The old TV show Dragnet always used the one-liner, “just the facts ma’am!” This was a way to focus the audience on the inevitable outcome, Sgt. Joe Friday discovering the truth, despite sociopaths trying to avoid prison. Criminals will pay for their bad deeds and society will be safe with the facts. The facts are often times malleable things, unfortunately in today’s world. For comic book collectors, facts are very key to the comic book obsession (Yes, it is an obsession.) For comic book speculators, half the fun is arguing facts, nuance, and investment jargon involved while trading comics in our bizarre little subculture. It helps percolate the expanding comic speculation market.
Today, fellow comic book fans, we are going to focus on verifying facsimile copies versus the original comic book. I am talking about facsimile editions. Comic books that are exact copies of the original and look so frighteningly real you might not know the difference. You might even stumble across one in a fifty-cent bin and think you have a real score, “ya don’t!” Can we make any money off these facsimile editions? Below are two examples of facsimile editions, and some obvious signs to look for to avoid buying.
Some of the greats at Marvel Comics, created arguably the most interesting and popular superhero of all time, Spider-Man. He hit the comic book stands in 1962 in the pages of Amazing Fantasy #15 by Stan Lee (writer), Steve Ditko (artist), and Jack Kirby (cover artist). We learned a great lesson from Stan Lee and that applies even today, “With great power, there must also come great responsibility!”
It is not strange that we would honor these iconic comics with complete copies, “even the old ads still inside them!” But we do have to watch out and avoid purchasing the obvious facsimile editions.
If you look to the facsimile edition to the left Amazing Fantasy #15 Facsimile Edition #15 (2019) you can see different types of colors used. The Amazing Fantasy #15 Facsimile Edition #15 (2019) is a crisp, clear and bold new print and better colors. It has bright colors and looks new.
The Amazing Fantasy #15 the original is dark, almost faded, and nowhere near as clean. I have blocked the obvious MARVEL logo in the lower right corner as an indicator of the facsimile copy. The original does not have the MARVEL logo. Now, Amazing Fantasy #15 is kind of an easy one, no one is going to find this laying around. How about something a little more recent from the 80s? Can you spot the difference between original and facsimile?
One such comic-facsimile was done for Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 a retelling of the death of Flash, Barry Allen. In it “Barry Allen risks everything to save billions of lives while sacrificing his own life to stop the Anit-Monitor’s antimatter cannon” (Source: GoCollect). It was published on December 4, 2019, for a cover price of $3.99. It has no commercial value or very little, to say the least. Though a great story, these facsimile editions could get out of hand quick.
The original looks a little different and is missing the subtitle but still in an instant you could miss it. Just slow down out there cow-pokes before you lasso that “great deal” in the dollar bin. Please make sure it is, in fact, an original. The real one is…
This book was created by Marv Wolfman (script) and George Perez (pencils) in 1985. It is the death of Barry Allen’s Flash and one of the greatest saga’s DC comics ever invented the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” storyline. Now you might be looking at these two and saying to yourself what is the big deal, it is clearly a newer copy? Right? Well, these are not the only books out there, there are others and none come with a stamp of “copy” on it, only little clues. Is the original Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 profitable, and what kind of returns does it garner?
- Grade 9.8 $86 last sale 2-6-20 returns positive +15.6%
- Grade 9.4 $42 last sale 2-5-20 returns negative -8.9%
- Grade 9.0 $40 last sale 10-26-19 returns positive +57%
Yes, the original is profitable, even though the numbers are tiny. If you are thinking of investing in this book it is only $50 for a 9.8 and though many exist, why not? For that price with CGC slab and grading the comic itself is almost free. Look, it might never hit the big time and get into the $1,000’s of Quatloo. However, it is possible for this original to double to $100 plus, sure why not? Is it possible that a catalyst involving this storyline or something related to it will pop up and deliver a bump? Most definitely it is possible.
Currently, on eBay I found a Facsimile Copy Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 Facsimile Edition #8 for $5.27 a little weird as they came out in 2019 they were only $3.99. Beware, people, these things look so real. Moving too fast, and buying from the cheapie bins could cause you to think you have a great deal; only to get home and realize you got FACS’ed!
Facsimile Edition: I boxed two of the areas of concern to watch out for. The price box in the right-hand corner says $3.99, and the lower barcode is new, not at all like the original copy above. In addition to these items, if you open to the front page, the indicia will have an issue number and will usually clearly state facsimile copy.