Two Ronins Walk Into a Bar…

by Michael Vlachakis

245051_df02b45c9ce58fbcd8944b18793fb90ff5794daa-192x300 Two Ronins Walk Into a Bar...

The Avengers: Endgame trailer dropped a few weeks ago.  Did you see it?  Or did you just come out from under your rock to catch my blog?  For the non mole-people out there, there has been a boatload of speculation about Jeremy Renner and that new look he is sporting.  It appears that we are going to be treated to a bit of Ronin!  However, I am wondering if we are going to be a bit disappointed when it comes to Ronin and his role in Avengers: Endgame…and any future Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) offerings.  Lets review Ronin and see how he is slashing up the current comic market.

The character Ronin made its first appearance in New Avengers #11, in November of 2005, and Maya Lopez was the original character who donned this persona.  But Hawkeye, or Clint Barton to some, was the second person to don the persona, and there is an argument out there that he should be true Ronin.  Hawkeye, however, did not take up the identity until rejoining the New Avengers team after the events of Civil War.  The first appearance of Hawkeye as the new Ronin was New Avengers #27.  These two comics have been competing to see which one collectors will denote as the standard-bearer for the character.

New Avengers #11 was the recipient of an immediate pop in value following the release of the Endgame trailer.  Values doubled and sales for the issue peaked around $400-$450 for a 9.8 grade during the fallout.  A few weeks later, it seems like this comic has settled due to more copies hitting the open market and stabilizing the price.  New Avengers #27 lagged behind its counterpart due to collectors trying to figure out which issue is more important and will see price spikes due to the appearance of Ronin in a movie.  Prices for New Avengers #27 crawled up to, and settle around, a similar price point as New Avengers #11 with both books currently around $300 on the open market.  But which is the proper choice for a collector and speculator?

Personally, I will lean towards a “true” first appearance over a secondary character takeover of a persona or mantle.  However, in this instance I feel that New Avengers #27 has some positive redeeming qualities that I may want in an book.  First, the cover art is spectacular.  When you are collecting CGC books, a cover is all you see, and a good cover can make a book more valuable with eye appeal.  Second, #27 is the first appearance of the character that will be in the movie…so although there is a first appearance that precedes it, there is still plenty of relevance in the appearance and its tieback to the MCU.  Finally, there is also the census to consider, because there are twice as many 9.8 graded copies of #11 than of #27.

As for Ronin and his appearance in Avengers: Endgame?  I believe that we are going to be treated to a smattering of the character in the film, however, I feel that we are also not going to see Ronin for the long haul.  In fact, I assume that since we are going to see some type of “reset” of the universe Ronin is going to be a part that will be erased and put back to the status quo.  I am totally fine with this, as long as we get a purple suited, giant-eyed mask Hawkeye in the lineup.

Are you excited about the potential of Ronin?  Do you feel the character will make an extended stay in the MCU?  Feel free to drop your comments and join in the speculation!

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