Showcasing Some Underperforming Showcase Issues

by James Jou

113392_9a7f405ddbf2f82813271a73a97883b92b1e7815-206x300 Showcasing Some Underperforming Showcase IssuesSometimes when looking at a bundle of books, the main thing observed in common is that they all happen to be underperforming.  Here we look at some lower-numbered DC Comics’ Showcase issues that are not doing so well in the market. They all can’t be a Hal Jordan or Barry Allen.



While the Dr. Alchemy identity has been used by many, the very original first appeared in Showcase #14. After Albert Desmond escapes from jail, he steals a lucky stone that he learned about from his cellmate. Turns out it was the Philosopher’s Stone. That’s right Harry Potter fans; DC Comics did it first. Upon discovering that the stone gives him the power of alchemy, Albert upgrades his villainous identity to Dr. Alchemy. He could turn lead into gold or cement into diamonds. So what does he do with that power? He turns a pile of trash into gold to distract the police, while he robs a bank. Yup, that’s right. Too easy to do the obvious thing.

113289_5356012856427619fe2c9e1968c293880a703c4d-206x300 Showcasing Some Underperforming Showcase IssuesUnfortunately, Dr. Alchemy hasn’t been able to turn his key book of Showcase #14 into gold. Since topping out in 2015/16, the sales prices for the book have trended slightly downward. This coincides with the timeframe of when Dr. Alchemy was revealed as the villain for season 3 of The Flash television series.

If we compare to just one issue prior, Showcase #13, which contains Albert Desmond’s first overall appearance, we find that Showcase #14 is indeed underperforming in the similar 2015/16 to present timeframe. Despite having similar sales prices for comparable CGC grades in 2015/16, the diverging trends make Showcase #13 the clear winner. And it’ll continue to pull further ahead with each passing day. Sure, in Showcase #13 Albert went by the name Mister Element and the Dr. Alchemy name is currently much more popular, the market appears to have chosen a preference for Albert Demond rather than just the name. In the long run, it’s probably best to pivot any Showcase #14 holdings into Showcase #13.


114009_56e4321d8149960b542bacfd6ff8f322200ec004-203x300 Showcasing Some Underperforming Showcase IssuesSHOWCASE #20

Another standout entry in this comic anthology is Showcase #20, which features Rip Hunter and the Time Masters (Bonnie Baxter, Corky Baxter, and Jeff Smith) in their first appearances. In the issue, robbers force them to use their experimental time machines to travel back to the time of dinosaurs in order to grab a bunch of gems. It’s not an easy task with the presence of dangerous dinosaurs and an erupting volcano.

Coincidentally to the Dr. Alchemy books above, Showcase #20 sales prices also peaked around 2015/16. This was likely also due to a TV show; specifically, Legends of Tomorrow, in which Rip Hunter was prominently featured in the initial seasons. If the title of this article hasn’t already spoiled how Showcase #20 has performed in the last few years, the book’s overall market has been trending negative since the 2015/16 highs. This would be a good spot for a joke about how Rip Hunter could travel back to that time and sell off his own first appearance book, but comic speculation is no laughing matter.


115758_d7aa83371dfa833dbddccf45038461012fb409bb-205x300 Showcasing Some Underperforming Showcase IssuesSHOWCASE #37

When a giant manta ray that can fire radioactive heat rays from its eyes attacks New York City, who does the military call? Doc Magnus and his element-based robots, the Metal Men; in their first appearance with Showcase #37.

With the exception of a handful of sales at the very high end of the CGC grade/census range (~10%), the greater body of Showcase #37’s market has been trending downwards in recent years. The largest event that may have affected the market for Showcase #37 was the rumors/news surrounding the development of a live-action Metal Men feature film around the 2012/13 timeframe. Since then, no further information has come out. Pessimistically, it’s likely to have fallen through; but optimistically, at least it was on the movie studio’s mind at one point and could very easily be again. Until then, the floor for Showcase #37’s market value is still uncertain.


“Booster, you can’t drive my timesphere. You’re clearly inebriated. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.” – Rip Hunter

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