After waiting for five years - ever since we got our first glimpse of Thanos in 2012’s Avengers movie - fans have been waiting to see the Mad TItan enter the fray. We were treated to an impressive cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy, and he was referenced in the sequel. And now that the first official Avengers: Infinity War trailer has dropped, we get to see Thanos in action (but without his armor, so he kind of looks like just a big, bald dude with a goatee).
With or without his armor, Thanos is the baddest of the bad in the Marvel Universe, which makes him a very popular villain. Not only is he the star of the most popular movie trailer in the world at the moment, but he even has a new self-titled series on shelves.
In other words, now is the time to pick up those Thanos key issues.
This is such a great story!
Thanos was at his best and given a bit of depth as a character in the original Infinity Gauntlet limited series. In this story, you get to see Thanos in love, though odd and twisted as it was. And, seriously, he does not know how to handle his feelings. One of the iconic moments of this series was Thanos, in an effort to please the personified Death, using the magic gauntlet to wipe half of all existence in the universe. But, alas, it was not enough to earn the favor of Death. And so the entire series became a huge, sadistic love note as Thanos does everything he can dream up to get her attention. Alas, she refuses to talk to him.
It’s tough to say how much of Infinity Gauntlet will be used in Avengers 3, but you don’t get any more important Thanos-centric stories than this one. Collectors have been on the hunt for Infinity Gauntlet #1 as there have been 66 recorded eBay sales of graded copies in the past three months. A graded 9.8 averages close to $150, but you can get out for under $100 for all other grades, so this is a key that won’t eat into your bank account too much.
Although it pales in popularity compared to Infinity Gauntlet, 1990’s The Thanos Quest is an essential read because it sets up the events of Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War. In the pages of this comic, Thanos is tasked with killing half of all life by Death herself. He uses that to convince her to help him get the Infinity Gems for his gauntlet in order to complete her request. These comics also saw Thanos look into the Infinity Well, which helped him comprehend the true nature of the six gems and how to wield them.
By the end of the second issue, Thanos has all six infinity gems and has declared himself a god, but it’s not enough to win the heart of Death. It’s hard to keep a straight face when you see the single tear running down his cheek at the end, honestly. But aside from that moment, it’s a great read. It’s also affordable. A near-mint, graded copy of The Thanos Quest #1 averages under $100.
I went with this one last because it was the obvious choice for Thanos keys. Iron Man #55 is a perennial favorite that leaped in popularity after the Mad Titan made his cameo in the mid-credits scene of Avengers. It’s gotten even more popular (which translates into more expensive) after Guardians of the Galaxy broke the box office and delighted us with Drax. In case you didn’t know, Drax the Destroyer also made his first appearance in Iron Man #55.
Considering that two major characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe debuted in this issue, it’s not surprising that it’s skyrocketed in price. If you’re looking to buy one, get ready to pay out - all grades, even a lowly 0.5, are averaging over $100. A CGC 9.8 sold for $4,000 on eBay on November 12, and I expect that will be surpassed in the coming months.
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