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The Death and Return of Superman Multiple Printing Saga

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Brandon Shepherd


My journey into this wonderful hobby began in early 1994, when I found The Death of Superman graphic novel at Kroger, I was 11 years old then. The graphic novel collected the seven issue storyline "Doomsday!", the comic book colors inside hooked me. I had heard of this “event” but I was so late to the party that it was over. The Death and Return of Superman story arc was a trilogy of storylines; "Doomsday!", "Funeral for a Friend" and "Reign of the Supermen!", all ancient history by '94. After I got The Death of Superman graphic novel I searched out issues for  "Funeral for a Friend" and "Reign of the Superman!," not an easy task for a kid with no job (or allowance 'cause I never did chores), who's only transportation were his parents or the school bus. I was able to catch up thanks to few Toys-R-Us trips, where late comers like myself were able to pick up various two packs and packaged sets of comics, with a lot of Superman books. I found most of the issues I needed for "Funeral for a Friend" this way. As I got more into collecting I decided I wanted to have the individual "Doomsday!" issues, even thou I had them nicely collected in TPB form, after another Toy R Us trip, I got all those issues from a box set. 

As I started accumulating price guides, poly bags and backing boards a monster began to gestate, who became concerned about condition and value. I then discovered there were actually multiple printings for many of these issues, and the first printings were more valuable! Each printing after the first edition was notated by a roman numeral, next to the issue number and price on the top left corner of each cover. The cover art remained the same with each subsequent printing but the title logo color scheme changed for each issue’s printing. After realizing this the 2nd, 3rd and so on printings I had were tarnished in my eye. All of my "Doomsday!" issues were later printings, and not worth the paper they were printed on, and most of my 'Funeral' issues were the same. As the years went on, and the prices went down, I replaced many of my later printings with first prints, recycling the paper rags I had before.

Then CGC came along....

Around 2007 I decided to start CGC Registry set for this storyline, all 9.8, first prints only, yet by the early 2010's I re-discovered the later printings, becoming enticed by the thrill and challenge of trying to find these books in high grade. I love how unexpected all of this was, I know I never thought the later printings would ever be collectible, and I think it's safe to say I wasn't the only one. 

Here are my CGC examples thus far, keeping the thrill of the hunt alive. 




Updated 11/01/2019

Some of my childhood books also survived, thankfully. 


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I actually found Superman #75 4th printing and Action Comics #685 2nd printing in the wild and subbed them myself, they're two of my favorites. I dropped them off at Denver Comic Con in 2016, it was my first submission since joining the Collectors Society in 2006. :cloud9:

Edited by Brandon Shepherd
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New addition to the collection, Adventures of Superman #497 (12/92) Second Printing, currently 1 of 4 in 9.8 grade. I won this on eBay for only $13.50, maybe the price was low because the auction ended the same night as Game of Thrones, or not that many people really care? I'm really pleased to add this to the collection, the book itself is beautiful. I just need the third print now, there are currently 2 in 9.8 out there somewhere. 


Edited by Brandon Shepherd
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On 5/26/2019 at 7:06 PM, Vfactor1 said:

Wow Brandon, super jealous you got that steal...



On 5/26/2019 at 9:32 PM, 1950's war comics said:

you practically stole that for $13.50 !!!!

I wonder if the seller was like “if you wanted to rob me you could have just used a gun!” 

The book was originally a BIN listing several months ago for over $150. The book had been re-listed a few times with a few price reductions but was still over $100. 

Edited by Brandon Shepherd
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Last week I excitedly said “yes” out loud during breakfast as I was checking my eBay app, I found an auction for a book with my name on it.


This book is the first copy of this issue’s second printing to be certified in 9.8 grade.

This year has already brought my way Superman #74 third printing and Adventures of Superman #497 second printing, both part of “Doomsday!” I only found one multiple printing for my set last year, but that was the first one in a few years.

I was very lucky recently.


After a week of checking eBay my time finally came.


I try not to lose myself in moments where judgement succumbs to rashness but I’m only human.


It was my time to lose!


Yes my time came, boy was I surprised!

Edited by Brandon Shepherd
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8 hours ago, Vfactor1 said:

Wow Brandon, over $300 bucks! That’s a lot of dough, but a nice book!

I take it you didn’t win it, but maybe someday?



Yes that is a lot of dough, and correct, I did not win it. I wonder how long it will take for another 9.8 to appear in the population report. Hopefully this sale will prompt others with large inventories to search this book out. It’s all about patience.

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Damn son!



I would love to have this one but I'm thinking about a price further south of what the seller is thinking, probably wouldn't entertain my best offer. This is an issue that is tough in 9.8 in all printings thanks to the black cover.

There are these two on eBay right now also, I'm curious to see what they will realize. 



I picked up Superman #74 3rd printing earlier this year for less than $50, I wonder if this auction will go for less or far more.

I'd love to have this one also but the price is steep already with several days left to go.


I also see that Action Comics #686 Second Printing now has one 9.8 in the census. This book is a grail of mine but if it turns up on eBay, I'm sure it will be listed with a very high price.


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Hey Brandon, I noticed that this morning as well.  That's a crazy price, huh!?  It is a beautiful book though and I hate to admit that if I had a thousand dollars to blow I would probably buy it.  Glad your grail popped up and hope it works out for you either at that price or maybe if the seller drops it eventually.  If someone jumps on it at that price it's going to really blow up the market on these books.  My personal grail is Adventures of Superman 498 4th print... I'd be willing to skip a mortgage payment if that ever pops up at 9.8. 

BTW - I really enjoy this journal!



Edited by Iconic1s
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4 hours ago, Brandon Shepherd said:

Dude! With all this talk of a recession...

I had been watching that Adventures of Superman 498 4th printing and was sent an offer by the seller of $299.99.  I wonder if it went for full price?  That is a lot to pay for a raw book that you can't even see first hand... could be my imagination but the lower left corner looks like it has one, maybe two, breaks in it.  Certainly hope the buyer is happy at that price!

Really jealous of whoever got the Superman 77 2nd and 3rd prints!


Edited by Iconic1s
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1 hour ago, Iconic1s said:

I had been watching that Adventures of Superman 498 4th printing and was sent an offer by the seller of $299.99.  I wonder if it went for full price?  That is a lot to pay for a raw book that you can't even see first hand... could be my imagination but the lower left corner looks like it has one, maybe two, breaks in it.  Certainly hope the buyer is happy at that price!

Really jealous of whoever got the Superman 77 2nd and 3rd prints!


That was my wonder which is why I have it shown as sort by sold highest to lowest. The range it fell in suggested it sold for full price. I too has been sent a similar , if not same offer, but seemed too steep. I also agree about the pictures as I thought maybe 9.2-9.4 only way I saw that a 9.6 was maybe a clean and press, as I agree at what looks like those spots as well as a dimple on rear cover just to the right of the " Y ".  I had the same thoughts about the # 77... Jealous..

Edited by onlyweaknesskryptonite
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Yes, I too am envious of the Superman #77 2nd and 3rd prints. I’m also discouraged by the prices of such pieces as the Action #686 2nd and Adventures #499 3rd, but seeing all of these books come out of the wood work gives me hope, hope that more of these are out there, and that we’ll get our chance.

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Agreed.  More and more books we never really thought would command such prices, are again trying to price us out of obtaining them. Still hope , like you said that after the initial 9.8's hit their lone census prices the rest come back to earth a little to allow us to  complete our sets.

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