27th Sep2019

eBuying Comics: Week 27

by Ian Wells

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When I first got into comics I would only really see Green Arrow in DC group shots in adverts and stuff. My train of thought at the time was ‘Oh The Avengers have an archer so naturally so do the JLA.’ I  really got into the character a few years later when I picked up Kevin Smiths ‘Quiver’ story arc from the local library. I was going with the association of Smith’s name rather than anything else, but I absolutely loved it! Later from the same library I was able to pick up the following story arc. Fast forward a few years from that and all of a sudden Oliver Queen is the face of a brand new TV series that would run for 8 seasons and launch a very successful DC TV universe. Hopefully the show has done its job and brought a new audience to Green Arrow comics. So what I am going to do is highlight a few key issues of characters to have appeared on the show and theer values. I will also be looking at good value trade paperbacks of important story arcs that either influenced the show or would be good jumping on points for new readers.

The hardcore comic collector is going to want to start with the big one, the holy grail. I’m talking about Green Arrow’s first appearance from way back in 1941. Created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp he made his debut in More Fun Comics #73, which also happened to be the first appearance of Aquaman as well. So you are looking at one very expensive comic. I was actually quiet surprised to see one on eBay, you just need to spare £23,000 laying around for a CGC grade 2 copy! Even a ‘Millenium Edition’ which is a 2001 reprint is upwards of £30. A good villain is nothing without his rogues, unfortunately Green Arrow is well known for a colourful rogues gallery like say Batman. Coincidentally this led the the show borrowing a lot of Batman’s rogues, which could lead to more expensive collecting. The two biggest villains utilized on the show were Deathtroke in season 2 and Ras Al Ghul in season 3. Deathstroke is a villain who in the comics has shared time between Green Arrow, Nightwing, Teen Titans and Batman. For me season 2 is still the best and you can put that down the having the best villain, brilliant portrayed by Manu Bennett. Deathstroke made his comics debut in New Teen Titans #2. Now this is a hot book, probably rather fittingly in the realms of New Mutants #98 hot. Deathstroke took a huge leap in populartity when he was earmarked for the new Batman movie and after his post credits scene in Justice League. I expect this issue to see a spike in value again soon as Deathstroke will be making an appearance in the Titans TV series, which is also adapting ‘The Judas Contract’ one of Deathstrokes most popular and famous story arcs. Getting this issue at a 8/9 grade for under £200 should be considered a bargain. In the battle of prices between the villains Ras Al Ghul varies widley from seller to seller. What with more successful big screen appearances and genral association to Batman this is to be expected. Currently one seller is asking £799 for a 9.2 (NM) copy but un-slabbed. It does look very crisp from the images provided but that is a big payment for something not officially graded. If you want to start with a cheaper rogue to start your collection perhaps you should take a leaf out of the shows book and start with Merlyn the Dark Archer. Although in the show he Malcolm Merlyn. He first appeared in JLA #94 (1971). Currently there are only two listings on eBay but they cater for both types of collector. First there is a raw copy, graded VF- by the seller. They are only asking £19.99 but with £20 P+P. There there is a slabbed CGC copy graded 9.0 for £92, shipping from Germany with £11 P+P.

After their rogues the success of a great hero is based on the strength of his supporting cast and love interests. Two very important people to the dynamic of the show are the characters John Diggle and Felicity Smoak. Two characters who never originally appeared in Green Arrow comics, with the former being an entirely new creation. Diggle takes his name from the writer Andy Diggle who penned a Green Arrow story I will be talking about later. After his popularity in the show took off he was introduced into New 52 continuity with Green Arrow #24. This is an easy to find issue and still cheap. There are a couple in eBay for just a little more than original cover price, one of them even has a ‘Best offer’ option so you could get it for less than original cover price! Felicity Smoak has some earlier comics history. Making a few appearances on Fury of Firestorm after her initial introduction in #23. This goes for around the £15 mark in good condition or higher and there are currently plenty of them on eBay. After the characters name was used on Arrow Felicity eventually made it into New 52 continuity with Green Arrow #35. Again a cheap and easy to find comic. I bet if that was a Marvel TV character it would be selling for more than double cover price! In the early years of the comic Green Arrow was little more than a poor Batman imitation. He had an ‘Arrow Cave’, an ‘Arrow Car’ and even a young ward in the shape of Roy Harper. He too made his debut in More Fun Comics #73. Two issues seen as key to the development of Harper are Green Lantern #85-#86. In this story arc he was outed as a heroine junky to Green Arrow. A CGC 9.4 for #85 (refered to as the famous drug issue) is currently on eBay for £457. Alternatively you can buy both issues raw graded -VF/VF by the seller for £189.95. This seems a good price when you consider the price for alone for the more famous of the two issues. In November there is a reprint edition coming out which I may have to check out myself. Roy Harper would eventually graduate to the new identity of Arsenal in New Titans #99. It seems to be one of those issues that has be affected by TV apperances. One seller has a slabbed copy graded 9.6 for £50, where as a listing for a raw copy down at £6.95. One element of the show that always frustrated me was the use of Black Canary. While I enjoyed what was done with each incarnation of the character being a comics fan I was disappointed the Arrow/Canary relationship wasn’t properly explored. I mean come on in the comics they got married! The Black Canary has a very rich comics history in here own right. She has been around since 1947 not a time when strong female characters were easily accessible. Not surprisingly there was only one search result for this comic on eBay. £4500 is the asking price for a CGC graded 1.5.

Lastly I want to look at some key story arcs that would be well worth picking up for Green Arrow fans old and new. The show really did become its own animal and only very loosely ever adapt stories direct from the comics. If you are new to the character Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock would be a good starting point. It retells his origin from his time on a deserted jungle island. A lot of what is in here made its way into the flash back element of the first couple of seasons. A story arc I have already mentioned and it would have made a great season of Arrow on its own is Quiver by Kevin Smith and Phil Hester. It is the first ten issues of the third volume of Green Arrow. In the third issue it introduced the character Mia Dearden who would inspire two characters on the show firstly Thea Queen who became Speedy and in season 7 Mia Queen. Both Quiver and Year One are readily available on eBay. I would recommend though searching for the DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection versions. These are hardback editions easily found for under £10. As quiver was split into two parts for this collection you can find listings for both parts for around £15. The follow up to Quiver was The Archers Quest by Brad Meltzer and Phil Hester. Again it would have made a great season of TV in its own right, it works as a great one two punch with te previous story arc. Lastly one element of the comics that did make it into the show was Oliver Queens stint as mayor. This comes from the story arc titled Crawling Through The Wreckage by Judd Winick and Scott McDaniel. these last two stories aren’t part of the DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection but can be found for a variety of prices on eBay, so shop around. I did find one listing which was all of the trade paperbacks for volume 3 plus Year One for £50 with £9.50 P+P. Decent price and a very quick way to get a Green Arrow collection underway. Finally I would recommend checking out The Longbow Hunters by Mike Grell. Think Daredevil Born Again but with bow and arrows. A more mature read it was originally released as three prestige format issues. Now I remember at one stage I was looking for these and found them very hard to come by. I eventually purchased them on Comixology when they had a sale celebrating a new season on Arrow. Now they are less hard to find, one seller has the complete set of three graded at FN-VFN for £12.99. I would say this is a bargain as another seller has only the first book for £9.99. It may be more cost effective to source each issue individually depending on what grade you are happy having in your collection.

Character Spotlight

I’ve not done one of these for a while but with the end of the year approaching I need to add some more so I have some content for a future blog. To be honest it is getting difficult to select characters and comics that are not the subject of movies or even have rumours circling that will see their prices greatly inflated. Anyway Madame Masque popped in my head and without a better option already she will do! She is a character that is always well used but never really had a major break out, but I only have to comics this week as opposed to the usual three. Spookily they both had the exact same values for all three grades.

Tales of Suspense #98

  • 9.8 (NM) – £240
  • 6 (F) – £13
  • 2 (G) – £4

Iron Man #17

  • 9.8 (NM) – £240
  • 6 (F) – £13
  • 2 (G) – £4

 Until next time..!

 

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