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How rare are Silver Age DC's in 9.4 or better?

How rare are Silver Age DC's in 9.4 or better?  

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  1. 1. How rare are Silver Age DC's in 9.4 or better?

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The print runs were, in some cases, in the ballpark of Marvels lesser bought titles correct? So why would it stand to reason there's tons of these Marvel issues available in grade, but no DCs. Did DC collectors tear their copies to pieces after reading them?

I've got a few BA DC's, haven't really had any trouble finding the ones I'm looking for (Neal Adams Batman covers) but I'm not going after anything above 9.4

 

Brian

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Coming from a collector of high grade SA DC, I'm going to say "fairly tough". Back in the early 80's when I got into the back issue market, high grade Marvels were a little more common than high grade DC. This was before multiples of guide brought out either one in high grade form. My educated guess from stories I've heard from collectors in the 60's is that Marvels attracted a slightly older crowd of readers who handled their books with a little more carefully due to the age difference.

 

I've also wondered if the serial nature of Marvels lead collectors to preserve earlier issues in order to preserve story arcs. When I started buying Marvels in the early 70's, I discovered that many stories were continued in the next issue and I would try to take better care of those books in an attempt to preserve them long enough to find all of the issues in the story arc. DC on the other hand were mostly 'done-in-one' and would wind up on my bedroom floor coverless in a matter of months.

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The print runs were, in some cases, in the ballpark of Marvels lesser bought titles correct? So why would it stand to reason there's tons of these Marvel issues available in grade, but no DCs. Did DC collectors tear their copies to pieces after reading them?

 

I have heard the argument that Marvel's were bought and read by an older audience who looked after their copies better. But personally I don't buy that. These DC books must be out there somewhere...

Maybe DC collectors are just less inclined to sell, therefore to slab. The market obviously supports much higher prices for SA Marvels. 893scratchchin-thumb.gif

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This debate has been going on as long as I've been collecting comics, and the Marvel guys keep saying the same thing,

"Well they must be out there."

Yet they just never turn up in the same numbers. Ask yourself have you EVER heard of someone with a HG run of Showcase or Brave and the Bold above 8.5. I'll bet DC bronze could give Marvel Silver a run for its money in terms of rarity.

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Yet they just never turn up in the same numbers. Ask yourself have you EVER heard of someone with a HG run of Showcase or Brave and the Bold above 8.5.

 

My point is though, that there is no reason for these books to 'turn up', unless they are being sold.

I just don't think there is sufficient incentive yet for SA DC collectors to slab their books.

 

Just watch that census folks... 893scratchchin-thumb.gif

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I answered "you will hardly ever see them", although I should qualify it by saying that I'm really talking about pre-1965 SA DC. It is not that hard to find 9.4 DCs from 1965 and afterwards, sometimes a bit earlier.

 

I've listed below ranges for some of the major titles to indicate difficulty in finding in 9.4 or higher. This is very broadbrush, and for every statement there is probably an exception. Also, my terms are relative. "Fairly easy" would be relatively difficult compared to a lot of Marvels. I don't collect Superman or Batman titles, so I can't speak to them, and I don't really collect issues after 1965, so I can't really speak to mid- and late-1960s issues, although my guess is they're not hard.

 

Adventure (Legion appearances only):

247-300: impossible

301-319: close to impossible

320-339: tough, but can be found with patience

340-onwards: fairly easy

 

Aquaman:

1-10: a real grab bag, some issues are surprisingly easy, like 3, 6, 7, while many of the others are close to impossible

11-19: surprisingly difficult

20- onwards: tough, but can be found with patience

 

Atom:

1-10: very tough, but do appear every now and then

11-upwards: fairly easy, with a few tough issues here and there

 

Brave & Bold (just the major superhero runs):

28-30 (JLA run): impossible

34-36, 42-44 (Hawkman run): 34, 43 & 44 are surprisingly easy if you're willing to pay the money, 35, 36 & 42 are close to impossible

 

Flash:

105-119: impossible

120-129: close to impossible

130-139: very tough, but do appear every now and then

140-159: fairly easy, with a few exceptions (143)

 

Green Lantern:

1-10: impossible

11-16: close to impossible

17-21: tough, but can be found with patience

22-onwards: fairly easy

 

Hawkman:

All: fairly easy

 

Justice League:

1-10: close to impossible

11-20: very tough, but do appear every now and then

21-30: tough, but can be found with patience, but some are close to impossible

31-onwards: fairly easy

 

Showcase (just the major superhero runs):

4, 8, 13, 14 (Flash run): flat out impossible

22-24 (GL run): flat out impossible

34-36 (Atom): close to impossible

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My point is though, that there is no reason for these books to 'turn up', unless they are being sold. I just don't think there is sufficient incentive yet for SA DC collectors to slab their books.

 

DC's have always been scarcer than Marvels, CGC or no, census or no. I believe silver and bronze age DC's are definitely scarcer than Marvels, and that opinion is based on what I've seen available over the last 10 years at shows, on the internet, and via mail order catalogs.

 

This topic has been debated on the boards since day one and everyone has different theories about it, but the fact is that DC's still remain scarcer than Marvels at shows, on the internet, and via mail order.

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I answered "you will hardly ever see them", although I should qualify it by saying that I'm really talking about pre-1965 SA DC. It is not that hard to find 9.4 DCs from 1965 and afterwards, sometimes a bit earlier.

 

If it wasn't for the Oakland, Pacific Coast, and Northland pedigrees it would be!! 27_laughing.gif

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I answered "you will hardly ever see them", although I should qualify it by saying that I'm really talking about pre-1965 SA DC. It is not that hard to find 9.4 DCs from 1965 and afterwards, sometimes a bit earlier.

 

If it wasn't for the Oakland, Pacific Coast, and Northland pedigrees it would be!! 27_laughing.gif

 

It's deja vu all over again! crazy.gif

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The print runs were, in some cases, in the ballpark of Marvels lesser bought titles correct? So why would it stand to reason there's tons of these Marvel issues available in grade, but no DCs. Did DC collectors tear their copies to pieces after reading them?

 

No, but since they weren't 'collectors' in the same way that people later became, they didn't take care of them the way that people did with the Marvel books. The hobby took off in an organized sense AFTER most of the important Silver Age DCs had already hit the shelves (in fact, it was BECAUSE of DCs like The Legion of Superheroes [and, of course, the ECs] that fandom got its start). Just in time for the Silver Age Marvels to be snapped up and collected in decent shape by the growing COLLECTOR base.

 

People do realize that the really important period for SA DC was OVER before FF#1 hit the shelves, right?

 

In terms of the way that they were handled by readers, the key SA DC books have more in common with GA or Pre-Code books than they do with SA Marvels.

 

Question, do Marvel-only use this argument to state that pre-hero, pre-fandom Atlas books from the 50s are easier than they appear?

 

Honestly, try finding any book from ANY publisher in NM from the mid to late 50s, it's basically impossible.

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My point is though, that there is no reason for these books to 'turn up', unless they are being sold.

I just don't think there is sufficient incentive yet for SA DC collectors to slab their books.

 

 

Interesting. If monetary inducement and heat are the key to unlocking these hidden hoards, why wasn't there a flood of Showcase 4s back in the late 80s early 90s when it was the hottest SA book on the planet? Even with heat applied, books like FF#1 and AF#15 probably showed up something like 3:1 or 4:1 at shows and in catalogs even though Showcase #4 was more valuable and extremely desirable.

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Also, the idea that there are currently no financial reasons to slab SA DCs is only evidence of a lack of knowledge of what's happening in the marketplace. When they have been made available, HG SA DC keys have sold for eye popping prices. Just this year at Heritage has seen several high profile, high dollar, insane multiple sales.

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I voted completely different between the Silver and Bronze DC polls. In the case of Bronze, I'm of the opinion the books are out there in roughly the same proportion as Marvels. For instance, you have the Adams DC books, the Wrightson Swamp Thing, Kirby 4th World, which all show up quite regularly in 'raw collectible' grades of VF or so.

 

Silver is another story however. Part of it is I think the readers vs. collectors mentality in the mid-1960s. You had the entire complete then-current Marvel Universe within reach of being collected, versus starting a DC run of Detective or Action Comics somewhere in the 300's, and then painfully working backwards. The ECs were only a decade old at that point, and collectors still remembered how cool it was to be able to own a company's entire output, all done in a similar house style.

 

Also, part of it has to do with the relative age of DC Silver keys vs. Marvel, as Rob has noted. I've posted this before, based on the excellent Gary Carter article in Overstreet years ago:

 

Books dated November 1961:

FF #1

JLA #7 (the 10th JLA story counting B&B)

Flash #124 (the 24th Barry Allen Flash issue counting Showcase)

 

Prior to November 1961, the first 3-issue B&B tryout of Hawkman was already completed, The Atom had been revived in Showcase, and 8 issues of GL had been published (plus 3 Showcase issues featuring GL).

 

Books dated May 1962

Incredible Hulk #1

FF #4

Mystery in Space #75

Flash #128

JLA #11

 

Books dated August 1962

AF #15

JIM #83

Flash #130

JLA #13

 

Books dated March 1963

ASM #1

FF #12

ToS #39

Flash #135

JLA #18

GL #19

 

 

In short, when it comes to Silver DC 9.4's, I voted "You'll never see 'em"

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My educated guess from stories I've heard from collectors in the 60's is that Marvels attracted a slightly older crowd of readers who handled their books with a little more carefully due to the age difference.

 

Yes, this is one of the standard theories.

 

I've also wondered if the serial nature of Marvels lead collectors to preserve earlier issues in order to preserve story arcs. When I started buying Marvels in the early 70's, I discovered that many stories were continued in the next issue and I would try to take better care of those books in an attempt to preserve them long enough to find all of the issues in the story arc. DC on the other hand were mostly 'done-in-one' and would wind up on my bedroom floor coverless in a matter of months.

 

This is a theory I haven't heard before, but it has merit. Of course, a lot of the really early SA Marvels were single story issues too, and they're still relatively easy to find compared to DC. At the end of the day, I think the main reason is that when comic collecting became popular around 1966, most of the collectors liked Marvels, so that's what they preserved, and that's why a higher percentage have survived in high grade.

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My point is though, that there is no reason for these books to 'turn up', unless they are being sold.

I just don't think there is sufficient incentive yet for SA DC collectors to slab their books.

 

 

Interesting. If monetary inducement and heat are the key to unlocking these hidden hoards, why wasn't there a flood of Showcase 4s back in the late 80s early 90s when it was the hottest SA book on the planet? Even with heat applied, books like FF#1 and AF#15 probably showed up something like 3:1 or 4:1 at shows and in catalogs even though Showcase #4 was more valuable and extremely desirable.

 

Totally agree. Showcase 4 in 9.4 is a $100K+ book. B&B 28 in 9.4 sold for $60K on Heritage this year. JLA 1 and Flash 105 in 9.4 sold for a combined $100K+ on Comiclink this year. Flash 123 in 9.4 went for $25K on Heritage. Even B&B 34 and Showcase 34 in 9.4 are $10-15K books. Just how much more price incentive is necessary to drive supply? The supply of Marvels was much greater even when prices were significantly less than these types of amounts.

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