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    Flash Comics Ashcan Edition #1 Captain Thunder (Fawcett, 1940) CGC NM 9.4 White pages. This is one of just eight existing copies of the first printed appearance of Captain Marvel, a comic that was not discovered by hobbyists until 1983. With the Golden Age in full bloom, publishers raced to secure the copyrights to desirable titles, and that's where ashcans came in (an ashcan is a mock-up of a comic, produced in very small quantities). As Fawcett's editorial director said in an interview, "Only a few copies were printed and sent by registered mail to wholesalers and distributors to indicate distribution and to establish the date of first usage in case another publisher came up with the same title." But of course, Fawcett lost the race for the "Flash" title to DC (note that DC's own ashcan of the same name is also featured in this auction). Fawcett, which also tried Thrill Comics as a title (see that ashcan elsewhere in this auction as well), finally settled on Whiz Comics. In fact, the existence of this makes it clear why the first issue of Whiz to hit newsstands, Fawcett's first-ever comic, was #2 rather than #1. While we call the cover character Captain Marvel, he was actually "Captain Thunder" in this inaugural issue. Overstreet says the name change was because of a conflict with Captain Terry Thunder (and even the most committed Golden Age diehard could be forgiven for not knowing that the latter was a Fiction House character, first appearing in Jungle Comics #1, dated January 1940). We have also heard the equally plausible theory that the conflict was with Johnny Thunder, who debuted in DC's own Flash #1 (also January 1940). The eight-page origin story of Captain Thunder essentially corresponds to the first seven pages as published in the first issue of Whiz Comics, with the 13th and final page of the full story changed around to serve as a wrap-up to the truncated tale. Unlike most other ashcans, this one has a cover that wasn't later used for a published comic. The back cover is blank. A CGC VF/NM 9.0 copy sold in the January 2006 Heritage auction for $10,177.50. Overstreet does not list a value for this issue. CGC census 4/08: 1 in 9.4, none higher. From the Kylberg Collection.

    View the certification for CGC Certification ID 910787006 and purchase grader's notes if available.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2008
    22nd-23rd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
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