Nova, Adam Warlock, Wonder Man. Once upon a time, those three names received a ton of similarly circled speculation surrounding Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. In the years since, it seems that the comic book markets for Adam Warlock and Nova have taken off, and left Wonder Man in the dust. With the attention elsewhere, is now the time to give the movie star and scion of Williams Innovations a second chance?
Not to be confused with Pines Publishing’s similarly named Wonderman (Brad Spencer).
The most important key for Wonder Man (aka Simon Williams) is none other than his first appearance book of Avengers #9 (1964), which features him very prominently on the cover. Let’s take a quick look at the market for Avengers #9. We’ll focus on the sales data for the higher-end CGC 8.5/8.0 (left) and the middle CGC 6.5/6.0 (right).
The majority of the sales volume kicked off in late 2010. With it, there was a slow rise in prices until late 2013 when the sales volume noticeable dropped. This timing does coincide with the news/speculation surrounding the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Almost a collective breath-holding.
Sales finally resumed within a year and hit a high by late 2016; in both observed grading sections. With no Wonder Man appearance in the GotG sequel movie, the market for Avengers #9 experienced its first and a very large decline. By late 2017, it bottomed out at prior levels seen in 2014. The market for the book stayed flat for several years until 2019, where it started to go up again. At the moment, excluding a few outlier sales in 2021, sales prices appear to have not only returned to the late 2016 highs but have also started to exceed them.
Are we at the precipice of a prolonged breakout?
The interesting thing? Although prices have increased in the last year, the magnitude of that increase appears to be trending more in line with the upward move that began in 2019, rather than having been influenced by the overall inflation of the collectibles market. Have Wonder Man and Avengers #9 been overlooked? The three very, very high sales prices at the middle CGC 6.5/6.0 might be the beginnings of buyers catching on.
During the production of the GotG 2 movie, there was an image released of what looked to be the character Arkon. This helped fuel rumors because, in West Coast Avengers #31 (1988), Simon Williams did once get cast in an Arkon movie. The actual context of the picture is still up for debate. It was later confirmed that Simon Williams was indeed in some movie posters in a scene cut from the movie. With Wonder Man on people’s minds and a lot of Disney+ speculation centered on West Coast Avengers in the air, it’s not too far of a stretch that a Wonder Man live-action appearance might be drawing near.
Quick side note, Arkon’s first appearance occurred in Avengers #75 (1970). In that book’s market, sales prices have been flat for most of the last decade. That’s except for a very strange/curious CGC 9.6 sale in early 2021 on Heritage for over twice the current FMV. Arkon might be a good tangential character to keep an eye on. Wonder Man’s Avengers #9 is still the bread and butter, though.
At the moment, sales prices for Avengers #9 are indeed elevated. Should it move closer to the late-2017/mid-2019 range, it could be an attractive opportunity.
“My name is Simon Williams. I used to be known as Wonder Man. I used to be an Avenger. Back when that really meant something.” – Simon Williams