Who is Black Panther going to fight? That is the big question surrounding any fan speculation of the Black Panther movie sequel. The first contender was Namor. The most recent has been Doctor Doom. Atlantis or Latveria? Which one? Maybe both?
Outside of the top tier key first appearance books of heroes and villains, there is another class of books, the first time that characters fight. For Iron Man and Captain America, it was Tales of Suspense #58. Are the key issues where Black Panther first fought Namor and Doctor Doom also worth the investment?
A key moment in the long history of rivalry between Wakanda and Atlantis is the first time their kings fought against each other, which occurred in Defenders #84 (1980). After Black Panther interrupts a black market sale of Wakandan tech by Wazira, he discovers the buyers to be Atlantean. Black Panther journeys to Atlantis and tries to reason with Namor, but the Atlantean king in his usual “Imperius Rex!” fashion answers with a fight.
Currently, the market for Defenders #84 has yet to develop further with a large volume of sales or value for the CGC graded books. There has been a very minor uptick in sales prices of the book, graded CGC 9.8, in the summer of 2019; which is likely due to the Namor speculation from the underwater earthquake in Avengers: Endgame. Even with the Namor fervor, the volume of sales of the book remains very low; only two CGC 9.8 copies account for this small spike, with the last one occurring in July 2019. The presence of low volume and market value before the rumors should have been a red flag for investment speculation of Defenders #83. The continual low volume and market value after the rumors could be a knockout punch.
A further complication for Defenders #84 is that rumors of Namor’s appearance in a Black Panther sequel have since shifted to another king…
It is strange to think about a time when Dr. Doom or Black Panther was less popular than Ka-Zar; such was the case when the kings of Wakanda and Latveria first went head to head in Astonishing Tales #6 (1971). Not only was it the secondary story, but within just a few issues later, Dr. Doom’s adventures in the Astonishing Tales series were canceled, and the focus was shifted entirely to Ka-Zar. Back to the Black Panther/Dr. Doom conflict…
The source of their tension was vibranium. Dr. Doom wanted it; Black Panther didn’t want to give it. After Dr. Doom locates Wakanda, he starts digging a tunnel from Latveria to Wakanda in order to steal the vibranium. This excavating causes a series of earthquakes and natural disasters in Wakanda. With this in mind, the earthquakes in Avengers: Endgame is being attributed to a rumored Namor could, in theory, be just as easily attributed to the subterranean excavation activities of Dr. Doom. Yes, in the movie they said the earthquake was underwater; to that, underwater tunnels are a thing.
There isn’t enough of a sales volume for CGC graded copies of Astonishing Tales #6 to determine a prevailing trend. Sales prices since 2012 have been fairly flat, but with minor volatility which is again due to the low volume of sales. In the last year, CGC 9.6s and 9.4s have been going for the low $100s.
For the sake of thoroughness, if you’re looking to fill out a Black Panther/Dr. Doom interactions collection, another issue worth a read is Fantastic Four #311 (1988). Instead of fighting each other, Black Panther gives Dr. Doom a safe place to hide after he was removed from the Latverian throne by Kristoff Vernard. The latest sale of note for Fantastic Four #311 is a CGC 9.8 that sold for $55 in early 2018. The low market value perhaps suffers from the lack of Doctor Doom on the cover, but it does feature Dr. Doom’s creation THROB in his first appearance.
Neither Defenders #84 nor Astonishing Tales #6 boast the stature of the iconic Captain America versus Iron Man issue of Tales of Suspense #58 (1964). Even before the two heroes fought each other in Captain America: Civil War (2016), the book already had a robust market; granted the overall market trend is only slightly positive. Comparatively without this supporting base of collectors/investors, Defenders #84 and Astonishing Tales #6 offer poor investment outlooks for the long-term.
Even if one of these two antagonists is indeed chosen, it’s difficult to see an increase in market value that outweighs the opportunity cost of investing in a book without a proven long-term track record. The 0/00 in this roulette scenario is that it could also potentially be a completely different 3rd character nobody has considered.
“I am not evil. I am not good. I am not neutral. I am only DOOM.” – Doctor Doom
Get social with GoCollect. Follow us on our social channels for exciting video content, giveaways, and more!