As far as the Marvel/Netflix period was concerned, I believe Iron Fist and Luke Cage were done the most dirty. While the Luke Cage show was well-received, once Mahershala Ali’s Cottonmouth was killed off, I significantly lost interest in it (and that was six episodes in). While on the Netflix shows, the less said about Iron Fist, the better. Despite the disappointing effort on Netflix’s end, I believe that Marvel Studios has an optimistic future lined up for the Heroes for Hire.
I have never been a huge fan of the Heroes for Hire. Sure, I have read some comics here and there, but I would not call myself a fanatic as I would regarding a character like Spider-Man or the X-Men. I think, in a really general way, they are cool characters. I mean, in a really simple way, they are two superheroes who only work when they are paid to. In the massive and grand world of the MCU, would it not be incredibly interesting to shine light on two smaller guys just trying to earn a buck? This sort of story is something the MCU is dearly missing. The two Spider-Man films were promised to us as smaller, local-based crime-fighting for Spidey, but by the second movie, he was fighting a make-believe monster on the London Bridge! With the Heroes for Hire, Marvel Studios have the buddy-cop franchise they (probably) never knew they needed.
Like Netflix’s Daredevil show, both Iron Fist and Luke Cage proved to be successful shows for the streaming giants. While either show never quite reached the heights of the Man Without Fear, they left their respective mark on the zeitgeist. Much like Daredevil, both Iron Fist and Luke Cage are locked in a strict non-appearance contract with Netflix until October 15th and October 22nd of this year, respectively. With the future of the MCU moving to smaller-scale stories (one would only hope) like Falcon & The Winter Soldier or Ms. Marvel via Disney+, could we see a Heroes for Hire series in the future? Dare I suggest a theatrical film for the duo?
The Optimistic Future for the Heroes for Hire
While I can’t see the characters being incorporated into the MCU as quickly as I imagine Daredevil (or the Kingpin) will be, I could certainly see them popping up down the track – especially if this Disney+ stuff works out for the studio.
If the two characters were to pop up within the next few years in the MCU, where would you even start with them? Well, I would start with some major keys. In January of this year, a 9.8 copy of Iron Fist’s first appearance – which came in Marvel Premiere #15 – sold for $2,400 (USD). On eBay, 9.8 copies are plentiful, and they all range within a similar price point. If you are not too keen on splashing that kind of cash on a character that I am not even sure will appear in the next 5-10 years (hell, I can’t blame you), you can always snap up a 9.6 copy for $1,100 (USD).
On the Luke Cage side of things, 9.8s are rather hard to come across. The character first appeared in Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #1, and those books are quite hard to come by. In 2016, a 9.8 copy sold for $16,500 (USD), but that was a month before the show debuted, mind you. On eBay at the moment, a 9.0 signed by Stan Lee is selling for $2,000 (USD). Considering the rarity of high grades signed by The Man, I would say this is the book to get. On MyComicShop.com (in my honest opinion, they price books incredibly well) there is an abundance of high graded copies ranging from $359 – $1,500 (USD).
Like Daredevil, these characters are on a downturn. However, like Wolverine (more on that in a few days) the second an actor is cast or a movie is rumored, the prices will surge in exciting ways. While I cannot guarantee these guys will be major Marvel heroes in the next few years, I would argue there is a slightly optimistic future for the Heroes for Hire.