Undervalued Spotlight #307

marvel team up annual 4Marvel Team-Up Annual #4, Pawns of the Purple Man, Marvel Comics, August 1981.

Cover Art and story by Frank Miller, Interior art by Herb Trimpe, Inking by Mike Esposito.

Walt: Here’s another fantastic contribution to the Undervalued Spotlight from Mike Huddleston. Mike knew I was tied up with a comic con for the past week and stepped in when the Spotlight needed him most. This is such an amazing pick, I just wish he’d sent it to me before the con, I would have bought every copy I saw. Let’s send this thing over to Mike.

The “Netflix Prequel”. Netflix has created a lot of excitement recently with there new made for TV series featuring Marvel super-heroes. Daredevil has had two seasons already and Jessica Jones has had one. Luke Cage/Power-Man is up next followed by Danny Rand/Iron Fist. Once all of these characters are introduced a new Marvel – The Defenders eight-episode mini-series will air on Netflix. In addition to all that, The Punisher/Frank Castle is slated for his own show in 2017.  Moon Knight is also rumored to be on the docket for a future series. Very exciting times for fans of these characters and Netflix in general.

It took me a while for my old noggin to remember where I had seen this particular cast of characters together before, but it eventually did in the form of our Undervalued Spotlight today – Marvel Team-Up Annual #4. I am a huge fan of the first Marvel Team-Up series. It was an excellent “showcase” series. One of it’s biggest strengths was its ability to put together casts of Marvel characters that didn’t always work together, but made perfect sense when they did so, as was the case with this book.

Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 features a battle royal with Spider-Man joined by Heroes for Hire Power-Man / Iron Fist. Daredevil & Moon Knight are also on board for the good guy’s team. The antagonists are Purple Man and the Kingpin who happen to be the bad guys for this comic, and also for Jessica Jones and Daredevil in their respective series on Netflix. Really cool how so many of the Netflix super-heroes and villains of today, are represented in this one book thirty-five years ago.

In terms of the book being an undervalued spotlight pick, it would be pure speculation. A gamble that the continued and future success of Daredevil, Power-Man/ Iron Fist, and possibly Moon Knight would draw people back to the book that featured this group’s first team-up together. Three quarters of the New Defenders Netflix team are represented here. The first two Netflix original bad guys are here as well.

You don’t get cheated in terms of content with this book either. A double-sized annual with a solid (early) Frank Miller story and cover art and Herb Trimpe’s interior artwork is also solid.

I said the book was a gamble but it is a very small one in terms of cost right now. Marvel Team-Up Annual #4 is usually found in bargain bins and you can buy it today for basically the cost of a new comic book. Can’t beat that.

The 46th Overstreet Price Guide splits for this book are as follows 8.0-$4, 9.0-$5, 9.2-$7.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment.

  • An under the radar book with terrific current and future Netflix super-hero content.
  • First Daredevil/Power-Man/Iron Fist Team-Up.
  • As Scott says the book is “cheap as chips“ with little downside.

Mike Huddleston
Mike Huddleston

Mike was born and raised in Cambridge, Ontario. He has read and collected comics for over 40 years. A Marvel Zombie specializing in the Silver, bronze and early copper age of comics.

Articles: 101


  1. DD#183 has been a bit of a hot book. It doesn’t feature any first appearances but it is where DD first meets the Punisher. As well, despite the upcoming Defenders show, not many people seem to be drawn to Marvel Feature #1. Perhaps because the characters are different or perhaps this has just been my isolated experience.

    I’ve always liked MTU Ann #4 for Millers name alone. With the current TV lineup leading up to a team up from this book, and at it’s current price point… it makes sense. Great pick Mike. You’ve redeemed Walter column ^_^

  2. I have been buying this book whenever I see it since they announced the “streetwise” Defenders on Netflix.

  3. Thanks guys. You never know what books are going to come out of no where and be the next big thing. Picking books like these are like tossing rings at a fall fair. The odds are against you, but some times you get a ringer and luck out. This book is a very good read and has that potential upside as well. I wonder if Walt found any at his store today ^-^!

  4. We must have all been writing at the same time. There were only two comments when I wrote this last post.

    Good on you Jason!.

  5. Just checked DD #178 — January 1982 — DD vs Powerman and Iron Fist. Thought it might be a hedge for Defenders fervor too. Walt’s pick really does seem to be the model for the series, not anything from the original Defenders series.
    Though with Dr Strange and Valkyrie getting intro’ed as well over the next few months, I’m not ruling anything out down the road re: classic Defenders. True, Namor and Surfer are tied up, but the heart of the team through most of that series was really Doc, Val, Hulk (check), Patsy Walker Hellcat (check) and Nighthawk. So who knows?
    But based on what we know for Netflix, Walt has nailed it, it seems!
    FWIW, Powerman first worked with the Defenders in #17, and he and DD both “joined” in #24, albeit briefly. Sorry; original Defenders run was my first favorite title, as a child,

  6. Hi Readcomix

    As much as I want to take credit for this fantastic pick I can’t, this was Mike Huddleston’s gem and he was guest writer this week. Hey I thought you were going to write one up for the Spotlight?

  7. I apologize; I completely missed that Mike wrote it!

    Yes, I’ll write one. Sorry for delay but was on family vacation. Traveling for work next Thursday; will try to have it to you before I leave. Thank you for the opportunity!

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