May 2015 Comic Market Report: Let's Talk About Detective Comics #27

det1.9849a (1) detective-27-cgc-4.0 detective-27

This month I'm taking a slightly different approach. Instead of looking at several results for different interesting books in the month of May, I'm going to take a moment to focus on a single book and assess the recent sales of Detective Comics #27. I'll also revisit my assertion that the Detective Comics #27 CGC 9.2 is the most valuable CGC graded book in existence.

A Flurry of Public* Sales

It's amazing to me to see the number of Detective #27 sales ComicConnect has generated over the past couple of months.

They've sold three:

  1. Detective Comics #27 CBCS 3.0 $305,000.00
  2. Detective Comics #27 CGC 6.5 $725,000.00
  3. Detective Comics #27 CGC 4.0 $475,000.00

Up until this recent flurry, Action #1 had traded hands roughly two times as often as Detective #27 over the past five years(16 to 8.) There had also been a two-year drought where no copies traded hands at all. In that same time-period, Action #1 had traded hands six times (including the record-setting eBay sale.)

It's tough to draw any conclusions from this. They have similar census numbers and neither book had traded hands very often before the record-setting million dollar sales started to spring up, so even though Detective #27 sells less frequently than Action #1 these days, it's actually traded more often in the past few years than it had in the previous decade. The one major difference between the two books has been the greater availability of high-grade copies of Action #1 which has helped to set records and keep that book in the headlines. We have one high-grade Detective #27 that's been made publicly available over the past 15 or so years. Considering the other two graded copies are not likely to come up for sale any time soon (the 9.2 seems to be locked up and the Mastro copy continues to present a mystery) it may be a while until we see another one.

It may turn out that these sales we're seeing now will turn into bargains as collectors waiting on the sidelines for a better copy realize one isn't forthcoming and mid-grade is as good as it's going to get. Or, alternatively, the lack of high-end sales will serve to cap the value of Detective #27.

Time will tell.

My pick is that these sales will look cheap, but I'm biased.

The Most Valuable CGC Graded Book

As I've mentioned both here and on the CGC forums, I think the Detective Comics #27 CGC 9.2 is the most valuable CGC graded comic in existence. I've had multiple discussions about this with people and wanted to capture my thoughts here for all to see.

Here's a handy list that captures my thought process surrounding the value of this book and the relative value of the eBay Action #1 CGC 9.0 (which is the only other candidate in my mind.)

  1. The only time we've had high-grade copies of both Action #1 and Detective Comics #27 sell in the same grade at around the same time, the Detective #27 won out, selling for $75,000 more than the $1,000,000 Action #1. Even if you discount that result for some reason, in lower grades these books are close to one another grade for grade. They're not in lock-step as Action #1s generally sell for a higher number, but they're close.
  2. This book is 1.2 points higher than the next best graded copies of Detective #27 (that same 8.0 that sold for $1,075,000 and the missing Mastronet copy.) The eBay Action #1 is tied at the top with the 9.0 Cage copy and then there's an 8.5 and an 8.0 lurking in the background.
  3. If a non-Church Action #1 CGC 9.2 were to appear and if it were valued at a (conservative) $5,000,0000, then a Detective #27 9.2 could be a $4,000,000 book (selling at a big discount grade-for-grade to the Action #1) and still trounce the two Action #1 9.0s (valuing them at, say, $3,000,000 for the Cage copy and $3,500,000 for the eBay copy.) I personally think the spread is closer than that, but even being conservative with the relative values between the two books I'd value the Detective #27 higher than either of the two Action #1 9.0s.
  4. This could easily be the second best known copy. The other high-grade copy (the FN68 copy that surfaced in the 1990s) is not necessarily better than 9.2. That's why we've speculated that this CGC 9.2 copy is the FN68 copy coming in from the cold. The FN68 copy is supposed to be nice, but not nicer than the Allentown, so 9.2 is a pretty good guess at the grade. So, even if this isn't that FN68 copy, this CGC 9.2 might still be the second best known copy.
  5. Even if you just do simple CGC multiple math (ignoring everything I know about these books) it adds up pretty quickly. Just double the price for Detective Comics #27 from the 6.5 that just sold for $725,000 to get a new value for an 8.0 ($1,450,000.) Double that to get to $2,900,000 for a 9.0 and then if you're afraid to once again double add just 50% to get $4,350,000 for a 9.2. that puts us north of the $3,500,000 I have in my head for the eBay copy. The 2x multiple between 8.0 and 9.0 is precisely what we saw with the Action #1s between 8.0 and 9.0 so that pattern has some precedent.

That's about it. I've obviously spent some time thinking about this, but I do enjoy hearing what everyone else thinks, so
let me know what you think in the comments.

*As Rick likes to point out- there are sales I don't know about. Since I don't know about them, I can't write about them. This post reflects that concept.

This entry was posted in $100,000 Club News, batman, comics, dc, Market Reports, records. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to "May 2015 Comic Market Report: Let's Talk About Detective Comics #27"

Leave a reply