Undervalued Spotlight #78

Tales of the Teen Titans #44, DC Comics, July 1984

Here’s a little gem from 1984. Tales of the Teen Titans #44 is an important little comic book. For starters the book features the origin of the dreaded assassin for hire Deathstroke. That alone should make the book worth more than the paltry $3.50 the Overstreet Price Guide has it at. Luckily this book keeps on giving as within this issue we see Dick Grayson a.k.a. Robin turn into Nightwing. This is no Captain America turning into the nobody that is Nomad. This is our beloved Robin, the Boy Wonder turning into Nightwing, a character very prominent in the today’s DC continuity.

The book boasts top notch creators with Marv Wolfman and George Perez sharing writing while Mr. Perez doing the pencil work and the fabulous Dick Giordano doing the inking.

The Dick Grayson Robin of course burst onto the scene as Batman’s sidekick in Detective Comics #38 (Apr/40). DC continuity saw the Robin character grow into maturity through his leadership of the Teen Titans. In a bold move by DC they have Grayson outgrowing the Robin sidekick role and wisely give him his own identity. Nightwing continues to lead the Teen Titans and later goes on to captain that rag tag gang of misfits, the Outsiders.

Its funny how smart moves in the past always seem to lead to opportunities in the future. In 1994, a full decade after outgrowing the Robin role Grayson is asked by Bruce Wayne to assume the role of Batman while Wayne recovers from the broken back delivered by the villain Bane. This simply would not have been in play had they left Grayson as a junior underling the whole time. Nightwing fills in as Batman only temporarily but again this call up stint surely led to Grayson’s return to the Batman role in the aftermath of Grant Morrison’s recent Batman R.I.P. story arc.

Tales of the Teen Titans #44 set things in motion that are still affecting the DCU today.

The 40th edition of the Overstreet Price Guide shows $3.50 as the price for a copy graded at 9.2.

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

  • Robin retires after 44 years working for the same guy, who wouldn’t
  • This issue allows other creators to reap the benefits of the changes decades later
  • Nightwing is born
  • $3.50 for such an important comic book? Please


Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

Articles: 1702


  1. The muttonchops.  The candy-coloured Rennaisance Faire get-up.  Yup, it’s 80’s Perez, alright!

  2. I deliberately held back from jumping all over Captain Canuck or the Charlton pick cause I didn’t wanna seem like I was dogging Walter but this is definitely a much better select for the reasons mentioned. In fact, I think the whole NTT run is undervalued. The first few issues used to be wall books till the 90’s came along and this title just never recovered. I’ve been slowly buying back this series from the $1 bins and I’ve got the whole set now. NTT is a quintessential 80’s book that redefined the former teen side kicks with more complex story lines. Marv Wolfman is a rock steady writer and George Perez finds his stride here (although I prefer his earlier Marvel work ala FF180’s).
    But, at a value of $3.50, if #44 jumps 300%… we’re only talking about $9-12 bucks here… and good lucking trying to find someone to pay full value for an 80’s book that was printed in the millions. Still, stranger things have happened so I guess anything is possible but it’s something I wouldn’t bank on. But it’s a solid read that pushes the medium so it’s worth picking up, not for the $ value but for the well crafted book that it is.
    Walter, I’d like to recommend What If #1 for your next selection. Considering that Spidey is a member of the FF now…, suddenly “What If Spidey Joined the FF” is no longer a “What If…” which make this book interesting.

  3. Charlie are you telling me you did not like my Charlton and Captain Canuck picks? Where is the romance? Where is the patriotism? For shame Charlie.
    Your What If pick is brilliant!
    Yes a 300% jump still only make this a $10 book but these posts are not so much about the price as they are about …. playing the game and winning!!
    Finding these little gems, filling your collection with them and them making a profit from them later will bring joy and fulfillment that simply making a bit of cash cannot bring. Personally I try to have 10 copies in the vault before I post a book as undervalued 😉

  4. Maybe you should also talk to the guys at Comicpriceguide.com. They’re value for this book is also low.

  5. Hi, Walter, I remembered to check out this site after talking to you in your store today. I’ve been reading some of your articles on undervalued comics, and thoroughly enjoying them. I totally agree about Tales of the Teen Titans #44. I’ve picked up about eight copies over the last few years as I think it’s a great comic and is way too low in the guide. I appreciate your candor, and look forward to following this website. Thanks for telling me about it. Have a great weekend.

  6. I picked up this book for $4… Definitely don’t regret it at all. (Although it’s probably not gonna score more than an 8 or 8.5… my grading skills definitely aren’t up to snuff).

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