The Devil is in the Dinosaurs.

by Michael Vlachakis

130260_4187fb63acada7029ffca914c8740a89e79b5ecd-195x300 The Devil is in the Dinosaurs.

We all know the heavy hitters in the Marvel Universe:  Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor, etc.  Most fans can even run through some of the lower tiers of heroes like:  Adam Warlock, Howard the Duck, Deathlok, Morbius, and the such.  Heck…even Rocket Racer was in an Amazing Spider-Man comic and other media forms.  There are gains to be found in popular characters and their first appearances, but what about an obscure character that only the deepest of fans recognize?  I’m talking the Great Lakes Avengers levels of obscurity here!

Devil Dinosaur is one of my favorite obscure Marvel characters.  Created by Jack Kirby in 1978, the character was thrust onto the scene in his own debut comic.  Devil Dinosaur #1 is a wonderful comic for any collector to have.  Featuring a great cover scene and vibrant art… it is a beauty but is it a smart investment long term?

Data currently shows a Fair Market Value (FMV) of $190.  Over the past year, there have been some ups-and-downs in the value of this comic.  Prices for a 9.8 copy had been hovering around the $120-$150 range, but we have seen a few copies on the open market sell above $200, and there are copies currently listed in the almost $300 range.  The analyzer also shows that the upper grades continue to trend up, with a 9.6 grade showing almost 40% growth.  Okay.. I do not want to venture too far off the path here but price-points matter.  This book still has a reasonable price for most collectors to own a high grade copy.  And you have to keep in mind, the comic market seems to trend up over time, which means eventually certain books are priced out of the market.

I am also working on the theory that there is a mental barrier for most buyers at the $100, $500, $1000 price points.  It can take a while for buyers to actually pay past the threshold.. even when a comic is valued above these points.  More to come as I continue to study this phenomenon.

Now back to Devil Dinosaur #1.  This book has done some dancing around in price…but that can be a good thing.  Pricing swings make me happy, because it gives me optimism that I can snag a copy under-priced or sell it over-priced.  Too big of a swing, however, and you wonder if the outlier in the data is an incorrect data point or if some collector just did not do their research.  Neither is bad, necessarily, but one is more reliable than the other…if I know someone overpaid, it shows value in a book long term.  The best you can do is hope to be on the right end of the swing and hope the swings turn to a more stable pricing standard for the comic.

Speculation about Devil Dinosaur in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) can also help values rise.  We saw what a non-rumor like the Hydro Man hype can do for a comic.  With time travel being a commonly guessed theme for the upcoming Avengers 4 movie, could we see the heroes be shot back in time?  Is Moon Boy the key to the whole damn thing?  Who knows.. but the possibility exists and that is all we need in speculation.

Do you think Devil Dinosaur will be featured in the MCU?  Who is your favorite obscure comic character?  Drop your comments and join in the conversation!

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