Daredevil #4: Purple People Eater

by Norman Robinson III

117565_5a69e65ec08da82c63b0474a75ed0183e269b704-200x300 Daredevil #4: Purple People EaterDaredevil has been one of my favorite super-heroes ever since Frank Miller re-imagined this character in the 1980’s. He gave us Stick, The Hand, and the Electra drama. Overnight this character went from humdrum to whoa-helo! I have been a fan ever since. Over the last three years, I have been trying to get my hands on his early issues. I am talking about the six issues where Daredevil sports a yellow costume. There were so few of them out there, at first I had to pay a premium but early on I hit some good stores that had corralled Daredevil #4. This is the first appearance of The Purple Man in Daredevil. Zebidiah Killgrave is a Soviet spy that steals a substance from the U.S. Army that turns him into the Purple Man. The substance turns his cerebellum into a mind control monster. He controls Jessica Jones, but not Daredevil. Because Daredevil is iron will incarnate. Are the Purple People Eater and the wacky yellow Daredevil suit a speculative gamble?

Daredevil #4

The yellow suits are a great nuance to collecting Daredevil that I stumbled across. Not having read Daredevil in 1964 it wasn’t apparent right away that they might be worth something. Fishing through my local comic store one day I noticed some yellow suits on old #3 and #4 that actually looked really dated. But I kind of liked the yellow suit because it looked so different. So I thought, why not? I started collecting the yellow suits with the idea being that much of the Daredevil saga was still rather cheap to own. I mean this character is awesome as a hero. The series is pretty darn good, and the actor in the series nails it. This in no Batfleck drama, thank god.

Daredevil #4 is the first appearance of the Purple Man by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. This character was not as popular as Spidey. Probably why they made his suit red on the seventh issue. Do these yellow Daredevils payoff? One of these books sold for $13,500 in July 2012 in mint (9.8). The most recent FMV value was a (9.6) for around $2600.  The returns on this book have been pretty solid with the lower grades truly rallying with positive returns across the board: (3.0) good to very good had a positive +16.3% ROI, (2.5) good plus also had a positive return of +36.1%, both of these pale in comparison to (2.0) grade of good with positive +56.2% return on investment.

In fact, most of the GoCollect analysis over 10,000 copies show decent green profitable returns across the board. The only grades that had not participated are (9.0) with a negative -5.9%, (5.5) with negative -8.5%, and (3.5) dropping -15.6% ROI. Except for these three, all other grades show solid in the green return performance. Another nice thing is the lack of CGC Census with only 957 in CGC currently.

Why the price disparity? Well, most of the books are moving up. Everyone knows that Daredevil is a big hit and that these books have seriously lagged the market for years. Those in the know are collecting furiously from the available books still out there in the first one through ten lower grades. Also, don’t forget that Daredevil #7 is the first red Daredevil costume. You don’t need the Purple Man to command your mind to buy a yellow Daredevil, common sense dictates action.

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