Tuesday, May 23, 2017

All-Star Comics #8

1st appearance of Wonder WomanDC Comics - Dec. 1941 / Jan. 1942

Key Issue Notes
Doctor Mid-Nite and Starman join Justice Society of America
First appearance of Wonder Woman
First appearance of Steve Trevor
First appearance of Hippolyte
First appearance of Mala
First appearance of Colonel Darnell
First appearance of Paradise Island

CGCThe release of the newest Wonder Woman movie is fast approaching, and the early reviews of the movie are generally positive, but me, I'm still skeptical. The rumors flying around in the early production of the movie were far from good. And, if you count the other not so good DCEU movies, Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad, it seemed that this movie was going to be a disaster. Also, I haven't been overly impressed with the trailers that have been released so far either, but that's just my opinion. So, I'm going into this with some pretty low expectations, but who knows, I may be surprised.

Anyway, I thought now might be a good time to share with everyone Wonder Woman's first appearance in comics. For that, we've got to go all the way back to 1941, in the pages of All-Star Comics #8. In the back, after the adventures of the members of the JSA have their fun kicking ass and dishing out justice, We get to meet Princess Diana, daughter of the Amazonian Queen Hippolyte.

Princess Diana AKA
Wonder Woman
Before I get too much into that, I guess I should give you a little more backstory and information about the inhabitants of Paradise Island. This island is the home of the immortal Amazons, who just happen to be made up of entirely females. They are all considered "Wonder Women", so at the beginning of this story, there isn't an individual Wonder Woman... yet.

At the beginning of this story, Princess Diana and another Amazonian see an out of control airplane crash land onto Paradise Island. When the go to investigate, they end up pulling out the injured pilot, Steve Trevor and they rush him to the hospital. Now keep in mind that most of the women on the island have never seen a man before. This may or may not have an effect on the story a little later on.

After the Queen hears about a "man" being on the island, she uses the Magic Sphere, which isn't a sphere at all, to learn who this man is and how he ended up there. In a nutshell, two Nazi spies capture Captain Trevor to make it look like he was bombing his own airbase. But, in the middle of the plan, the Captain wakes up and takes control of the plane, that was being controlled remotely by the Nazi's. His plane eventually runs out of gas and he crash lands onto Paradise Island.

The Magic (Sphere)??
As Steve Trevor lays unconscious in the hospital bed, he is being watched over by Princess Diana, and she somehow, miraculously, manages to fall in love the the guy. Yup, she's never talked to the guy, knows almost nothing about him, but still falls for him anyway. Maybe it's the uniform. Women are a sucker for a man in uniform.... aren't they? You gotta love those Golden Age stories, as ridiculous as they can be at times.

Anyway, in order to preserve their way of life, they have to get the injured Capt. off of the island. In order to figure out who would accompany him, they held a tournament to see who was the strongest and fastest of them all. Against her mothers will, Princess Diana enters the tournament, wins, and then becomes the true Wonder Woman. I know, it doesn't sound exciting, but this is a Cliff's Notes version of the story.

Officially part of the team
Well, that's it for the origin of Wonder Woman, but now I have to cover the rest of the key issue notes. I suppose I'll start with Colonel Darnell. He is the man that approves Capt. Trevors mission before he is captured by the Nazi's. The dear Colonel isn't an overly used or important character in the DC Comics universe, but it is a key issue status so I figured I'd mention it.

Finally we have the first appearance of Mala. She is the Amazonian that battled Princess Diana for the final spot in the tournament where the Princess finally won. She also only has a handful of appearance and isn't an overly important character.

The last of the key issue notes is the induction of Doctor Mid-Nite and Starman into the Justice Society of America, after they proved their worth in their parts in taking down Prof. Elba, also known as Prof. Able (Elba spelled backward), and his Insanity Serum.

This comic came out in a much different era than the one that we're in now, with every issue, no matter how important, getting 10 to 20 different covers. So, for all of you variant hunters out there, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but there are exactly zero variants for this issue that I could find. There are some reprints of this issue, for example, the Millennium Edition that came out in 2001. If you're looking for a more affordable option for this comic, that may be the way to go.

Comic books, in the early days, weren't considered collectors items or investments. Most of the time, they were read, passed around to friends and read some more, and ultimately thrown in the garbage. So, CGC census numbers for this particular issue are really low. To date, there have only been 143 copies graded by them. I find it hard to believe that DC Comics had a low print run for this issue, I'm just assuming that most of the copies ended up in a landfill somewhere.

As I'm looking over the census numbers, I see that most of the copies that have been graded are in the very low .5 Poor grade to the only slightly better, but still low 5.0 VG/F.

There are a few high grade copies out there, with the highest topping out at 9.0. There are five copies at that grade, but three of them will have the purple Restored label attached to them. Even with those purple labels, copies of this comic are going to cost you some bucks as you'll see in the next section.

Values of All-Star Comics #8
on GoCollect
All-Star Comics #8 has always been a sought out comic and had a high price tag. It does feature the first appearance of one of DC's most recognized characters after all. But, like most comics in today's market, it has had a significant boost in value since it was let known that Wonder Woman was going to be in the DCEU and have a movie all of her own.

Let's looks at some sales and you'll see what I mean. There aren't to many data points on GoCollect, my regular go to site for sales information for graded comics. But for the sales that there are for a CGC Universal copy in a very low grade 1.0 Fair copy, the increase in value is astounding. In June of 2014, a copy at that grade sold for $5,495. That's nothing to shake a stick at for such a low graded copy. Jump ahead to Feb. of 2016, less that two years later, and a copy at that same 1.0 Fair low grade sold for $19,500. I nearly pissed myself when I saw that.

Now let's head over to Heritage Auctions and check out some of there sales. They have a lot more information over there so I can get some better examples. For this, I'm going to compare sales for CGC Universal 5.5 F- copies.

All the way back in July of 2002, a copy of All-Star comics sold at Heritage for $5,175. That's not too bad for a decent looking copy. Move ahead about a year and a half to Feb. of 2004, a copy sold for $6,037.50. Not a bad jump in price if you were able to snag it for about five grand a couple years earlier. Now, when we look at the latest sale for a 5.5 F- copy in Nov. 2014, the price tag on that beast was $44,812.50...... Holy S#!t!! I have a feeling that is going to me out of most peoples price range.

If you have that kind of money to spend, there are surprisingly a fair amount of copies to be found online, especially on eBay. As always, I'll provide the link for you just in case you're feeling like adding a piece of comic history into your collection.

Find a copy here
eBay - ComicLink - MyComicShop - ComicConnect

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