Undervalued comics #5 – Defenders key comics to invest in

How likely is there going to be a Defenders movie? Chances are not big based on current information. One of the perquisite to a Defenders movie is a Doctor Strange movie. If Dr Strange becomes the lynchpin of Marvel phase 3 movies, we might have a team built around him, like how Avengers is built around Iron Man. What better team to do this than the Defenders?

If there is a Defenders movie, which undervalue comics will appreciate? There is actually a wide spectrum of issues to keep an eye on. Let’s take a look at some of these:


Marvel feature 1

marvel feature 1

The most obvious would be the first appearance of the team, which was in Marvel Features 1. Prior to this issue, there are other earlier team ups but the market has somehow decided this is the official first appearance.

Within this team, the original members were Dr Strange, Hulk,  Namor and Silver Surfer.  However, Namor and Silver Surfer’s movie rights belong to Fox so a marvel movie about them is unlikely. In addition, they didn’t stay long on the team thus making it difficult for Marvel to develop sequels based on them.

This is good news for comic investors as there will be opportunities for some undervalued characters to be chosen which will result in their first appearances appreciating in value. If only the original members are chosen, there is not much to invest in as the first appearance of Hulk, Dr Strange, Namor and Silver Surfer is already expensive.

So, who might these other characters be? For this, I will used one of the three predictive methodology outlined in this article on undervalue silver age comics, which is to use the history of the comic series since Marvel studios has shown a tendency to follow it.


First appearance of Defender’s other members

There were a couple of members introduced to the team from issue 4. Here is the list:

  • Valkyrie (Defenders, volume 1, #4)
  • Hawkeye (Defenders, volume 1, #7)(Leaves team in #11)
  • NightHawk (Defenders, volume 1, #14)
  • Red Guardian (Defenders, volume 1, #35)(Leaves team in #46)
  • Luke Cage (Defenders, volume 1, #37)(Leaves team in #46)
  • Hellcat (Defenders, volume 1, #46)

The above comprise the whole team from issue #1 to #100. Among them, Valkyrie and Nighthawk have stayed the longest, followed by Hellcat. If I was to speculate, these 3 characters would be my choice for a Defenders movie appearance. Below are the comic issues that contain their first appearances.


Valkyrie first appearance

avengers 83

defenders 4

Valkyrie has a tricky first appearance. Technically, the concept and design of Valkyrie first appeared in Avengers 83. However, it was revealed later that it was the Enchantress who was disguised as the Valkyrie. The actual character appeared in Defenders #4. So, depending on how you view this matter, you can buy either one or buy both. Personally, my gut feel is that the market will value avengers 83 more.


Nighthawk first appearance

avengers 69

Fortunately, nighthawk doesn’t have a complicated first appearance like Valkyrie. He first appeared in Avengers 69 which should be an easy issue to find. Unfortunately, the character didn’t appear on the cover, which might diminish the collectability of this issue.


Hellcat first appearance

Miss America Magazine #2

fantastic four annual 3

avengers 144

Hellcat is another character with a unclear first appearance. Technically, the name of Hellcat first appeared in the golden age of comics, Miss America Magazine #2 and was donned by a character named Greer Nelson. However, this was not the character who joined the Defenders, whose real name was Patricia Walker.

Even as Patricia Walker, there was 2 first appearances. She first appeared as Patricia in Fantastic four annual 3 and as Hellcat in avengers 144. Again, depending on your view, there are a couple of first appearances for you to collect. Personally, I would pick up avengers 144 because of the affordability as well as a kickass cover.


So, there you have it. If there is a Defenders movie being made, these would be the issues to go after.


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