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Comic Books

Publisher: DC

Showcase #4 was published by DC Comics in October 1956. That issue is known for two things: it features the first appearance of the Silver Age Flash, DC's scarlet speedster who currently enjoys a popular prime time TV series on the CW network. It’s also generally regarded as the beginning of the Silver Age of Comics, which lasted until roughly 1970. This makes it a highly collectable comic book in a variety of grades. Showcase #4 features two stories. One concerns the origin of Flash — the alter ego of Barry Allen — and an appearance by the original Golden Age Flash — real name: Jay Garrick. The second story pits Flash against a villain named Mazdan. The year 2016 will mark the 60th anniversary of this key issue, currently ranked #4 on The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide’s Top 50 Silver Age Comics list. Even well-worn copies (GD 2.0 grade) fetch over $4,000, while copies graded NM- 9.2 or higher can easily bring six figures Both stories in #4 share the artistic team of pencil artist Carmine Infantino and inker-finisher Joe Kubert. Robert Kanigher wrote the origin and John Broome wrote the second story. Legendary editor and creative in-putter Julius Schwartz was onboard as well. Carmine Infantino and Joe Kubert are among the most beloved and influential artists of the Silver and Bronze Ages of comics. Although primarily associated with their works in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, both began their prolific careers during the Golden Age, and both continued drawing comics into ‘90s, with Kubert continuing into the 21st century. And while both worked on an astonishing number of projects, Infantino is best known for his long association with the Flash, while Kubert is perhaps best known for his work on DC’s war titles in general, and on Sgt. Rock and Easy Company in particular. From the outset with its first issue in 1956 until 1970, Showcase was an anthology title featuring different characters and themes, often as a try-out for new characters to gauge public interest and eventually launch new titles or starring roles in existing titles. The Flash, Green Lantern, The Atom, Adam Strange, Challengers of the Unknown, Sea Devils, and the Spectre are all examples of characters launched in issues of Showcase. Because there were so many “first appearances” and “origin” issues in the series, the title has always been a favorite among collectors.

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