SUCH A DEAL! Dig This Rad 1981 DC COMICS Back Issue Price List

Adams, Wolfman, Perez and Rogers drove the market 40 years ago…

I’ve been in the middle of a Silver/Bronze Age Batman re-read for a few years now and one of my favorite things is discovering gems that are ancillary to the stories themselves. I love a good letters page, or house ad or anything that speaks to the time in which the issue was released.

Anyway, I’ve just reached December 1981 and inside the back cover to Batman #345 (pub date March 1982) is a rad little time machine — a DC Comics back-issues ad from the now-defunct Moondance Comics in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Peruse these titles and prices from 40 years ago:

A few thoughts:

— This was right during those formative years when I was building a back-issue collection in earnest, so I remember prices like this well. (I was a 14-year-old in New Jersey but the prices were in the same ballpark.)

— The selection of titles only goes back so far, really to the Silver Age. But check out the most expensive book on the list: A fine-to-mint Green Lantern #76 at $50. A raw copy of the book — by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, natch — that appears to be in lesser shape recently sold on eBay for $475. ($50 in 1981 is equivalent to just under $150 now, so that shows how much that issue has skyrocketed. And let’s not even get into slabbed copies.)

— Adams, meanwhile, was the strongest driver of prices on the whole, though Marshall Rogers’ Detective Comics issues also went for a premium.

The New Teen Titans was only out for about a year but Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s magnum opus was so popular that the earliest issues (the DC Comics Presents #26 preview and Issue #1) commanded solid scratch — $15 a piece. Actually, anything NTT-related was popular. Just check out some of those Doom Patrol issues.

— I imagine that only DC titles were included in the ad because it was a DC title. I don’t know if there was a similar one for Marvel, but let me know in the comments below because I’d be glad to do a follow-up.

— You could lose yourself for hours poring over these. What most interests you?


— The TOP 13 Most Valuable Comics in 1970 — and What They’re Worth Now. Click here.

— The TOP 13 MOST VALUABLE COMICS Published Since 1970. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I remember poring over this ad and others like it as well, reading the little descriptions of key issues to get a sense of the history of DC comics.

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  2. Looking over those Batman/Detective Comics prices brought back fond memories. I built up a pretty complete Silver Age and early Bronze Age collection of Batman and Detective Comics with my paper route and lawn-moving money because no one was interested in Batman at the time. It was all Marvel in the late 70s/early 80s.

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  3. I like how the first appearance of Steve Lombard bumps that issue of Superman by a quarter!

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  4. I ordered from them back in the 80’s… from an ad that had Marvel, DC, and the independents… but I would order mostly discounted independent comics, since I didn’t live near a LCS. I think the ad I ordered from must have been in one of the rare indies I owned, or maybe Comics Scene or some other magazine. I remember getting a ton of Nexus, Cerebus, Warp, Elfquest, E-Man, American Flagg, and other indies at a steep discount. I ordered a whole box of maybe 60 comics. I remember my dad writing me a check for $30 or so, since I didn’t have a checking account.

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  5. For me, it was the double page spread ads for Mile High Comics in Denver that got me to ordering since I wasn’t near a comic book shop that had back issues.

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