Who will join the Thunderbolts in the MCU? Baron Zemo is an odds-on favorite, and it would be prudent to keep an eye on these issues.
The Thunderbolts have had so many iterations over the years that there is no one definitive version of the team. The members have rotated in and out over the years, but the face of many lineups has been Zemo. Following the events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it would appear that he is being positioned to join the Contessa’s team. That has led collectors on a hunt for both Heinrich and Helmut Zemo’s keys.
It takes a significant investment to collect all the early Baron Zemo appearances, especially Heinrich Zemo’s cameo debut in the holy grail Avengers #4. Two issues later, he made his first full appearance, and that is a much cheaper investment compared to the aforementioned issue.
Granted, near-mint grades can fetch five figures, but practically everything else is much more reasonable. Take the 8.5. Although most copies tended to stay in the $900-$1k range in 2021, there is a $2,000 outlier from April. So far this year, the only sale at that grade was on June 10 for $960.
Compare that with the 8.5 Avengers #4 with its $9k average, and you see the appeal of Avengers #6.
This is the overlooked key in the Heinrich Zemo collection. This issue was released in July 1964 at the same time as Avengers #6. That gives you a tie for the first full appearance, though Sgt. Fury #8 is better for your budget.
The highest grade sold so far in 2022 has been the 6.5. After earning $52 in 2020 with no sales in 2021, May 30 saw a copy earn $150. If you are looking to save even more, mid and lower-quality raw comics generally sell for no more than $20.
Although Heinrich was the first to wear the purple mask, Helmut has become the MCU’s Zemo. Thanks to FATWS, Helmut endeared himself to the audience, and he appeared on the verge of becoming a full-fledged hero. In the comics, Zemo posed as Citizen V when he led the first group of Thunderbolts in 1991. After that, he would be part of different teams over the years, though his versions were usually more villainous. Prefacing things to come, he masqueraded as Phoenix in his 1973 debut.
There hasn’t been a 9.8 Captain America #168 to sell online since 2020, but a 9.6 sold for $564 in January. That’s almost half of what it was earning in 2021 when the same grade averaged over $1k. On the bright side, that makes investing in Helmut’s first appearance much more affordable than it has been in two years.
It wasn’t until 1982 that Helmut would don the traditional Baron Zemo costume in Captain America #275. With Helmut possibly starring in a major movie franchise, investing here could pay dividends in the future. Since last year, the graded 9.6 has steadily earned around $100, though one did net $195 in October.
ITCHING FOR NEWS
The Suicide Squad, at least the James Gunn version, has been a huge success for DC, and a second spinoff series is already in the works. Marvel should have similar results with its brand of anti-heroes, and we could potentially see spinoff series as well. In the end, it’s going to make for plenty of Thunderbolts speculation leading to the casting announcements, and Zemo is all but guaranteed.