The Death and Return of Superman Multiple Printing Saga

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Brandon Shepherd

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My journey into this wonderful hobby began in early 1994, when I found The Death of Superman graphic novel at Kroger, I was 11 years old then. The graphic novel collected the seven issue storyline "Doomsday!", the comic book colors inside hooked me. I had heard of this “event” but I was so late to the party that it was over. The Death and Return of Superman story arc was a trilogy of storylines; "Doomsday!", "Funeral for a Friend" and "Reign of the Supermen!", all ancient history by '94. After I got The Death of Superman graphic novel I searched out issues for  "Funeral for a Friend" and "Reign of the Superman!," not an easy task for a kid with no job (or allowance 'cause I never did chores), who's only transportation were his parents or the school bus. I was able to catch up thanks to few Toys-R-Us trips, where late comers like myself were able to pick up various two packs and packaged sets of comics, with a lot of Superman books. I found most of the issues I needed for "Funeral for a Friend" this way. As I got more into collecting I decided I wanted to have the individual "Doomsday!" issues, even thou I had them nicely collected in TPB form, after another Toy R Us trip, I got all those issues from a box set. 

As I started accumulating price guides, poly bags and backing boards a monster began to gestate, who became concerned about condition and value. I then discovered there were actually multiple printings for many of these issues, and the first printings were more valuable! Each printing after the first edition was notated by a roman numeral, next to the issue number and price on the top left corner of each cover. The cover art remained the same with each subsequent printing but the title logo color scheme changed for each issue’s printing. After realizing this the 2nd, 3rd and so on printings I had were tarnished in my eye. All of my "Doomsday!" issues were later printings, and not worth the paper they were printed on, and most of my 'Funeral' issues were the same. As the years went on, and the prices went down, I replaced many of my later printings with first prints, recycling the paper rags I had before.

Then CGC came along....

Around 2007 I decided to start CGC Registry set for this storyline, all 9.8, first prints only, yet by the early 2010's I re-discovered the later printings, becoming enticed by the thrill and challenge of trying to find these books in high grade. I love how unexpected all of this was, I know I never thought the later printings would ever be collectible, and I think it's safe to say I wasn't the only one. 

Here are my CGC examples thus far, keeping the thrill of the hunt alive. 

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Updated 11/01/2019

Some of my childhood books also survived, thankfully. 

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This one is special.

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This is my favorite of the four covers that included the Doomsday cameos/teasers on the last page. This is also a difficult book in general to find, let alone a 9.8. This special piece was also a gift from a friend. A special book.

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32 minutes ago, Brandon Shepherd said:

Wow, just wow!

Now that this book has 9.8 copies, I wonder if prices will rise if more 9.8's enter the census, similar to what seems to have happened with AC 686 2nd?

I also wonder when we'll see another AOS 499 3rd in 9.8??

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1 hour ago, Brandon Shepherd said:

Wow, just wow!

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I was watching this one as well. A few days ago I received my submission that had a 9.8 and 9.4 in it from my original collection.  Which I was contacted to let go of the 9.8 to a fellow board member which at the time we both only knew 1 on census, but the day after it arrived at their house. That one was listed on ebay. Which means there are at least 2 now.  I didn't really want to let mine go, but I was made a good offer and accepted . At least I know where it is and that it is appreciated and in a beautiful set/collection.

31 minutes ago, Iconic1s said:

Now that this book has 9.8 copies, I wonder if prices will rise if more 9.8's enter the census, similar to what seems to have happened with AC 686 2nd?

I also wonder when we'll see another AOS 499 3rd in 9.8??

The market is always a tough call for prices.  These books are relatively rare in and right now really rare in 9.8. Only time will tell how the census will change.  Due to more of these setting new record prices there will be more submissions. What will help determine is how many really are 9.8 and how the price fairs when lower 9.2, 9.4, 9.6 sell and how often decent presenting raw copies come up and their corresponding numbers.  One example would be 75 platinum.  For a while 9.8 were over $1000, but now they can be bought between $500-700 and that is with known print numbers around 10,000. but some of that also has to do with how many are now in 9.8 on census even in spite of the known bagging issue that kept a lot of these from 9.8. Similar to the multi packs these DCU came from. I still do see the 499, 686 , 20 keeping a good value and as you said hopefully increase due to rarity . Especially in the high grade , but also across the board from 9.0 up..

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2 hours ago, onlyweaknesskryptonite said:

Due to more of these setting new record prices there will be more submissions.

I agree with everything you said and I guess we shall see what the future holds!  The small part I quoted is what really gives me hope.  As hard as these books are to find it is nice to believe there are people out there that will be motivated to submit their copies in order to release them into the wild.

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Just arrived today! :whee:

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This guy sat on eBay for over a year, first listed at $500. The price went down a few times with a best offer feature. I put in a few offers, not really holding my breath, of course they were rejected. Thankfully the seller reached out to me and let me know the best he could do, and now I have it. This book is beautiful with it's black cover.

Looks really good with my first print.

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This is only my third Funeral multiple printing, talk about HTF.

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I've been on fire lately with these books, talk about burning a hole in my pocket!

If your not the sentimental type and would rather party since it's Friday then try this one on for size!

 

Edited by Brandon Shepherd

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