Detective Comics #538 95¢ Variant Value
From: The 2022 CPV Price Guide for Canadian Price Variants (Type 1A) by Bill Alexander, Tim Bildhauser, Paul Clairmont, Jay Halstead, Jon McClure, Benjamin Nobel, Conan Saunders, Doug Sulipa, and Angelo Virone [ introduction, table of contents, all titles, other price guide editions]
|9.2||Near Mint -||$24
|9.0||Very Fine / Near Mint||$21
|Detective Comics #538 95¢ Cover Price Variant, DC, 5/1984, Published in the USA
Detective Comics #538 95¢ Canadian Price Variant Issue Notes:
Doug notes: Lower Print Run;
CGC label note: Catman appearance. Green Arrow backup story written by Joey Cavalieri and with art by Jerome Moore.
This page: Detective Comics #538 value
(95¢ Price Variant)
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Detective Comics #538 has a 95¢ variant NM- value of $24, putting it in the top quartile of our guide's coverage universe. We think this variant is worth keeping an eye on (check out the issue notes in the page above for more details), and as a collectible we give the price variant FOUR STARS. Regular copies in 9.2 have not changed in value since 2018. Meanwhile, CPV newsstand copies in 9.2 have outperformed notably, increasing in value by $12 since 2018, or about +100%.
Detective Comics #538 Comic Book FAQ
What is the value of Detective Comics #538?
I have a copy of Detective Comics #538 and I want to know what this comic book is worth in different grades as a first printing?
The answer depends on the type that you own. For Detective Comics #538, DC published a direct edition type (exceptionally well preserved by collectors as direct edition comics were the type sold in comic shops), and two newsstand types which were sold to the general public on newsstands (a regular cover price version and the 95¢ price variant). If you own a price variant, lucky you, it is worth $24 in 9.2 (Near Mint Minus).
Check whether the cover of your copy of Detective Comics #538 has a graphical logo or a bar code box. If it has a graphical logo, sorry to break it to you but you own a commonplace direct edition copy which is worth about $6.
If your copy of Detective Comics #538 has a bar code box on the cover, then you've got a newsstand copy! Is it the more-rare price variant? Now for the moment of excitement: is the cover price of your newsstand copy 95¢? If so, congratulations, you own the cover price variant!!
What is Detective Comics #538 worth in VF/NM condition?
The direct edition (logo on cover) is worth about $5 in VF/NM whereas the 95¢ newsstand variants are worth $21.
Why are the Detective Comics #538 newsstand cover price variants worth so much more than the direct edition copies?
As collectibles, direct edition copies are already at a disadvantage compared to newsstand copies in the highest grades, because direct editions were extraordinarily well preserved as the distinct type sold in specialty comic shops. The comic shop owners ordered direct edition copies of Detective Comics #538 at a discount to cover price, but on a non-returnable basis (the graphical logo was to tell non-returnable copies apart from their returnable newsstand counterparts). When their orders arrived, the comic shop staff handled the books with extreme care to preserve their condition, and then the comic book collectors who shopped there typically preserved their purchases in plastic bags with backing boards. By contrast, newsstand copies were treated as reading material with no staff training to handle the books with any semblance of care, and they were then sold to the general public; unsold copies were returned for credit and typically pulped/recycled forward. Only those newsstand copies of Detective Comics #538 that were taken home and preserved by collectors would survive today in the highest grades. Among surviving newsstand copies of Detective Comics #538, the market area that received the 95¢ cover price newsstand copies was a restricted area representing less than 10% the population of the total North American newsstand market. That's because the destination market for 95¢ copies of Detective Comics #538 was Canadian newsstands — hence the name Canadian Price Variant as a short-hand for 95¢ Price Variant. All of this adds up to a market value for the 95¢ variant approximately 320% higher than the direct edition in Very Fine / Near Mint (9.0) condition, as of our 2022 CPV Price Guide Edition.
In VF condition, how much is Detective Comics #538 worth?
The direct edition version of Detective Comics #538 is worth about $4 in Very Fine (8.0) whereas the 95¢ newsstand variants are worth $17.
What is the value of Detective Comics #538 in Fine condition?
In FN (6.0) shape, the direct edition version of Detective Comics #538 is worth about $3 whereas the 95¢ newsstand variants are worth $12.
What is the approximate Detective Comics #538 value in very good condition?
Down in VG (4.0) Very Good condition, the direct edition version of Detective Comics #538 is worth about $2 whereas the 95¢ newsstand variants are worth $8.
What is the Detective Comics #538 price guide value in good condition?
The price guide value way down in GD (2.0) Good condition for Detective Comics #538 is about $1 for the direct edition version whereas the 95¢ newsstand variants are worth $4.
Has the Detective Comics #538 95¢ variant from DC been a good investment?
Detective Comics #538 95¢ variant newsstand copies in 9.2 have produced gains, increasing in value by $12 since 2018, or about +100% in 5 years (from our 2018 guide edition to our 2022 guide edition).
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