I purposely typed “Elf with a Gun” as much as I could in this post.

§ February 24th, 2020 § Filed under collecting, retailing § 8 Comments

So there I was, pricing up a bunch of old issues of Defenders, as one does when one owns a comic book store with lots of back issues and also have at least temporarily working eyes, when I noticed something. The current Overstreet price guide, the 49th annual edition, has this as their listing for the latter part of the series:

What stood out for me were the notations for that classic weirdo Marvel character “Elf with a Gun.” I couldn’t recall seeing that particular information being in the “Defenders” guide listings before, so I went back to the 46th annual edition, which I happened to have sittin’ around the shop, and behold:

Yup, no mention of Elf with a Gun. When I first discovered this, I was quick to blame comic blogs and their fascination with funnybook esoterica bringing something like Elf with a Gun to slightly more widespread awareness (for which Dave-El willingly took the fall with his 2018 post on this very character).

But actually, if you compare the two scans, it’s clear that the newer guide has greatly expanded its content notation for many of the issues listed there, so it’s not just Elf wtih a Gun who gets special attention. And let’s be honest, it’s one of those bizarre things that deserves to be singled out, one of Steve Gerber’s stranger flights of whimsy to appear on the printed page. (And before anyone says anything…yes, I know the price guide listings excerpted above are for the later non-Gerber Elf with a Gun appearances…look, those just happened to be the issues I was pricing.)

Anyway, if you want to learn more about Elf with a Gun, and who wouldn’t, really, go read Dave-El’s post. He’s got it covered.

One other thing I noticed, aside from the whole Elf with a Gun thing, is th eapparent price drop from the 46th edition to the current 49th edition of the guide. Mostly $4 in Near Mint before, now only $3 a pop. One of my Twitter pals (whose tweets are protected, so I won’t directly quote him here) suggested the proliferation of digital availability bringing prices down, or even the possible negative impact of the Defenders TV show that had aired on Netflix. I mean, I have no idea…sure either of those situations could have been factors, or maybe there’s just less overall demand/trade in back issues from that period, causing a depression in reported sales from submitting retailers. When I have some free time (har har) maybe I’ll do a little spotchecking and see if there are any other examples of relatively cheap/small demand books getting similar price reductions.

Anyway, just a little something I noticed while doing my job. How many other jobs require investigating historical attention to, and pricing of, Elf with a Gun comic book appearances? Probably far more than you can imagine.

In conclusion:

8 Responses to “I purposely typed “Elf with a Gun” as much as I could in this post.”

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    Forget “Elf with a gun,” the mind boggles at the need for the “Moondragon cameo” and “New Moondragon costume” notations. I mean, are there so many Moondragon fans that this is useful information? I have to think the four Moondragon superfans in existence already know all her appearances.

  • John Lancaster says:

    Yeah – those Moondragon notes are superfluous…Now, if it was Moondragon with a Gun, I could understand the need. I’m going to go look at the note for Man Thing with a Shelleigh, or that time Hypno Hustler had a Kpinga. Those gotta be worth something extra by now!

  • Chris V says:

    Unbelievable. Appearances of a character like Elf with a Gun need to be worth, at least, hundreds of dollars after all these years.
    I remember buying those back-issues of Defenders issues featuring Elf with a Gun and expecting to be able to retire on the profit I made selling them all these years later.

  • Thom H. says:

    C’mon, give Moondragon a break. She’s better than Overmind.

    Wait…am I one of Moondragon’s four superfans?

  • philfromgermany says:

    I love Mooni, too! Everything about her was different from the top of her bald head to the bottom of her green boots.
    She was great in Warlock and the Infinity Watch and Peter Davids Captain Marvel. Can’t say the same for the handful of Defenders books I have read with her in em. Gargoyle was an interesting fella for a while, loved the story when he returned to his hometown.
    And remember the Foolkiller arc?

  • Chris V says:

    I don’t really remember the Foolkiller story from Defenders.
    Foolkiller was never the same if he wasn’t being written by Steve Gerber.

    I am also a Moondragon fan and a Gargoyle fan.
    The origin story for Moondragon was one of the high points of the otherwise disappointing Gerber run on Daredevil. I don’t often use the words “disappointing” and “Gerber” together in a sentence either.
    I do remember the Gargoyle story, and that was a great story.
    I loved the Defenders.

    Elf with a Gun was truly great, by the way.
    Steve Gerber really had no greater plan for him. It was a summation of Gerber’s Existentialist view on life.
    You’re going along, life is fine, and suddenly there’s an Elf with a Gun, and it’s all over.

    I really love DeMatteis’ run on Defenders too (see: Gargoyle story), but it was good that his “origin” for the Elf with a Gun was ret-conned as a lie.
    It shows the differing world-views of the two great comic writers.
    For DeMatteis, everything had some higher purpose.
    For Gerber, the only purpose to anything in life was the purpose we attempted to give it.

  • Adam Farrar says:

    It’s worth mentioning that Moondragon got a new costume in #140 because it’s her best costume. Distinct, simple and practical.

  • Dave-El says:

    Oh my God! Oh my giddy aunt! I’ve been named checked in Mike Sterling’s blog! I’ve been name checked on Progressive Ruin! Squeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

    OK, the Elf With a Gun can just shoot me now! I’m done!