Showcase #17 and the Case for Adam Strange

by Jestin Davis

Showcase-17-300x157 Showcase #17 and the Case for Adam StrangeShowcase #17 has been listed in the Overstreet Price Guide for as long as I can remember as one of the most valuable science fiction comics books. I went on a journey to find out why…

Adam Strange is one of the characters, much like Hawkman, of whom I am aware. Plus, I like the look of the character. Still, I don’t know much about him.  I have read relatively little of his appearances in comparison to say, Batman or Superman. The one thing I have always seen, though, is the aforementioned positioning of Showcase #17 as a staple in the Overstreet Guide year after year under the science fiction comic book header. This got me wondering, exactly why is Showcase #17 so valuable? Does it have the opportunity to continue to increase in value?

CGC Census Data on Showcase #17Showcase-17-1-230x300 Showcase #17 and the Case for Adam Strange

The first thing that jumped out at me when doing a little research is the insane lack of high-grade graded copies of this book. According to the CGC census data, there are literally 0 graded copies in a 9.2, 9.4, 9.6, or a 9.8. That instantly puts us down to a 9.0 of which there are 2. One is restored and one universal grade at the 9.0 mark. If I had to wager a guess, I would say that there was a relatively low print run. Perhaps the fact that the book has a black cover makes it a hard book to find in high grade. Regardless of that though, even at a 4.0, which has the most amount of books on the census at that grade, there are only 32 universal copies!

Sales of Showcase #17

When I did some digging on GoCollect for sales data, I looked at the most popular grade, which is at that 4.0 mark. There have been 27 sales of this book in a 4.0 since 2010 and that price has increased over 28% since then. You might look at that number and not really have your socks blown off as other books have increased way more than that over the same time frame. However, if you take a look at the rarer grades, there have only been 2 sales in a 7.5 since 2010 and that price has increased by 105%. Because there is so little sales data it’s hard to say where the book really is at the current moment. A collector almost needs to see the most recent sale to make a true judgment call on it.

Strange_Adventures_Vol_5_1_Textless_Variant-198x300 Showcase #17 and the Case for Adam StrangeIs there a Future for Adam Strange?

That’s a good question. The answer I have is that I’d like to think so. The science fiction genre hasn’t really been done by the big 2 on the big screen or the small screen for that matter. You could certainly argue that Guardians of the Galaxy is sci-fi. Still, there hasn’t been an old-school feeling, traditional spaceman exploring other worlds-type movie made. I don’t see DC starting to film an Adam Strange movie tomorrow.  I could see them turning to this character in the future. If not on his own, as part of the larger universe.

Adam Strange has had some great comic book mini-series in the past and even has one being published in the current day, so the character is certainly relevant. I’d love to hear what you guys think about Adam Strange and Showcase #17!

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Chrris April 22, 2021 - 2:53 am

A more affordable alternative to Showcase 17 is Strange Adventures 217. It reprints Showcase 17 and has a sweet Neal Adams cover.

Jestin Davis April 28, 2021 - 4:50 pm



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