2019’s Top Sellers (So Far): the Golden Age

by Matt Tuck

What do Batman, Uncle Scrooge, and Alfred E. Neuman have in common? They’ve set the pace for Golden Age comics so far in 2019.

We all know it’s coming – the year-end review posts spotlighting the best sellers of the year. As we teeter on the edge of the roaring 2020s, which Golden Age issues are leading the pack?

Below are the top-five sellers as of November 17. Beside each issue, I’ve included the total CGC graded copies sold online this year. That figure is based on the volume purchased regardless of grade or label color, which includes incomplete single pages and restored copies.

In the days to come, I’ll follow up with lists for the top-five comics from each age, so be on the lookout for your favorite comic era.

batman_1-222x300 2019's Top Sellers (So Far): the Golden Age1. BATMAN #1 (55)

Having the first issue of Batman’s solo series at the top of the Golden Age mountain is fitting. I argue that Batman is the most copied superhero of all time, even more so than the Man of Steel himself. What’s more is this issue gave us the first appearance of arguably the greatest villain in the history of comics, the Joker, not to mention the iconic anti-hero, Catwoman. It just makes sense that this would be the most popular Golden Age issue for the year. Want one of your own? If you happen to have a half-million dollars, you can have one of your own, just like one lucky buyer who paid $498k for an 8.0 on September 9.

 

 

 

Captain-America-Comics-1-217x300 2019's Top Sellers (So Far): the Golden Age2. CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 (49)

Avengers: Endgame left a massive crater in the collecting world, and you can’t convince me that it didn’t impact sales for Captain America’s first appearance. Granted, it was a darling among Golden Age collectors already, but having Cap take his final bow from the MCU definitely added to this issue’s appeal. It also features one of the most iconic covers of all-time, with Cap punching Hitler embodying the spirit of World War II-era comics. It carries a hefty price tag to match its historic impact. Back on August 1, a 9.4 brought $915,000.

 

 

 

 

Mad-1-207x300 2019's Top Sellers (So Far): the Golden Age3. MAD #1 (37)

Technically, the first issue of Playboy sold more copies than Mad, but Playboy is a magazine rather than a comic, which is why I’ve listed Mad #1 at number three and left Hugh Hefner off the list.

The biggest reason we’ve seen such a burst in sales is from the long-running series’ cancellation. Back in the spring, the company announced it would stop publishing the print copies of Mad, and that pushed collectors to buy more of these issues. As for sales, an impressive 9.8 earned a whopping $96,000 on October 17.

 

 

 

Four-Color-386-209x300 2019's Top Sellers (So Far): the Golden Age4. FOUR COLOR #386 (28)

Another fitting entry in today’s top-five is Four Color #386. Golden Age collectors tend to love the classic Disney comics, and Uncle Scrooge (whom we Gen-Xers knew from Duck Tales fame) starred in his first adventure in “Only a Poor Old Man” featured in this issue. Compared to the other comics on the list, it was a steal when an 8.0 sold for $1,440 in October.

 

 

 

 

Superman-1-214x300 2019's Top Sellers (So Far): the Golden Age5. SUPERMAN #1 (28)

Could there be a top-five Golden Age list without the original costumed superhero? The single most recognizable superhero to ever grace the pages of a comic, Superman’s first self-titled series is among the holy grails of holy grails for almost any collector. Not only that, but it also was the first self-titled superhero comic, which adds to its historical significance. In September, a single page from this issue – page 27, to be exact – graded an incomplete 0.5 sold for $260. A complete restored 6.5 brought $50,400 in August.

AND THE REST

The remainder of the 10 best-sellers are:

6. Crime SuspensStories #22  (27)

7. Superman #24 (26)

8. Detective Comics #27 (24)

9. Batman #47 (24)

10. Batman #23 (23)

 

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