This summer has been all about DC Rebirth, prompting many speculators to believe DC had Marvel on the canvas. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, came Riri Williams. While the topic of diversity in comics has been beaten to death, I think that seeing an African-American 15-year-old genius with the confidence to take over the mantle as an Iron person is pretty cool. But more important than my personal feelings on the matter is the fact that this character is money and,along with the brand new basketball player turned Inhuman Mosaic, has Marvel Comics back front and center in the spec world.
All the hype over these two characters may have caused some other news to go under the radar. In this article, I hope to shed light on some of the places Marvel is going and where you can get in on the ground floor of it all.
The month of June saw us being teased on a daily Basis as Marvel leaked new images daily showing two sets of characters being “divided”. We can speculate until we are blue in the face but the reality is we do not yet know what it all means. As an investor, I know though, that Marvel is relaunching in the Fall and it’s a safe bet these characters will be some of the focal point. Many of the characters are already spec favorites such as Jessica Jones, Riri Williams, Mosaic, Ms. America, Kamala Khan and Miles Morales. Some are Marvel stalwarts like Thor (aka Odinson aka Unworthy Thor), Black Panther, and Captain America. But some did strike me as interesting.
Infamous Iron Man
Victor Von Doom will seemingly take the mantle of Iron Man in the new series Infamous Iron Man. This seems to be a result of some sort of events in Civil War II. This is not the 1st time in comic history that Doom has worn the armor though. In What If? Demon in an Armor, we see Tony lose his memory due to an accident and Victor Von Doom switches places with him. Doom uses a cool Doomesque green Iron Man suit. The book is already popular as it is the 1st part of the 4 part What if Deadpool was Possessed by Venom? back up story by Skottie Young. If this book was ever acknowledged as Doom's 1st time as Iron Man, this could skyrocket, but that’s a long shot. Very cool book nonetheless.
Odinson aka Unworthy Thor
Thor comes back as Unworthy Thor this fall wielding his axe. The question on the CBSI board is when Unworthy Thor’s 1st Appearance would be, and to the best of my ability it seems that would be Original Sin #7. In this book, Nick Fury whispers something to Thor which renders him unworthy. He can no longer pick up Mjolnir. This book is dollar bin fodder and whether or not it takes off is a good one to have in the collection. Also it gives you one more reason (as if you need another!) to grab Gabriel Del Otto’s Gamora variant.
Quake & Ms. America Chavez
Already the most popular character on a major network show, Quake is quickly gaining steam in the comic world. This is my wild card prediction. Quake was part of the Marvel divided group picture as well as a solo teaser yet was not given a solo title. That gives me the impression she could be in line for something big down the road or an important part of another story. People are aware of Quake’s 1st appearance in Secret War #2 (grab that 2nd print sketch variant!), but the Quake one shot is slept on. Below is the Christian Ward variant to Quake #1 written by Mathew Rosenberg of We Can Never Go Home and 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank fame.
Similar to Quake is Ms. America. She is already a popular character who has yet to really come into her own via a movie or tv property or even a solo series. Something must be planned for her but what that is we do not yet know. Many speculators have already jumped on Vengeance #1 (her 1st appearance) but a cheap spec play is the variant to Young Avengers #1 from 2013. This is a dirt cheap variant selling below $10 shipped on eBay and features one of the very few cover appearances of Ms. America and the only variant I’ve seen. The cover is also used as a sketch version for the 2nd print.
It’s a Team Game
The Godfather of Spec Trey already laid out an amazing article about the upcoming Champions book. Respecting the work he did and how comprehensive it was, I will leave that book alone but I implore you if you have not read that article please do so ASAP as a ton of good info and insight is shared. Having said that, the Champions seem to be part of an enduring theme of repositioning characters together to form new teams. One of these new teams is the…..
This group has some real spec potential. Eliminating the well-known plays here of Red Hulk (1st app Hulk #1 2008) and Squirrel Girl (1st app 1991 Marvel Winter Special) as well as the who cares type of character in Cannonball (Marvel Graphic Novel #4) , we are left with some interesting newcomers. First we have Toni Ho as Iron Patriot. Swept up in the whole Riri Williams news has been the revelation that there will be a new Iron Patriot. This should give the character (first app in Dark Avengers #1 – look for the sketch variant and the 1:50 Granov variant), who has never really caught on with fans after previously being helmed by Norman Osborn and James Rhodes, a boost and hopefully Ms. Ho can gain some following. Her first appearance is a steal and probably the book to get. She debuted in 2015’s New Avengers #1.
In this series we will also see some sort of Captain America from the future with Danielle Cage donning the shield. Cage is of course the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. With both characters involved in solo series and TV series, Danielle Cage is a great character selling for very little to park some money into. She first appears in The Pulse #13 while cameoing of sorts on the cover of The Pulse #11.
Finally, the robot looking character goes by Pod. She (?) first appears in Avengers #15 (2013). This is one of those why not books because you can most likely pick this up in dollar bins.
The Great Lakes Avengers
This is an underused comedy division of the Avengers that actually had its own mini series titled GLA. The set #1-4 got hot for a while shortly after Squirrel Girl did. While the set usually goes for $20-25, it could see an uptick with the ongoing series starting up. Also, it’s a tough find. Dig a set up cheap in back issue bins, I dare you! The book to get here and maybe one of the best values in this article is West Coast Avengers #46. This is the first appearance of every character other than Squirrel Girl in the GLA as well as the group as a whole. This can be found in dollar bins and should be a $20 book once the series begins.
Mercs For the Money
This is easily the spec play I like the most. Long story short, Deadpool creates a group and calls them Heroes for Hire before receiving a cease and desist from Luke Cage causing him to change the group's name to Mercs for Money. The group is made up of many 90’s characters who were getting little use for Marvel. During this relaunch, Marvel will not only have the Deadpool ongoing, but a Mercs for Money ongoing; as well as solo books from members Foolkiller, Slapstick and Solo. If you are a G+ regular or an Unpressable Defects listener you have heard Trey (and others) complain that Deadpool is too slapstick comedy. While this group is more of the same, what it does is expand Deadpool’s “Universe” and allows him to have an interaction with more characters. With Fox’s commitment to the franchise and the lack of real Deadpool history, these characters could see their stock elevated fast. The best part is most of these books are available for a song.