Most important comic book of the 1950s: Showcase #4, estimated at $200,000+, to be sold in Dallas May 21

DALLAS – Showcase #4, The Flash, is the comic book that started the Silver Age of comics, resurrecting superheroes in American popular culture. Now the finest known copy of this comic book will make its public debut May 21 as part of Heritage Auction Galleries’ May Signature Comics and Comics Art Auction.

This copy has been certified Near Mint plus 9.6 by CGC. “I’d commit to saying this is the most valuable single copy of any comic book published in the entire decade of the 1950s,” said Barry Sandoval, director of operations at the Comics division of Heritage.

The six-figure estimate represents a value range that (with very few exceptions) has been limited to icons of comics’ Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s.

In terms of historical significance, few books can hold a candle to Showcase #4: It introduced a new superhero at a time when only Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman had their own series at DC, and not a single superhero was being published at Marvel (aka Atlas).

The new Flash, Barry Allen, not only had a sleek look unlike the old costumes of the World War II era, the art style was exciting and new, courtesy of artist Carmine Infantino. This comic appeared as part of the tryout series Showcase, a title created to test the appeal of new concepts in an era when news dealers were very conservative about displaying a new comic title on their newsstands. Three more Showcase appearances for the new Flash proved that the success of #4 was no fluke, and a Flash series soon followed.

This copy of #4 is just one lot in the top-condition run consigned to the Heritage sale by Michael Goldman, owner of Motor City Comics in Farmington Hills, Mich.

“I purchased this run in 1992 from the son of the original owner,” Goldman says. “From the moment that I pulled the Showcase #1 from the box, I felt that there would never be a nicer group of copies of this title. The color and paper quality are the best I’ve ever had on any original-owner collection in my 23 years in business. Motor City Comics is proud to offer this one-of-a-kind group through Heritage Auction Galleries.”

Of these 17 comics, 11 (including this iconic #4) are the finest known copies, each in sole possession of the highest grade yet certified by the third-party certification service CGC. Four others are tied for “finest known” of their respective issues. In addition, all but two issues, #15 and #17, have been certified with “white pages,” CGC’s best page quality certification.

“When I was the Primary Grader at CGC, and these books hit my desk, even after seeing hundreds of thousands of high grade and pedigree books, I was completely blown away by the quality of these books,” said Steve Borock, now a consignment director at Heritage. “I never expected to see a run of Showcase comics as high-grade as these.”

The entire collection is being offered without reserve.

View highlights of The Motor City “Showcase” Run online at www.HA.com, where you can read detailed lot descriptions and download full-color, enlargeable hi-resolution images.

For more information visit www.HA.com.

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