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All-Star Comics, 1940 Series

Comic Book Values

Publisher: DC

Introduction to All Star Comics 

All Star Comics was a comic book that originally ran from the summer of 1940 until February 1951. It was an anthology title published by All-American Publications, a company that merged with National Periodical Publications (which later became DC Comics) in 1946. It started as a way to highlight the two best features from four monthly comics, Adventure Comics, All-American Comics, Flash Comics, and More Fun Comics. Some notable writers and artists who worked on All Star Comics include Gardner Fox, John Broome, Bernard Baily, H.G. Peter, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Jack Burnley and Alex Toth.

Brief History of All Star Comics 

All Star Comics began its run as an anthology title featuring adventure and superhero stories. Some of the characters featured in the book include the Golden Age version of The Flash, Hawkman and the Spectre. All Star Comics #3 (winter 1940-41) featured the first appearance of the Justice Society of America, considered to be the first super-hero team. This team consisted of the Atom, Doctor Fate, the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Hourman and the Spectre. Red Tornado also made a brief appearance. In the first Justice Society story from All Star Comics #3, it actually consisted of solo adventures featuring the individual heroes, with the team meeting acting as a framing device showing the characters swapping stories.  All Star Comics #4 provides the first team effort. The remaining issues of All Star Comics were devoted to the Justice Society of America. But other heroes would be featured as well in the few issues that had back-up stories. All Star Comics #8 (December-January 1941/1942) is notable as the first appearance of Wonder Woman in just such a back-up. The story was intended to introduce the new character before headlining All American’s newest monthly Sensation Comics #1 a month later. She quickly joined the Justice Society in All Star Comics #11. By 1951, just about every super-hero comic not featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman had declined in popularity, and All Star Comics was cancelled after 57 issues. The title was revived for 17 issues in 1976 and featured modern-day adventures of the Justice Society. This version of All Star Comics introduced new characters such as Power Girl and Helena Wayne, also known as The Huntress.

How much is All Star Comics #3 and #8 worth? 

According to the 2019 Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide a 9.2 copy of All Star Comics #3 is valued at $140,000 and All Star Comics #8 is valued at $300,000.

All Star Comics prices - what is the most expensive All Star Comics sold at auction?

In 2017, a CGC 9.4 copy of All Star #8 sold for the staggering price of $936,223, falling just short of $1M.

What All Star Comics are highest sellers?

All Star Comics #8 may be the top selling book in the title but there are several high dollar issues.  All Star Comics #3 CGC 9.6 Mile High pedigree copy sold in 2002 for $126,500.  The Mile High copy of All-Star Comics #1 certified by CGC at 9.6 sold at Heritage Auctions for $54,625.  The Justice Society’s first team adventure in All Star Comics #4 sold for $31,200 in 2019 for the 9.4 Larson pedigree copy.

According to the 2019 Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, the top 5 issues by 9.2 value are #1) All Star Comics #8 – 1st appearance of Wonder Woman, #2) All Star Comics #3 – 1st appearance of the Justice Society of America, #3) All Star Comics #1, #4) All Star Comics #4 and #5) All Star Comics #2, all early issues as you might expect.

Be aware that no matter the comic, the condition of the comic has an overwhelming effect on its value -- with mint condition comics being exponentially more valuable than anything else. 

All Star Comics #3 and 8 cover art 

The cover art for All Star Comics #3 and 8 was created by Everett E. Hibbard. 

Characters from All Star Comics

Like the title indicates, All Star Comics features all the stars from the All-American and National bullpens.  Atom, Batman, Black Canary, Doctor Fate, Dr. Mid-Nite, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Hourman, Johnny Thunder, Red White & Blue, Red Tornado, Robin, Sandman, Sargon the Sorcerer, Spectre, Superman, Ultra-Man, Wildcat and Wonder Woman all appeared in their pages.

Plot Summary of All Star Comics #8, Wonder Woman’s origin

Military intelligence office Steve Trevor crash lands onto the beach at Paradise Island.  Mala and Princess Diana rush to recover the body.  Injured but alive, Diana picks up the man and races to the island hospital.  News spread quickly, a man was found on the island!  Queen Hippolyte orders the doctor to do everything she can to save the man. Trevor’s life hangs in the balance for days as Diana tries her best to nurse him back to health.  The doctor notices Diana’s fascination with the man and reports it to the Queen.  The Queen orders Diana to stay away from the hospital.  When Diana confronts the Queen, Hippolyte tells Diana their origin.

Hippolyte and the amazons had always defeated Hercules and his clan as long as she retained the Magic Girdle that had been bestowed upon them by Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.  However, one day Hercules tricked Hippolyte and stole the Magic Girdle.  Chained and enslaved by the Herculeans, Hippolyte prayed for deliverance to Aphrodite.  Finally, Aphrodite answered her prayers and helped her secure the Magic Girdle and defeat the Herculeans once again.  Taking Hercules entire fleet, one of the conditions for helping was that Hippolyte and her group had to leave the whole of men behind.  Another condition was to continue to wear the bracelets to remind them of their bondage and to keep aloof of men.  After many days at sea, they discovered the new world of Paradise Island with its many gifts.  With Athena’s gift of the Magic Sphere, they could see many lands, learn of arts and language and even peer into the future to keep their inventions and weapons ahead of the outside world.  The Queen tells Diana to watch the sphere as she unravels Captain Steve Trevor purpose and how he came to Paradise Island.

Requesting to break up a spy ring he had uncovered, Trevor is rendered unconscious in the attempt.  Von Storm and his spy ring cleverly decide to frame Trevor by placing him in the pilot seat of a robot plane.  Then, matching the robot plane’s position with their own, the spy ring drops bombs on an American airfield.  But before they can release the robot plane to crash and have Trevor take the blame, he regains consciousness and takes control himself.  Captain Trevor chases the plane well out to sea, so far in fact, he runs out of gas.  His only hope is to make the island he sees covered in clouds.

Now was the problem of returning the errant pilot.  Consulting Aphrodite and Athena, Queen Hippolyte is informed that she must not only return the American but also send help as once again man’s wars threaten the world.  The Queen decides to hold a contest to find the mightiest of her warriors to help in this task but forbids Diana to enter.  Well, we know how that turns out.

How rare is All Star Comics #8?

For a Golden Age comic, it doesn’t appear too difficult to locate one if you are willing to pay.  However, as of April 2020, CGC has only certified three copies at 9.0 or higher.  Looking for that sweet copy for your high-grade collection will be difficult.

Other valuable Issues

Besides All Star Comics #1, 3 and 8, collectors will gravitate to a few select books.  Once considered one the of most expensive collections to complete, prices have been fairly flat for several years now.  Might be the best time to jump on some of these key issues. 

All Star Comics #11 Value

Wonder Woman begins regular appearance in the title.  In 2002 the Mile High copy in CGC 9.6 sold for $17,250.

All Star Comics #7 Value

Be careful which comic history you read.  Many cite the Superman radio show as the first time Superman and Batman appear in a story.  Not so.  It may be brief but they do show up together in the final framing sequence, four years before meeting on the radio.  The Hawkeye pedigree CGC 9.4 copy sold at Heritage Auctions in 2007 for $15,535.

All Star Comics #36 Value

Gee, if only the editors of All Star knew how popular Superman and Batman were.  Well, their second appearance is certainly popular as this 2002 sale price of $13,800 was spent for this stunning 9.6 copy.

All Star Comics #33 Value

Golden Age bad guy Solomon Grundy takes on the entire Justice Society.  2004 saw a nice CGC 9.4 copy sell for $12,075.

First appearances of Brain Wave (All Star Comics #15), Psycho Pirate (All Star Comics #23), Wizard (All Star Comics #34), Per Degaton (All Star Comics #35) and Injustice Society (All Star Comics #37) could be the sleepers in All Star Comics.

Original Art to All Star Comics

The most expense piece of original art for All Star Comics turns out to be the cover by Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs to All Star Comics #54. Published near the end of the original run, it sold for $20,125 in 2002.  The complete Wally Wood 17-page story published in All Star Comics #65 sold for $10,062.50 in 2004. Irwin Hasen’s recreation of his All Star Comics #33 classic cover sold in 2018 for $9,600,

Why sell your vintage comics and original comic art with Heritage Auctions?

Our marketing reach and a huge base of members mean more bidders and higher realized prices for your collectible comics.

Reputation can make or break your sale. Heritage Auctions has a 60% market share in comics and comic art — three times the volume of any other comic auctioneer, and our record-breaking comics and comic art auctions speak for themselves:

  • 2019 was a record year with $79 million-plus sold, topping $58 million in Comics and Comic Art sold in 2018; triple all other comic auctioneers combined! 
  • World’s Most Valuable Auction of Comic Books, Comic Art and Related Memorabilia: $15.121 million (May, 2019) 
  • World record for comic artist Robert Crumb - Fritz the Cat Cover, $717,000.
  • The world record for comic artist Frank Frazetta - Egyptian Queen, $5.4M
  • World record for comic artist Neal Adams – Batman #251 Cover, $600,000

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