The Zaniac could be coming to the MCU, and that makes him worthy of this round’s Oddball of the Week.

Just like every Marvel Studios movie or show, the set photos always work their magic on the secondary market in a hurry. The latest pictures making the internet laps are from the upcoming season of Loki. The photo in question features what appears to be several vintage movie posters. One, in particular, is a fictional advertisement for a film called, The Zaniac

Kevin Feige and company do enjoy their obscure character references, and this one is digging deep. It’s appropriate that the first hint is a movie poster because The Zaniac is a horror movie in the comics. What, then, is a Zaniac? First appearing in 1982, it is a bloodthirsty evil spirit that possesses human hosts. Once in control, the spirit commits unspeakable acts of violence against women, which makes the Zaniac basically an ethereal serial killer. The comics went so far as to connect it with Jack the Ripper. In fact, the actor who played the Zaniac in the fictional movie was himself possessed by the spirit. That’s irony for you.

Now, the buzz coming from the Loki set photos have sent collectors on a scavenger hunt for these key issues.

THOR #319

At the top of the buying list is Thor #319, the first appearance of the Zaniac. In this issue, the spirit is in control of Brad Wolfe, the actor playing the fictional Zaniac for the previously mentioned movie. It follows the film’s script in an attempt to bring the blood and gore to real life. Eventually, the Zaniac gets Thor’s attention, and the God of Thunder turns detective to try and solve the mystery. Because of Thor’s long, blond hair, Zaniac mistakes him for a woman, and he tries to murder the Thunder God. When the two have their throwdown, the Zaniac hurls radioactive knives at Thor, who shrugs them away with Mjolnir. Only in comics.

There have been hardly any graded sales for Thor #319 in the past year. At the top of the heap is the 9.6, which sold for $40 on July 3, 2021. More recently, a 7.5 earned $26 last month. Before that, an 8.5 brought $26 in April.

THOR #371

It would be four years before readers saw Zaniac again. The real selling point for this issue pivots back to Loki. Here, readers first met Justice Peace from the Time Variance Authority. He was sent to the past to find and kill Zaniac, who had instigated World War VII and caused a massive Zaniac outbreak on Earth-896371. On his way to kill Brad Wolfe, Justice Peace had a run-in with Thor. Just when it seemed Brad was dead and World War VII was avoided, Zaniac took up a new host.

After hitting triple digits in 2021, the graded 9.8 hadn’t sold for more than $60 this year, and most copies stayed in the $30 range. Then came June 13, and the sales price made a leap to $93.

THOR #372

Believe it or not, Zaniac managed to kill Jane Foster in Thor #372. After the events of the previous issue, Zany had Jane in his crosshairs, and he actually succeeded. However, Justice Peace traveled back in time, preventing the Zaniac from taking a new host after Brad’s death. Thus, Jane was saved, though it does leave room for another timeline in which she was murdered. 

The graded 9.8 had been earning $285 for the past year, and the 30-day average is hovering at $219. Surely Zaniac wasn’t already on some speculator’s radar, right? Actually, this issue had been prized because it featured the first appearance of the Time Variance Authority.


Will we actually see Zaniac in the next season of Loki or will the movie poster simply be an Easter egg? Considering the TVA’s connection to Zaniac and the events of WWVII on an alternate Earth, it could lead to the Time Variance and Loki coming back together. In any event, it’s made a quick hit of Thor #319.

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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.