Black turtlenecks and shoulder holsters are not the only things that these spy characters have in common; they all have key books with the opportunity of appreciation if we see a renewed interest in the genre that is Espionage!
If you read my last article, you know that I believe there could be a resurgence of the Spy genre. This means that there could be an opportunity to pick up some key books and first appearances of Marvel and DC spy characters. Let’s take a look at each character and some of their key books that could be good candidates for investing.
This character was first introduced in The Brave & the Bold #166 in a Batman backup story in 1980. The backup series ran through issue #192. He is the quintessential spy character, clad with the aforementioned black turtleneck and shoulder holster. Later, he became a part-time member of the Suicide Squad. He was even featured in several episodes of The Justice League Unlimited animated series. I doubt he will be headlining his own feature film. Still, there is the chance of an ancillary role in future DC media.
This character goes back much further than Nemesis, first appearing in 1950 in his own series entitled Danger Trail #1. I would say King Faraday is more akin to Nick Fury in the MCU in that he ends up taking a high position in the Central Bureau of Intelligence later in his publication history. He appears sporadically over the next few decades after his first appearance and then the Danger Trail series is resurrected in the early ’90s, which I actually just bought to read through. It looks interesting and could have the potential for a stand-alone story in some form of media. He has also appeared in Justice League Unlimited and Justice League: The New Frontier.
If you read my article on the possible resurgence in the spy genre, you know that I am a fan of the 1960’s Nick Fury character. When you look at the price of his first appearance (as Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD) as well as the price of his first ongoing series (which happens to have an awesome Jim Steranko cover) they seem to be undervalued in comparison to over key books of the era.
Strange Tales #135 has an FMV of $1,550 in a grade of 9.2 while in comparison, the first appearance of Dr. Strange in Strange Tales #110 has an FMV of $33,000. Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #1 has an FMV of $325 in 9.2 while Doctor Strange #169 (first ongoing) has an FMV of $750 in a 9.2. Sure, Nick Fury has been featured in the MCU. He has not had a solid solo story, however, and the potential is definitely there.
I said I would name the three best Marvel and DC spy characters to invest in. However, I couldn’t help but add in the most famous spy of all, James Bond. His first comic book appearance happened to be published by DC. James Bond appeared in Showcase #43 (Dr. No) in 1963. He wouldn’t be seen again in comics until Marvel published an adaption of For Your Eyes Only in 1981. My sleeper pick for James Bond is the first original series from Dark Horse in 1992. The story was written by Doug Moench titled, Serpent’s Tooth. With all of the Dark Horse Star Wars original stories jumping in value, it could be a matter of time before this story is used in some other form of media.
There you have it, the top spy characters in comics. Do yourself a favor and read some of their classic stories!