- 1st appearance of Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley).
- Issue includes pin-up poster.
- Rounding out the list this week is an entry from the monster Heritage auction.
- Why is an issue that is 50+ years old on the hot list? To answer that, we need to get into a fight that collectors have been having for nearly that long: 1st Appearance vs Silver Age 1st Appearance.
- Seems this is the week of 1st appearance debates (see Marvel Previews 95 for yet another 1st app controversy).
- Characters like Namor, Captain America, and The Riddler first appeared in the Golden Age, appeared in many comic books from that era and then continued appearing through the Silver Age. Though some stopped appearing in comics for several years before appearing again during the Silver Age.
- Collectors have traditionally looked at the first time these major Golden Age characters appear in a comic book during the Silver Age as a 1st Silver Age appearance.
- Confused, yet? Good. You are supposed to be. That's how they get ya. And I mean get ya because while there are some examples that perhaps warrant a premium the vast majority are kinda silly.
- Why is there a premium on a 1st Silver Age appearance for a character that has appeared consistently in comics the entire time?
- Because suddenly the industry decided any book after 1956 has a Silver Age designation? Nevermind that in some cases they appeared literally the year before and that appearance has no premium.
- People are literally paying more for a later appearance because someone told them it was a kind of 1st appearance.
- Now we've seen these 1st SA apps start to really fizzle away as collectors have woken up to the emptiness of the designation but there are a few that legitimately call for a premium.
- These are always because there is something more to the appearance than just the fact that it exists in the Silver Age for the first time. Here are two examples.
- Green Lantern first appears in the Silver Age in Showcase #22. This also happens to be the first time that we met a character by the name of Hal Jordan and the first time we see the Green Lantern costume we know today.
- Is this Showcase #22 seeing a premium because it's the 1st SA app of Green Lantern or because it's the first app of Hal Jordan and the modern interpretation of Green Lantern.
- There are many examples of a Silver Age 1st being an actual 1st because of a major change to a Golden Age character. In fact, just 18 issues prior, the book that kicked off the Silver Age did the same thing introducing us to Barry Allen as the Flash and the much loved modern Flash costume.
- But there are other types of 1st SA apps that warrant a premium. Avengers #4 features the return of Golden Age icon Captain America who last appeared 10 years prior.
- Moreover, this SA appearance has him joining the Avengers and the Marvel Universe. It is the 1st app of Captain America as we know him today.
- So why did 1st SA apps become a thing to begin with? As Golden Age 1st appearances rose in price (partly due to their incredible scarcity) collectors looked for the next most meaningful book to collect.
- Today we would say that is a second appearance or even a 1st app in their own title but during the early days of organized collecting they looked to the 1st SA app.
- So back to this book (kinda). Like Spider-Man, Batman has an insanely robust roster of villains. So much so that some collectors chase just those characters 1st apps.
- With the major Batman characters appearing first in incredible rare and expensive Golden Age books collectors have chased the 1st SA app.
- The Joker, Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Scarecrow all have a real 1st app and a SA 1st app.
- But Poison Ivy is not a Golden Age character. Even though she's incredibly popular and feels so tied to the Batman mythos that many would assume she has been part of it since its earliest days.
- Her 1st app though has not been priced anywhere near her Golden Age counterparts but instead priced along with her counterparts 1st SA apps.
- It's only now that collectors are realizing they've been paying 1st SA prices (or not 1st app prices) for a true 1st appearance.
- So this week we saw a long anticipated massive price correction.
- This week's Heritage Auctions have been churning out new milestones in collectible sales. One of the most shocking is the sale of a CGC 9.8 copy of Batman #181 at $90,000. Up from a previous high of just $11,000 (albeit set 10 years ago).
- The opportunity to pick up 1st Ivy at 1st SA app prices will close quickly now as we see a cascading effect to lower grades sparked by the wake up call of this new extreme high bar.
- In fact, it's already happening. Yesterday, a 9.4 sold on eBay for $10,500 (up from $7,200 back in May 2019).
- High sales in other grades look very undervalued in comparison to what we've seen over the past 24 hours. A 9.2 high from September 2019 of $4,213. A 9.0 high from July 2020 of $3,720.
- But fret not as Ivy is but one of two characters key to the Batman mythos that collectors were paying 1st SA prices for when they should be paying 1st app prices.
- Who is the other? @x tip: The next character you should be looking at that has had enough Hollywood color on it and all the Golden age gravitas without the Golden Age price-tag is Ra's Al Ghul in Batman #233.
- After that, the next most prominent Batman villain is Harley Quinn almost 20 years later.