This article is part of our Collector’s Digest series powered by:
Thor is low key the best Marvel comics character . Sure there are characters more essential to the narrative, like Spider-Man or Franklin Richards. And yes, there are absolutely characters with more critical seminal stories. But you are going to be hard pressed to find someone as consistently in the middle of big events with a consistently strong book backing them up as Thor. That means when a movie like Thor: Love & Thunder comes out, you get a lot of great choices to recommend to friends or buy for yourself, because while some of them might get hot from the movie, most of them will be great choices to read. We’ve got a few good options for you to snag on eBay.
Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #1 (Peach Momoko variant)
With Jane Foster making her first appearance in the MCU as a superhero, it would make sense that she’d get a push, and Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor is how they’re doing it. She’s been starring in her own series for a bit as Valkyrie, but this book from Torunn Grønbekk and Mike Dowling gives her the hammer back and plunges her into a mystery that will span a huge chunk of Asgard’s villains.
To celebrate this, ANZ Comics has two Peach Momoko variant covers to the first issue exclusive to eBay, one with the trade dress and one without. Momoko is wildly popular, and for good reason. One of Marvel’s Stormbreakers (their special designation for rising stars), Momoko has been producing beautiful painted variant covers and her own series, Demon Days, reimagining Marvel characters as Japanese folklore. Seriously, folks, people love these variants and are wild for Demon Days. This exclusive is going to be a hot ticket.
FOR HIGH END COLLECTORS
Journey Into Mystery #84
Jane Foster is going to hit big when this movie comes out. Her story – as Thor’s love interest, then as actual Thor, and later as Valkyrie – is one of the most interesting in the Thor family, and it all starts here, with Journey Into Mystery #84. Of course, where Jane starts is wildly different from where she ends up. Here, she’s Thor’s human alter ego Don Blake’s nurse, traveling with him on a humanitarian mission while Thor bashes a gang of communist soldiers to protect her. It’s a very Silver Age story, for better or worse.
Of course, part of the better side of that equation is the cost. As a key Silver Age issue, you’ll be lucky to find this book for less than $900, and it’s likely to only go up from here. Grab it now, this one will have a long tail.
Buy Journey Into Mystery #84 on eBay here.
Journey Into Mystery annual #1
Thor’s first annual saw Stan Lee and Jack Kirby start to introduce pantheons beyond the Norse Gods to the Marvel Universe. Thor is on a quest to Jotunheim to stop the Storm Giants (exiled from Olympus) from breaking back through to their mythical home, when he falls through the portal by mistake and then spends 20 pages fighting Zeus’ son, Greek demigod and eventual Avenger Hercules. It is exactly what you’d expect: utterly gorgeous, full of bombast and energy, one of the most underappreciated fight comics of the Silver Age. It’s exceptional.
And while we know Zeus will be in Thor: Love & Thunder, there’s plenty of speculation that Herc will be too. So his first appearance is going to do numbers, but this is one you’d likely want anyway. It’s really that good, and at $200, it’s probably priced low.
Buy Journey Into Mystery annual #1 here.
Thor (2015) #1
Jane Foster’s story begins as Thor’s alter ego’s nurse, but by the time the modern age rolls around she had been mostly left by the wayside, drifting in and out of various Avenger books as a “consulting physician” and mostly being ignored. She came back as part of the supporting cast in Thor: God of Thunder, where it was revealed she was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, but it wasn’t long before she picked up the hammer herself and became Thor, starting one of the finest character arcs in all of Marvel.
Jane’s first appearance as Thor is understandably huge: this book is going for upwards of $100, and will probably only keep climbing from there.
Buy Thor #1 here.
TO PREPARE FOR THOR: LOVE & THUNDER
Thor: God of Thunder #6
Gorr the God Butcher appears to be the main villain of the movie, and God of Thunder #6, one of the early stories in Jason Aaron’s delightful run on Thor, is where we get our first deep dive into him as a character. It is, one might say, his Gorrigin story DON’T YOU DARE EDIT ME.
Aaron makes Gorr a deeply tragic character, and Butch Guice does some of his best work drawing it. You also get a side benefit: this issue is the first appearance of Knull, the God of Symbiotes and a very big deal for Venom fans. With that in mind, this book can get up there in price. – you will be lucky to get it for less than $75. Not impossible, but it’s a good buy.
Buy Thor: God of Thunder #6 here.
Mighty Thor #705
All superhero stories have to put the toys back where they found them eventually, and so Jane inevitably had to stop being Thor. I don’t want to get too deep into the how of it, because it’s a beautiful story that pays off in an emotionally powerful way. And while Jane’s death is undone the next issue, it still stands as a moving chapter in Jason Aaron’s overarching story about what it means to be a god and what is required of the gods.
Pricing on this issue is a bit all over the place. Ungraded copies of the main issue can be found for about double the cover price. But graded copies of one of the many variants out there are going for as much as $300 each, so your best bet might be to grab an ungraded copy and send it off to get it slabbed.
Buy Mighty Thor #705 here.
King Thor #4
The final issue of Jason Aaron’s run takes place at the end of the universe, with the final battle between old King Thor, Gorr, and Loki. This is another one full of closure, particularly for Gorr’s story. Really the final quarter of Aaron’s time with Thor is just beautiful payoff after beautiful payoff, and always with staggering art, here reunited with Thor: God of Thunder collaborator Esad Ribic.
This is going for a little over cover price right now. It’s wildly undervalued. Gorr has the potential to be one of the best villains in the entire MCU, and if he is, this book will skyrocket in value.
Buy King Thor #4 here.
LOVE & THUNDER DEEP CUTS
King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #1
Jane’s death was very temporary, thanks to Odin and Asgard. But she initially returned without any powers, as a regular human doctor working to help people in the normal way, without super strength or a magic sun-piercing hammer.
Of course, that lasted for about five minutes.
During the War of the Realms, Malekith the Accursed and his armies managed to kill the entire host of Valkyries, including Brunnhilde, the most popular comic Valkyrie. Jane gained their powers after the war was over, and during King in Black (the war between Earth’s heroes and Knull, the symbiote god from whom Gorr gained most of his powers), she found the remaining two in the realm between life and death, returning them to Earth and introducing Runa, the movie version played by Tessa Thompson, to the comics universe.
Runa’s first appearance is likely to be a hot collector’s item moving forward, so you can jump on this one now before the price goes up.
Buy King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #1 here.
Incredible Hercules #132
My personal favorite Thor/Hercules interaction came in Hercules’ solo book by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, and Reilly Brown. Spinning out of Pak’s legendary Hulk run, the trio took the Prince of Power for a spin and touched on several themes similar to Aaron’s Thor story, only played mostly for comedy. This issue featured a body swap of sorts between Thor and Hercules, and tonally you might not find a better palate cleanser ahead of Taika Waititi’s superhero work.
Financially, this book is going for just about cover price. It’s a good contrast to read ahead of a possible silver screen team up from the two gods, but it might not be a blockbuster seller. Unless…
Buy Incredible Hercules #132 here.
Chaos War #1
Gorr was not the first person to rampage through the pantheons of the Marvel Universe. Before he was there, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, a Shinto deity whose whole thing was murdering other gods, rampaged through the various gods throughout Marvel trying to return the spiritual realms to their chaotic base forms. And his big swing came here, in the culmination of Pak and Van Lente’s Hercules story.
This era of Hercules comics is superb from start to finish, but Chaos War is exactly what it says on the label: chaos. The deaths of underworld supervisors leads to countless resurrections – Vision, Swordsman, Thunderbird, Moira MacTaggert, and Captain Marvel to name a few. It’s a big deal of a story that is often overlooked because it exists between major events in Marvel’s publishing schedule. That means Chaos War is also being taken for granted by collectors: one nudge and this could be worth serious money. For now, snap it up at cover price.
Buy Chaos War #1 here.