28th Aug2020

eBuying Comics: Week 41

by Ian Wells

Gotham City a cold winters night. A downtown plaza is where we find our subject. He is a man respected and feared in equal measure. A cold hearted professional. When taking a mission in Gotham it comes with the added mission of avoiding ‘The Bat.’ But he is more than up to the task which makes it something of a surprise that as he is adjusting the scope on his sniper rifle a blue flashing light distracts him and in an instant he is gone.

Later that same night in New York City. Another subject for us. While he is as feared as the man from Gotham, excellent in his field. Perhaps at times he is not regarded as professional, though he is just as deadly. If only he would just shut up! However this quirk in his personality makes him an easy target for extraction. As he closes in on an old adversary the crack of the blinding light is drowned out by his own audio commentary and just like that he is gone and his adversary lives to fight another day.

Some time later both men awake. Their eyesight returning after be blinded by the blue light. They find themselves in a auditorium, tied to a chair each and surrounded by what looks like the crowd from San Diego Comic Con. In the front row VIP area they spot Ryan Reynolds and Esai Morales sitting side by side with Rob Liefeld and George Perez. A man enters from stage left and grabs a microphone. “Welcome once again to the Nerdly face-off, death match, battle arena. In the blue corner wearing blue and reddy/orange. The scourge of The Teen Titans. He is Deathstroke! Fighting out of the red corner in red and blue, he is the merc with a mouth. The scourge of anyone depending on how he gets out of bed in the morning. I give to you Deadpool. Now ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls and the millions streaming along at home. Lets get ready to raaaaamble about comics!”

All values provided by comicbookpriceguide.com for 9.8 NM/M raws

Round 1: First Appearances

A hot start to the contest sees two issues any comic fan worth their salt has on the tip of their tongues as two 80s keys. New Mutants #98 vs New Teen Titans #2. For a very long time New Mutants #98 was a nothing issue found in bargain long boxes world wide. Lets face it Gideon was pushed harder in that issue and that is probably why it was discarded for so long. New Teen Titans #2 has had a more consistent slow burn since its debut, as there is alwasy interest a good villain. New Mutants #98 weighs in at£378. Of course this price can give thanks to two massively popular movies as well as Deadpool being able to hold a monthly ongoing more reguarly than his counterpart. £196 for New Teen Titans #2 isn’t to be sniffed at and would no doubt have been higher had Ben Afflecks Batman been made. Perhaps more screen time in the Snyder Cut of Justice League will see this issue gin some here. There is no doubt Deathstroke is having a renaissance similar to Deadpool’s in the last ten years. However round one goes to the mand from Department K, proving two swords are better than one.

After One Round: Deathstroke: £196   Deadpool: £378

Round 2: Round 2

The brainchild of Wolfman and Perez only had to wait till #9 (£11) of New Teen Titans before appearing again. Further proof that fans clamour for a good villain. Wolfman and Perez were reshaping The Titans for a new generation and creating a series that saw DC compete with Marvel’s X-Men. Deadpool next appeared in X-Force #2 (£13). In the time since his first appearance Liefeld had brought an end to New Mutants and relauched the title as X-Force. In the current market second appearances are a good place to start for new collectors, they are in expensive keys. They tend to shoot up if the second appearance in the comic makes its way onto the big screen. So far these two are potential sleeping giants, but again Deadpool just edges past his similarly dressed opponent.

After Two Rounds: Deathstroke: £207   Deadpool: £391

Round 3: Origin Stories

When Deadpool was introduced in the pages of New Mutants he was portrayed as a villain. He had close ties and implied previous entanglements with team members such as Cable and Domino. By the time X-Force rolled around Deadpool became a sort of auxilary member of the the team playing the those gray ares of hero and villain. His origin story was explored in his first mini series entitled The Circle Chase. #1 of this mini series is currently valued at £21. Here is a round that Deathstroke takes easily. There are some external factors that go into him taking this round so comfortably. Like I said fans love a great villain and what really brings readers in is a great villain taking his rivals to the brink of defeat. Exactly what Deathstroke achieved in the pages of The Judas Contract. Slap bang in the middle of this epic story line is #44 of Tales of The Teen Titans which tells us the story of how Slade Wilson became Deathstroke. This issue is also the first appearance of Nightwing so it comes in with a solid £80 valuation.

After Three Rounds: Deathstroke: £287   Deadpool: £412

Round 4: First to Last

As much as fans love a good villain comics publisher are a little reluctant to give them their own ongoing series. So after making his debut in 1980 Deathstroke had to wait to the early days of the comic book boom to get his own ongoing in 1991. Marv Wolfman was still on writing duties joined on pencils by Steve Erwin. The series ran for sixty issues with #1 carrying a valuation of £10 and #£60 coming in at a modest £8. While Deadpool didn’t have to wait as long for an on going he had trouble mainting one for long. The Circle Chase in 1993 was some what of a hit so another mini series was green lit in 1994 before finally in 1997 he was given an ongoing. Liefeld was long gone and creative duties fell to Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness. I was staggered to find #1 valued at £80! A very 90’s comic carrying a speculative valuation is scarey indication of the weight big screen popularity carries for comic collectors. the series ran for sixty nine issues and the final carries a price of £29.

After Four Rounds: Deathstroke: £305   Deadpool: £521

Round 5: Modern Era

In 2011 DC done a very brave thing a relaunched their entire line of comics with all new fresh reader friendly continuity. Deathstroke was introduced in the DC New 52 in a four part mini series. The first issue has a low value of £3. Deadpool made abit of a comeback in the pages of Wolverine Origins in 2008. This led to him getting an all new ongoing spinning out of the events of Secret Invasion. Again nothing to write home about here just a £3 valuation.

After Five Rounds: Deathstroke: £308   Deadpool: £524

Tale of The Tape

When I came up with the idea of pitting Slade Wilson against Wade Wilson I didn’t expect the final scores to be a lot closer. The obvious element to attribute Deadpool’s higher prices to are two blockbuster movies. Perhaps Deathstroke for the time being has been robbed of this element, only time will tell. It is interesting to think a lot of Deadpools early appearances happened at the height of the speculator boom. So the valuations for his key issues would have shot up very quickly and come down just as quick. When he regained popularity again the market was more balanced and I think a lot of the high valuations today are attributed to people making money off of a good thing. Perhaps one way of looking at it is that in todays market characters like Deadpool and Venom exist in their own bubble of a localized specualtor boom!? Making a case for Deathstroke can be explained by him being a villain. As great a character as he is, he is a villain only called upon when the story needs. So as good and well reveered as Wolfman and Perez’s New Teen Titans is his appearances were fleeting. You only have to look at how long it took him to get his own ongoing. A great character can’t be kept down though and one day he will burst through even bigger than he already is and perhaps a rematch will be a closer ran thing.


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