RJ Droll writes;
Whether it’s on a convention floor or on eBay, the various first appearances of the characters slated to appear in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie are commanding premium prices. Groot seems to have taken the lead right now, with a mid-grade copy of Tales to Astonish #13 selling for $1,200 this past weekend. Sellers, realizing the scarcity of this book have also started asking (and in some cases, getting) big money for the book that reprints that story – Where Monsters Dwell #6. Additionally, I personally witnessed a friend pull a copy of Nebula’s first appearance (Avengers #257) out of a dealer’s stock at a local show. The dealer slapped his head, sold the book to my friend for $2, then offered to buy it back from him for $5. By the show’s end, the same dealer had found another copy of the book that he had displayed with an asking price of $20.
Likewise, Dealers and eBay sellers are charging an arm and a leg for Annihilation Conquest #6, telling people it’s the first appearance of the new/modern Guardians of the Galaxy…only, it’s not. The only inkling of a Guardians team to come from that book is a passing mention in the book’s afterward, a text page. Even in today’s market, where a preview constitutes a first appearance (Green Wake, Mondo, etc.), a text page mention is a bit of a stretch. The team, which doesn’t even get named “Guardians of the Galaxy” until issue #2 of their own series, is actually ending a mission when the book begins, and scattered at its ending.
The book everyone seems to be overlooking, and the book that most collectors should really want in their collection, is Annihilation Conquest: Starlord #1, where Peter Quill is pressed into service with a group of Prisoners of War including Groot; Rocket Raccoon; Bug; and Mantis, all of whom made up the Abnett and Lanning Guardians. This group of POWs even wear the outfits that became the Guardians’ uniforms when their book kicked off.
Too often, the speculator watch begins AFTER a book has started selling for big money, but right now, Annihilation Conquest Starlord is $1 bin fodder (even MileHigh Comics will sell you a complete run of the mini series for less than $12 if you know their current code word). So, if you’re smart, you might want to pick up the book while it’s still ‘cold’… If nothing else, it’s the first meeting of Rocket Raccoon and Groot, and eventually, someone’s going to take notice of that.