DC Complete: The Ian Levine Collection

I was surprised to learn that someone had collected every comic book published by DC Comics from when it started in 1934 to the end of 2016. I was further surprised to learn that Sotheby’s is having a private sale offering where the collection is to be sold in a single lot. The offering started last March 30, 2020. Information about the offering can be found in this press release and in this catalogue. Sotheby’s also has two articles related to the offering: “How DC Ignited the Golden Age of Comic Books” and “The Rise of Batman.”

I was quite disappointed to find a few errors in the Sotheby’s documentation. An early version of one of their websites mentioned the “Green Hornet” (which is not a DC Comics character); it now mentions “Green Lantern” and “Green Arrow” (which are). One of their websites still mentions Sensation Comics #1 (January 1942) as “the first appearance of Wonder Woman,” when in fact her first appearance is in All-Star Comics #8 (October 1941). The filename of their catalogue ends with “FINAL_UPDTAED.” Finally, it is not clear what years are covered by the collection. The catalogue states that “The Ian Levine Collection of DC Comics Complete numbers comfortably more than 40,000 individual issues, comprising every single comic book published for sale by DC from New Fun #1 in 1935 through the end of 2016″ and yet that same catalogue also states “EVERY COMIC BOOK PUBLISHED BY DC FROM 1934–2014.”

Shown above is the first page of Action Comics #1 (June 1938) which contains the first appearance of Superman. Shown below is the first page of Batman #1 (Spring 1940). (Batman’s first appearance was in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939).) (I got both images from the catalogue.)

Note that the comic books in the collection are, in general, not “slabbed” (sealed in hard plastic). This allows the comic books to be read, but they are not as protected as I would like.

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