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Hot Spec: Defenders #17-18

mcu She-Hulk wrecking crew

BY MATT TUCK

Rumor has it that the Wrecking Crew will make their live-action debut in She-Hulk’s Disney+ series. That’s why Defenders #17 and #18 should be on your shopping lists.

MANDATORY CROWBARS

Get your magical crowbars ready because Marvel’s favorite punching bags are coming to the MCU. It is being reported that the Wrecking Crew will appear in She-Hulk, led by none other than the Wrecker himself.

There is no word on what capacity the Wrecking Crew will have in the Disney+ series. Considering the 10 episodes are only 30 minutes each, that does not leave much screen time for the villains. Being that they will be sharing the spotlight with Titania, whom we can assume will be the primary antagonist, and Abomination, there won’t be much room for the Crew. The legal comedy will likely see the four goons as defendants in the courtroom if I had to guess.

WHO ARE THE WRECKING CREW?

Whenever Marvel writers have needed a faction of generic super villains to accentuate a hero’s prowess, they call on the Wrecking Crew. 

Their origin is classic Marvel. It began with the Wrecker, a low-level thug whose crowbar was enchanted with Asgardian magic when he was mistaken for Loki. The comedy in that practically writes itself.

Later, Wrecker’s magic crowbar was struck by lightning, which gave powers to his prison buddies, Bulldozer, Piledriver, and Thunderball. Afterwards, the four joined forces to become a super-powered, smash-and-grab operation with the humble aspirations of burglary and wanton destruction. They have since become the stepping stones of the Marvel Universe and often find themselves on the wrong side of Mjolnir.

THOR #148

Wrecker first appeared in 1968’s Thor #148. Although there have been different incarnations of the Wrecking Crew over the years, the constant has been the Wrecker, and that should have collectors targeting this issue. Even if the Wrecking Crew does not appear in She-Hulk, I would wager that the Wrecker will find his way into a Thor movie in the future. 

At the moment, this issue is still very much affordable, even for higher grades. An 8.0 last sold for $130 on June 6 after reaching a record-breaking $285 in May. 

When it comes to Silver Age keys, the near-mint grades will inevitably be pricey. Since Wrecker’s first appearance falls into the minor key category, you can still get as high as a 9.6 for less than $1k.

DEFENDERS #17

Although Wrecker had been part of the Marvel Universe for a few years, he didn’t get his team until the Bronze Age in 1974’s Defenders #17. Readers would only catch a glimpse of the Wrecking Crew, so this is their first appearance in cameo, but it is nonetheless their first appearance as a team.

Prices for this issue are cheaper than Thor #148, so you should be able to find some good deals in the market. However, the rumors are beginning to drive values upward. This month, a 9.0 sold for a record-high $450, shattering the old mark of $130 for that particular grade.

DEFENDERS #18

Here is the Wrecking Crew’s first full appearance, and they are even on the cover art. Compared to Defenders #17 and Thor #148, this issue is a steal. There have yet to be any graded sales for this issue in 2021, but the last one to trade hands online was a 9.6 that sold for $475 in December. Once word spreads about the Wrecking Crew and She-Hulk, this could become the issue to have, so you will want to act fast to get a copy before the prices balloon too much.

THE UNSUNG HEROES OF MARVEL?

There is something to be said for the stalwart, working-class villains of Marvel. They are not flashy, they don’t get starring roles in movies or television series, but they are crucial to making the superheroes look good. The Wrecking Crew has done their job well and earned a small following over the years, and featuring them in live action could elevate their status in the comics. Personally, I think a Wrecking Crew action-comedy series would be perfect for Disney+.

Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.



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