In general, most investors tend to invest in heroes and not villains. Exceptions to this rule are the first appearances for villains who first appear in Detective Comics and The Amazing Spider-Man. After Batman, Spider-Man has the greatest rogue’s gallery of villains in all of Marvel Comics: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Sandman, the Lizard, Mysterio, the Vulture, Kingpin, Venom, and many others. These first appearances of these villains in the Amazing Spider-Man continue to demand a premium. But one Spider-Man villain remains undervalued (in my opinion): Hydro-Man. Let’s take a close look at his first appearance below.
The 1st Appearance of Hydro-Man Appears to be Undervalued.
Strangely, the market doesn’t appear to have much interest in the first appearance of Hydro-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #212. While he can’t compare to Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, or Venom, he’s comparable to Sandman, Shocker, and Electro.
Hydro-Man’s first appearance is remarkably inexpensive in comparison to some of his peers. According to GoCollect, the FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy of this issue is only $260. In comparison, the FMV of a CGC 9.8 copy of the first appearance of the Hobgoblin in Amazing Spider-Man #238, another book from the Bronze Age, is $1,950. I realize the Hobgoblin is a more popular villain than Hydro-Man, but I’m not sure if his first appearance should be worth 7.5x as much. To me, this book looks undervalued.
According to the CGC Census, CGC 9.8s of Amazing Spider-Man #212 are more rare than CGC 9.8s of Amazing Spider-Man #238. Specifically, the Census lists only 455 9.8 copies of Amazing Spider-Man #212 and 655 9.8s of Amazing Spider-Man #238.
We should expect Hydro-Man to appear in the MCU.
In addition to being undervalued, there are other reasons to invest in the first appearance of Hydro-Man. Sony Pictures must produce a Spider-Man-related film every two years; if it fails to do so, rights to Spider-Man will revert back to Marvel. Sony will never let that happen, so expect a Spider-Man film every two years for a very long time to come. That means a lot more of Spider-Man’s villains will appear on the big screen.
We’ve seen Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Sandman, Lizard, Rhino (briefly), Mysterio, Vulture, Shocker (briefly), Venom, Morbius, and Carnage on the big screen. Although we haven’t seen Kraven yet, we know he will soon receive his own standalone film.
That leaves Hobgoblin and Hydro-Man as good bets to appear in future Sony films. In addition, I read rumors that none other than Johnny Storm will play a role as Peter’s best friend at college. Hydro-Man and the Human Torch have clashed repeatedly in the comics and the two of them could appear in Tom Holland’s fourth Spider-Man film.
The last time collectors thought Hydro-Man would appear in a film, the value of his first appearance jumped to $508 in early 2019 when Sony released the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home.