Friday, July 18, 2014

Thor (1998) # 22
Market Spotlight:  Thor Girl

I've been thinking about possible plays on the recent Thor news.  However one might feel about the scenario, it's received a good dollop of media attention, and it's taking over a really strong title for a furlong.  Whoever that woman carrying Thor's hammer may be....she's not a nothing.  For better or for worse, in the short term she's A Thing.

Here comes the fine print advisories:

What I'm talking about here is reckless speculation.  I don't know anything about the future contents of the Thor title.  Even if I did know that, it is grand hubris to believe one can predict exactly how the market will respond to any given stimulus.  This play I'm sharing with you is thick with risk, is what I'm telling you.

I'm telling you to consider rustling through the longboxes of your local LCS for appearances of Tarene.  Her first appearance is Thor (1998) # 22, by Dan Jurgens and John Romita, Jr.  She's got a moderately interesting and convoluted backstory that includes cosmic-level abilities, a magic hammer, connections to Thanos, and a brief stint as something called Thor Girl.

Thor (1998) # 33
Thor Girl makes her first appearance in Thor (1998) # 33, with a lovely cover by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove.  First appearances generally rule the day, but the cover for Thor # 33 really pops, and gets more to the heart of the public fascination.  If Tarene does indeed pick up Thor's hammer, these issues become instant magnets for the reactionary set. 

Why?  Is there any chance we're thinking about this character a year from now?  Three years from now?  Possible, but highly unlikely.  This is the kind of volcanic explosion I'm happy to cash out on and then duck out of the way.  In the hands of Jason Aaron and company, it is possible the new Thor has legs, (pun mostly intended) but history is working against her.

What If (1989) # 51
It's entirely possible that the new Thor has absolutely nothing to do with Tarene.  Even in that case, I can see a potential window for these books, especially Thor # 33.  Remember back when Marvel was teasing that star logo around Fraction's Punisher War Journal book?   The whispers in the dark decided that Punisher was going to take on the mantle of Captain America, and suddenly What If # 51 went from a $1 dust
collector to a $40 must-have. 

We're talking about a book that was strictly outside of continuity and didn't have a damn thing to do with the actual narratives at work.  When people get worked up about a thing, logic takes a holiday.  If the new Thor is a girl, those Thor Girl books may see a sharp spike whether the mystery woman is Tarene or not.  For a couple moments, at any rate.

Upon reflection, I guess the risk I'm advocating is pretty minor, because I don't advise throwing a whole lot of money into it.  The odds are good that your local shop either A) Doesn't have these books or B) They will have them available for $2 or $3.   I don't like the idea of paying more than $5 for these at any point, but your tolerance for pain may be greater than mine.

Still, it wouldn't surprise me at all if these were $25-$50 comics in October.  If you want to take a little risk and try to get ahead of this thing, Thor # 22 and # 33 are cute little lottery tickets.

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