04th Dec2019

eBuying Comics: Week 32

by Ian Wells

As soon as you start reading/collecting comics you will soon learn one of the hottest topics is fantasy fights. We have all been in a conversation that starts with “Who would win in a fight…?” A lot of the time this world of fantasy pits hero against hero! We can trace our fascination with this subject back to such classic comics as Marvel Mystery Comics #8-#9. Billed as Fire vs Water when the original Human Torch faced off against Namor The Sub Mariner. Then there is DC Comics Presents #1-#2 which finally saw Superman and The Flash race! Well today I bring you another titanic clash as I pit two noble teams of heroes against each other in a fabled price war. In the 70′s and 80′s these two teams represented the pinnacle of story telling for their respective publishers. They went toe-to-toe in the sales charts each and every month. Back in those days battle lines were drawn by fans and they were very strict. The two teams were the colours you flew if you were Marvel or DC. You lived and died by your choice, but in reality the creators were burrowing from each others success. So who am I talking about? In the blue corner fighting the fight for DC Comics we have The Teen Titans. Once a collection of young side kicks, under the right creative team they stepped out the shadows and more than held their own. In the red corner of Marvel Comics we have the merry band of mutants known as the X-Men. Famously known for fight for a world that hates and fears them. Final reminder same rules apply as the previous Batman Rogues vs Spider Foes price war (Week 28). All values are provided by comicspriceguide.com and are for 9.8 (NM/M) raw copies.

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First Appearance

The X-Men and the Teen Titans debut just one year apart with X-Men #1 hitting newstands in 1963. Teen Titans first appeared in The Brave and The Bold #54 before waiting two years to get their own ongoing series with Teen Titans #1 having a cover date of February 1966. May will be questioning why I didn’t pit the X-Men against Doom Patrol in this price war. While I agree there are similarities like both teams being led by a a brilliant mind confined to a wheelchair. I just feel X-Men and Teen Titans have more in common, for example both teams debuted as teens and as the comic scene shifted both teams got older. Admittedly the X-Men got a lot older. Also the later sales war and the make up of the two teams makes for a more interesting encounter. If I include the Titans first appearance (£5112) and the first issue of their own ongoing (£1854) they are still left some way behind X-Men #1.

After One Round: X-Men: £102,246 | Teen Titans: £6966

Best Villain

A round that will always been open to interpretation. I have played it pretty safe with my two choices. With Magneto taking the crown of best villain for the X-Men and Deathstroke taking the role against the Titans. The biggest difference between the two adversaries is the amount of years between their respective debuts. Magneto like his foes from the Xavier School first appeared in X-Men #1. Where as Deathstroke would appear in #2 of Teen Titans second more successful incarnation a mere seventeen years later. In recent years Deathstroke has skirted the line between villain and anti hero. Magneto had a long tenure as teacher to the New Mutants in the 80′s and has also sided with the X-Men in later years. Although I suspect for his own gains. So again this round is heavily stacked in favour of the X-Men. What I did find surprising was the rather low valuation of Teen Titans #2. Deathstroke shares a lot of similarities with Deadpool and I thought this extended to the mythical levels of how much a copy of the two characters first appearance is actually worth. Deathstroke has the cult following status, but it seems DC fans are a little more grounded with Teen Titans #2 at 9.8 (raw) is just £199.

After Two Rounds: X-Men: £102,146 | Teen Titans: £7165

Second Time Around

The X-Men were created by the golden touch team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby but it was never their biggest success. It did find a stronger following later in its run under Roy Thomas and Neal Adams before it was cancelled with issue #93. I can honestly say I do not know a great deal about the original ongoing series of the Teen Titans. My understanding of it is a collection of teenage sidekicks thrown together on a team because well kids read comics! Marv Wolfman and George Perez pitched the idea of a new team of Titans in the 80′s and it seems they took some inspiration from the opposition. The team were older teens at this point like Spider-Man and X-Men at Marvel. Before this teens were always sidekicks never the main protagonists. The Titans were soon able to be a force in their own right without the name recognition of their former mentors. For this round I had the dilemma of whether to count Giant Size X-Men #1 or restrict the bout to comics just in a regular run of a series? I went with the later, but there will be a bonus round at the end. With that said X-Men #94 (£3000) edges out New Teen Titans #1 (£44) by a country mile!

After Three Rounds: X-Men: £105146 | Teen Titans: £7209

Best Story Line

Both sets of teams have defining story lines. Both story lines have titles that just roll of the tongue. For the Titans the peak of Wolfman and Perez’s creative partnership came in The Judas Contract. For the X-Men while Chris Claremont had a stunningly long run on the X-Men with artists John Byrne and Dave Cockrum the stand out has to be The Dark Phoenix Saga. Unfortunately for the Titans the odds are stacked against them again. Firstly The Judas Contract spans just six regular issues and one annual. With the Dark Phoenix Saga being the pinnacle of Claremont’s superhero soap opera it consumes ten issues of Uncanny X-Men (#129-#138). Working in favour of the X-Men further us that the first issue of the story is also the first appearance of Kitty Pryde. So your looking at a value of £141. The next issue is Dazzler’s debut and will set you back £200. The ten issues combined have a current value of £1079 so the Titan’s six issues have got to be something special! The trade paperback I looked up to get the issue count for The Judas Contract included New Teen Titans #39 (£9) and #40 (£6.20). While they are not crucial to the story line they are important to the development of Dick Grayson, with the former issue being his final appearance as Robin. The story also has the series switching its title mid series. With #40 being the last issue before it relaunched in #41 (£6.20) with the title Tales of The Teen Titans. Dick Grayson debuted as Nightwing in #44 to save the day. But this issue is only currently valued at £77, which can not save The Judas Contract having a combined value of £210.

After Four Rounds: X-Men: £106225 | Teen Titans: £7419

Bonus Round One

If I am going to count Giant Size X-Men #1 with it’s current value for a raw 9.8 being £10818. Then I also have to include the Titans first print appearance in their new incarnation. That came in DC Comics Presents #26 and is at £151.

X-Men: £117043 | Teen Titans: 7570

Bonus Round Two

The Titans could seriously turn the tide in this bonus round. Remember they are characters who started out as sidekicks to early Silver Age characters, whilst the original five X-Men debut towards the end of the Silver Age but all in one issue. With Nightwing being their fearless leader the tide is about to turn! I have also taken into account the newer members who first appeared in Giant Size X-Men #1 and New Teen Titans #1 respectively. With the X-Men I only counted Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler as they stayed around the longest and proved popular as well as adding Wolverine debut which is now officially credited as Incredible Hulk #180.

X-Men: £231038 | Teen Titans: £203223

Below are the characters first appearance issues ranked from highest to lowest. Again all games are based on rae 9.8 (NM/M) grades from comicpriceguide.com

  1. Robin: Detective Comics #38 – £195185
  2. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast, Angel: X-Men #1 – £102246
  3. Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus: Giant Size X-Men #1 – £10818
  4. Kid Flash: Flash #110 – £6971
  5. Wolverine: Incredible Hulk #180 – £891
  6. Beast Boy: Doom Patrol #99 – £605
  7. Wonder Girl: Brave And Bold #60 – £428
  8. Star fire, Raven, Cyborg: New Teen Titans #1 – £44

 

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