Mangog (yes, that highly collectible and sought after Mangog), sold this summer for $2250.  Not many early issues of Cap, Hulk, or Iron Man (except those named Hulk #181…sorry Mangog, but you did not take off like Wolverine following your first appearance) are hitting those price levels.

When compared to the other main Avengers, Thor has really separated himself on the marketplace, especially in Bronze Age and earlier offerings.  I recently noted an example of this in my article on Thor #225, a few weeks ago.  Early Captain America, Iron Man, and Hulk issues have not seen the level of increase that their Thor counterpart has.  The question becomes, is Thor the anomaly on the marketplace or could we see an uptick in prices for the other characters coming soon?

Prices for older comic books is increasing at a faster rate than most speculators, or collectors can keep up with.  High-grade Silver and Bronze Age books are seeing increased fortunes on the market as they are scooped up, hoping to be the next big thing.  You can understand the temptation when Moon Knight’s first appearances are selling for $50K.  So yeah, it might be time to target those old Iron Man, Captain America, and Hulk comics.  They are rarer than modern books, appear to be more sellable on the markets, and may be the next set of comics targeted by a new generation of comic book collectors.  Remember, there is a solid fan network of children who will one day have money to spend on things like old, rare comic books.  They will remember the Avengers characters, all the MCU greatness, and want to own a piece of that nostalgia.  Who knows how much the market will change with the increased competition.  We need to face it…comic collecting and investing are not going away, and we are here to find out the best way to navigate the future.

What is your favorite comic series to collect?  Do you have a sleeper character for the next 10 years that can bring value growth?  Drop your comments and join the speculation!


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Prophet October 25, 2019 - 4:02 am

What are your thoughts on Sentry, Deathlok, Darkhawk, Nova (I don’t know if he is still a sleeper)? Speaking of a sleeper character, how about Sleepwalker? I’m thinking of hoarding their first appearances while copies are not yet pricey.

Michael Vlachakis October 25, 2019 - 10:34 am

Sentry and Darkhawk are a yes. Nova has gone mainstream. I like sleepwalker, but may be a lost cause.

Ed Dee October 25, 2019 - 11:24 am

I think the cover of Thor 154 is more impressive than the content.

albert October 25, 2019 - 4:28 pm

I’m one of those who would argue about Thor’s popularity. Captain America and Iron Man (like Thor) were total unknowns to the general public until the movies. And other than Thor 2, all Thor movies were well written and made a profit.


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