I am not the first to speculate on Darkseid as countless blogs and forums have already talked about how Darkseid can be the potential villain for the Justice League movie. If that turns out to be true, how much gain can we expect if we act now? That is the question I am trying to answer today by using Thanos as the benchmark to estimate the value of Darkseid’s first appearance.
For clarification, Darkseid might be several leagues below Thanos in terms of popularity due to his one sided nature. Having said that, there are still enough grounds to compare them as even the creator of Thanos has admitted to having some influnece from Kirby’s Darkseid. They are also powerful enough to warrant the full attention of the opposing teams i.e. Avengers and Justice League. Overall, I feel comfortable in using Thanos comic books as the predictor of what Darkseid’s books can appreciate to.
Value of Iron Man #55
Thanos first appearance is in Iron Man #55. Looking at ebay prices for raw VF conditions, they are around USD450-550 currently. Assuming Darkseid is half as popular as Thanos, we can be looking at a future pricing of around USD225-USD275 for Darkseid’s first appearance. Unfortunately, things are not as clear cut.
Darkseid first appearance
Currently, there are 3 issues that are up for contention as Darkseid’s first appearance. First up are Jimmy Olsen #134 and #135, which contain the following Darkseid cameos:
The problem with these 2 issues is that the appearance seems to be rather insignificant as Darkseid merely appear as faces on a monitor screens. This is why Forever People #1 became a contender for the full first appearance of Darkseid as it contains 7 panels spread across 4 pages. Below is one example of such a panel:
Depending on what is your perspective, it is not so clear which issue should be regarded as the most important. Currently, Jimmy Olsen #134 is in the lead in terms of market value but that could be driven by a smaller supply. Who knows which issue will lead in the long term.
Are Darkseid issues worth investing in ?
Now that the first appearance problem has been highlighted, we can go on and see which issues (in raw vf) are still viable investments.
Jimmy Olsen #134 = USD250+
Jimmy Olsen #135 = USD30
Forever People #1 = USD65
If we take the earlier value of USD225-USD275 as the price ceiling for Darkseid, Jimmy Olsen #134 doesn’t seem to have much room for appreciation and would make for a risky investment. The other 2 issues, especially Forever People #1 are still viable but they carry the risk of not being recognized as first appearances.
Other issues to consider
What I have done above is assuming Darkseid can only achieve 50% of what Thano’s first appearance has attained. What if this assumption doesn’t hold? What if Darkseid can hit 75%, 100% or even 125% of Thano’s value? In these cases, all three first appearances become very undervalued comics at this moment. What will caused this to happen?
– Hype: It is easy to underestimate the power of movie created hype. Currently, without the hype, it seems impossible for Darkseid to reach Thano’s popularity but who knows what a movie hype can do?
– Supply: The number of copies can affect prices significantly. According to this report, Iron Man #55 should be hovering just below the 200k mark. It is the 6th most best selling Marvel comic during 1973 and was climbing below Hulk and Thor.
I don’t have direct data on Jimmy Olsen #134 but this sales report from 1969 can gives us a hint. From this chart, it is clear that Jimmy Olsen’s sales was not high enough to even crack the top 53. The 53th comic sold 130k copies so we can assume that Jimmy Olsen is below that.
Hence, comparing 130k to 200k, there is a significant 35% difference in the print run. This can push the value of Darkseid’s first appearance into 75% of Thano’s first appearance even though demand for Darkseid might be only 50% of that of Thanos.
Darkseid is a tricky character to invest in given the lack of consensus on his first appearance. However, if we consider the potential movie hype and the limited supply, all three books might make for viable investments so decide now before prices appreciate further!