Obscure Hero Movie Alert!

Norman G. Robinson III Mar 14, 2018
Web of Spider-Man #97

The rumor is that Sony will finance a new superhero movie. This production is about an obscure superhero from the Web of Spider-Man #97. Terry Kavanaugh did the writing for this issue. Derek Yaniger and Alex Saviuk did the art for WOS #97. This leftover from the 90's is going to get his first movie. Can you guess who it is? This character has strength, durability,  nano-technologically regenerative armor, a nano-cloak that allows gliding-flight, heightened speed, invisibility, shapeshifting and nano-blades. Think of him as the Swiss Army knife of superheroes. Who is this obscure superhero? None other than Dr. Kevin Trench, a.k.a. Nightwatch.

According to the rumor mill Spike Lee is directing the movie debut of Nightwatch. He has tasked Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker to develop a script (source: CBM). I had no idea who this superhero was, and I am not alone. But the combo of great directing and even more so, the potential for significant writing by Lee could be explosive. Coker helped create the characters and world that brought Luke Cage and Harlem to life. It is exceptional work. If we are going to dredge the 1990's for talent, what better director than Spike Lee. He was all the rage in the 90's and is now stuck directing commercials.

This comic Web of Spider-Man #97 sold for $31 in near mint grade (9.8) three months ago.  Furthermore, the return has been 8% over the last three years (GoCollect). The chances of you finding a slabbed book of Web of Spider-Man #97 are slim. Current CGC census only indicates 15 slabbed copies, go figure. This one is completely off the radar folks.

Ultimately, you are only going to find this comic in a raw format. My suggestion; buy a couple of copies and try to CGC it as cheap as possible. This is a long shot, based on a rumor, perpetuated by a director who loves controversy and the Sony studios that have missed the big billion dollar opportunity that Marvel has capitalized. The anonymity of this character, Nightwatch is a double-edged sword, beware. Obscurity is not always a good thing, but "DO The Right Thing" and purchase a couple of raw copies while they are cheap and this guy is still obscure.

Raw Comics vs. Slabbed Comics

Many folks are comic book collectors simply entertained by the stories they read. They collect comics for a host of reasons, fun, completism, favorite character, profit, nostalgia and speculation to name but a few motivations. Even though their reasons vary, they always fall into one of two categories: Traditionalists, or Preservers. The Traditionalists worship raw comics and the nostalgia and storytelling they represent. The Preservers respect the comics, admire the cover art and try their darndest to retain the value of their investment. They believe in slabbing and grading comics. The Preservers rule of thumb is that CGC is better than raw.

The Traditionalist would never slab Batman #2 (second Joker appearance) or the Fantastic Four #48. These books should be available to admire and read. These Traditionalists would have you believe that if you can't touch the comics, read the comic; you are not a real comic book collector. Who wants to only look at the cover page for eternity? Typically these collectors purchase only raw copies. I even know one big local comic retailer who falls squarely into this category. This aesthetic group probably feels that the comics need to be read, and appreciated. I suppose this is similar to watching a video of a concert, or a ballgame, that you attended years before, and enjoying that same excitement all over again.

Enter the  Preservers, are juxtaposed to the aesthetic raw comic collecting of the Traditionalists. These folks try to conserve the comics and are the ones who primarily collect CGC, CBCS, and PGX. We might try to understand this group of slabbers as purely comic book investors. They tend to like the concept and story in each issue, admire the cover art and above all else require a  guarantee on their investment. Think of it as verification of quality and consistency. No one wants to worry if their book is worthless. Furthermore, these Preservers wish to protect the comics and guarantee some random incident doesn't destroy the value of their investment. For instance, it is best from a value standpoint to slab Amazing Spider-Man #129 asap; you lock in the value of this Bronze Age Mega-key.

Occasionally, some people fall into both categories, and it usually depends on the comic book age and the collector's age, frankly. I don't think you need to CGC modern comics very often. Primarily, the Golden Age and Silver Age may need protection. What better way to do that then a CGC slab? Speculators don't care about any of this, they merely buy and sell to make as much profit as possible. What category are you? The Traditionalist with reverence for comics, the Preserver of value, who admires the comics and protects the investment, or one of the rampaging hoard of speculators frothing at the mouth for profit, who could care less. You know those guys as the "buy em all" types.

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