Heritage Auctions reported today that a copy of Showcase #4 graded at CGC NM+ 9.6 sold for almost $180,000 at auction, making it “the single most-expensive Silver Age book in history.” In an earlier post, Heritage Auctions stated that this was the best-preserved copy of the issue known.
At the time the book was published, superheroes — and comics in general — had fallen out of favor. Showcase #4 introduced the world to a revamped Flash. Jay Garrick and his Mercury-inspired costume were gone, replaced by the more modern Barry Allen. The success of the Flash led to an ongoing series, as well as space-age reboots of Green Lantern, the Atom, Hawkman and others, ushering in a new superhero boom.
In fact, the issue is often cited as the start of the Silver Age of comics. (Other contenders are the first appearances of the Martian Manhunter and Captain Comet.)