Collector's Guide



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A Lengthy Discussion About Collecting Moon Knight...

Moon Knight Collectors are an unpredictable bunch. You could talk to 10 different collectors and find they all prefer completely different things about the character, and their collecting habits often reflect this. Part of this can be blamed on the massive irregularity of his publication, character interpretation, Creative Team changes, and how all of this has affected his relevance in the Universe. His fanbase has grown and shrunk throughout the years as a result of these factors. Despite having existed for over 42 years, Moon Knight has been published intermittently through multiple volumes often separated by long periods of silence. Since his creation, there have been over 17 years without a solo series being published. Until recently, the only thing related to Moon Knight to collect were the comics, and even they weren’t the easiest to come by. With the exception of a few toys or odd bits of licensed material, Moon Knight didn’t exist beyond the few comic collectors who knew he existed.

The recent popularity of Comic books and super heroes in general, thanks to the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe, has catapulted comics into mainstream acceptance. This has allowed for even lesser known characters such as Moon Knight to experience a slight surge in popularity and public awareness. The last few years saw several high profile stories featuring the character, as well as several superstar creators working on the title. The result has been a steadily growing fan base of new Moon Knight Fans. It has also lead to a surge in related merchandise being created from Vinyl figures and t-shirts to pint glasses and video games. The benefit of this is that the variety in collectibles has never been so diverse. The problem is that it has never been more expensive. That doesn’t just refer to the quantity of collectibles, but also that rarer collectibles have escalated in price because more people are pursuing them. 13 Years ago you could purchase Moon Knight’s first appearance in excellent condition for around $100. Recent eBay sales of lesser conditioned copies have sold for well over a $1000.

Moon Knights recent inflation in the collectibles market is likely due to several factors. The first being prospectors anticipating a potential appearance in either a Film or Television series. By acquiring key issues ahead of an appearance, one can potentially resell at a higher rate after said appearance. This requires that Moon Knight actually does appear in that respective media, but also that his appearance is positively accepted. Another reason for the inflated collectibles market is due to the expanding Moon Knight Fan base itself. With several highly regarded series in the last few years, there are more people actively collecting older Moon Knight comics. The more people trying to get rare comics drive up the value. A third factor that contributes to the increased price of Moon Knight Collectibles is directly related to the market, which has been on a rise for over a decade, which affects most of the industry regardless. What all of these factors mean is that Moon Knight Prices have every possibility of falling in the future as they do of continuing to rise. It makes it a tricky hobby to get into because it is rather difficult to predict.

With all of that said, the following are several topics I feel are important to discuss when it comes to collecting Moon Knight.


Rarity


Whenever we talk about collecting, it is important to actually discuss what makes something ‘rare’. Rarity means that something is both hard to find (limited) and highly sought after (want). For instance, Moon Knight’s first appearance in Werewolf by Night #32 is an example of a legitimately rare comic. Its age, along with its lower publishing numbers (when compared to titles like Spider-Man) make it harder to come across. Being that it is also a key issue means that more collectors are actively trying to purchase this issue than another arbitrary issue in this series. That makes it both sought after, and hard to find. The importance of Moon Knight also helps drive people’s desire to purchase this issue, increasing the market for it. This results in the price being high. This, once again is a good example of rarity.

Now, what is an example of something that is NOT rare? Variant covers. Incentive variants are intentionally limited prints of a comic to incentivize both retailers and customers to pay more money. The hope is that a customer wants a unique cover more than the regular, and is therefore willing to pay more. Often retailers are required to purchase a certain amount of a comic and are then rewarded with a single copy of the variant. What this means is that yes, the actual variant is in limited quantities. However, what this does not mean is that it is rare, because 99% of the time, the market doesn’t actually aggressively pursue these variants. There are a limited number of people who attempt to purchase these variants, many of which are people intending to resell them at higher amounts later. These issues hold no historical importance. Issue #1 of Moon Knight from 2016 is not a rare comic, and is not hard to find on eBay for roughly its cover price. The incentive variants are selling for around $15-$25 apiece, depending on how they were marketed. One that was marketed as being 1 for every 15 copies sold usually is sold on day one for $15. As someone who has actively watched the variant market on eBay, they rarely build any reputable value (with the exception of a select few). A $15 variant from 2006 is still selling for around $15 today. That’s a terrible build in value. It is also endemic to the variant market.

The reason this is important is that many new collectors are often scammed into interpreting a high price as an indicator of rarity or value. Just because it is expensive, does not make it rare. My recommendation is to approach online prices with caution, particularly on eBay. It is best to cross reference values with multiple sites before purchasing.


Differences between Series


I also want to take a moment to discuss another issue when it comes to collecting Moon Knight Comics, and that is the differences between creative directions between each of the series. Recent Moon Knight fans might be shocked when they start to dive into older Moon Knight Stories. This isn’t a reference to their quality (although sometimes it is), but rather to how diverse the interpretation has been throughout years. The best example I can think of is the difference between The 90’s Spider-man Cartoon, and the Amazing Spider-man film from a few years back. They both represent the same character, but in very different ways. This means that each collector might find different High and low points throughout Moon knight’s run. It also means that if you are working your way backwards through Moon Knight and run into a series you don’t like, it’s not indicative of anything that came before it.

The differences aren’t strictly related to the creative teams either. Due to changes in promotion methods and the market in general, the rarity and cost of different series will fluctuate greatly. It is important to note that these prices are absolutely not relative to the quality of the stories. The final 5 issues of the Marc Spector Moon Knight series are some of the more expensive earlier issues to acquire, and they are also probably the worst in terms of story and story relevance (considering they were retconned by the 1998 mini). Some of the best Moon Knight stories are also relatively cheap, such as Moon Knight Special Edition #1-3, which are colorized reprints of Hulk backup stories. They aren’t expensive, but are some of the finest early Moon Knight stories available.


Relevant Appearances vs Cameos


One last thing I want to discuss relates directly to the list I host on this site of Moon Knight Appearances. I included a key to indicate the relevance of each appearance in the hopes of helping prospective collectors, but I think some elaboration couldn’t hurt. I’m a bit of a completest, and I am willing to purchase a comic even if the only Moon Knight appearance is his head in the background of a single panel on a random page. It’s admittedly extreme, and probably not the smartest use of money. Some collectors will understand this, and others won’t. What restrictions do I put on my own collecting? I have a few, the most prominant being that I do not collect variants that do not feature Moon Knight on the variant(excluding his solo titles). What is important is that each collector needs to define what the rules are to their own collection. Do you only want titular Moon Knight Comics? Do you also want appearances in which he has a major role, or some relevance to the story or continuity? Moon Knight was an Avenger for many years, but in many of his appearances, he was just in a few panels with a few words spoken. It is unlikely that those stories will ever be relevant to Moon Knight’s own continuity in the future. But it really depends on each collector what they want.

For arguments sake, I think it is safe to say that very little that happens outside of the eponymous Moon Knight series are ever going to have a strong relevant effect on his lore or continuity. With the exception of a few references to major companywide crossovers, or a few adventures in a team book he was temporarily on, I think Most Moon Knight collectors will be fine sticking to his core series.

If you want a simple list of what I recommend as a base Moon Knight Comic Collection, check out my New Readers Guide Here



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