The Longbox Project – Part 3

After eight years of having them in storage, I recently got nine long boxes and two egg crates worth of comic books back into my possession. Now, it’s time to dive in and see what’s in there!

For our third installment, I’m finally digging into one of the nine long boxes, after taking care of the comics in the egg crates first. Before we get into what I found, though, you can catch up on The Longbox Project here.

Most of the books in this box were from the early- to mid-200s in the lead-up to Infinite Crisis, though there was an earlier run or two included in the collection.

Not So Super

There was a lot of Superman in this box, from the late-1990s right up into about 2005. Of the 329 books I went through, about a third of them are related to the Man of Steel. While issues of Batman-related books have gained a level of value, as seen in the last two parts of this project, the Superman books haven’t gone up in price at all. It’s not really a surprise, as there wasn’t a whole lot of memorable stories happening, and nothing of any lasting consequence was brought up.

Some of the books related to Superman: Emperor Joker were worth a little bit more – which is cool, because I really enjoy that story – but otherwise Superman continues to be kind of stagnant.

The Boys Bust Out

I just recently went through Garth Ennis’ The Boys, a series about a group of powered operatives tasked with keeping the world’s “superheroes” in line. So, I was pretty happy when I found the first issue of the series in this box. I was even happier when I saw that the issue was valued at $35.

The first six issues of The Boys were published under DC Comics’ Wildstorm imprint. And then, it seems, someone at DC actually read the book and decided the content was a bit too risqué for the publisher and it was cancelled at the end of the first story arc. But the book was quickly picked up by Dynamite Entertainment, which published the rest of Ennis’ story, along with a few miniseries.

The first issue of The Boys is the most valuable book in this particular long box.

The Art Makes the Book

Variant covers can often increase the value of the book, especially when the variant has beautiful art, like the first issue of JSA Classified from 2005. Written by Geoff Johns with interior art by Amanda Conner, the story focuses on JSA member Power Girl and her place in the world. The main cover of the book features art from Conner and, according to Comic Book Realm, is worth just $3.

The variant, however, is an amazing painting of Power Girl flying up in the sky drawn by Adam Hughes, whose prowess drawing sexy women is pretty hard to beat. Despite being a variant, I think this is the cover most people associate with Power Girl and this JSA Classified tale, and its value shows that. The Hughes cover of issue 1 is worth $18.

Break It Down

Buried deep inside the long box was the full run of the Break Downs crossover between Justice League America and Justice League Europe. The storyline from 1991-92 was co-written by Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis as Gerard Jones and deals with the League’s reaction to Maxwell Lord being shot, and then an attack by Despero.

I wasn’t reading comics regularly at the time, so I’m guessing I picked up the 16 parts of the crossover at a back issue sale somewhere. I honestly can’t remember.

As DC Comics is on a kick of releasing older material lately, there was talk late last year of Break Downs being collected, though it was confirmed in February that the collection was cancelled after Jones was charged with offenses related to child pornography.

The Collection

Let’s take a look at where the totals stand after going through the third box in my collection. Totals for all three boxes are in parenthesis.

Total Issues: 329 (1,141)
Paid: $850.96 ($3,254.11)
Current Value: $1,132.46 ($4,203.06)
Profit: $281.50 ($948.95)
Value Per Issue: $3.44 ($3.68)