There's a lot of attention around "Val" these days.

By Nick Romano
April 19, 2021 at 12:04 PM EDT
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Warning: Spoilers from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier season 1, episode 5 are discussed in this article.

It seems the mega cameo that featured in the latest episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has brought new attention to the character's Marvel comics debut.

Since Friday, which was when the Disney+ series dropped its fifth episode and revealed Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, eBay sales of the character's first appearance in the comics have surged.

At least 10 copies of Strange Tales #159, written by Jim Steranko and Roy Thomas and drawn by Marie Severin and Steranko, were sold by various vendors on Friday alone with elevated price points. One copy with a Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) grade of 9.2, noting its condition, sold for $1,600. Another, with a 9.4 CGC, racked up a $1,800 price tag. Another, with an even higher CGC of 9.6, sold for nearly $4,000.

This is compared to a copy with a 9.0 CGC sold days earlier on April 12 for $259.99, and one sold on April 7 with a 9.6 CGC for $565.

A representative for eBay didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
'Strange Tales #159.'
| Credit: Marvel Comics

Published in 1967, the Strange Tales issue sees the Contessa arriving as a secret agent who hops in to help S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Nick Fury before they exchange words and blows. In Marvel lore, Contessa is eventually revealed to be a Russian sleeper agent for the terrorist group Leviathan, and she becomes known by the alias Madame Hydra.

Dreyfus arrived in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to speak with John Walker (Wyatt Russell) after he's stripped of his Captain America title. Even though he lost the shield, she says that by taking the super-soldier serum, he has become a hot commodity to "certain people." She then advises he pick up the phone when she calls him in the future.

THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine.
| Credit: Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

It's unclear what role "Val" has to play in the MCU, but it seems she has big plans brewing behind the scenes.

The season finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will premiere on Disney+ this Friday.

Check out our daily must-see picks — plus news, celeb interviews, trivia, and more — in EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.

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