97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

Bodnar's Auction House of New Jersey will be auctioning off a major part of DC Comics history on February 8th. But is it theirs to auction? They will be auctioning off a catalogue bound collection of comics, that was originally part of the National Publications/DC Comics archive. I'll let them explain it.

First, we will be selling a one of a kind collection of bound Golden Age comic books from the DC archives. This collection of 97 volumes of 800+ bound comics was unearthed from a Staten Island Estate found boxed away unknown by his wife they even existed until he passed away. After much consideration, she decided an auction was the best way to handle these unique volumes of fantastic books. Most of the books are stamped on the front-page Property of Library, National Periodical Publications, Inc. The fact that the books are bound would typically ruin any value, but because of who they are bound by makes all the difference in the world. How many people can say they own a bound book that DC themselves has used? Included are a full run of Army of War #1-#301 in 26 bound volumes, and some key highlights including Lois Lane #1-#13, 7 bound volumes of World's Finest #1-#16, and #68-#122 which have key issues of Superman, Batman & Robin, Green Lantern #1-#12 & #38-#49 which has many key issues, 11 bound volumes of Adventure Comics #46-#81, #112-#123, #152-#163, #184-#195, #220-#243 and #268-#279 which includes #48 – the first appearance of Hourman, #61 – the first appearance of Starman and many others! Also included are 12 bound volumes of action comics #37-#55, #68-#115, #128-#139 and #200-#223 which includes #47 – the first appearance on Lex Luthor and #51 – the first appearance of Prankster. Also up on the auction block is 7 bound volumes of Sgt. Rock including #302-#407, The Brave and the Bold Comics #13-#24, Sgt. Bilko comics #1-#18, a bound volume of All American Men of War, 2 bound volumes of The Spectre, as well as bound volumes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Special Additions for US Navy, Superman and Giant Superman, and multiple volumes of Batman including #59 – the first appearance of Deadshot and #62 – with the Catwoman cover.

I contacted the auction house looking for added clarity for how the seller's husband came by these bound archival DC comics, with no response. However, there has been a lot of discussion among people who have been associated with DC Comics and others about how these collections came to leave the DC Comics Archive.

Former publisher Paul Levitz confirmed that DC had never sold any of these volumes. Former Manager-Editorial Operations and Senior Editor at DC, Robert Greenberger confirmed that DC would bind six copies of every title, three copies for the general circulation library while three were tucked away for posterity. Noted comics creator and historian Mark Evanier noted that copies had been stolen from the archive at various points, but copies were purchased to replace them – and that at one point DC Comics has a full library, three times over, of everything they'd published. from Detective Comics #1 up. It is notable that this lot has multiple editions of certain volumes.

Here's where the pre-auction bids are right now. 

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

1: Our Army at War Bound Comics 1-9
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$325 9 bids

2: Our Army at War Bound Comics 10-19
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

3: Our Army at War Bound Comics 20-29
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

4: Our Army at War Bound Comics 30-41
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

5: Our Army at War Bound Comics 42-53
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

6: Our Army at War Bound Comics 54-65
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

7: Our Army at War Bound Comics 66-77
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

8: Our Army at War Bound Comics 78-89
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$325 8 bids

9: Our Army at War Bound Comics 78-89
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$425 9 bids

10: Our Army at War Bound Comics 90-101
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

11: Our Army at War Bound Comics 102-113
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

12: Our Army at War Bound Comics 114-125
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

13: Our Army at War Bound Comics 126-137
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$25 3 bids

14: Our Army at War Bound Comics 138-149
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

15: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 150-161
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

16: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 162-174
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

17: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 175-187
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

18: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 188-200
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

19: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 201-213
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

20: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 214-226
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

21: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 227-239
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

22: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 240-252
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

23: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 253-263
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

24: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 264-277
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

25: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 278-288
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

26: Our Army at Way Bound Comics 289-301
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

27: Sgt. Rock Bound Comics 302-315
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

28: Sgt. Rock Bound Comics 316-325
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

29: Sgt. Rock Bound Comics 326-344
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

30: Sgt. Rock Bound Comics 345-360
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

31: Sgt. Rock Bound Comics 361-380
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

32: Sgt. Rock Bound Comics 381-395
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

33: Sgt. Rock Bound Comics 396-407
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 0 bids

34: The Brave and the Bold Bound Comics 13-24
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$70 4 bids

35: Sgt Bilko Bound Comics 1-18
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$60 3 bids

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

36: All American Men of War Bound Comics 127-128 2-11
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$40 3 bids

37: Action Comics Bound Comics 37-44
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$625 10 bids

38: Action Comics Bound Comics 37-44
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$300 6 bids

39: Action Comics Bound Comics 45-55
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$140 7 bids

40: Action Comics Bound Comics 68-79
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$40 3 bids

41: Action Comics Bound Comics 80-91
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$40 4 bids

42: Action Comics Bound Comics 80-91
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$60 3 bids

43: Action Comics Bound Comics 92-103
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$25 3 bids

44: Action Comics Bound Comics 104-115
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$30 3 bids

45: Action Comics Bound Comics 128-139
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$30 3 bids

46: Action Comics Bound Comics 200-211
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

47: Action Comics Bound Comics 200-211
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

48: Action Comics Bound Comics 212-223
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

49: The Spectre Bound Comics 1-10
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$30 4 bids

50: Spectre Bound Comics 1-12
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$50 4 bids

51: Aquaman Bound Comics 57-63 plus Army at War 1
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

52: Green Lantern Bound Comics 1-12
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$250 9 bids

53: Green Lantern Bound Comics 38-49
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$40 4 bids

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

54: Wonder Woman Bound Comics 13-24
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$70 5 bids

55: Special Editions for US Navy 1-6
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$400 9 bids

56: Giant Superman Annual 1-8
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$130 5 bids

57: Superman – Tomahawk Fox & Crow Bound Comics
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$50 4 bids

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

58: Superman Bound Comics 57-68
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$300 9 bids

59: Superman Bound Comics 78-85
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$60 4 bids

60: Superman Bound Comics 86-97
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$50 4 bids

61: Superman Bound Comics 110-121
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$50 4 bids

62: Superman Bound Comics 122-133
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$160 8 bids

63: Superman Bound Comics 134-145
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 3 bids

64: Superman Bound Comics 158-169
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 3 bids

65: Superman Bound Comics 158-169
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$40 2 bids

66: Superman Bound Comics 170-181
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$15 2 bids

67: Superman Bound Comics 182-196
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$15 2 bids

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

68: Batman Bound Comics 27-38
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$375 11 bids

69: Batman Bound Comics 55-66
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$100 6 bids

70: Batman Bound Comics 67-76
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$500 8 bids

71: World's Finest Bound Comics 1-8
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$1,500 14 bids

72: World's Finest Bound Comics 9-16
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$375 12 bids

73: World's Finest Bound Comics 68-73
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$70 3 bids

74: World's Finest Bound Comics 74-85
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$30 2 bids

75: World's Finest Bound Comics 86-98
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 3 bids

76: World's Finest Bound Comics 99-110
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

77: World's Finest Bound Comics 111-122
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 3 bids

78: Jackie Gleason Bound Comics 1-12
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$100 3 bids

79: Jackie Gleason Bound Comics 1-12
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$50 3 bids

80: Daniel Boone Bound Comics 1-8
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$20 2 bids

81: All American Comics Bound Comics 49-60
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$275 5 bids

82: Leading Comics Bound Comics 8-19
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$275 7 bids

83: The Brave and the Bold Bound Comics 1-12
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$100 5 bids

84: Detective Comics Bound Comics 570-582 Plus 50th Anniversary
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$10 1 bid

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

85: Lois Lane Bound Comics 1-13
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$160 7 bids

86: Lois Lane Bound Comics 1-13
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$110 5 bids

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

87: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 46-57
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$1,300 11 bids

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

88: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 46-57
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$1,100 6 bids

89: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 58-69
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$425 8 bids

90: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 70-81
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$300 7 bids

91: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 112-123
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$70 5 bids

92: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 152-163
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$25 3 bids

93: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 184-195
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$30 3 bids

94: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 220-231
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$50 3 bids

95: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 232-243
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$110 4 bids

96: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 232-243
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$30 3 bids

97: Adventure Comics Bound Comics 268-279
Estimate: $800 – $1,200

$150 5 bids

97 of DC Comics' Own Bound Archival Volumes Up For Auction – But Where Did They Come From?

 

Bodnar's Auction House will be also auctioning off a comics collection that has a more transparent provenance.

The second part of this collection comes from a man in Massachusetts. He was an avid collector, bought most books at the stand, read them, and then put them away. He is now moving onto another part of his life, and unfortunately, the books cannot come with him. After seeing the last comic book collection come through Bodnar's Auction Sales he decided this was the way to go. His collection has a wide variety of comics including comics such as Sally Forth and Ramba and many others like it, Teen Titans, Superboy, Star Wars – including #42, as well as many great issues of Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Flash, Conan, Claw, Sandman, Marvel Tales, The Atom, Inferior Five, House of Mystery, Bob Hope, Challengers of the Unknown, and many great issues of Adventure comics. Some other fantastic key issues are Fantastic Four #44-#46, #48-#56, #59, #62, #64-#67, #73-#76 and #112. We also have many Superman comics with #199 as a highlight, a lot of World's Finest comics including #156, Peter Parker the Amazing Spiderman #1 and many others, many great Justice League comics including #29 and #31, some Green Lantern comics with issues #40, #45, and #58 as well as many Doom Patrol comics with #99 and #121 being some highlights. Crossing the auction block will also be many key issues of The Amazing Spiderman including #13, #86, #92, #95–#98, #102, #122, #123, #125, #134-#137, #137 and #361 just to name a few! There is a great copy of Marvel Premiere #47 – The Astonishing Ant-Man, Many great X-Men issues including #1, #4, #11, #19-#30, #35, #36, #38, #40, #42, #44, #51, #54-#58, #60, #62 and #101! Rounding off this collection are some key issues of Batman including #181, #189 and #227 as well as Here Comes Daredevil #16, #18-#20.

Which all seems pretty standard. But f you have any more knowledge of the first of these lots – or fancy popping down to the auction yourself to ask, please do get in touch at richjohnston@bleedingcool.com.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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