Undervalued Spotlight #451

Daredevil #3, Marvel Comics, August 1964.

This week’s Undervalued Spotlight came about while I was talking books with a few guys this past weekend at a local comic book shop. I had sold an Amazing Spider-Man #46 and a Batman #181 within minutes of each other and a small group of us started discussing the strong demand for first villain appearances. I argued that Amazing Spider-Man is the title that has most collectors picking off the villains with Batman being second.

We talked about how villain collecting is the new run collecting where there are guys coming in with lists but it’s not for the full run, the list is for the first villain appearances.

So the big guns like Spidey and Batman with their massive Rogue’s Gallery of villains are the natural leaders in this collecting strain but it got me to wondering could this collecting strain resurrect the dead? Could villain collecting breath new life into long-dormant titles?

A nice little debate started up and somehow after throwing a few candidates around we collectively picked this week’s Undervalued Spotlight as Daredevil #3.

Daredevil #3 features the first appearance of The Owl, the Overlord of Crime. The Owl has made over 300 appearances in the Marvel Universe and is a foe of Daredevil and Spider-Man. A great feature of Daredevil #3 is that we get the Owl prominent on the cover, always a bonus for first appearance issues.

The markets are asleep when it comes to Daredevil #3, a CGC 9.6 sold for $$3,105 back in 2004, that’s 15 years ago! The last CGC 9.6 sold for $2,605. You can pick up a CGC 8.0 for just over $350, actually, 6.5s, 7.0s, 7.5s and 8.0s have all shown lower sales over the past year giving back some of those reflex gains made a few years ago when Daredevil made it to Netflix. Now that Daredevil is off Netflix prices seem to be falling.

I say grab Daredevils now while people don’t want them but don’t just grab any Daredevils, grab issues that have first appearances of villains. My buddy Christain picked up a Daredevil #58, the first appearance of Stunt Master, at the show and he bought it cheap.

Daredevil has been a tough title to sell over the past couple of decades but I’m calling an uptick in demand. Daredevil #1 has been making steady gains and next to move will be the villain appearances so when you’re grabbing the #131 (Bullseye), the #111 (Silver Samurai), the #18 (Gladiator) don’t forget to grab what will be the bargain of the bunch Daredevil #3 (The Owl).

The 48th Overstreet price breaks for this book are $311/$706/$1100 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Strengths that make this comic a good long-term investment are:

  • First appearance of the Owl
  • Key villain in the Daredevil run
  • Early Daredevil issue
Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1700


  1. I think we all know Jack Kirby was credited with developing Daredevils Billy Club. What Id forgotten was that Kirby was also credited with the covers of Daredevil 1 to 5. ( layouts I assume) I can see the Kirby in issue # 3. But take a look at issue # 2…it looks more like King Jack Kirby circa 1941.
    For every successful villain like the Penguin, you get the less successful knock offs like the owl 🙂
    On their own merit they all are ridiculous. (JOWA ) But in the context of the story lines and history, one becomes credible note worthy and famous and the other an after thought and almost forgotten,

  2. As I am working through collecting the first 10 issues of Marvel’s Silver Age titles, and Daredevil has been added to the list. However, it seems to be the easiest to find and acquire at very reasonable prices that do seem undervalued. But then I realize very few folks are looking at DD issues, so I think the idea that these issues are undervalued has yet to materialize.

    I certainly hope that you are right, Walt, as I am moving forward with collecting early DD, but I think something needs to happen to create the necessary demand.

  3. Not sure why early Daredevil’s are so overlooked by silver age Marvel collectors, but the general consensus has always been “stay away”. I agree Daredevil villain 1st apps are cheap therefore tempting. I think “reboot” movie speculation would be the only catalyst to really drive up values at this point. A continuation of the Netflix series won’t cut it. The Hulk had a soft reboot with the Avengers movie, so I think a Daredevil movie shouldn’t be off the table for Disney, but it’s definitely a waiting game.

  4. Derrick, I think early Daredevil’s are a safe bet going forward especially at today’s prices. And Darren I think Daredevil has strong awareness but a top shelf character line him will always be on some Marvel/Disney future plan.

  5. Thanks, Walt. That was my theory in starting the collecting quest for the Silver Age Marvels – a safe bet that had an enormous amount of fun attached. As a collector, these are sunk costs in assets that hopefully appreciate as I hold them, and so far that has been a strong assumption which I hope continues.

    Your last two “Undervalued” columns have been right in my wheelhouse so thanks for the insights!

  6. Getting to this pick late in the game and I am too unmotivated by the subject matter to do any sort of analysis. I think both Walt’s piece and the comments address the main issue, which is Daredevil. I like Darren’s comment that “the general consensus has always been ‘stay away'”. That is the Daredevil vibe and I don’t see much to change it. More or less Daredevil is Marvel’s uncool and un-genius version of Batman, and he fits very poorly into the Marvel vibe (mutant/cosmic). Ninety percent of his shtick has been filled in the movies by Black Widow (ironically), so it’s hard to see Disney going to the trouble of working him in at that level. Can anybody give a summary of the fifty-year arc of Daredevil? I doubt it – many stretches of the run are completely peripheral to the continuity and unmemorable. Etc.

    To add insult to injury we have The Owl, who first has to be distinguished from the various other Owls out there, and secondly we utter “The Kingpin” and so case closed. (Wait – how about try “Kingpin prototype issue”!)

    Okay now I am just a bit interested and decided to do a smidge of analysis. You note the $3k 2004 9.6 sale. My read based on the Heritage comments from that time period is that there were five 9.6s and one 9.8 at that point. Currently there are thirteen 9.6s and still one 9.8. This means most of these super high grade issues have been rousted out of hiding. So I am willing to buy that a WHITE 9.6 at around $2.5k is a good asymmetric bet at this point. Otherwise there are many many more interesting plays in the market.

    Verdict: I don’t give a hoot.

  7. Just to add a bit more sales data. Two 9.6s sold in 2018 for $5,300 and $3,000; and two sold in 2017 for $4,400 and $2,629. What is more telling are the two 9.4s that sold in 2018 for $3,433 and $2,007. The 9.4s sold this year, 2019, at $1,440 and $1,975.

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