LOKI ON DISNEY+    The Multiverse of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Begins Here

By Dan O’Brien / @vedafy1 / Published June 8, 2021

Presenting:  THE COMIC BOOK CINEMATIC UNIVERSE.  

The stories, trailers, and rumors of the super hero movies and TV shows of our time…….and the comic books that inspired them.  The comics listed on these pages are not meant to offer advice on what you need to go out and find, but are reference points only on the current market trends in the industry.

When we last left everyone’s favorite devilishly charismatic, raven-haired anti-hero……..

Loki Laufeyson, the God of Mischief, was captured by the Avengers during the Battle of New York, in the first Avengers movie.  When the Avenger’s team of the future (Avengers: Endgame) arrives to retrieve the Infinity Stones, things do not quite go as planned.   The Tesseract accidentally lands at Loki’s feet, much to his surprise and delight. 

He uses it to quickly exit the scene, disappearing in a puff of smoke. That’s the last we would see of Loki.  The entire future of Loki and the entire timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is changed forever.

We have a brand new “variant” of Thor’s half-brother, and the people who manage the timelines are not happy about it.  As seen in the trailers, the TVA (The Time Variance Authority, of course) captures Loki, charging him with breaking “the sacred timeline”. Loki will have to assist with correcting the new timelines he was part of creating, which is sure to be a very entertaining ride during this six-episode series.

Before the Loki series launches, let’s take a look at three comic books related to this classic Marvel character and the Disney+ series, as well as the current values of these books now that the series has arrived.

The most appropriate place to start is Loki’s first appearance, easily the most expensive investment required if you are ready to dive into owning Loki’s key issues.

LOKI THE TV SERIES…And the comic books inspiring the Disney+ series

A note on comic book grading; terms and acronyms to know:

“CGC”: This is the acronym for the third party company recognized to be the worldwide benchmark for the professional grading and certification of comic books, trading cards, magazines, and other collectibles.
The CGC comics division will grade each book it receives, encapsulating it in a sturdy plastic container designed to preserve the book in it’s current state, as well as offering a visually appealing case for it’s owner.

“Grading Scale”: Comic books are graded on a sliding scale starting at a perfect ‘Gem Mint’ grade of 10, all the way down to it’s lowest acceptable rating grade of .05. At this Heritage Auctions link, they provide a comprehensive summary of how the industry typically grades the conditions of a comic book.

#1 Breaking the Bank:  High Dollar Investment

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY # 85: The first appearance of Loki (1962)

Talk about needing a time machine! We go back to the earliest years of the Marvel Age to find the first appearance of this incredibly classic Thor antagonist. He may be Thor’s half-brother, but he has been a villain and anti-hero of some type for more than 50 years, and is now one of the most loved MCU characters (as in, a big fan favorite) since his first appearance in the first Thor film. 

This issue has it all. It’s one of the most important Marvel comics of the 1960’s era, and will be very expensive to purchase.

Look at all of the key first appearances you’ll find in this single issue. Incredibly, it is just the THIRD appearance of the man himself, the God of Thunder, Thor. Here’s a summary of the first appearances:

Loki, the “Rightful King of Asgard”.

Balder, half-brother of Thor,

Tyr, the Norse god of War

Heimdall, the guardian of Bifrost.

As if that’s not enough, this includes the first cameo appearance of Odin, protector of the Nine Realms, Father of Hela and Thor, and the adoptive father of Loki.

Image of a CGC 9.2 copy of Journey into Mystery #85
A stunning CGC 9.2 issue of Journey Into Mystery #85

Here are recent online sales for a grade typically available for Loki’s first appearance in Journey into Mystery #85, per data provided by the folks at www.covrprice.com:

All grades listed here are CGC 4.5, starting in May of 2020:

May 2020: Selling price $1020

October 2020: Selling price $1000

December 2020:  Selling price $1550

February 2021: Selling price $3000

March 16: Selling price $5000

Plus: This UNGRADED copy sold on Ebay for $2720 on May 28, 2021.

 

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#2 Middle Ground Investment

Avengers #23

Released in December of 1965, Avengers issue # 23 has been a fairly undervalued early Avengers issue up to now. 

This issue features the first appearance of Ravonna Renslayer, a time-traveling character with direct ties to one of the Avenger’s greatest villain, Kang the Conqueror.

Kang has a massively long history in Marvel Comics, and has been confirmed to be the main antagonist in the upcoming film, Ant-man and the Wasp: Quantumania, scheduled for release in 2023.  Any character with ties to Kang the Conqueror is a huge game changing event for the MCU.

As explained in detail by the folks at Screen Rant here, Guga Mbatha-Raw is playing Judge Ravonna Renslayer, a Time Variance Authority agent. We’ll have to follow the Loki series to see exactly how this character’s comic book history plays out throughout this Disney+ series and beyond.

RECENT SALE:  June 8, 2021.  A CGC 7.0 sold for $375 on EBay. This issue features a story written by Stan Lee, it’s the first artwork in Marvel Comics by legendary artist John Romita, and includes an early Kang appearance.  

 

Cover image of Avengers #23
Image: Marvel Comics

#3 AFFORDABLE INVESTMENT

Fantastic Four, Volume 1, issue #353

The Fantastic Four are Marvel’s “First Family”. This incredible series started way back in 1961 by the two legends, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  It is packed with an endless list of Marvel’s all-time most important key issues, characters and story lines, with single issues easily worth tens of thousands of dollars as of today. Little did we know this fairly minor issue number #353 would become a collector’s item issue in 2021, but here we are.  Introduced in this issue is a member of the TVA named Mobius M. Mobius.

Yes, this is where one of the central character’s of the Loki series first appeared, played by one of Hollywood’s biggest actors, Owen Wilson.  As we have seen in the trailers, Owen’s Mobius introduces Loki to all of the rules and regulations in the time lines managed by the TVA.

This issue of Fantastic Four is getting expensive if shopping for graded copies, but there are hundreds of ungraded issues you can buy now on Ebay, most of them running in the $50 to $100 range, depending on the quality of the book.

Here’s a link to a June 8 sale on Ebay for this FF # 353, sold for #39.99, listed as a Very Fine+ copy.

One key note: In the bottom left corner of a typical comic book is where the UPC code is located, for books sold in typical newsstand locations.  Otherwise, if it is book sold in ‘direct’ markets such as a comic book store, there is no UPC code. Instead the manufacturer (ie: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, etc), can place any type of logo or image in this box.  In the case of Fantastic Four #353, the folks at Marvel Comics were savvy enough to place an image of Mobius M Mobius in this box.

Thus….direct copies of this issue can claim that this is ALSO the first cover appearance of Mobius M. Mobius, which in the comics investment business is a very big deal!

The latest Disney+ series will be packed with comic book history. Look for more Loki series discussions soon, including more back issue analysis.

Images of Fantastic Four #353, Owen Wilson, and Mobius M Mobius
Owen Wilson is Mobius M. Mobius. First appearance Fantastic Four, Volume 1, #353

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