Age of Ultron – 1:25 chase variants look great but not holding value after a year

Rock He Kim Ultron Variants

Continuing on the theme of chase covers, in particular 1:25 chase covers, I think a lot of them look pretty damn cool as artwork unto themselves.  Age of Ultron was a Marvel event that happened just a year ago (issue #1 hit the stands on March 6th, 2013).  It’s also a Marvel event I chose to skip after reading the 1st issue, though I did get #10 when it came out to see what the hoopla was surrounding the issue, I remember being underwhelmed.  The most significant result of the event was introducing the Angela character (originally created for Spawn by Neil Gaiman and the subject of a lengthy legal battle between Gaiman and Todd McFarlane) to the Marvel Universe.  Moving forward, interest in the series may take an upswing as the next Avengers movie is supposed to be called “Age of Ultron”.

There was 1:25 chase cover for each issue by Rock He Kim (see above).  I never saw these in a shop when they originally hit the stands, though to be fair there are a tremendous number of variant and chase covers I never lay eyes on.  I’m fairly certain they were sold at most shops at escalated prices.

That said, I recently did lay eyes on all 10 of these Rock He Kim covers, each depicting Ultron in all his mechanical glory.  Better yet, they were all $4 each (original cover price).  That’s an easy decision for me:
a) Cool looking covers
b) skipped the series originally
c) decent price

I snapped them up, as much as standalone art objects as anything else.   Giving these a quick read, I don’t regret my original decision to skip the series when it originally came out.  Over the past year I don’t think there is anything I’ve read at Marvel that would have been particularly enhanced by the reading of this series.  Brian Hitch & Paul Neary handled the art on issues #1-5, then Carlos Pacheco/Brandon Peterson on #6-7 & 9, Peterson by himself on #8 and a cast of thousands on #10.  I don’t think that art was bad on the back half of the series, but don’t like that there was not a consistent art team across the entire 10 issue series and would have preferred it had Hitch/Neary been able to do the entire thing.  I’d give the whole series a 3.5/5, not bad, but not required reading by any stretch.

I don’t buy comics as investments since I never sell comics, so future value of comics I buy is more an intellectual exercise than anything else.  If I feel like I got value in the reading and having of the books then I made a good purchase, they do not need to appreciate in monetary value.  What I do know is that these particular 1:25 chase covers were a terrible investment (so far) for anyone who paid big bucks for them a year ago looking for a monetary return, since they seem to be selling at cover price today.  Will they increase in value as the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie approaches the screen in 2015?  Time will tell.  All I know is that I love Rock He Kim’s art by on these covers and will enjoy looking at them for a few months.  The story was decent, while not great, but all in all I think it was a worthwhile use of $40 and that’s all that matters to me for this buy.

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