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Action X: My Top Ten

Category:  My 10 Best
Owner:  Brandon Shepherd
Last Modified:  2/16/2019
Set Description
This group represents the Heart of the Ocean when it comes to my overall comic book collection. Each book has a story, some about how I had to save and sell other pieces, some are about getting a second or third chance, and some are just about being lucky. All of these books are very special to me and I smile each time I pull these slabs and hold them in my hands - viewing in person has become a treat I save for once in a while.


Slot Name
Item Description
Grade
Owner Comments
Pics
  Action Comics 360 Universal 9.8 "The Unknown Supergirl"
Cover Date: March/April, 1968
Published: January 9, 1968

Curt Swan and George Klein cover

80 Page Giant (G 45).

Grade Date: 06/29/2017
Acquired: 11/10/2017 - 1 of 2 in 9.8 when purchased.

This 9.8 from '68 is gorgeous in hand and view, the second of four 80 Page Giants in the Action Comics title during the 1960s, all devoted to Supergirl (see Action Comics #334, 347 and 373). The childlike innocence of this board game themed cover goes straight to my collector's heart. The vibrant colors also please my eye, from the blue and purple background blend to the Supergirl title logo of green and yellow. This piece is structurally solid, very clean, the back cover is still white and the WHITE page edges are just as white. The square bound 'Giant' format is notorious for defects, making this THE crown jewel of my collection. I once had a large CGC collection of 1980s Indiana Jones books from Marvel, I sold that collection on ComicLink in 2018 to make up for purchase of this book. As of this writing (11/16/2019) the other CGC 9.8 copy is the Pacific Cost example.

Table of Contents

"The Unknown Supergirl"
Reprinted from Action Comics #278 (July, 1961)

"Supergirl's Secret Enemy"
Reprinted from Action Comics #279 (August, 1961)

"Trapped in Kandor"
Reprinted from Action Comics #280 (September, 1961)

"The Three Red K Perils"
Reprinted from Action Comics #283 (December, 1961)

"The Super-Mermaid"
Reprinted from Action Comics #284 (January, 1962)

"The World's Mightiest Heroine" (February, 1962)
Reprinted from Action Comics #285

"The Infinite Monster"
Reprinted from Action Comics #285 (February, 1962)
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  Action Comics 443 9.8 "At Last! Clark Kent--Superhero!"
January, 1975

Elliot S. Maggin story
Curt Swan & Tex Blaisdell art
Nick Cardy cover

100 page issue.
Justice League of America appearance.

Grade Date: 09/29/2011
Acquired: 02/26/2013
Re-Holder: 11/07/2018
1 of 2 in 9.8 when purchased.

This very special piece is the one of the crown jewels of my collection, behind Action Comics #360 (80 Page Giant) and #437 (100 Page Giant). This grail is a piece that I originally missed when first offered online, I saved the scan and tortured myself for some time. This book was certified in 2011 and first listed on Worldwide Comics shortly after, a site I check multiple times a day. By the time I saw the listing the sale was already pending. Two years later the piece was listed on ComicLink, thankfully the book was previewed a few months before the auction opened, giving me time to plan and save. My max bid was actually reached the first night of the auction, to my surprise (and relief) no one else bid there after, I thought for sure a respected boardie with a penchant for DC 100 pagers would go after this. I opened a bottle of champagne when I received this book, I’m still grateful for the second chance on this.

This awesome Nick Cardy cover caught my eye when I was 12 and just starting on comic books. At the time this book seemed really old since it was published before I was born. Superman with a big smile on his face and opening up a giant copy of Action Comics to unleash DC’s finest from its pages captured my imagination. One summer in college I came across a decent copy at my local comic shop for $10.00. That copy was such a treat for me, I finally had it after what would have been almost a decade since I saw the cover for the first time as a kid. I'd also hear about how difficult these square-bound, 100 pages giants were to find in high grade over the years, I thought I would have to settle for a lower grade to get a nice certified copy, I was wrong.

This awesome, 100 page giant also contains the following stories.

"7 Threats in the 7 Seas!"

"The Ghost of the Deep!"
Reprinted from Sea Devils #3 (January-February 1962).

"Revolt in Painted Canyon!"
Reprinted from Western Comics #78 (November-December 1959).

"The Super-brain of Adam Strange!"
Reprinted from Mystery In Space #87 (November 1963).

"Amazing Thefts of the I.Q. Gang!"
Reprinted from Mystery In Space #87 (November 1963).

"The Man in the Iron Mask"
Reprinted from Sensation Comics #4 (April 1942).
View Comic
  Action Comics 437 Universal 9.8 "Magic is Bustin' Out all Over!"
July, 1974

Elliot Maggin story
Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger art
Nick Cardy cover

100 page issue.
Green Lantern, Flash, Batman and
Green Arrow appearance.

Grade Date: 11/29/2017
Acquired: 02/07/2018
1 of 2 in 9.8 when purchased.

For years the lone 9.8 in the census for Action #437 was the Pacific Coast copy, that changed in November of 2017. In February 2018, my dream of having this 9.8 WHITE page grail became a reality.

The coloring is vibrant, thanks to a flat, clean glossy cover. The cover alignment is perfect also, with a clean back white cover. Love it! Let's not forget the dark cover edges, always unforgiving of defects. Speaking of covers, I love the appearance of all the other DC characters bursting out.

Another grail of mine was Action #443, the only other 100 page issue in the Action Comics run. After basking in the glow of finding my first grail I told myself that I now needed Action #437 in 9.8, five years to the month of getting Action #443, I got to hold both books side by side.


This awesome, 100 page giant also contains the following stories.

"The First Frogman!"
Reprinted from Showcase #28 (September-October 1960).

"The Sea Devils vs. the Octopus Man!"
Reprinted from Sea Devils #1 (October 1961).

"DC Cover Gallery"
Contains original covers of four issues reprinted within this issue:
Sea Devils #1, Mystery in Space #85, Western Comics #77 & My Greatest Adventure #3.

"Riddle of the Runaway Rockets!"
Reprinted from Mystery in Space #85 (August 1963).

"The Barbed Wire Barricade!"
Reprinted from Western Comics #77 (October 1959).

"Chief Hot Foot"

"I was King of the Daredevils"
Reprinted from My Greatest Adventure #3 (May 1955).

"The Man who Returned from the Dead!"
Reprinted from Doll Man #13 (Summer 1945).

Pedigree Comics comments:
One of only two NM/M's in the entire Western hemisphere! This is a killer, possibly undergraded squarebound Action with absolutely no flaws. A 100 Page Giant, it features appearances by the Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Flash and sports a cool Nick Cardy cover. Definitely a worthwhile investment as these 100 pagers don't turn up this nice every day!! Fresh as a daisy with BONE white paper and ridiculous cover gloss.


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  Action Comics 398 Universal 9.8 “The Pier-Piper of Steel!
Cover Date: March, 1971

Leo Dorfman story
Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson art
Neal Adams and Dick Giordano cover

Supergirl appearance.
"Untold Tales of the Fortress" story - “Spawn of the Unknown”

Grade Date: 01/07/2008
Acquired: 03/06/2018 - 1 of 2 in 9.8 when purchased.

I first noticed this piece on the CGC website gallery in 2008. A terrific Neal Adams cover, from the coveted Pacific Coast pedigree, perfect cover registration, white pages and a 9.8 from 1971, the book was everything I desired! I waited and wondered for years if this book would come to the market, or if it would remain locked away in a private collection, or worse yet, end up lost or destroyed. I added “Action Comics #398 CGC 9.8 Pacific Coast” to several want lists; I even put out a WTB posting on the CGC boards. I didn't just want this book in 9.8 grade, I wanted the Pacific Coast copy. I also searched the high ranking Action Comics sets in the CGC Registry for this piece, no luck.

In December 2017, a ComicLink preview listed three Action Comics examples from the Pacific Coast pedigree to be auctioned in March, 2018. After a decade of dreaming I finally got my chance. In the end, the realized price was much less than I expected, actually a really good price compared to other 9.8 Action Comics examples from the era. Of course the condition of the book is phenomenal, a real treat to reward a decade of patience.

From ReeceComics.com
Pacific Coast Pedigree

The Pacific Coast Pedigree is widely regarded as the pre-eminent Silver Age collection of comic books in the world. The collection spans the years 1962-1967 and the comic books all share the same look of freshness and uniformity. Aside from the incredible brightness of the books, they are also known for near perfect registration. PC's are among the most coveted pedigrees in the hobby as exemplified by how few copies are on the market at any given time.
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  Action Comics 399 Universal 9.8 "Superman, You're Dead... Dead... Dead"
Cover Date: April, 1971

Leo Dorfman story
Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson art
Neal Adams and Dick Giordano cover

Superbaby story.

Grade Date: 08/13/2003
Acquired: 09/14/2014 - 1 of 4 in 9.8 when purchased.

"Superbaby's Lost World"
Writer: Leo Dorfman
Pencils: Curt Swan
Inks: Murphy Anderson
Editor: Murray Boltinoff

This piece is beautiful, not only is the cover art fantastic, the condition is striking. The structure is solid, the colors are vibrant and the page edges are very fresh and white. The white area of the front and back cover is also very clean.

This piece was originally listed in another registry users set, where I admired and coveted it for several years. When the piece was finally listed for sale, I did not hesitate to make an offer. Every time I hold this piece in hand, I always think to myself how this book is finally mine! This is not only one of my top pieces, this is also one of my favorite Neal Adams covers for Action Comics.
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  Action Comics 389 Universal 9.8 "The Kid Who Struck Out Superman!"
Cover Date: June, 1970

Cary Bates and Leo Dorfman stories
Curt Swan and Win Mortimer art
Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson cover

Rogues Gallery by Murphy Anderson.

Grade Date: 08/26/2002
Acquired: 04/05/2015 - 1 of 5 in 9.8 when purchased.

"The Mystery Legionnaire!"
Writer: Cary Bates
Penciler: Win Mortimer
Inker: Jack Abel

I've always liked this cover, true Americana, also true Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson. This book is very sharp, with vibrant colors - the inks on the title logo look as if they are still drying. This newsstand fresh piece exemplifies everything my Action Comics run is all about: great covers from before my time with superb preservation. I tried for another 9.8 example of this issue on ComicLink prior to finding this piece, unsuccessfully. I got the Oakland copy for a fraction of the final ComicLink bid!

From MySlabbedComics.com
Oakland Pedigree

This collection of 4000+ mostly superhero comics and surfaced at the 1998 Wondercon show. The collection, which spanned roughly 1967 to 1972, was accumulated in Oakland, CA by a collector who had first crack at the new offerings and handled the comics with extreme care.
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  Action Comics 384 Universal 9.8 “The Forbidden Costume!”
Cover Date: January, 1970

Cary Bates and Jim Shooter stories
Curt Swan and Win Mortimer art
Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson cover

Legion of Super-Heroes backup story.
“Lament for a Legionnaire!”

Grade Date: 01/07/2008
Acquired: 03/06/2018 - 1 of 2 in 9.8 when purchased.

This 15-cent cover, from THE Silver Age pedigree brings a smile to my face. I enjoy the details on the cover art, from the look of shock on the uniformed officer's face to the clothing of the detectives. The attire really hits the period this piece was published in, right out of films like Bullitt and Dirty Harry. This book also has the freshness the Pacific Coast examples are known for.

Thou published in the later months of 1969, having this book cover dated January, 1970 turns this piece into a bookend for my collection, as I’d like to have each issue of Action Comics cover dated from January 1970 to December 1979.

From ReeceComics.com

The Pacific Coast Pedigree is widely regarded as the pre-eminent Silver Age collection of comic books in the world. The collection spans the years 1962-1967 and the comic books all share the same look of freshness and uniformity. Aside from the incredible brightness of the books, they are also known for near perfect registration. PC's are among the most coveted pedigrees in the hobby as exemplified by how few copies are on the market at any given time.
View Comic
  Action Comics 374 Universal 9.8 "Alias Super-Thief!"
"No Mercy for Supergirl!"
Cover Date: March, 1969
Published on January 28, 1969

Otto Binder and Leo Dorfman stories
Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenberger art
Neal Adams cover

Grade Date: 06/29/2017
Acquired: 11/10/2017 - 1 of 3 in 9.8 when purchased.

A 9.8 Neal Adams cover from the Silver Age, it just doesn't get any better! The cover is true to the Silver Age era of comics. This piece also has exceptional cover gloss.
View Comic
  Action Comics 375 9.8 "The Big Forget!"
Cover Date: April, 1969

Otto Binder and Leo Dorfman stories
Curt Swan and Kurt Schaffenbergeart
Curt Swan and Carmine Infantino cover

Fact File #4: Sargon the Sorceror.

"The Woman Who Hated Supergirl"
Writer: Leo Dorfman
Pencils: Kurt Schaffenberger
Inks: Kurt Schaffenberger

Grade Date: 08/19/2014
Acquired: 09/09/2014 - Single 9.8 when purchased.

This piece became my first 12-cent cover in 9.8 grade. I'm pleased with the structure of this book; very flat, tight spine, and page edges that are still white, a very fresh piece with tremendous eye appeal. This dark background makes this issue in particular difficult to obtain in high grade. The cover is typical of the Silver Age and right out of the original Star Trek T.V. show of the era.

I had to have this piece, I won it on ComicLink, breaking my personal record then for highest price I'd ever paid for a book. Buying the book was a big risk as I did not have the disposable income out of pocket, just a credit card. Not long after winning this piece, another book came up for sale, Action Comics #399, a piece that belonged to another registry user and one I'd admired for several years, we negotiated a price, then I found myself with two expensive books to pay off. Both books were special opportunities, I decided I was just going to make it work. I sold several books to raise the funds for these pieces, the time and effort paid off, literally, as I was able to pay the off the debt without accumulating interest.

What I Sold - all CGC 9.8 examples, from Marvel Comics

Blade Runner #1 (October, 1982)
Blade Runner #2 (November, 1982)
Red Sonja #4 (July, 1977)
Red Sonja #13 (November, 1978)
Star Trek #18 (February, 1982)
X-Men #125 (September, 1979)
X-Men #135 (July, 1980)
X-Men #136 (August, 1980)
X-Men #138 (October, 1980)
X-Men #140 (December, 1980)
Uncanny X-Men #142 (February, 1981)

I find myself missing the Red Sonja and X-Men pieces sometime, but I did the right thing.
View Comic
  Action Comics 404 Universal 9.8 "Kneel to Your Conqueror, Superman!"
September, 1971

Leo Dorfman story
Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson art
Neal Adams and Dick Giordano cover

Bondage cover.

Grade Date: 09/28/2010
Acquired: 11/15/2011
1 of 4 in 9.8 when purchased.

Other stories printed in this 52 page, four color work:

"The Specter of 3000-Moons Lake!"
reprinted from The Atom #5 (Feb.-Mar. 1963)

"The Coward and the Hero"
reprinted from Adventure Comics #220 (Jan. 1956)

"The Day They Killed Clark Kent"
Writer: Leo Dorfman
Pencils: Curt Swan
Inks: Murphy Anderson
Editor: Murray Boltinoff

I first bid on this special piece in the ComicLink January 2011 Featured Auction, I did not win. In the ComicLink November 2011 Featured Auction fate smiled on me! This beautiful book was also my oldest 9.8 for a time. Love those yellow covers!
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