BY MATT TUCK, BLOGGER SUPREME
FB@The Comic Blog
You’d think Marvel would have saved this for a Thursday. You know, Thursday was originally named for Thor, and it was even pronounced Thor’s Day. At any rate, Marvel’s latest superhero comedy has dropped, and it looks as Taika Waititi a movie as any Taika Waititi movie ever has. Of course, he’s one of Hollywood’s A-list directors, and much of that mainstream success is owed to his first Marvel foray, Thor: Ragnarok.
The teaser trailer gave us plenty of slapstick goofiness that MCU fans have come to expect, and Thor rocks the Thunderstrike vest by the end. Undoubtedly, the biggest attention grabber was Natalie Portman summoning Mjolnir, and her fans will rejoice at seeing that moment.
This has been a longtime coming. The trailer itself has been under plenty of scrutiny well before today’s release. A growing fan outcry was getting louder for a Love and Thunder trailer. Lo and behold, we have a teaser.
From Spider-Man: No Way Home to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, audiences are adapting to Marvel’s new policy of holding trailers until closer to the film’s premiere date. NWH came so close to the wire that fans wondered if there would even be a trailer. It was a similar situation for MOM. Then again, Marvel doesn’t actually need to drop trailers to sell movie tickets anymore. The MCU is such a box office monster that all fans need is a release date and a title. Actually, they may not need a title anymore. Before long, they’ll just release two hours of post-credits scenes with dozens of cameos.
Speaking of cameos, Love and Thunder should be full of them. Much has been said about the next two Guardians of the Galaxy projects, namely the GOTG Holiday Special and GOTG Vol. 3. Adam Warlock has been cast for GOTG 3, and there is speculation that Nova will appear in that film as well. Since the GOTG cast appears in Love and Thunder, it makes me wonder if we’ll get a sneak peak of Warlock and/or Nova a year early. For that matter, there’s still questions surrounding Beta Ray Bill.
It all adds up to the absolutely expected enthusiasm for another Marvel box office tank that will surely blast its way to record numbers. Speaking of records, I wouldn’t be surprised to see records fall for these key issues in the coming weeks and months.
WHAT IF…? #10
Since Marvel first revealed that Jane Foster would gain the powers of the Thunder God, there’s been a debate among collectors. Which is Lady Thor’s first appearance: What If…? #10 or 2014’s Thor #1? While technically the canonical first appearance would be Thor #1, the issue that got the bigger price bump was What If…? #10.
Although Jane Foster did lift the hammer for What If…?, she became an alternate-reality character named Thordis. Since this was the first time fans saw Jane become worthy of Mjolnir, a number of collectors acknowledged this as a first appearance, hence the elevated prices.
The trick for collectors is nabbing a mythical 9.8. Two years ago, you could have owned one for the low price of $767 on average over 40 sales. Last year, there were only 11 graded 9.8s that sold online, but the fair market value jumped to $1,500. Although only four copies have traded hands online this year, the last two were for $1,600 and $1,626.
THOR #1 (2014)
Like it or not, Thor #1 is Lady Thor’s first appearance. These are two different characters, and What If…?, as the title suggests, is not canon. If you really want to get technical about it, we don’t actually see the Jane Foster Thor besides on the cover. There’s a teaser in Thor #1, but she’s not fully revealed until the following issue, which can be argued as the first appearance. Actually, she made a cameo in Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool #0 just to add fuel to the fire. And what’s a blog for if not to spark an argument?
All arguing aside, Thor #1 is the issue with the biggest target sign based on its cover art. In the end, those first cover appearances are usually the more popular sellers. Prices have been going up for the past couple of years, but the afterburners are about to kick in. The graded 9.8 has been hovering close to the $300 mark since 2021, which is more than double the 2020 average of $127. On the other hand, Thor #2 at the same grade has a fair market value under $200, and the most recent sale was for $92 on Sunday.
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #2
Gorr the God Butcher may have one of the coolest names in all of comics. While we didn’t see Christian Bale in costume, Marvel’s official synopsis for the movie confirms that he will be the film’s primary antagonist. What’s more, he should tie in some symbiote mythology into the MCU if his weapon of choice is the Necrosword, which Knull made from the first symbiote.
Since last year, the 9.8 has been about a $500 comic, give or take. The last time one sold online, it brought $404 on Sunday.
Collecting the alternate Thor keys can be tricky, particularly when it comes to Thunderstrike. Whether or not we will see him in Love and Thunder remains to be seen, but there’s no denying Thor’s 1980s-inspired look walked out of the comics.
The original Thunderstrike was built on the idea of a new human host merging with Thor. In this case, Dr. Donald Blake was replaced by Eric Masterson, who first appeared in Thor #391. They would go on to merge in Thor #408. Eventually, Eric would get his own hammer forged from a shard of Mjolnir, and Thunderstrike - complete with rockin’ ponytail and denim vest - would premiere in Thor #459. Eric’s son, Kevin, would later take up the hammer and vest because who could leave that styling accessory behind?
The real trick with any of these issues will be whether or not we actually see Thunderstrike. The indication from the teaser is that Thor simply sports the costume, but if he calls himself “Thunderstrike,” this issue could turn to gold.
Two years ago, the 9.8 was a $54 comic, and that inflated by $100 in 2021. We haven’t seen any sales year, but it reached a record $225 in June. Could that mark fall in 2022? It just might.
This could be the sleeper pick of today’s post. Thor #440 is the first time readers met the Thor Corps, namely Beta Ray Bill, Eric Masterson Thor, and a futuristic Thor, Dargo Ktor. Since there’s no mistaking the Thunderstrike vest and we’ve gotten our first look at Jane Foster Thor, the first steps toward a Thor Corps would appear to be in the works.
Here’s an interesting theory. It would seem that Marvel Studios is playing its NWH trailer game by editing characters out of the teaser footage. There’s a moment where we see Thunderstrike Thor standing next to Korg as they look up at the camera. There’s a lot of empty space on the left side of the screen, and fans are theorizing that a CGI character has been edited out of the shot. That could very well be a spot reserved for Beta Ray Bill, who would be the third member of the Thor Corps.
There hasn’t been a 9.8 to sell online since one sold for $72 in 2018. The highest grade to swap owners this year has been the 9.2, and it brought $61 in February.
ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
Obviously, the Love and Thunder teaser didn’t give us much to go by, but that never stopped me before. The last time we saw the GOTG and Thor, the God of Thunder christened them the Asgardians of the Galaxy. While I don’t expect Thor will stick with the GOTG for more than the opening act of the new movie, that doesn’t mean he won’t form his new crew by the end. In the comics, we’ve already seen the Asgardians of the Galaxy, and that could give us a clue as to the new unit.
Originally, the lineup featured Angela, Skurge, Throg, Thunderstrike Kevin Masterson, Valkyrie, and the Destroyer. While we won’t see those exact faces on the team, the MCU could be preparing for its own unique roster apart from the comics.
This comic has quietly been on the move. Two years ago, the 9.8 averaged $31. A year ago, there was only one sale, but it was for $55. It’s already reached a record high in 2022 when one sold for $64 in March.
COULD KNULL BE ON THE WAY?
The real implications for Love and Thunder could be Knull.
Although we didn’t see Gorr in the teaser trailer, the Marvel Legends figure image making the rounds features what appears to be the Necrosword. As comic fans know, the Necrosword was forged by Knull, and he even used it to behead a Celestial, which became the GOTG location, Knowhere. It looks like Gorr will wield the infamous sword, but whether or not the origin adheres to the comic roots is another story.
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.