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Black Widow Comic Books to Invest In: Speculate on the Black Widow Movie

Black Widow Movie Comic Book Investments
by Norm Robinson

The Black Widow is a cold war agent. She started as a villain during the 60s in the Silver Age in Tales of Suspense #52.

Natasha Romanoff became one of the preeminent female superheroes in all of the MCU. Why has this seemingly minor character been at the forefront of almost every major super-team over the last five decades?

Black Widow Marvel Comics: first appearance of Natasha Romanov was in Tales of Suspense #52Black Widow Marvel Comics: first appearance of Natasha Romanov was in Tales of Suspense #52

She has been an Avenger, a member of the most powerful super-team in Marvel. She has partnerships with iconic heroes like Captain America.

Black Widow’s deadly grace in action has spanned the decades in comics, she is a fan favorite. Furthermore, the Widow has fought every type of villain imaginable yet almost always comes out on top.

The fans return time and time again to follow her exploits. Almost as if, Black Widow’s bite was an aphrodisiac, not venom to devour her lovers.

Now the fans can rejoice, for the first time Natasha Romanoff will have her own movie Black Widow (2020) starring Scarlet Johansen.

In the coming weeks we should get our first trailer; then watch every Black Widow Marvel comic key issue even remotely associated with her explode in value like a grenade from her wrist gauntlet. Why a Black Widow solo movie now? After all, didn't the Black Widow die in Avengers: Endgame?

The Black Widow movie is coming to cinemas in May, 2020The Black Widow movie is coming to cinemas in May, 2020

What Comic Book Investors and Speculators Need to Know About the Black Widow Movie

The movie will probably be the ride of a lifetime. It will tell Natasha Romanoff's backstory as ballerina, spy, and ultimate master assassin for the Soviet Empire.

Black Widow movie antagonist: Taskmaster, first appearance Avengers #196Black Widow movie antagonist: Taskmaster, first appearance Avengers #196

Also, fans will get to see: the story behind Budapest, the fabled Red Room, the superhero Red Guardian (her love interest and husband), and the battles with a rival female Soviet assassin for the title of Black Widow. Whew! That is a lot of drama and action in one movie.

In the middle of all this intrigue and drama will drop one of the most lethal adversaries the Black Widow has ever faced, the super-villain Taskmaster. In a nutshell, anything Taskmaster observes, he can imitate with photographic reflexes.

Mimicking the fighting styles of Iron Fist, Shang-Chi, Elektra, and even the great Captain America is a piece of cake. Taskmaster has perfected his sword stroke with the styles of Black Knight, and Silver Samurai with ease.

He can copycat the deadliest ranged combatants like Hawkeye's trick shot archery, Punisher's precision with firearms, even Bullseye's deadly accuracy with household objects like playing cards, "no problemo" for old Tasky. 

Taskmaster will push Black Widow to the limits of her ability. She will go well beyond a decorated Soviet spy; instead, she will become a global superhero. That is if she can avoid being slain by Taskmaster's unlimited arsenal of deadly skills.

Like I said, this movie will be the ride of a lifetime. There are eight comic books to concentrate on as a speculator to nibble on the profit of another Marvel hit.

Black Widow Comic Books Affected by the Movie:

1) Tales of Suspense #52, First Appearance of Black Widow

Tales of Suspense #52

Record Sale: $60,000
Minimum Value: $100

Total in CGC census: 1,043

Natasha Romanoff first appeared in 1964 in Tales of Suspense #52. She was a villain working for the KGB against Iron Man.

The character was created by Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby, Don Heck, and Larry Lieber (art). Marvel readers know that Black Widow is a major character in the Bronze Age, and even into the Modern Age of comics appearing across multiple titles.

Tales of Suspense #52 is Black Widow's primary key and her first appearance. Expect this book to jump three times, going into the first trailer, then the second trailer, and ultimately before the movie premiere.

Recent Sales

  • CGC 9.0 $8,000
  • CGC 8.5 $4,650
  • CGC 8.0 $3,150
  • CGC 7.0 $1,750
  • CGC 6.0 $1,190
  • CGC 4.0 $775
  • CGC 2.0 $340

What to Buy
I recommend CGC 6.0. Let's look at sales data.

  • 2017 Average $561
  • 2018 Average $686
  • 12-Month Average $1,130
  • 90-Day Average $1,188
  • Most Recent Sale $1,190

Goal price: $1,750

If you hit your goal price, then take it.

2) Amazing Spider-Man #86, New Black Widow Details

Amazing Spider-Man #86

Record Sale: $5,750
Minimum Value: $5

Total in CGC census: 607

The Black Widow movie is all about her origin story and early years.

In Amazing Spider-Man #86 Black Widow's origin is revealed, along with multi-functional wrist gauntlets and sexy skintight black costume that becomes her trademark look.

Stan Lee wrote this origin story with John Romita riding shotgun on pencils. Origin stories are important to collectors and speculators, usually expensive and very popular. It was created in 1970 at the height of the Cold War.

This key book is still relatively cheap and would make a great short-term speculation play into the movie.

Recent Sales

  • CGC 9.6 $940
  • CGC 9.4 $400
  • CGC 9.2 $450 (!)
  • CGC 9.0 $295
  • CGC 8.5 $280
  • CGC 8.0 $175
  • CGC 7.0 $85

What to Buy
I recommend CGC 9.0. Let's look at sales data.

  • 2017 Average $147
  • 2018 Average $233
  • 12-Month Average $268
  • 90-Day Average $301
  • Most Recent Sale $295

Goal price: $475

Avengers #196: First Appearance of Taskmaster

Avengers #196

Record Sale: $1,475
Minimum Value: $5

Total in CGC census: 1,613

The entry of the Taskmaster is going to be an extreme action event in the movie. This character is the ultimate villain with photographic reflexes (the ability to learn any physical skill he observes).

Now obviously, with these powers, he will adapt to all the superheroes fighting in his era, learning their secrets and beating them at their own game.

He will have the skill based heroes of the Avengers mimicked; Shang Chi’s fighting style memorized, and the deadly accuracy of Punisher's tactical weapons skill with firearms.

The Taskmaster first appeared in Avengers #196, written by David Michelinie and Kurt Busiek. The art was created by what are now legends in the business: George Perez, Sal Buscema, and the incomparable Dick Giordano.

There have been recent declines across the grades for this book. This is probably due to no additional news after initial roll out, basically a lack of new media hype-oxygen.

With the Black Widow movie trailer about to drop, this could drastically change overnight, and the patient could re-animate and scream, "I’m alive!"

Recent Sales

  • CGC 9.8 $1,125
  • CGC 9.6 $280
  • CGC 9.4 $275(!)
  • CGC 9.2 $160
  • CGC 9.0 $185(!)
  • CGC 8.5 $125
  • CGC 8.0 $100
  • CGC 7.0 $110 (!!)

What to Buy
I recommend CGC 9.6. Here is sales data.

  • 2017 Average $227
  • 2018 Average $281
  • 12-Month Average $376
  • 90-Day Average $328
  • Most Recent Sale $282

Goal price: $450

4) Tales of Suspense #53: Second Black Widow Comic

Tales of Suspense #53

Record Sale: $3,386
Minimum Value: $25

Total in CGC census: 394

This is the second Black Widow Marvel comic. Collecting the second appearance of characters has become quite popular in recent years. Especially with the millennial crowd, most of whom have been priced out of the bigger keys of the Black Widow movie.

Though not as big as the primary, this second appearance or secondary key is certainly worth buying as an investment or even just for speculation.

Tales of Suspense #53 was created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It also includes the origin of the Watcher, think of it as an added perk like buying a car with cup holders.

Recent Sales

  • CGC 9.2 $1,100
  • CGC 9.0 $768
  • CGC 8.5 $492
  • CGC 8.0 $359
  • CGC 7.0 $226
  • CGC 6.0 $239 (!)
  • CGC 5.0 $190
  • CGC 3.5 $95

What to Buy
I recommend CGC 8.0. Here is sales data.

  • 2017 Average $356
  • 2018 Average $338
  • 12-Month Average $348
  • 90-Day Average $360
  • Most Recent Sale $359

Goal price: $550

5) Marvel Fanfare #11: First Appearance of Iron Maiden

Marvel Fanfare #11

Record Sale: $240
Minimum Value: $1

Total in CGC census: 394

This is the first appearance of the Iron Maiden, one of Black Widow's opponents in the upcoming Black Widow movie.

The Iron Maiden is Melina Von Vostokoff; a peer of Natasha Romanoff’s vying for the title of Black Widow. Rachel Weisz will play Melina (Iron Maiden) in the Black Widow movie.

Considering this is Iron Maiden’s first appearance on film; if she doesn't get killed in the first 15 minutes, we might see her in future movies. In fact, since there have been rumors of a Thunderbolts movie or TV show, it makes sense to debut Melina in Black Widow as she becomes a member of the Thunderbolts in the comics.

Marvel Fanfare #11 is an intelligent gamble for the price, though far from my favorite pick of this group.

What to Buy
I recommend CGC 9.8. Last sale was $100. Goal price $170.

6) Avengers #43: First Appearance of the Red Guardian

Avengers #43: First Appearance of the Red Guardian. Click for values

Avengers #43

Record Sale: $5,000
Minimum Value: $15

Total in CGC census: 244

Natasha Romanoff is a married woman during the events of the movie Black Widow. Her husband in the Black Widow movie is Alexei Shostakov, a.k.a. Red Guardian.

The Guardian first appeared in Avengers #43 and was created by Roy Thomas (script) and John Buscema (pencils). Think of him as the Soviet version of Captain America.

He is an athlete, master at unarmed combat, expert Soviet pilot, and uses a thrown belt discus to take out opponents. Before you get too excited about a new speculation potential, this particular hero dies in Avengers #44.

The first appearance of Red Guardian is a minor Black Widow movie key. It has the potential to return you a decent percentage if you buy smart.

Recent Sales

  • CGC 9.6 $5,040
  • CGC 9.2 $515
  • CGC 9.0 $500
  • CGC 8.5 $275
  • CGC 8.0 $250
  • CGC 7.5 $120
  • CGC 6.5 $150(!)
  • CGC 6.0 $140 (!)

What to Buy
I recommend CGC 9.0. Here is sales data.

  • 2017 Average $125
  • 2018 Average $221
  • 12-Month Average $403
  • 90-Day Average $565
  • Most Recent Sale $500

Goal price: $800

7) Daredevil #81: Black Widow Joins the Title

Daredevil #81: Black Widow Joins the Title. Click for values

Daredevil #81

Record Sale: $1,000
Minimum Value: $5

Total in CGC census: 195

Black Widow appears in the title in Daredevil #81 matched up with Daredevil. The creative team of Stan Lee, Gerry Conway (script), and Gil Kane, Gene Colan, Bill Everett, with Bob Powell (art) liked this partnership.

She was added to the Daredevil storyline by Gerry Conway, who felt, "I was a fan of Natasha, and thought she and Daredevil would have interesting chemistry." (Wiki).

Natasha Romanoff co-starred with Daredevil from issue #81 to #124 and then was gradually written out of the series by other writers who preferred a solo Daredevil superhero.

The grade 9.2 has returned positive +21.5% over the last 90-days (GoCollect), and is difficult to find in the brick and mortar stores.

Recent Sales

  • CGC 9.8 $785
  • CGC 9.6 $310
  • CGC 9.4 $255
  • CGC 9.2 $175
  • CGC 9.0 $175(!)
  • CGC 8.5 $90

What to Buy
I recommend CGC 9.6. Here is sales data.

  • 2017 Average $265
  • 2018 Average $--
  • 12-Month Average $334
  • 90-Day Average $312
  • Most Recent Sale $312

Goal price: $425

8) Amazing Adventures #1: Black Widow Stars

Amazing Adventures #1: Black Widow Stars. Click for values

Amazing Adventures #1

Record Sale: $640
Minimum Value: $5

Total in CGC census: 626

This comic has multiple initial first appearances: it the first Inhumans starring comic, the first solo Black Widow story, and the first appearance of Natasha's surrogate father Petrovich.

This book was written and illustrated by Jack Kirby, and the Black Widow appeared in only eight issues of this comic series.

What is not to love here? The first solo Black Widow story, it has performance, price and prestige.

Recent Sales

  • CGC 9.8 $580
  • CGC 9.6 $300
  • CGC 9.4 $105
  • CGC 9.2 $85

What to Buy
I recommend CGC 9.6. Here is sales data.

  • 2017 Average $200
  • 2018 Average $203
  • 12-Month Average $287
  • 90-Day Average $300
  • Most Recent Sale $300

Goal price: $450

More About the Black Widow Movie

The Black Widow movie is a prequel developed by Marvel Studios.

The director is Cate Shortland (Aussie). Her industry credits are substantial. She has worked in both film and on TV series. This background is positive; it means she can probably tell an episodic story with intelligence.

The writer is Ned Benson, an Ivy Leaguer from Columbia. That means the prose will hopefully be palatable and well written. Apparently, Benson is taking over for the previous Black Widow movie writer Jac Schaeffer, and that is probably good news (Schaeffer helped create that awful Captain Marvel movie).

The fact that Benson has cleanup writing duties is encouraging. There are three key elements to every movie: lead actor, director and most importantly the writer. These structural elements are essential to know for comic book speculators.

In this case, the MCU has gotten lucky with Scarlett Johansson as the star. Other than Marvel movies, Johansson's two action movies are Ghost in a Shell and Lucy. If you have seen either, then you already know what I am about to write.

In both of these she delivers real emotion, kicks the bad guys around like hakisacks and more than holds her own as the lead.

In my opinion she is one of the most underrated actresses of her day. She brings authenticity, classic beauty, strength, and, more importantly, intelligence to every role played.

Her standalone movies are highly profitable; Lucy cost $40 million to make and grossed $458 million (Source: Wiki). That could buy a whole lot of $1 comic books folks.

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