Death of the Inhumans

Matt Tuck Mar 31, 2018
Fantastic Four #45

Remember that scene in Gladiator when Proximo told Maximus and the other gladiators-to-be about how he was going to make money from their deaths? “I did not pay good money for you for your company,” he said. “I paid it so I could profit from your death.” That could be you and the upcoming Death of the Inhumans storyline.

That’s right: Marvel has decided to kill off the Royal Family in July, and you could profit from their demise.

Earlier this month, I talked about how bad movies and awful television shows can kill the value of key issues. Such was the case with the much-hyped Inhumans show, which was slaughtered by both critics and fans upon its premiere in September (if it tells you how much this show was hyped, the original debut was in IMAX theaters). Leading up to that premiere, Marvel teased us with images, signed what could have been a great cast, and then completely let everyone down with a downright deplorable first (and likely/mercifully only) season.

We’re not here to debate what went wrong with Inhumans nor what could have been. No, we’re here to discuss the implications and effects it has on the comic market, specifically those classic key issues.

If you got caught up in the wave of excitement last summer and into the fall and paid top dollar for the first appearance of the Inhumans and Black Bolt in Fantastic Four #45 and #46, respectively, then you are likely seeing a loss at this point. Last September, for instance, an FF #45 in a graded 7.5 sold for $900. By October, those same grades had dropped below $600 - that’s almost a $200 drop off from the 2016 average of $778.

The doomed television show was only part of the reason for the early Inhumans keys to spike. For years before then, Marvel had been pushing the Inhumans in the comics, seemingly having them replace mutants in the stories. Speculation was that Marvel did this because Fox had the film and television rights to the X-Men and all things mutants. To keep from aiding Disney’s competition, Marvel phased out the X-Men and gradually replaced them with the Inhumans, which Marvel Studios/Disney had full use of. Generally speaking, comic fans rejected this replacement. Now that the show has failed and the X-Men are regaining their old status in the comics, it is not surprising that Marvel is preparing to send off the Inhumans with one last epic story.

Marvel has given the task of ending the Inhumans to fan-favorite writer Donny Cates, who has established himself as the company’s top new talent with his runs on Thanos and Doctor Strange. Cates is known for his over-the-top violence, which translates well in the panels as we have seen not only in Thanos but in Cates’ independent titles, God Country, Redneck, and Babyteeth. While I’ve never been much of an Inhumans fan, having him take the reigns makes me interested, and I’d wager that I’m not only in that.

For those of you looking to turn a profit on those Inhumans keys you bought last year, Marvel is about to give you a helping hand. Death of the Inhumans will certainly get a major marketing campaign, and Cates fans will be eagerly awaiting its release. That will build the hype heading into July, which should translate into a spike in value for those keys.

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