Is this what a CGC 9.6 looks like?
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Yes. Usually they only have 2 to 4 spine tics but with cgc it is always possible to have a mistake or poor grader or something. I have seen a few 9.8s with a dozen spine tics. So if I am lucky enough to have bought some then there are many more out there and I have seen pics of them as well browsing. Seen some 6.0 ish graded 9.8 but that had to be a mistake, cgc worse grader couldn't be that bad. You shouldn't be surprised. Thats not a super desirable book but I figure a dealer could sell any cgc 9.6 darth vader cover for $20 or $30 so you get what you pay for.

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On 11/28/2021 at 10:22 PM, littledoom said:

It was a Black Friday sale special markdown

Yeah, I'm saying, for $10 bucks it's a good deal. I mean, I agree it doesn't look like a cgc 9.6, but even if you cracked it out, you're still probably ahead. You might be able to find a 9.0 raw for $10, but maybe not.

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On 11/28/2021 at 8:25 PM, Jesse-Lee said:

Yeah, I'm saying, for $10 bucks it's a good deal. I mean, I agree it doesn't look like a cgc 9.6, but even if you cracked it out, you're still probably ahead. You might be able to find a 9.0 raw for $10, but maybe not.

After removing the $10 price sticker the original was I believe $40.. I got rid of that sticker too but the adhesive residue remains :( 

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On 11/28/2021 at 11:59 PM, littledoom said:

After removing the $10 price sticker the original was I believe $40.. I got rid of that sticker too but the adhesive residue remains :( 

a little WD-40 will remove the residue.

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There are always two ends of the spectrum and with Murphy's law, I am pretty sure if I were to resubmit that same book they would give me an 8.0, maybe an 8.5 on a good day! lol   Yes I would be OK buying a low dollar 9.2 label on a book that looked like that without being too pissed, but 9.0 would be a bit more accurate IMO and anything higher than 9.2 is a total gift.  That book is no 9.6.  I have quite a few nicer looking 9.0/9.2's I would resubmit tomorrow if I could get that same grade!  

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I've always found many people have a misunderstanding of how CGC grades modern books, and especially dark cover modern books. Vintage dark covers, much tougher to get higher grades like with ASM 28, but with modern dark covers I've found there's a bit more leniency, and especially when it comes to the spine. Looking at this book as a whole, it's very nice, and the few stress marks/ticks pictured, I still think it's grade is justifiable. Could I just as easily see it in a 9.4 or maybe even 9.2, sure. However, I think saying this is deserving of an 8.0 or 8.5 is incorrect. Ultimately, an entire comic is what's graded and not just one section of it. So if CGC deemed other elements to be flawless, they must have clearly felt the spine wear was not sufficient enough to justify a lower grade.

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On 11/30/2021 at 12:16 PM, LDarkseid1 said:

I've always found many people have a misunderstanding of how CGC grades modern books, and especially dark cover modern books. Vintage dark covers, much tougher to get higher grades like with ASM 28, but with modern dark covers I've found there's a bit more leniency, and especially when it comes to the spine. Looking at this book as a whole, it's very nice, and the few stress marks/ticks pictured, I still think it's grade is justifiable. Could I just as easily see it in a 9.4 or maybe even 9.2, sure. However, I think saying this is deserving of an 8.0 or 8.5 is incorrect. Ultimately, an entire comic is what's graded and not just one section of it. So if CGC deemed other elements to be flawless, they must have clearly felt the spine wear was not sufficient enough to justify a lower grade.

I think your logic is the reason that this is not many people's NM+

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