Thursday, February 25, 2016

Good Value Golden Age: Flash Comics #88 (1947)

The cheapest ticket to the Detective Comics #27 club is around $100,000; a 3.5-graded Detective #38 (first Robin) sold recently for over 22 grand.  Are Golden Age comics out of your reach?  Fortunately, there are many superhero and villain keys that are still affordable ($200-$300 for a lower grade, complete copy).  Here's one.

The Gentleman Ghost first appeared in Flash Comics #88 from 1947 (which also happens to be the third appearance of the Black Canary).  He may be a character not many think to look up, but almost 70 years after debuting the ghostly Jim Craddock is one of the few big two characters whose alter ego (and costume, mostly) is unchanged since his debut (even Two-Face's name was changed from "Kent" to "Dent", not to mention the Paul Sloane version).  After his debut, Gentleman Ghost appears 5 more times over the next 2 years in Flash Comics.  He is reintroduced in the Silver Age in Atom and Hawkman #43.

Gentleman Ghost is one of Hawkman's best-known villains, but has also faced Batman and the JSA.

He has appeared in animated media across multiple generations:

Super Friends (1970s)

Justice League Unlimited (2000s)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2000s)

 Action figures:

The character explained:

2015 Overstreet Guide values:

$132 $264 $396 $838 $1444 $2050

The same prices are listed for issues 87 (1st Foil) and 90.  I've seen a couple raw copies sell in the past 6 months for around guide.  Compare the NM- value to that of 1st Solomon Grundy ($20,000), 1st Cheetah ($5,500 guide, true current market value likely $15,000), or 1st Vandal Savage ($4,000, market value likely at least twice that) and you have a true bargain.

Here's the whole Hawkman story in which the Ghost makes his first appearance, from Flash Comics #88!  



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