Search This Site

Friday, March 27, 2015

Showcase Key Issue Comics

Haven't done a key issues comics list pertaining to a single title in a while, so I figure I'd get this one out of the way since it is a historically important one. There are quite a bit of first appearances that I've already discussed in other key issues list, and there will be some I haven't discussed either.

Some major and some not so major keys will be featured as usual, so it will not be a short series. I will be jacking some of these listings from the other key issues lists that feature them.

1st issue to series
1st appearance of Fred Farrel

Showcase #1 is still a Golden Age comic, and as we all know by now, superhero comics fell out of favor after World War II. Comics followed trends of about most every subject. Lots of Sci-Fi, Western, Romance, Horror and other things.

So, if you're wondering why in the hell I'm even putting this issue on here, it is the first issue, does have a 1st appearance, and Showcase is an important title for several reasons. So this is the 1st appearance of Fred Farrel, a Fireman, who started this comic series off with his adventures.

The Showcase title starts it all for the Silver Age...literally...and Showcase #1 was published April, 1956.

eBay - Not too suprised that I didn't see any copies for this one on eBay at the time of this writing. May pop up sometime, but I'm pretty sure this will one will be hunt to snag.

mycomicshop - No copies here either as of yet.

ComicConnect - Hey, hey! ComicConnect has a raw copy of this one, but it's a no grade. They do not it's been trimmed, so CGC will tag it as restoration.

ComicLink - A raw VG minus copy here at ComicLink for now.

First silver age Flash (Barry Allen)
Issue marks the silver age of comics
First appearance of Iris West
Origin of silver age Flash

Perhaps one of the most important silver age comic books out there. It is this issue that sparked the revival of superhero comics after the post World War 2 decline that I spoke of earlier. This character was the first of DC's characters to get completely revamped, and this issue is the first appearance of the silver age Flash.

Instead of trying to revive Jay Garrick, creators introduced Barry Allen, the silver age Flash, and Carmine Infantino would be the one to design the famous and iconic scarlet costume, as well as be the first artist to draw the Barry Allen Flash for publication. 

In the revamped silver age Flash, Barry Allen is a Police scientist in Central City who attained his powers in a freak accident after a lightening bolt streaked through a window, shattered a chemical cabinet and covered Barry in the electrified chemicals. A fan of the golden age Flash, Barry Allen took up the mantle.

Also, we see the first appearance of Iris West, Barry Allen's sweetheart, as well as Turtle Man, the Flash's first silver age super villain. The character is a golden age villain, but for the silver age, they revamped him as well.    

This issue came out in October, 1956, and is considered the comic that marks the silver age era. If those reasons aren't important, I don't know what is.

A Holy Grail of silver age comics, this will definitely be an expensive investment comic. The Barry Allen Flash was created by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino.

eBay - Four available options here. Three are CGC. Highest is a 7.0 Restored and there is another Restored copy at a 5.0 VG/FN. Also a coverless CGC copy as well There is one unslabbed copy for the holy grail of silver age Flash key issues.

ComicConnect - Got really low grade copies here for this one. Most of them raw.

ComicLink - Four copies here, all are CGC. HIghest is a high grade 8.0 VF! Wow!

1st appearance of Challengers of the Unknown
Origin of Challengers of the Unknown
1st S.A. hero team

When it comes to the Silver Age, the first hero team was Challengers of the Unknown. They were not superheroes and this group was rooted in Science Fiction.

Challengers of the Unknown were mainly created by legend Jack Kirby. Kirby said that he used many elements from Challengers of the Unknown in the Fantastic Four.

Not very well known for it's importance in the Silver Age. Showcase #6 was published February, 1957.

eBay - Another one that's pretty scarce on eBay. At the time of this writing, I only saw seven copies of this issue. Four are raw and three are CGC. Highest CGC are two 5.5 FN minus copies. Lowest slab is a CGC 4.0 VG. All are Universal Labels.

ComicConnect - One raw FN/VF copy here. Probably the same one on eBay.

ComicLink - Two CGC copies and one is a high grade 8.5 VF+. The other is a 7.0 FN/VF.

2nd appearance of Challengers of the Unknown

Early Showcase issue and the 2nd appearance of the Challengers of the Unknown. Early Silver Age key issue as well, even if the 1st Silver Age hero team never became immensely popular in the stable of DC Comic characters.

Not really much else to say about Showcase #7 except that it was published April, 1957.

eBay - Definitely a bit more copies for the 2nd appearance compared to the 1st appearance of this DC comics hero team. Not much more though, and only one slabbed copy at a CGC 4.5 VG+.

ComicConnect - Only one VG minus raw copy here for this issue at the moment.

Showcase #8 image
2nd appearance of silver age Flash
First appearance of Captain Cold

Superhero comics are making a comeback and the Barry Allen version is leading the way. This is the characters second appearance ever in comics. DC was still unsure about a superhero revival at the time, which is why his appearances are sporadic within this title and not consecutive.

Nevertheless, this issue features the first appearance of a well-known DC Comics super villain called Captain Cold. He is the 2nd villain to face the silver age Flash, and may remember him from the Super Friends cartoon. Captain Cold is the leader of the Rogues, a team of Flash's enemies. This issue came out in June, 1957.

A major key issue for the character and for DC Comics. Won't be an easy nor cheap find.

eBay - A few copies available for sale here. Mostly unslabbed, but there are lower grade CGC copies. Highest is an unslabbed copy at a VF 8.0. Highest unrestored graded copy is PGX 5.5. 

ComicConnect - Quite a few copies here. No CGC, however, but the highest unslabbed copy is a VF 8.0. 

ComicLink - High grade CGC 8.0 copy here. CGC 8.0s are the 2nd highest graded copies for this key issue so far. Also lower graded CGC and unslabbed copies at ComicLink as well. 

Showcase #13 comic book image
3rd appearance of Silver Age Flash
First appearance of Mister Element (Albert Desmond) 

Before he was Doctor Alchemy, Albert Desmond started his criminal career as Mister Element. Like Batman's Two Face, Albert Desmond suffers from a split personality. Using his superior knowledge of chemistry, Mister Element creates elemental weapons to commit his acts of villainy.

He is the third villain to face Barry Allen as The Flash. This issue debuted in April, 1958.

eBay - Two CGC copies located, but are in the lower grade range. Highest is a low VG 3.5. There are some unslabbed options as well. A VF+ and VF is on the mighty eBay to get snagged as well.

mycomicshop - Only one restored FR/GD raw copy here for now. 

ComicConnect - Three copies here, and two high grade copies for this silver age Flash key comic. Highest is a CBCS FN+. The rest are raw and the highest raw is a GD.

ComicLink - Restored CGC 4.5 VG+ copy. There are raw copies as well. Highest is a 5.0 VG/FN.

Yep, this Showcase key issue comics series will have several parts to it, so brace yourself. I'll try to whip 'em out as fast as possible.

Since I've done the work already for quite a few of the keys on here, it should take me a shorter time than usual since I'll just be cutting and pasting from those key comics lists. Quite a few, however, I'll yet to cover so that may slow me down a bit.

Part 2 is ready so just click the link below to continue with more key issue comics from the Showcase comic title.


  1. Thanks for making this key issues list

  2. Dear Mayhem,

    I have a question concerning JLA Vol. 1 Nr. 55. It has the first appearance of a grown up Earth 2 Robin. Anyone not familiar with comics must think - what the hell!? Well, I have been reading comics for over 20 years but still I can' t make anything of this. Key, no key? Important, unimportant? Worth investing in? Please help.



    1. Hey Piderman,

      good point! I was thinking the same about listing first appearances of characters in the silver age, which already appeared in the golden age. Perhaps Mayhem could make a special for this specific subject. I mean, actually this means, there are multiple first appearances of every character (golden, silver, bronce and modern age). Crazy!


    2. Justice League of America #55 vol 1 is a key issue. It's the first appearance of Earth 2 Robin in the Silver Age which equals the first appearance of Golden Age Robin in Silver Age. It also has first appearances of Gem Girl, Money Master, and a few other minor villains for the JLA. So, yes, a pretty good Silver Age key issue.

    3. good to know since jla #55 is one of the comics I got