Being a collector of comic art means keeping up to speed on as many public sales as you can - especially when looking for that page that has some personal meaning or key place in your collection. Bigger sites like Heritage Auctions often sees important high-end or key pages come their way, so imagine my surprise when I found the listing for their recent offering from Marvel's cult-favorite and somewhat unknown 90's Cosmic Avenger book, "Quasar".
Page 21 from Quasar (1989) issue #26 features an appearance by Thanos during the Marvel Comics crossover event-turned-MCU-Film, "The Infinity Gauntlet". This particular issue was nestled in-between master comic artist Greg Capullo's penciled work on the book, and was illustrated nicely by series fill-in artist, Dave Hoover. It's a great and somewhat iconic splash page from the series that sets up the conflict of the two-issue Infinity Gauntlet arc delivered nicely here and in issue 22. Given the large Heritage Auctions platform, as well as the fact that this is a splash page featuring a Thanos appearance, I figured this page would sell for a little over a premium of a normal "Quasar" offering - several hundred dollars, maybe.
But instead this one went the distance in the final moments of the Heritage countdown on March 9th, coming in at a whopping final sale price of $2,040! Cue the animated exploding eyeballs!
We are at a point now where decades of Marvel cosmic fandom has been bolstered by more recent interest in characters like Guardians of the Galaxy from the MCU. And so it's no surprise that a page featuring Thanos as well as the first appearances of a Doppleganger Marvel Boy, Trantra, Ree, and the visually awesome Stygian Starbender would be desirable to collectors. I also imagine that fans of Wendell Vaughn's Quasar were eager to put this page into their collections as well, considering that Quasar material doesn't come to the market very often.
But the sale on this page also shows how powerful a fan-following can be - even for those characters that many "normies" didn't know anything about. Most recently there has been some speculation that the upcoming Disney+ "Ms. Marvel" show might feature a Kamala Khan wielding a pair of Kree Nega Bands that appear to have powers more closely resembling Quasar's Quantum Bands than anything. While it would be nice to have more exposure to the character through this outlet, let's hope that Wendell Vaughn's Quasar isn't left on the MCU chopping block when the character himself still has the kind of fanbase that makes an offbeat art page like this one a wildly successful sale at open auction.
Such an underrated run of books! Especially the Capullo issues.