Showcase #4 comes to auction this weekend and we could not be more excited! And if prebids are any indication, our bidders are too. Comic collecting newbies might be wondering what all the hubbub is about, so we’re here to give you the rundown.
It’s The First Appearance of The Flash!
DC Comics first published a character named “The Flash” in 1940. That version of the character, headliner of Flash Comics, starred in solo adventures until 1950. Showcase #4 introduced a new Flash: Barry Allen, a police scientist who became a human thunderbolt after being struck by lightning through the window of his lab. Barry has gone on to be the longest tenured Flash in DC history, spending over forty years as the series’ title character. For most fans, he is THE Flash. He was the main character in both the 1990 and 2014 Flash TV shows, as well as the 2023 blockbuster movie.
It’s The Dawn of the Silver Age!
More importantly, Showcase #4 is pegged by comic book historians as the dawn of the medium’s Silver Age. The superhero craze of the Golden Age died out after World War II. Provocative sci-fi and horror comics took their place as top sellers, but a congressional investigation and the founding of the Comics Code Authority meant they were out-of-fashion by 1955. The comic industry was a bit directionless.
And then Showcase #4 reintroduced superheroes to a new audience. While Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman were still going strong in the mid-50s, they maintained their 40s era aesthetics. The new Flash, as drawn by Carmine Infantino, appealed to a new generation of comic fans. This led DC to create new versions of Green Lantern, The Atom, and Hawkman, ultimately culminating in the debut of the Justice League of America. The JLA’s success, in turn, led to Marvel creating The Fantastic Four and building its own universe of superheroes. In a very real way, even competing characters like Spider-Man and The Avengers don’t exist without The Flash’s introduction in Showcase #4.
A Piece of Comics History
Showcase #4 is one the most “key” issues in all of comic bookdom. Whether or not you’re a DC fan, it’s importance in the history of the medium is undeniable. As such, the issue is a crowning jewel in any collection that has it. Whoever nets it in this weekend’s auction will be adding a certifiable piece of comics history to their collection.
When you’re ready to sell your collection, Back to the Past is here to help! And if you have a question or comment on this or any other collectibles topic, let us know below or on socials @b2pcollect.