The hot gossip is that the Heroes for Hire will make a return to the MCU. Here’s your shopping list in case the rumors pan out.
It seems like just yesterday that the Netflix flame was extinguished soon after it was lit. Before there was Disney+, Marvel’s streaming originals were housed under the Netflix banner. Beginning with the lauded Daredevil, the company would produce Jessica Jones, The Punisher, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Netflix team-up series, Defenders. Then, Disney began shifting its properties to Disney+, and all the Marvel series were canceled.
One of the moments that never came to fruition was a rumored Heroes for Hire series. Alas, the closest fans came to the famous team was their limited interactions and teases in Defenders.
In the years since the Netflix cancellations, there has been wishful thinking that the shows would be resurrected on Disney+. Rumor has it that Luke Cage and Iron Fist will be returning to live-action in a Heroes for Hire reboot but without Netflix stars Mike Colter and Finn Jones.
It was a marriage born out of necessity. During the Bronze Age, with kung fu movies sweeping pop culture at the time, Marvel looked to profit off the fad with a couple of martial arts superheroes of its own, Iron Fist and Shang-Chi. While both characters became cult favorites, the kung fu heroes were not creating waves in the sales department.
On the other side of Marvel, there was the “Hero for Hire” Luke Cage, later nicknamed Power Man. Inspired by the blaxploitation films of the 1970s, Cage would become the first African-American superhero, following in the steps of Black Panther before him.
By the late ‘70s, Iron Fist’s solo series had been canceled after just 15 issues. Marvel’s editorial team, managed by Roy Thomas at the time, decided to pair him with Luke Cage under the Power Man banner, and the legend of Heroes for Hire was born.
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Before Luke Cage and Danny Rand became best friends forever, they collided as enemies in 1977’s Power Man #48. Of course, by the end of the issue, they put aside their differences for the common good, paving the way for Heroes for Hire. The two would become more popular as a tag team, but around this time, they were both solo acts.
Collectors are paying attention to those Heroes for Hire keys. A 9.4 Power Man #48 sold for $170 on September 1, its highest price in five years and only $10 from the record. Then there is the 9.2, which hit a record of $153 just last month.
Although an odd pairing on the surface, the brawling Luke Cage and the martial arts master Iron Fist would begin sharing the Power Man title, and it was officially renamed Power Man and Iron Fist, which explains why the duo began with issue #50 rather than #1.
While this issue is not Luke and Danny’s first meeting, Power Man and Iron Fist #50 is the bigger investment among the two issues. There have not been any sales in September as of the time of this writing. However, August was a good month for this particular issue. A 9.8 sold for $285 on August 11, which is more than last year’s highest sale. Earlier this year, the same grade reached a new record of $385.
Although the two had been a team for four issues at this point, they weren’t officially dubbed the Heroes for Hire until 1978’s Power Man and Iron Fist #54. Because it is not necessarily a first appearance, this issue does not carry the same collecting weight as the previous two issues. Still, fans of both characters will want this one. It is the Heroes for Hire moniker that readers fell in love with.
Over the years, prices for this issue have been all over the place. In 2014, a 9.8 sold for a truly ridiculous $1,799, which is highly suspect, since nothing has even approached that figure in seven years. Two years later, one sold for a more realistic $365. The most recent 9.8s to trade hands brought $160 and $180, both on March 30.
What do you think is going to happen? Do you have any of these books in your collection? Tell us in the comments!