The Mighty: Beta Ray Bill

by Norman Robinson III

136142_f7be946cc90714f754d755d67756aeea558dda80-195x300 The Mighty: Beta Ray BillDuring the 1980’s Walter Simonson created a whole separate take on Thor. He focused on the cool stuff in the myth of Thor. Simonson questions Thor’s worthiness to use the hammer in the first place. Should Mjolnir be given to another, more noble being? Simonson made a bold move and created an alien that was in some ways more heroic than Thor. Eventually, he comes to control the hammer, it is a good lesson for the Son of Odin and gave Marvel a fresh look at a different Thor. This alien is Beta Ray Bill, and he has greater nobility than the God of Thunder, and the hammer to prove it. This reimagining of Thor as an idea was very original at the time. He recreated Thor as a concept, that perhaps goodness and nobility is something that everyone can lose and gain. Is the first appearance of the noble Beta Ray Bill in the pages of Thor #337 worthy of investment and speculation?

Thor #337

Beta Ray Bill first appeared in Thor #337, created by a gentleman artist Walt Simonson (script, pencils, and inks), Simonson did all the work. This is probably why the cover grabs us even today with all the computer-assisted cover art. Unfortunately, the Simonson creation has languished in the back issue bins ever since the 1990’s. Only in the last three years with scuttlebutt, most of it rumor, that Hollywood might produce Beta Ray Bill at some future point. Regardless, Beta Ray was an awesome super-hero enough so that Odin even gave him a special hammer: Stormbreaker. Yes, I am obviously a huge fan of Walt Simonson. There is a small catalyst here if you have Thor: Ragnorak, check out the massive building-monument to Beta Ray Bill on the planet of Sakaar. The fanboys out there in MCU production land, obviously are bucking to bring him along. I contacted Walt Simonson on another matter, and he confirmed that he was so busy he had no time for anything. Most of his recent work seems attached to Hollywood, and his art is even better now, then thirty years ago. This is circumstantial evidence, but you better believe if anyone draws Beta Ray Bill for Hollywood, it will probably be Simonson.

How do the numbers look for Thor #337? Frankly, the numbers have never looked better. Current FMV prices are outstanding: grade (9.8) mint is $300 FMV, a grade of (9.6) is worth $140 FMV, and even an average copy very fine (8.0) sells for around $55 FMV. These numbers are a lightning rod attracting further profit down the road once Beta Ray Bill appears. In the last year, the real returns have been above, and beyond expectations: (9.8) +36%, (8.5) +46.5%, and even (7.5) copies that are ubiquitous are going up at a 26.8% return on investment (GoCollect). These returns should have shown a marked drop off after the movie came out in 2017. Yet they did not drop. This is a huge green flag to buy a copy.

Thor #337 (Canadian Edition)

There is also the Canadian Edition which shows promise as an investment vehicle all by itself, the version Thor #337 (Canadian Edition).  Most sales have been in the (9.6) grade range, and this near mint condition comic is running $160 FMV price. The consistent returns on this comic have been profitable some might even say over the top. Current ROI on the higher grades must have the Odin-force behind it: grade (9.6) is returning +22%, grade (9.2) has returned +4.5% and (9.0) has returned +95.3%. It is clear that Thor #337 (Canadian Edition) for our cousins to the north is a great collectible book (GoCollect).

The strange thing is this comic is late Bronze Age. Knowledgeable speculators are grabbing up this Bronze Age stuff on the cheap now. Though created in the 1980’s Thor #337 is still considered Bronze Age. The Millennial and the Generation Xers love this stuff and can’t seem to get enough. This is just one of many books that were forgotten until now. To paraphrase Beta Ray Bill, buy a copy now, “brothers, …let us make some good,” profit margins.

 

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