Last night was once again a huge auction night on ComicConnect.com, with key Silver Age comics making up the majority of sales, but headlined by one of the most important comics of the Golden Age, Whiz Comics #2. Labeled #1 by some due to their having never been a first issue of Whiz, this comic would launch the most popular character of the Golden Age, Captain Marvel.
If you think that is a bit of hyperbole, keep in mind that Captain Marvel Adventures, the flagship title for the Marvel Family, sold 14 million copies in 1944 and at one point went biweekly with a circulation of 1.3 million. And that’s just one of the Marvel Family titles.
The night would start up where we ended Friday night’s auctions, with Superman. One of the highlights of this second round of Super-titles is Superman #140, featuring the first appearance of Bizarro Supergirl, graded 9.4 by CGC with off-white pages. The highest-graded copy to go up for sale, bidding closed out at $3,700, over four times the cost paid for a CGC 9.2 copy last year.
The following issue, #141, is in similar condition, and features Superman’s return home to Krypton. A CGC 9.4 copy of this issue sold in May 2010 for $1,255, but the price was almost double that this time around, selling for $2,325.
Two issues later, we have Bizarro taking on Frankenstein in Superman #143. Bidding was intense on this one, with 35 bids driving the price for this CGC 9.4 with white paper copy up to $5,900. While not the same grade, the only comparison one can make here is to the 9.2 Savannah Pedigree copy that sold in February of this year, and that only went for $1,076.
Moving on to Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane, we start with a #1 from the Oregon Collection, graded CGC 8.0 with white pages. This is one of the just three that have been graded at 8.0, and none higher, with the last sale in this condition occurring this August for $8,963. This one would come far short of that though, finishing bidding over $2,000 less at $6,711.
The previous high price paid for an issue five of Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane occurred in November 2006, with a CGC 8.5 selling for $837. The one up for auction Saturday, however, was graded 9.0, with white pages, and it would crush that previous high, closing at $4,900 after 59 bids.
It’s a similar situation for #7, with the CGC 9.2, with white pages, auctioned on Saturday night easily the best condition copy to go up for sale. The final price here would be $2,350. #9 features an appearance by Pat Boone, both on the cover and in the story, and at CGC 9.4 with off-white to white page it’s the best condition copy ever to go on sale; as such, its $2,900 selling price is easily the highest to date.
Other Lois Lanes of note include #11 at CGC 9.2, the highest-graded copy, for $1,811; #21, at CGC 9.6, featuring Super-Lana versus Super-Lois, for $975; #22, at CGC 9.4, for $1,350; #23, featuring the first appearance of Lois as Elastic Lass, for $900 in CGC 9.6; #24, at CGC 9.6, for $1,950; #25, at CGC 9.4, for $1,200; and #26, selling for $1,617 in CGC 9.4. All of these come from the impressive Oregon Collection, where clearly someone knew comic collecting and reading etiquette years before everyone else.
From gals to pals, we move over to Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, starting with a #1 in CGC 5.0 with white pages. Similarly graded ones would reach $1,475 and $2,271, in 2010 and this year respectively, but this one came up short, despite the white pages, finishing at $1,450. The auction’s #14 is easily the best condition to date at CGC 9.0, with off-white to white pages, and the $1,700 final price is in nowhere near the same ballpark as previous sales of this issue. The same too for #15, with a CGC 8.5 copy with white pages sold for $1,100. The issue #19 in this lot was graded CGC 9.6 with white pages, and the beautiful copy fetched a robust price of $3,000, over six times the price of a CGC 9.0 copy that sold last year.
Like the Lois Lanes, the Jimmy Olsen issues come from the Oregon Collection, and issues being the best condition recorded as sold is a running theme throughout the sales last night. This is also true for #20 (9.0 with off-white/white pages, $1,624), #21 (9.4 with off-white/white pages, $1,822), #27 (9.4 with white pages, $1,850), #29 (9.2 with white pages, $1,510), #30 (9.0 with white pages, $1,250), #33 (9.2 with off-white/white pages, $1,150), #34 (9.4 with white pages, $1,700), #38 (9.6 with off-white/white pages, $1,800), #48 (9.6 with white pages, $2,025), and #51 (9.8 with white pages, $1,150).
Marvels started popping up next with the T’s, with Tales of Suspense up first. #39 features the debut of Iron Man, and last night’s auction featured one in CGC 7.0 condition, with off-white pages. At $4,850, the price fell right in line with the average price seen at this condition over the past three years.
Moving to Tales to Astonish, Ant-Man’s first appearance in costume and as a superhero (his first true appearance, #27, was more science fiction than a traditional superhero tale) comes in #35, which sold last night in CGC 8.0 with off-white pages for $1,965, well above the $1,111 average price we have seen in this grade over the past decade. #36, though, at CGC 9.0 with off-white/white pages, sold for right about where previous sales in this condition have been, closing at $1,505. After trebling in price at CGC 9.4 in 2010, Hank Pym’s transformation from Ant-Man to Giant Man in #49 came back down to reality a bit, selling with off-white pages for $1,808, the second-highest price this book has fetched at 9.4.
And now we come to the highlight of the night, Whiz Comics #2. Just this past August, a CGC 6.0 copy with cream to off-white pages failed to reach the reserve price, hitting a top bid of $17,600. Last night, that exact same comic sold for $176,007 after 90 bids. As the saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location. An almost-as-nice CGC 5.5 sold for $21,575 five years ago, and now it’s in six figures. Will this last, or was this a one-off, and the next one goes for far less? It’s anyone’s guess at this point.
The final night of the auction is this evening, and we’ll have more tomorrow, wrapping up with Wolverine, World’s Finest, and Marvel’s merry mutants.