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The Comic Speculator Back Issue Roundup – Low-Grade Golden Age Comics Hopping

by Matt Baum (10/04/13).

On Sept. 22, a copy of Action Comics #13 (DC, 1939) that featured the fourth-ever Superman cover printed sold for $13,100 with 31 bids. Here’s the kicker, this issue was CGC-graded in 1.5 (Fair/Good) condition.

The Comic Speculator is a blog written by WorthPoint Comic Book “Worthologist” Matt Baum that takes a look at each week’s hot new comics and back issues and the comic market place in general. Prices discussed here are taken from the Overstreet Guide to Comics (OVST), Comicspriceguide.com (CPG) and current online auction sales. Sales numbers and rankings are courtesy of ICV2.com. Lists of new comics are courtesy of Previews World and Comics List. Make sure and click on the links to learn more about the titles and creators discussed here. The codes under the prices of new titles discussed are Diamond Comics order codes that can be used to help your local comic retailer in ordering the issues discussed. If you want to hear what this nerd sounds like you can catch him on his podcast, the Two-Headed Nerd Comicast, where he and his friend Joe discuss the latest comic news, review some new comics, and answer your questions.

The Back Issue Roundup

As always, the turbulent storm that is the back-issue-marketplace continues to spin violently, scooping up comics you’d never expect would one day sell for more than cover price and dropping them in the hands of sheltering collectors. How’d you like that image? Not bad, aye? But enough showing off my metaphoric skills; let’s talk comics… specifically, back-issues.

Gold and Silver Oldies:

Showcase #4 (DC, 1956)

• Not all Golden-Age treasures have to be in near-mint condition to sell for huge amounts. On Sept. 22, a copy of Action Comics #13 (DC, 1939) that featured the fourth-ever Superman cover printed sold for $13,100 with 31 bids. Here’s the kicker, this issue was CGC-graded in 1.5 (Fair/Good) condition. Which, in English, means it is pretty whupped up. This is a comic that guides at $2,000 in 1.5 condition and it sold for 11 grand more. Whether you liked the end of the latest Supes movie or not, you can’t argue with prices like this on early Action issues.

• Superman isn’t the only DC hero getting crazy money for lower condition comics. With the announcement of the upcoming Flash TV series on the CW, the speedster’s key back issues are starting to see some real action. Two separate copies of Showcase #4 (DC, 1956)—widely agreed to be the first Silver-Age comic and the first appearance of Barry Allen and Iris West—sold for much more than they usually do. A copy in CGC 5.5 ($7,280 guide) sold for $9,401 with 50 bids and another copy in CGC 4.5 condition ($5,200 guide) sold for $6,600 with 21 bids. Watch for Flash issue to continue to sell for ridiculous prices even after the CW makes a terrible show. I’m not a fan of “Arrow,: either.

Bronze Age and Beyond:

• Collectors who paid $70 and up for their 3D cover version of Batman The Dark Knight 23.4 (DC, 2013) that shipped last week are kicking themselves. Someone even paid $17.50 for a copy with a melted cover. I don’t mean to go the route of “I told you so,” but… Well, I TOLD YOU SO! Currently, eBay is flooded with more than seven pages of auctions for both the regular and 3D cover with the standard cover selling for $5-$7 and the 3D cover selling for $25-$30. And they will probably go down from there. The same goes for all of the Villains’ Month 3D lenticular covers. There’s plenty of all of them out there and it’ll be quite some time before they’re selling for anything remarkable.

Batman The Dark Knight 23.4 (DC, 2013)

Day Men #1

Boom Studios just penned a deal with Universal Studios to bring their new series Day Men, a story about humans that work for Vampire’s during the day, to the big screen. Day Men is a relatively new series, issue #1 shipped July 17, /2013, but it has been received by fans and critics very well. The first issue sold out of its 12,000-copy print-run very quickly and was selling for as high as $20. It’s since cooled off, with prices falling to $8-$10, but with this new movie news, watch for that price to leap back up. If you didn’t pick this one up when it came out, go grab a copy NOW.


Matt Baum is WorthPoint’s comic book Worthologist. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact Matt or post your question below in the Comic Book Forum in the WorthPoint Forums, located in the Community tab. You can also reply to this article in the “leave a reply” box below. If you need more comic-nerd in your life, you can follow Matt on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers and keep the comments coming!

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