Undervalued Spotlight #354

Superman #199, DC Comics, August 1967

I’m working feverishly trying to price up comics for an upcoming con. Today I hit a real wall like in a large,broken run of Superman. The stack started at #150 something and ended just after #300. Listen, that was pure drudgery! I put book after book in the $5 bin pile even tough the books would Guide out to $15 and sometimes $20, it’s tough selling Sups these days.

One book did stop me in my tracks though an it was a lovely (7.0 ish) copy of this week’s Undervalued Spotlight pick Superman #199.

It actually looks a bit nicer than a 7.0 but that darn black cover shows every small crease and flaw on the cover and along the spine.

Superman #199 is a fantastic comic, it has so much going for it and it will be appreciating in value in the coming years.

Look at that jet black cover with the two principle heroes (Sups and Flash) so prominent and in full action pose, it’s a true Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson classic. Hold out for high grade on this book if you are looking to invest. There are only 29 graded at CGC 9.2 or better as of this post and that’s out of a total of 412 graded, this book is tough in high grade.

Superman #199 also represents the 1st Superman/Flash race, it’s the 1st of a 4 issue arc that includes Flash #175 and World’s Finest #198 and #199. This is actually a popular collecting strain, its small with only 4 issues but it’s hard to resist.

At the top I mentioned how Superman was a slow title relative to so many other titles that are doing well. Collectors and investors have moved away from title based runs and have moved on to one off issues of importance. Superman #199 fits right in here, people are adding it to their piles without the guilt of not owning the other issues around it.

The last 9.2 sale was back in 2014 but recent sales of an 8.5 and a 9.0 show the value stagnant and even falling from the 2015 levels.

So Superman #199 has a fantastic cover that’s pitch black, it has a great hook as the 1st issue of Superman/Flash race. More and more collectors are satisfied with just this issue and they are choosing not to collect the run. High grades are elusive.

Go out and snag yourself a nice, crisp, tight and square to the corners copy, hopefully a 9.2 the sit back and watch it grow in value!

The 47th Overstreet (brand new) price break for this book is $259/$580/$900 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Reasons to buy this comic book as an investment.

  • 1st Superman Flash Race
  • Standout cover, black and tough in high grades
Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

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

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  1. I have both Superman 199 and Flash 175 in my personal collection. I don’t see these books selling for what I think they should in the market. I agree about trying to find a copy in high grade with the black cover. Will see what happens in the future with these books.

  2. I won Sup 199 at an auction. I am guessing that it would have graded as a 9.2+. I practically stole this from them. I think they realized that it was worth more than my winning bid. I never received it in the mail. I called and asked where it was and they told me that they tracked it and it was lost in the mail. I talked to my local post office, gave them the tracking and they said the comic never left the auction house ! Somebody has my Superman 199, 9.2 + !!!!!

  3. I remember the first time I saw this and liking the cover, so I bought it, but I also remember thinking ‘what’s so good about a race? Why is that a key issue?’ I still think the race is fun but it’s not the stuff of legend. Does anyone collect racing issues these days??

  4. Actually, the point about Superman being hard to sell is a good one – is he going the way of Captain Marvel? He’ll always be first but I think the problem is that Silver/Bronze Superman comics just aren’t much to look at. The GA covers are fantastic, but later standouts are few and far between compared to other characters. Or is that just me?

  5. When it came out. I liked it, not only because of the race or the soon to be classic cover but I was curious which and why these superheroes were rooting for either Superman or Flash.

  6. For example, The Batman and Superman were DC World’s Finest and yet The Batman was rooting for The Flash! How about that?

  7. I think the 4 part race will take on more significance over time just because it is such a cool early cross over event and it’s something for a collector/investor to hang his /her hat on. Small things often snowball into big things to almost everyone’s surprise.

    That is quite a story Ed,, a 9.2 of that book would be a fantastic thing to own.

  8. Hey Walt and gang ….to my mind, Superman has become such a wholesome cultural icon, that like Tarzan, Popeye, Mickey mouse, he has become somewhat taken for granted…But what an important comic character historically, one wonders if the industry would exist as it does now, without his invention?
    Comics were designed for a children’s audience, and yet since the 1980s and the specialty shop, readers have been mostly older teens and adults. I fear without the youthful readers of days past, readership will continue to drop , as sales of 50,0000 for a single issue is now extremely high.
    Lets examine the 25 giant sized issues of Superman # 239 to 253 and Action comics # 403 to 413.
    What beautiful covers, and inside the stories were fresh and inspiring. Topics such as pollution, woman’s lib and race were prominent. Clark Kent was now a TV news broadcaster. We met many of Clark Kent’s new neighbors in his apartment. Art and glorious covers by N. Adams, Anderson,Swan, Infantino and the like. These back issues are cheap and have back up stories with Aquaman , the Atom etc al…what a joy.
    I grew up loving Marvel…but these issues are great too. A quick check on their sales numbers were Superman #239….859,311 circulated and 421,941 sold. ( DC Circulation statement) Still out selling Marvels Spiderman by 100,000 copies at this time….(July 1971)
    Thanks for the small platform Walter. 🙂

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