Usual Suspects #23


Welcome to this week’s edition of The Usual Suspects. With this week’s rumors of an Avengers 4 Trailer that never dropped, I thought now would be a good time to look ahead at the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4. Granted, there have not been many official announcements for what happens after Avengers 4, but we have a couple films confirmed.



So, we may not know how the final battle with Thanos will shake out. And we may not know all of the characters that will be resurrected/returned, but we can be certain that most will. It’s not really a secret. Logic dictates that Spidey and Black Panther will be back based on announcements of their next installments. And despite the well documented issues and delays with Guardians of the Galaxy 3, we know a third installment will come our way eventually. And those are just 3 examples. So the Marvel sequel train is not stopping just yet.



Let’s look at the other options on the table for them. That said, we also can be reasonably confident that we won’t have to wait too long until we have the X-Men and the Fantastic Four joining the party. But with completed Fox films in the can still awaiting release, like Dark Phoenix, I don’t think any announcement of plans with those properties is imminent. Sure marvel would be idiots to leave them on the sidelines for long, but also there’s no need to rush into something. All we can do is hope to hear something soon.



So what else do we know? Captain Marvel and all that 90’s goodness is on the way on March 8th, 2019. Hot on the heels of that release will be Avengers 4 on May 3rd. That’s one heckuva one-two punch right there in 2019.



And could Spider-man: Far From Home be that knockout punch for 2019 and close out Phase 3 in the MCU?



But what comes after? The following are 2 movies we know to be in development. They have directors attached and screenplays being tweaked. We should find out more after Avengers 4. Following that, I have a couple of character guesses of my own as to what could come next in the MCU.

These are just guesses/hopes. I have no inside information. Pure speculation, but that’s what we do here at CBSI, right? Speculation is right there in the name. So what new movies do we have to look forward to outside of the plethora of sequels in the works?



So without further ado…let’s get into it.


Tales of Suspense #52

(Apr 1964)

1st appearance of the Black Widow, (Natasha Romanoff)


First up we start with the “it’s about time” movie. All the boys got their own solo films, so why did it take so long for Black Widow to land her own feature? Heck even Wasp got herself a share of the billing with Ant-Man already.



Black Widow has been around for a while now. She’s nearly as old as most of the big boys, so why did it take so long for her to get her own feature? Granted she started as a villain. And she’s never really been able to carry her own title for very long. There are really many classic Black Widow runs in comics that I can pick out off the top of my head.



That Waid/Samnee run looked pretty good, but honestly I haven’t read it yet. It’s filed way back in my “to read” list. I’ll get to it one day. Perhaps she’s better suited to be a supporting character. Like her stint in Brubaker’s Cap run. Whatever the reason, she hasn’t had a series go past 20 issues that featured her as the headliner.

So does that mean she’s not bankable for film? I wouldn’t say so. Maintaining storylines over 2 plus years is one thing. Telling a fun and compelling story over 2 hours is somethings else entirely. Throw in a couple cameos and give us a couple hours of high octane, action-packed thrill ride, spy movie goodness and we’re golden. I mean if Tom Cruise can keep churning out the quality Espionage flicks every few years with each new Mission Impossible, I’m sure Scar-Jo can deliver us one.



And who knows, maybe they’ll finally decide on a hair style for her that works. Just as long as they don’t go back to the awful crunchy spirally nonsense from Iron Man 2. It just bothered me. I didn’t know if they wanted it to look like dreadlocks or cheap dollar store rubber snakes on her head or if that was just an unfortunate accident. I mean, Hank Azaria wore a better red wig in The Birdcage.



Yeah, I like The Birdcage. What of it? Fight Me.



Okay, okay drag show hijinks aside, let’s get this train back on track. Black Widow’s first appearance was nearly 55 years ago, so this book ain’t cheap. Nor is it that easy to find. I wouldn’t even say it’s particularly well known. You walk into any shop and ask the common comic collector what Black Widow’s 1st appearance is and you’ll most likely get a lot of blank stares and shoulder shrugs. More of today’s collectors would probably be able to tell you Angela’s first appearance in Spawn #9 before they could tell you Black Widow’s 1st comic.

It’s sad that more people aren’t interested in the history of books. Or maybe I’m just weird.


Active Listings:  Only 13 copies listed right now. That’s to be expected. This book is over 50 years old. It’s not likely to be in a box somewhere. This is a wall book if you can find a shop that has one. But looking at the interwebs as we do each week, there are a few copies on the market if you were so inclined.

The most expensive listing is a CGC 8.0 listed for just under $4k. That’s nearly double the average over the last 12 months in that grade. And it has eyes on it with 16 watchers. Are these interested potential buyers or just window shoppers?

If you like that grade you could consider the PGX 8.0 that’s listed for $2,600. Just further proof that there is a price difference depending on which grading company you use. Clearly a 50% premium on a CGC is worth noting. Now if that other one sells for $4k, does someone buy this for $2600 and do the $10 CGC re-holder submission and make themselves some loot?

For that matter why doesn’t this seller just do that? I don’t have any PGX books and my only CBCS is a double sig Red Label so I have no re-holder options. But if I did, I would absolutely take CGC up on their crossover offer.

If raw is more your style there are a couple decent looking VG copies up for about $450. Not awful by any stretch of the imagination. And if I had an extra $450 lying around I might consider it. Sadly, am on the outside looking in.



Market Analysis:  A lot of green on the chart below. The tough bit to work out is whether this is natural appreciation for a classic Silver Age 1st appearance, or something else. She was out of pocket a while having been killed in Secret Empire, but that didn’t last that long. And she hasn’t had a regular title since the Waid/Samnee run ended. Sure she had that short stint when they brought Tales of Suspense back for a few issues, but I couldn’t tell you where she is now.

Perhaps the gains are related to movie spec. Folks have been clamoring for a BW solo outing a while now. And now it’s finally on the way, so maybe that’s clued in collectors on this undervalued book.

Sure a $60k CGC 9.6 sales doesn’t seem undervalued, but anytime you can grab a decent raw 1st appearance from the 60’s for under $500, I’d saw that’s a bargain. Now, how to scrape together $500.



But if an impromptu car wash doesn’t raise me the $500 I need to buy this book, then I guess it just isn’t in the cards.



The Eternals #1

(Jul 1976)

Origin & 1st appearance of the Eternals


Up next we have a book that everyone has watched just fly up in price the last year or so. This was dollar bin fodder before rumors of the Inhumans failures could lead to Marvel pivoting their resources over into the Eternals. That has apparently come to fruition.

Many people are obviously skeptical of this idea to put the might Marvel machine behind such lesser known characters that were born out of Jack Kirby’s crazy cosmic imagination. But most people (including my wife) thought they were also crazy to make a movie about a talking raccoon and a tree that only says 3 words. Time will tell.

But I think this is a clear indication that while Marvel brought everyone together for Avengers Infinity War, I feel following Avengers 4 we will get the opposite. I see much more branching out as we explore the cosmic side of the Marvel universe. And I truly could be more excited. Think of what they could do with Silver Surfer, Galactus, the Fantastic Four, even the X-men could venture out into space to distance themselves from the Fox films. The possibilities are endless.



Truthfully I don’t know much about the series personally. I get the basic gist, and I have a few of the first issues. I’ve just been putting off reading them until I finish picking up the rest of the run. Also it would be kind of interesting to see a comic movie that I didn’t know anything about. I wonder what it’s like for normies who see a comic book movie and don’t already know at least 3 different ways the movie could go considering past storylines and reboots and retcons. That would be weird. Instead of being like Shawn Spencer, I would be more like Gus in the below:



Anyway, there are a lot of copies of this book out there. And there have been a lot of sales. What there is not that many of is the 30 cent Price Variant, so I decided to look at those as well as those sell for quite the premium. Other books you may want to keep an eye out for as it relates to the movie are other 1st appearances of characters to be in the movie. I’m not telling you anything you probably don’t already know, but I’d grab Issues 2, 3, 5, and 13 if I see them for a good price.



Active Listings: Like I said, we got a lot of copies available. Nearly 500 results returned for Eternals #1. Sure a bunch of the results are not actually the 1st issue, but trust me, there are plenty.

Top 3 listings are CGC SS copies signed by Stan Lee. I don’t know where to begin with this. I suppose it’s easiest to start with…



I’ve not made it a secret how much it annoys me when books are signed by people not involved with the comic that’s signed at all. Usually this is Stan Lee. And it’s a bit too soon to besmirch the man, but c’mon. Jack Kirby can’t even keep Stan off books he had no business with whatsoever.



After you get past those ruined comics IMO, there’s one CGC 9.8 listed for $2k. I’m not sure if they are looking at the market or confused over what version they have, but that’s double the going rate. This is close to a $1k 9.8 and there are plenty of options down around that price point. But who knows, maybe they’ll sucker some poor sap into paying twice the market for a readily available book.

What is more interesting are the 30 cent price variants in 9.4 and 9.2 on the market. To put the price variant into perspective, there are nearly twice as many CGC 9.8’s of the regular edition than ALL graded copies of the price variant. There are only a combined 36 of the 9.2 and 9.4’s.

Cheapest Buy It Now option is a Raw estimated 5.0 listed for $34. That’s not far off the $41 average as per but high grade still commands a premium.


Market Analysis:  Lots of sales for this book. With nearly 500 graded sales over the last year, that’s more than a slab a day being purchased. And with more and more raws being bought up to be sent in to try and score that $1k 9.8, there will be no shortage of options if you want to grab this book.

We’ll probably see another couple spikes in price over the next year as casting announcements and 1st trailer drops will bring out the buyers. But in reality, this price probably won’t hold long term simply because there are so many copies. But then again, I suppose that will really depend on the popularity of the characters.

But I’d still be wary of investing too heavily in a Bronze Age book like this. Watch the market if you are in it for the spec as you don’t want to miss the peaks. It’ll cost you as you could be subject to sitting out in an eventual flood. Hoping someone chooses your copy over the rest will be like trying to find yourself in a group shot of Stormtroopers.



“Look Ma, there I am! That’s me in the middle. The one with the blaster. Darth Vader’s about to look at me as he passes. He’s about to…Awe, you missed it. He looked right at me.”



So those are the two new Marvel films we know are on the way. But what else are possibilities? The next two options are things that I see as inevitabilities at some point. So first up, let’s go back to the Cosmic side of things. We were introduced to the Corps in the 1st Guardians film, but now with Xandar and the Corps supposedly destroyed by Thanos as he retrieved the Power stone off screen, now is the perfect time to restart the lore of the Nova Corps.


Nova #1

(Sep 1976)

Origin & 1st appearance, of Nova (Richard Rider)


This just makes too much sense not to happen. The groundwork is laid to restart with the Corps from a different angle. As much as I loved the first Guardians, I was not totally on board with the characterization of the Nova Corps as being just like regular guy space cops with little starships. Sure it worked in that film and didn’t throw too many more fantastical elements at us as the audience had enough to digest.

But we’ve come a long way since GOTG 1, so I think the movie going audience would definitely be more receptive to a Nova that is more than a couple of beat cops, no disrespect to my man John C. and Peter Serafinowicz.



They have the opportunity to do what Green Lantern should have done here and do a Space Cop right. You can have Richard Rider be the start of some new form of the Corps. A Nova with powers. Maybe something in the vein of Last Starfighter. Think of the possibilities.



I found this concept art on Instagram done by Raf Grassetti, who apparently worked on the God of War as Art Director. And I must say this would be so perfect. It’s got just the right balance of comic accuracy and practicality. I can just see this in action. Thank you for putting this out there and I hope people follow you or check out your IG or whatever. Seriously, well done sir.



But seriously, expanding the Cosmic Universe just makes too much sense. Marvel is getting back many of their best Cosmic Characters with the Fox deal, so bring us more. Especially while GOTG 3 is delayed.

And this is just a great book to own even without a movie. Like Eternals #1, there are plenty of copies out there from the Marvel Bronze Age. Black cover will make high grade tough. And this is evidenced by the large gaps in grades below.


Active Listings: Nearly a couple hundred copies on the market. Again, not a hard book to find. This is a book that you’d actually have a good shot to find up on a wall in an LCS. Just watch out for that sun fade on the black cover as a lot of stores don’t realize what an enemy the Sun is to comics and don’t shade their storefronts. Seriously the sun is the enemy of comic books.



So once you get past the CGC SS copies that are again indiscriminately signed by Stan Lee, and the one signed by the great Marv Wolfman, you have a CGC 9.8 looking for just over a grand. Or you could score a 9.6 for only $450. Not too bad for a book that’s older than me.

If you are just looking for a cheaper copy raw for the PC, then you can scoop one up for about $35 for one in VG condition.


Market Analysis:  Prices are mostly on the rise, especially over the year as opposed to just the last 3 months.  A Thousand dollar 9.8 seems about right for this book, but the lower grades seem to be lagging. Granted there are a lot of copies. There are a lot of copies of Hulk 181, but that hasn’t stopped that book. The point being, if this character gets “hot” enough, we might see some significant gains.

I would think the best bet for an adjustment up in pricing would be in the 9.2-9.6 range. They seem significantly undervalued when compared to the 9.8. Now I’m not saying you will put your kids through college on this book, but there’s no reason a 9.2 can’t jump from a $150 book to a $250-300 book in time.

If we get a tease of a Nova film on the way, all grades double. Even with the high print run, increased demand will double these values. There’s room to grow. But that will only come with interest, and truthfully without a film appearance it may not happen. Nova’s profile has been pretty nonexistent in the comics the last few years. But that could all change with one announcement. Tell me you wouldn’t see this:



Savage She-Hulk #1

(Feb 1980)

Origin & 1st appearance of, She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters)

Origin of the Hulk retold.


Ok maybe I just have She Hulk on the brain this week, but for some reason I see Jen Walters coming sooner rather than later to the MCU. We’ve all heard the rumors of a female-centric marvel team film not too dissimilar to A-Force.

I know Marvel is putting a lot behind Captain Marvel, as they should. But she can’t be the only new face to bring this idea to the screen. Every team needs a Hulk, and who is front and center of nearly every A-Force cover? Seriously, Google it.



I’m sure they can write a set up that makes some level of sense in how we get She-Hulk. But seriously, we are 10 years into this universe, I don’t think we need many origin stories. People get it. You may not even need to address it. Save that back story for a solo She Hulk movie and I’m sure audiences will be on board. But then we prob wouldn’t want to bog down what could be a fun romp of a flick with a solo She Hulk.



Can’t you see it working? I’m sure it would somehow be described as legally blonde meets well the Hulk. But that doesn’t mean it will be awful. I mean we almost got this in the 90’s…



So wouldn’t something in the vein of what John Byrne gave us in the 80’s work? Truthfully this may work better as a TV show. It could be a mix of Matlock with some super heroics. Weird, I know, but most likely very watchable.



Active Listings: Over 100 copies on the market at the moment. Ignore the joker with the $21k listing for a raw midgrade copy. Hey buddy, here’s to hoping.



Once you get past a few CGC SS books, you can find a few 9.8’s in the $400 range. Not too bad. And if you just want a raw you can easily score one for $40.


Market Analysis:  Lots of sales and lots of copies. Mostly on the uptick, but nothing crazy. As I noted there isn’t really anything driving prices on She Hulk yet. But all it takes is one announcement and we’ll all be seeing more green.



Ok that’s it for this week, but let’s get One More for the Road…




Marvel: Point One #1 (2012)

This is the first appearance of the Sam Alexander Nova. Who knows, maybe Marvel will want to add diversity to their lineup and go with young Sam here instead of Richard Rider.

A pretty affordable book and it comes with a variant Nick Bradshaw cover that is pretty nice as well as a hard to find 1:100 Incentive B&W version of the Bradshaw variant. But that’s a tough book to find.


Typical Sales Data courtesy of

CGC 9.8 – $138.88 on 9/26/18

CGC 9.8 Variant – $210.00 on 11/26/18

Raw (Regular or Variant) – $15-$20

Raw 1:100 – $199.99

I want that




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