Auction Highlights #92 – Heritage Auctions

Heritage Signature Auction February 18th

I watched that Amazing Fantasy #15 auction finish live and it was pretty exciting. I wanted to click “Bid” but there was one too many zero in the price, actually there was more like two too many zeroes…

Amazing Fantasy #15, CGC 9.4 with Off White Pages sold for $454,100. The last CGC 9.4 sold back in 2011 and that one got $325,000. The result is a positive one for the high end market.

Another result of note was the Fantastic Four #52, CGC 9.8 with White Pages that sold for $83,650. A staggering amount considering the last three 9.8s that sold three to four years ago were all getting in the $18,000 to $22,000 range.

For this Heritage Auction I was watching the Detectives. There was a nice batch of pre-Batman and solo Batman Detective issues available and I was actually bidding on a couple of them. You never know until you try. Well I tried and now I know.

 

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Detective Comics #2, DC Comics, April 1937 Graded by CGC at 1.5 with Off-White pages sold for $7,170.00.

This is almost double the last CGC 1.5 that sold about four years ago and is higher than the CGC 2.5 that sold last year. Question. Why are the pre-hero Detectives worth so much money? I mean these are detective stories with no characters of note today. I don’t see pre-Archie Pep Comics going for huge money and those at least have recognizable characters like the Shield in them. Still Detective #1-#26 remains one of the most coveted runs of the Golden Age. I’m just not sure why.

There are only 10 of these CGC graded with a blue label. I can’t see the demand for these things going down anytime soon and the scarcity of this thing should enable the seller to ask his or her price when the time comes.

Advantage Buyer

 

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Detective Comics #8, DC Comics, October 1937 Graded by CGC at 7.5 with Off White sold for $14,340.00.

This is the “Billy Wright” copy that got $11,950 exactly 4 years ago. A 20% increase seems soft relative to the others here are getting.

This is a great cover but I prefer the #13 the #18 and of course the #1 to this one. Sweet book none the less.

Advantage Buyer

 

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Detective Comics #27, DC Comics, May 1939 Graded by CBCS at Restored 4.5 Extensive Amateur sold for $167,300.00.                                               

So here’s where it gets complicated. How much do we trust CBCS? They seem to be doing a hell of a job so far but do we trust them with a Detective #27. The answer seems to be yes in a big way. The book does show well.

Let’s not forget that as recently as March 2012 a CGC 8.5 Moderate Professional got $130,000 and in December 2012 a CGC 9.0 Moderate Professional copy got $102,000 and a CGC 9.2 Extensive Professional copy got $155,000 in September 2013. To bring the grade a little closer I can point to the CGC 7.0 Moderate Professional copy that got $77,675 in July 2012.

I’m sorry but there seems to be too much of a sample size within the restored ranks of this book for me to justify a CBCS 4.5 Extensive Amateur going for this much.

Advantage Seller

 

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Detective Comics #30, DC Comics, August 1939 Graded by CGC at 7.0 with Off White to White pages sold for $13,145.00.

I was actually bidding on this one. My naivety led me to believe that I could pick this up for well below $10,000. The last 7.0 got $10,000 exactly two years ago and I thought all the attention might go to the #27 and #35. Wrong again.

If I had the money I would have kept going. This non-Batman cover features the 4th appearance of Batman and this was a strong buy.

Advantage Buyer

 

Well? Did you dare venture into this auction? What did you think of the AF #15 result?

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1589

7 Comments

  1. Thanks; interesting analysis Walt. Maybe this is obvious or overly simplified, but since you posed the question… I’d say the value of Detective Comics 1-26 is simply due to the prestige of the title. Detective Comics is synonymous with Batman in every collector’s mind (and also the beginning of the superhero genre). A lot of people must like the “cool factor” of being able to say they own an issue of Detective Comics that came BEFORE Batman was introduced. Personally I’d rather have an early superhero comic, but I do understand the appeal.

  2. I know what you mean Eric. I’ve always been one of those mesmerized by the #1-26 Detective run. Still defies logic in a way. Consider as well that as a hobby we are moving away from the importance of titles. Detective always had that linear numeric path back to #1 but that monthly reminder ended in 2011.

    I tend to agree that the biggest factor is the connection to #27 and on that makes this run so desirable, factor in crazy scarcity and you get comics worth a lot of money.

  3. I agree with both of you on Pre-S.H. DCs . Not much content ,with exceptions, Proto-type Superman issues, and very early SF in New Fun for example. Regarding Restoration—-How much of a comic book can be restored before it can still be considered an original artifact !!!!

  4. Hello to my friends in the great white North. Much snow in Muskoka this year? Loved the post as I too am trying to fill out a run of pre-Batman Detectives. Prices are such that I’m afraid I will need to send my wife to work a little earlier if I want to buy any on the want list. A complete book without brittle pages is my only prerquisite. Nice to hear you say the #13 is one of your favorites as it is one on my own list! Keep up the good work.

  5. Hey John, I don’t even want to hear the word Muskoka until early June. I’m sure they’re living the dream up in God’s country though.

    Those damn pre Batman tec’s.. What are we all doing?! For me #12, #13 and #18 are standouts, and then there’s #1.

    Wives! They just don’t understand.

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