Comic Market Watch: Marvel Phase 4 Edition

The promised time has come again, and just as the sun and the moon rise and set, the seasons come and go, the tides ebb and flow, Marvel announces another phase.

A phase is a transitioning period. A time of growth and reflection. A time to begin a fresh new start, even recognize and absolve oneself of sins. You say, “I want to live again” because you want to see the next Marvel movie. You raise your kids right and discipline them with “If you don’t behave we won’t go see the next Marvel movie!” and they obey.

There is no denying this phenomenon any more. To do so is to be ignorant. We’ve seen it with our own eyes. There is a visual record of it, witness testimonial, all based on years years of collected data that is still being produced today and still very much a valuable commodity. It is more trustworthy than gold.

The Path of a Marvelite

Stan Lee is our Jesus. Now an empty shell his spirit is in all of us and we pass down his teachings to younger generations: with great power comes great responsibility.

Jack Kirby is our Da Vinci. In a 1000 years when the galactic nuclear Trump wars have laid waste to civilization and the last Eternals #1 is found still in cased in CGC’s latest hard protective plastic a new alien race will discover it and be held in wondermeant and the glorious images and colors that are hidden within.

Marvel is our church and we are its congregation.

You may be laughing but honestly how is it any different from what the major religions believe? They believe in zombies, I believe in enhanced humans with telekinesis. They believe in restricting rights, I believe in Mutant Rights. They say America First, I say America’s Ass. At least we including yourself, have witnessed the creation of this holy entity. It’s not based on a fantasy book written a thousand years ago, it’s based on a fantasy comic written almost 60 years ago. Except this time you’ve seen its creation from the start. From paper and ink to multimillion dollar state of the art VFX technology where you have to wear this checkered bodysuit with dots all over your face.

The famous “Mocap Ritual” requires three blood sacrifices in order to bring good box office crops and fluid realism to a film. The charred bones of the sacrifice are then fed to VFX artists as sustenance. Bones are like Tic-Tacs to VFX artists.

Marvel soon may even outgrow their parent company, Disney. Yes. Marvel may eventually become too big for Disney to control. Can you imagine that? Like Satan being casted out of heaven only to create a hell where everyone wants to go in direct conflict of those that spawned him. And then, Armageddon.

But first comics! We’re here to talk comics right? And we will because this is what comics are, comics are life. They bring us together, keep us apart. Create and illicit emotions and teach us values and vices that the world often misses to educate. It is no longer an American cultural phenomenon, it is a worldwide connection that bonds every person it touches. That is what it means to be a Marvelite. And every true Marvelite has a great Marvel collection.

PHASE 4

You know the movies. Stan told Feige in a vision and he came down the ComicCon mountain and showed us on the projectors. Some cursed and ill whispered of his proclamation. They said it was too inclusive and recognized a lower class that many believed should continued to be ignored. The venom rained on stage and GodFegie lost more hair but gained another hat thanks the the protective properties of the Black Widow who is quite familiar with venomous retorts.

If you have forgotten here you are again:

Phase 4 Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU4):

Black Widow May 1, 2020

Eternals November 6, 2020

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings February 12, 2021

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness May 7, 2021

Thor: Love & Thunder November 5, 2021

Blade TBD

Black Panther 2 TBD

Captain Marvel 2 TBD

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 TBD

Antman and the Wasp 2 TBD

Fantastic Four TBD

X-Men TBD

Phase 4 Marvel Streaming Universe (MSU):

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Fall 2020

WandaVision Spring 2021

Loki Spring 2021

What if? Summer 2021

Hawkeye Fall 2021

Understanding in Order to Collect

This isn’t an alert, this is a watch. and what we want is to watch the market. Like the Watcher, observing its past, present and future. Trying to determine which books will be potential MCU keys (first appearances, storylines, holy grails – or comics that are impossible to obtain because of rarity and value) and which we can buy for the lowest value now and sell at the highest value later, often 100x their purchase price. We aren’t just looking to collect and fill boxes. We want to flip and get the most we can back. Not only does that involve speculating which issues to buy but also when to buy them.

The Infinity Saga is over and while new collectors just getting into the game too late now they are focusing on the current announced slate where a true collector is looking further and deeper into the crates. You should alreayd own all of the comics popping off now and if you don’t good and don’t feel bad if you have to shell out cash to start you collection. We’ve all started somewhere. We want to focus on the future and the secret behind Marvel’s next saga as early as possible so we can get a jump on the comics. Discovering the villain pulling strings behind the scenes now would ensure a hefty return in the future.

The Next Thanos…

It could be Kang. Especially now that time travel has been established. It could be the Beyonder. Galactus? It could even be Magneto. There are numerous paths we can take so you can get easily overwhelmed. Either way know it’s not a bad thing to over buy considering you could still be holding a possible future key in your hand.

Personally I wanted to lean toward the Beyonder. You have to think big. Think what is something that can stretch over 20+ films. Figured you could eventually pit the X-Men and Avengers against each other on Battleworld. Magneto has been overused by Fox, and Galactus more specific. He is like Ultron is to the Avengers, but can be done with one film much like Fox tried. Marvel could bring in Dr. Doom and focus on him? But I suspect they will do the same in mind for X-men and shy away from any storylines Fox has already used. Remember this is Marvel, this is their material. They know what they are doing.

So where to begin? One thing that stands out to me is which films and shows will take place after Avengers Endgame. It was telling when announced that Scarlett Witch would appear in Doctor Strange and events from her series on Disney+ will lead directly to the film. It was also interested that they emphasized that the film was going to be the first Marvel Horror Film (Marvel Horror Universe?). Then Blade was announced it hit me like a bolt of lightning from Storm’s fingertips: Marvel Monsters.

Marvel Monster Group was an imprint that began in the 70’s and published Marvel’s Horror comics.

I was skeptical at first but my theories were more supported when I starting digging up old Doctor Strange issues. I stepped back and looked at the whole board and understood that Strange is now the overseerer of the Marvel Universe. Now that Tony, Steve and Natasha are gone, Spider-Man yes is going to have to step up as a hero, but it is Strange who is going to shoulder most of the load.

At first I was drawn to the Jason Aaron written Doctor Strange #4 Vol 4 The Art of Puking without Puking” where Doctor Strange invites a group of magical friends to help protect the multiverse. There was already talk of Aaron’s writing from Taika Waititi who announced his adaptation of his Thor story and I mean, look at the cover. Boom. Right there, right? Keep going. The story continues and SPOILER ALERT-

Ready? ok?

Strange, Wanda and other magical friends are confronted by the Empirikul, an army trying to destroy magical users. I wanted to think that they would go here but something kept calling me back to Blade and to the fact that events in the WandaVision show were going to directly affect the Doctor Strange film.

Strange Creature of the Night

Further digging brought me to Doctor Strange’s 1970s 2nd series. It was a more horror focused comic as the 70’s saw a revival of horror comics and in one particular storyline there is something called The Montesi Formula, which is a formula meant to destroy all vampires.

The storyline finds Doctor Strange teaming up with Scarlet Witch, Monica Rambeau and Blade, all to defeat Dracula. Doctor Strange #60 will soon be a coveted comic as it has all two major characters from the Scarlet Witch Series and Doctor Strange.

Another clue is that Montesi Formula is found in the Darkhold or Book of Sins, something Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans are very familiar with. Seeing as they are going into the 7th and final season wouldn’t it be great to see AoS tie back into the MCU again? We can only hope so.

courtesy MCU Wiki

I know it sounds crazy to bring in Dracula but seriously Blade- Vampires, how else are vampires going to come. Any issues with are non existent as the character Dracula is public domain and Marvel has previously released publications with the character.

I’m convinced. There I said it.

Buyer Beware

Now the main timeline may end up revolving around the multiverse. There’s a lot of pressure from fans and from media to bring Spider-verse characters to the MCU so I can only imagine Sony calling Marvel every day about it. Over and over driving them crazy.

It could also be a plethora of other major supervillains that are all in Marvel’s hat waiting to be plucked out. For now I’m going to focus on Dr. Strange, Scarlet Witch, Blade connection as those three films seem more and more interconnected. Marvel has been good at staying true to its material while taking major stories both new and old weaving them in with new ideas to create something groundbreaking and breathtaking.

Opening Top 25:

  1. What If (1977 1st Series) #10
  2. Tomb of Dracula (1972 1st Series) #10
  3. Mighty Thor (2015 2nd Series) #1A
  4. Mighty Thor (2015 2nd Series) #8A
  5. Special Marvel Edition (1971) #15
  6. Thor God of Thunder (2012) #25A
  7. Eternals (1976 1st Series) #1
  8. Amazing Spider-Man (1963 1st Series) Annual #16
  9. Avengers (1963 1st Series) #43
  10. Tomb of Dracula (1972 1st Series) #1
  11. Avengers (1963 1st Series) #196
  12. Eternals (1976 1st Series) #5
  13. Avengers (1963 1st Series) #8
  14. Captain America (1968 1st Series) #168
  15. Tales of Suspense (1959) #50
  16. Doctor Strange (1974 2nd Series) #60
  17. Marvel Premiere (1972) #5
  18. Amazing Spider-Man (1963 1st Series) #101
  19. Doctor Strange (1974 2nd Series) 14
  20. Tomb of Dracula (1972 1st Series) #44
  21. Marvel Premiere (1972) #5
  22. Doctor Strange (2015 5th Series) #4A
  23. What If (1977 1st Series) #1
  24. Captain America (2013 7th Series) #25A
  25. Captain America (2004 5th Series) #6A

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