If you lived in a cave in Afghanistan, you might have missed the teaser trailers for Avengers: Infinity War. Everyone else has been enjoying the hype up to this colossal blockbuster. The media machine has exploded with the power of Thanos, and his minions. Honestly though, why even bother? Who can go up against the Hulk, Ironman, Thor, and the Vision? Then add on Marvel’s other heavy hitters like Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and let us not forget the Amazing Spider-Man. It would seem that no one could stand against the combined might of Earth’s heroes. That assumption would be dead wrong. Thanos has brought his version of special forces into the fray, the Black Order, they will challenge Earth’s mightiest heroes.
The Black Order is a genuinely evil cadre serving Thanos and his mad ends. They have an intergalactic level of power, on a scale with the Silver Surfer. Their first appearance was a cameo in New Avengers #8 (2013) created by Mike Deodato (art) and Jonathan Hickman (writer). It might be worth picking up a copy even now, late in the game. However, that was their less expensive cameo appearance. The Black Order’s first full appearance, is in the comic book Infinity #1 (Yesteryear Comics Edition); also, I believe their first cover appearance as well. Doubleheader! This modern variant is worth getting your hands on at the right price.
How does this stack up to an Avengers comics from another age? Since this is Captain America’s Avengers, we will use his first comic book appearance in the Avengers #4 (1964) to do battle. This comic book was created by Stan Lee (script) and Jack Kirby (art). This challenge match pits Infinity #1(Yesteryear Comics Edition 2013) versus the Avengers #4(1964). Which will prevail in the head to head mosh pit mashup?
Naturally, we can’t compare price on specific grades comic vs. comic as the Avengers #1 will come out on top, every time. After all, the best Infinity can manage is an expensive variant. That is Infinity #1 (Generals Var) which has sold once for $249.95 (eBay). This is not even close to the last price paid on Avengers (9.4) grade which went over $10,000 (GoCollect). Holy stars and stripes! Instead, this battle will be fought over various time frames and with percentage as deciding factor, not overall price. These returns are over three separate time periods: short-term (6 months), intermediate-term (24 months) and maximum term (seven years).
During the six-month time frame, Captain America destroyed the Black Order. Naturally, his tactical experience caught the Black Order off guard. Infinity #1 (Yesteryear Comics Edition) returned a $86 price tag and had declined -20% during this period. Comparatively, Cap and the Avengers #4 with a paltry (2.0) grade outperformed with +78.2% return (GoCollect). Captain America dominates this short-term engagement; the Avengers #4 win round one.
Expanding the time frame to 24 months Infinity #1 would seem to have the edge with near mint (9.8) returning +59.6%. In truth, they couldn’t even touch the Avengers who returned +130% in (9.0) grade. In this matchup, Avengers #4 shows the strength of Cap on the cover (GoCollect). Apparently, the Black Order and was no match for the Avengers #4, who triumph again, round two goes to Avengers #4.
The Black Order’s first appearance is obviously noteworthy, and I am sure these villains will thrill on the big screen. That is reason enough to buy Infinity #1. During the max time frame of 7 years, the Black Order ultimately returns a powerful +116.3% in grade (9.8). This destroys Cap, his shield, and the Avengers who provide only token resistance with grade (8.0) at 60.1% (GoCollect). Cap is looking his age for this matchup. Though the Avengers performed admirably in the max-time frame, they were defeated by the Black Order. Perhaps Corvus Glaive’s pike can cut through Cap’s shield after all. This round goes to Infinity #1(Yesteryear Comics Edition) who wins the max term.
Captain America and the Avengers are victorious. They defeated the Black Order from Infinity #1 and quite possibly most modern books. The Avengers #4 triumphs in two battles out of three. There is no doubt of the superiority of the first Silver Age appearance of Captain America. To quote Cap, “As long as one man stands against you, you’ll never be able to claim victory.”
Note: It is my opinion this matchup should have been a shutout. But the disadvantage of using percentages as a barometer takes its toll on older, more expensive comics. After all, it is much easier to get 116% with several $150 purchases as opposed to a $2700 starting price for the Avengers #4.