WATCH: How to tell if your copy of Action Comics #1 is worth 5 dollars or 3 million dollars


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More useful would be a video explaining how your genuine copy of Action #1 is not worth anywhere near 3 million dollars because prices like that only apply to those few copies that are still in excellent condition.

Action #1 isn’t rare. There are copies available for sale for non-astronomical prices… but the semi-affordable copies are beat up and don’t look anywhere near as pretty as that 3 million dollar copy.


Watch minute-and-a-half long video, or read single sentence?

I rag on unnecessarily putting simple things in drawn-out video format a lot, but this might take the cake.


Are the pages not white? Then it’s not CGC 9.0…

OTOH, this article claims that the 9.0 rating is a bit odd

The copy that sold Sunday resided in a cedar-lined hope chest in West Virginia, owned by a man who said the chest had been in the family for as long as anyone could remember. It was sold in the 1970’s and disappeared into the collection of a private investor, until Pristine Comics, a comic dealer out of Federal Way, Wash., put it up for auction Aug. 14.

But, somewhere along the line, something happened to it that has the collection boards humming.

The book was auctioned slabbed with a 9.0 rating. But it reportedly used to have a CGC rating of 8.o, then was resubmitted, and returned with an 8.5 rating. Finally, it was resubmitted again and awarded 9.0. Collectors wonder how the grade was bumped up. If a comic can’t be restored, how can its rating increase? One poster wrote, “this begs the question of what was done to the book.”

The CGC rating system is top heavy with superlatives. I wonder if 8.0 can be reliably distinguished from 9.0. Then again, a “Good” used book is average.

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You use two sentences to rag on something for not being one sentence. Bold move, my friend…

I wonder how often the opposite happens. Someone has the real deal and gets told it’s too good to be true, so they toss it.

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This would seem to prove that the CGC people are susceptible to bribery. I am not at all surprised. The CGC system has always been somewhat suspect to me – what’s the point of putting the comic inside a sealed case so you can’t read it?


Five dollars!? But the cover clearly says it’s worth ten cents!


well, in this case, at $3million, I suspect the point is owning it and protecting it from damage. Even the wear from reading it would cause damage.

Add to that that these things are tracked individually (like graded coins), so if cases could be opened and closed by the owner, the guarantee by rating that an item is in X condition would be meaningless.

As for reading, one of those $5 copies will do quite nicely.

And I wonder if the if it’s not so much that the CGC people are subject to bribery (which they very well may), so much as it may be something like the fine lines between ratings being super subjective, and there being no limit to the amount of times you can have a particular comic graded (as long as you’re willing to pay the fee). Just keep re-submitting until it gets the maximal rating.


At least two sentences to explain the two different methods (size and cropping), plus several more for the background (what the Famous First Edition is and why it’s confusable when the outer cover is missing). There’s more info there than you imply.

I have this somewhere (or did, I suspect my parents threw it out along with 100s of others).

The quality it was in though, I’d be amazed if it was worth even $5.

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I have neither! :stuck_out_tongue:

Maybe my definition of “non-astronomical” differs a bit from yours. Heritage Auctions sold a coverless copy for $33,000 a few years ago. That does not really seem like a bargain to me.

At least he didn’t make a video.

Few points:

Had the “Famous First” copy. Liked the multiple stories (esp. the lettering in Dr. Fate), and lost it somewhere (along with Treasury Edition of 2001 by Kirby…).

I used to grade comics, but long before this decimal system was in place. A 6-point scale seemed to work for quite a while, but I guess someone wanted to get more granular and brag about a 8.5 vs. a 8.7 vs. a 9.3 quality. I’d imagine that it can be pretty subjective once you get down to the +/- 0.5 range and the pressure would be on when the price difference can be $100k+ per decimal point.

Yes, the near-perfect copies are what get the $1m+ prices. Find almost any 80+ yr-old document with no wear ‘n’ tear (or marks, or creases, or fading, with cover coating still in good shape) and it’ll be worth something to someone.

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