Venom has a new villain, but will Virus and Venom #25 make Knull-sized waves in the collecting community?
THAT NEW CHARACTER APPEAL
Is it any surprise that Marvel unveiled yet another new character?
As I have written before (and will likely write many more times), new characters sell comics. At least the first appearance, that is. Marvel and DC understand that the best way to move product is to debut a character. For the most part, it’s collectors who buy up the issues, but sales are sales, regardless. Who can blame the publishers? If a formula is working, use it.
There’s no question that first appearances are the biggest of key issues. Collectors scramble to get the issue on the ground floor before prices inevitably balloon. However, villain keys don’t typically hold the same values as the heroes’ premieres. Still, what truly drives the market for modern firsts is in the hands of the writing and editing teams.
KNULL: GOD OF THE CASH COWS
For comparison’s sake, look at another famous Venom foe, Knull.
The God of the Symbiotes made his debut in 2018’s Venom #3. Including all the variants and “virgin” editions, there were eight different covers to choose from. On average, all the editions have held their values. In the case of the standard edition at a 9.8, it’s reached new heights in the past 90 days with a fair market value of $134. I’ll follow up with a more detailed breakdown of all the covers in the coming days.
Knull fans have speculated on his inclusion in the Sony Venom-verse, but there haven’t been any substantial rumors. Typically, it’s movies and television that drive the market. In Knull’s case, the recent FMV bump is from his increasing importance as a threat to the entire Marvel Universe.
That’s the key to new characters: their overall importance and popularity. For a new villain like Virus, the value for his first appearance greatly depends on what Donny Cates and the Marvel editors have in store for him. Will he reach Knull proportions or will he be another Major X? Only time will tell.
STATE OF AFFAIRS FOR VENOM #25
As long as you’re getting in the game at the ground level, investing in a first appearance is elementary. If you didn’t get your Venom #25 on day one, you are in luck. At the moment, nearly every edition is affordable.
This issue is too new to have sales data for graded copies, but eBay has plenty of “raw” copies for your choosing. The standard edition is generally selling for about $10 and the Dave Rapoza variant (which is amazing, by the way) is bringing under $20.
Where the real money is in the Greg Horn variant. What makes this edition special is, despite being a variant, it is considered Virus’ first cover appearance. For the trade dress, you can expect to pay about $50. The more expensive is the virgin Horn variant, which is consistently selling in the $100 neighborhood.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VENOM #25
At this point, Virus doesn’t appear to have the same overarching potential as Knull, but that doesn’t mean his stock can’t suddenly rise depending on how he’s used going forward. If you have the budget, go for the Horn variants and maybe the Funko Pop edition. I doubt they will lose value anytime soon.
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