Delayed for over a year, at some point we’ll eventually see Black Widow. Although Kevin Feige will likely have one or two surprises in store for us, there’s little to speculate on regarding Black Widow. We know Red Guardian, Taskmaster, and Yelena Bulova (the second Black Widow) will make their first (and perhaps final) appearances in the MCU. As discussed in further depth below, in my opinion, Avengers#43 (first appearance of Red Guardian) and Avengers #196 (first full appearance of Taskmaster) are sells and Inhumans #5 (first appearance of Yelena Bulova) is a buy.
Avengers #43: First Appearance of Red Guardian
Avengers #43, which includes the first appearance of the Red Guardian, has benefited the most from Black Widow. This book’s value has absolutely exploded during the past three years with CGC 9.6 copies rising nearly 73% in value. During the past year and a half, two people paid $5,000.00 for 9.6 copies of this book. Considering that Red Guardian dies in the next very issue, that’s a heck of a lot of money for a character that only appeared in two comic books. It’s also highly likely that David Harbour’s Red Guardian will die during Black Widow, making it likely that Red Guardian won’t appear in any future MCU films.
If I owned a copy, I might sell this. I could be wrong, but I think this book is coming back down to earth before the end of 2021. Without future MCU films with Red Guardian to drive prices up, and the book having reached all-time highs, now is a great time to sell Avengers #43.
Avengers #196: First Full Appearance of the Taskmaster
Avengers #196, which includes the first full appearance of the Taskmaster (he has a cameo in Avengers #195), has also benefited from Black Widow. This book has had a great run during the past three years, with CGC 9.8 copies rising over 41% in value. Two people paid $1,600 just a few months ago.
I’m on the fence about this one. While it’s possible Taskmaster might return in future films, it’s also possible that he’ll be a “one and done” villain (unless he appears in a Thunderbolts Disney+ series). If he doesn’t appear again, today’s a great day to sell Avengers #196, now that this book has reached an all-time high.
Inhumans #5: First Appearance of the Second Black Widow
Like Avengers #43 and #196, Inhumans #5 has also risen in value during the past three years, but not quite as much (just over 30% during that period of time). In spite of a few outliers, CGC 9.8 copies of this book have generally sold for under $400.
If I owned a copy, I’d hold this. If I didn’t, I might consider purchasing it for a couple of reasons. Just as many of the original Avengers are in process of passing the torch to the next generation (e.g., Steve Rogers to Sam Wilson, Thor to Jane Foster, Iron Man to Spider-Man), Natasha will pass hers to Yelena in Black Widow. So, unlike Red Guardian and Taskmaster, Yelena Belova will appear again in the MCU, starting with Hawkeye on Disney+ in late 2021. Second, this comic is still very affordable. You can purchase raw, high-grade copies of this book for around $50 on eBay.