BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME
FB@ The Comic Blog
Star Wars fans, rejoice, for Boba Fett has returned. The quintessential bounty hunter has clawed his way out of the Sarlacc pit and back into our hearts, and his Disney+ starring role will have you taking a closer look at these key issues.
The Book of Boba Fett has finally arrived, and the first episode was everything a fanboy could have hoped for. After getting what was a glorified glimpse of Boba in The Mandalorian, fans were rewarded after 38 years of waiting.
The first episode stays true to its Mandalorian roots and has a spaghetti western tone that would make Clint Eastwood feel at home. Of course, this also stays true to the inspiration for the 1977 original that took many cues from classic westerns from the 1950s and ‘60s.
Basically, if you liked The Mandalorian, you’ll enjoy BOBF. Like its predecessor, BOBF is proving to be a source of endless comic speculation after only one episode. Take a look at these five that should warrant your attention.
MARVEL SUPER SPECIAL #16
Back in the 1970s and into the early ‘80s, Marvel was the king of promotional comics. Before Marvel’s imprint, Star Comics, brought the kid cartoons to life, they were putting anything and everything in the pages of the Marvel Super Special. Readers saw everything from KISS and the Beatles to Star Wars and Dune in those pages. While there are many collectible issues in the series, one of the most popular is MSS #16.
This issue was the first of two Empire Strikes Back adaptations for Marvel. More importantly, MSS #16 featured the first comic appearance of Boba Fett, who is as popular as ever now that he is starring in his own Disney+ show. Lucky for Fett collectors everywhere, prices are still reasonable despite the increased attention. Raw copies generally sell for no more than $100. The surprising part is that graded copies’ fair market values are down at the moment. This is not unheard of in the gift-giving season - I dub it “the Christmas dip” - and it makes for a buying opportunity. Take the 9.4. For the past 90 days, it has averaged $420 after earning an FMV of $518 since last December. However, prices have been on the uptick, and the most recent sale was for $535 on December 19.
STAR WARS #42
There’s no discussing Boba Fett without talking about Star Wars #42. While it may not be the actual first appearance of Boba in a comic, it constitutes his debut in the main Star Wars comic, and that is significant to collectors. There’s also the advantage of having him alongside Bossk, who may have been teased in BOBF Episode One. Don’t forget that bounty hunters Dengar and Zuckuss made their debuts here as well, and they have live-action appeal as well. Considering this is a Boba Fett show, it would be a disappointment if the other bounty hunters didn’t appear in the series.
Judging by the FMVs, Star Wars #42 remains the king of Boba Fett keys. The graded 9.8s have been earning top dollar this week, selling for as much as $4,299 on Christmas. That happens to be the highest sale for a 9.8 since March.
STAR WARS #81
Original Star Wars trilogy fans have been waiting for Boba Fett’s return since his unfortunate demise in 1983. Despite having few lines and being swallowed by the Sarlacc, the legend grew into a phenomenon. In the meantime, Dark Horse Comics answered the call and gave readers what they wanted: Boba Fett escaping the Sarlacc pit. Thanks to BOBF, it’s officially Star Wars canon.
The moment was what we had always wanted. Granted, I don’t know how a stormtrooper got into the belly of the Sarlacc when there weren’t any stormtroopers involved in the fight on Jabba's barge in Return of the Jedi. Still, it was fun to see, and it will drive prices for Star Wars #81, which was the first time we saw Boba climb out of the Sarlacc.
Because of BOBF, this has quickly become a hot issue. At the moment, raw copies are pushing towards the $100 mark. Graded copies are on the rise as well, and two 9.8s have crossed the $800 mark this month.
STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS #8
The legend of Fennec Shand continues to grow. After she made a splash in the second season of The Mandalorian, fans would spot her in the closing episodes of the animated The Bad Batch. She honed her skills as an assassin for the Hutts on Tatooine, though she now is positioned as Boba Fett’s right-hand woman and muscle. Fennec already has a growing following thanks to her appearances on the previously mentioned series, and she is bound to become a major force by the end of season one of BOBF. That makes getting her first comic appearance all the more urgent.
For a comic that is only a year old, Bounty Hunters #8 is commanding respectable prices. The 9.8 has averaged $122 over the past three months, and it reached a record high of $225 on November 29.
STAR WARS #10 (1999)
The Book of Boba Fett could be gearing up for something unique to the comics that will blow away mainstream audiences: Darth Krayt. What makes him so special is that he is the only Sith Lord to come from the ranks of the Tusken Raiders.
As far as live-action, The Mandalorian gave the Sand People an extra dimension, and the Book of Boba Fett appears to be expanding on that. Instead of viewing them simply as the mysterious and violent Tatooine natives, viewers are being immersed in the brutal Tusken culture. The thing is, comic fans have known about this since the 1990s.
In 1999, Dark Horse Comics debuted perhaps the best Tusken Raider of them all, A’Sharad Hett, proving that the Sand People can be Force sensitive as well. After serving in the Clone Wars, he would return home only to be exiled after a confrontation with Obi-Wan Kenobi. While off-world, Hett became a bounty hunter and was captured and tortured, which led him to the Dark Side. He then took up the name Darth Krayt and proclaimed himself a Sith Lord.
The investment speculation is ripe after the first episode of BOBF. Many are wondering if the Tusken Chieftain dressed in black will be A’Sharad Hett. With Kenobi on the horizon, he could cross into that series as well. There is so much potential for Darth Krayt to become a major character, and that has implications for his first appearance in Star Wars #10.
The word is spreading about this potential BOBF key. So far this month, the graded 9.8 has not sold for less than $373, and the past three sales were for over $500 each. The most recent sale saw one earn $650 on December 20. This issue is becoming so popular among collectors and speculators that even the 9.4 is selling for $350 this month. Suffice to say, this is one issue to closely monitor.
BOUNTY HUNTING GOODNESS
With so much comic investing potential flowing from the Force that is Disney+, all of its Marvel and Star Wars series generate ample speculation. In the case of BOBF, there will likely be weekly hot issues springing from the events of the show. Keep tabs on the Wicked Monkey blog for episode reactions that will keep you in the speculative comic game.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and the Blogger Supreme. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.