Adventure Comics Price Guide
by Christopher Tanis and Ashley Cotter-Cairns
Adventure first appeared in 1935, under the title New Comics.
National Allied Publications, one of the companies that eventually merged into DC, created it as a humor series. With issue #12, the name was changed to New Adventure (see photo below), and with that name change came a format change, moving towards serious adventure.
By the time that issue #32 came around in November, 1938, the title was shortened to Adventure Comics.
In issue #40, superheroes began to appear, and would dominate the title until 1972, when Adventure became a fantasy/supernatural anthology series.
Superheroes returned only a few issues later, although usually the title featured more "off the beaten path" heroes. It was eventually canceled in 1983.
Over the years, Adventure would be the home of:
and numerous others would grace its pages.
Many of the issues produced over the 48-year run of Adventure would go on to become very desirable to collectors, particularly the Golden Age issues that feature the first appearances of superheroes.
Prices have risen to astronomical heights for more than one issue of this title. The value of those issues and other major ones over the years continues to grow, so any time you come across an old issue of Adventure, it's a good idea to find out what it's worth.
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Record sale: $11,100
Minimum price (poor but complete shape): $???
It should be mentioned that any Golden Age comic is generally very desirable to collectors, and even the "pre-superhero" era of Adventure Comics proves that true.
There are many issues of Adventure Comics below #40 that fetch very large prices, simply because it is a long-running title that started very early (1935).
A copy of New Adventure #26, from 1938, and still bearing the transitional title, New Adventure Comics, is very hard to price because copies are extremely scarce. That scarcity can make for a significantly higher than guide value when a copy of this comes to auction, if and when a copy does come to auction.
Issue #26 features a number of short humor and adventure stories, featuring the work of pioneers Bob Kane, and Siegel and Shuster, among others.
This issue appeared a month before Action Comics #1, and featured an ad for Action #1. It was one of the first times an image of Superman would be seen in print.
These factors, along with the extreme rarity of this issue, make it a veritable goldmine for anyone who finds one in a box of old magazines or in a folder with Great-Grandpa's school papers.
Record sale: $63,000
Minimum price (poor but complete shape): $5,o00
The issue of Adventure that launched the superhero era in that title is one of the rarest of all DC Comics, and may in fact be the very rarest of what collectors consider to be key issues.
There are, in fact, so few copies of issue #40 around that there has never been a copy in top condition up for auction. CGC has only graded 17 in any condition.
Adventure #40 is a comic that, regardless of condition, is worth a very large sum of money. Obviously, the better the condition, the higher the asking price.
Issue #40 of Adventure features Wesley Dodds, aka The Sandman, in a story called The Tarantula Strikes, written by Bert Christman and Gardner Fox, and illustrated by Bert Christman.
It is a typical 1930s Sandman story, very noir in flavor. It is not his first appearance, but it is the first appearance he made in Adventure, and the first by a superhero. Hence, the incredibly high price, given its rarity.
Record sale: $54,000
Minimum price (poor but complete shape): $550
Adventure #48 features the origin of Hourman, and is a scarce and valuable issue of this title. There is also a Sandman story, but it is the Hourman origin that gives this issue its collector appeal, along with its rarity.
In the story Origin of the Hourman, chemist Rex Tyler develops a compound that can give anyone who takes a dose of it fantastic powers for one hour.
For 60 minutes, whoever takes "Miraclo", as Rex decides to call the compound, gains super strength, super speed, and heightened senses. After the hour, however, it is back to normal, and Hourman again becomes Rex Tyler.
Written by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Bernard Baily, the Hourman story in this issue also shows his early, unusual, method for finding crime to fight: Rex Tyler places advertisements in the classified section of the local newspaper, stating that the "Man of the Hour will help the needy." It leads him to his first case.
This is a very rare comic book, with just 20 graded by CGC.
Record sale: $6,600
Minimum price (poor but complete shape): $150
With Adventure #103 in 1946, Superboy takes over Adventure Comics.
Young Clark Kent's adventures would remain the lead feature in this title for a whopping 277 issues (a 23-year run).
Superboy needs no introduction, and Adventure #103 was not his first appearance, but it began a very long tenure that should help to explain the high value of this comic.
Like most Golden Age comics that date from after World War II, this issue is of lower value than most pre-war comics. However, this comic, written by Don Cameron and penciled by Joe Shuster, is still a valuable find.
Record sale: $17,700
Minimum price (poor but complete shape): $340
Perhaps the most valuable of the Silver Age issues is Adventure #247, from April of 1958, which features the introduction of the Legion of Superheroes (click to see our full article), a 30th-Century group of super-powered teens who have traveled back to the 20th Century to initiate Superboy into their ranks.
With Adventure #300, the Legion would become a regular second feature in Adventure, and would sport a very large and rotating roster of heroes. But here, only three Legionnaires appear: Cosmic Boy, Lightning Boy, and Saturn Girl.
Written by Otto Binder and penciled by Al Plastino, the lead story, titled simply, The Legion of Super Heroes, is what gives this issue its high value. It is also a relatively scarce issue of this comic, which adds considerable value.
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DC Comic Superheroes in Adventure Comics
Many famous characters have appeared in Adventure Comics over the years. Find out the value of individual characters here.
Superman Comics Values
Find out what the Man of Steel's classic Golden and Silver Age appearances are worth in our detailed price guide, or send us photos for a free appraisal!