Darren Adams, president of Pristine Comics and owner of West Coast Sports Cards in Federal Way, poses with the three comic books he sold on eBay, which went for a total of $1,562,200. This was the first time these comic books were available to the public. “All Star Comics #8” sold for $936,223, the highest of the three. It features Wonder Woman’s first ever appearance. Courtesy Darren Adams.

Federal Way business owner auctions rare comics, donating portion of proceeds

A Federal Way comic book business owner auctioned three rare comics this past weekend with a portion of proceeds going to charity.

Darren Adams, president of Pristine Comics and owner of West Coast Sports Cards in Federal Way, sold a copy of “All Star Comics #8” on eBay for $936,223, Aug. 27. The comic’s page quality was rated 9.4 out of 10 by Certified Guarantee Company, the single highest-graded copy in existence. It also features Wonder Woman’s first ever appearance.

Adams also sold a 9.6-rated copy of “Sensation Comics #1” for $399,100, also the single highest-graded copy, and a 9.0-rated copy of “Wonder Woman #1” with perfect white pages for $226,877.

“To have the very first appearance of an iconic character, the best-known copy in existence, is really something special,” Adams said about “All Star Comics #8.” “It would be like having the very first Ford off the assembly line.”

These comic books never even made it to the news stands. The original owner started collecting them in 1941. He bought his comics from a magazine distributor and took them directly to his home, where they remained, undisturbed, for 70-plus years. Selling these three comic books online was the first time ever they were available to the public.

Wonder Woman is part of the big three super heroes in comic books, the other two being Superman and Batman, Adams said. With the recently released movie “Wonder Woman,” Adams said the desire for the Wonder Woman comics has increased greatly.

When “All Star Comics #8” was first created, around 500,000 copies were produced. Adams said approximately 106 copies “All Star Comics #8” remain in existence, and the one he sold was in the best condition.

“This book sold for 10 cents back in the day, and now we’re almost at a million dollars,” Adams said.

What made these comic books even more historic is they were released within 45 days of World War II. The original collector collected these comics from 1941-45, right before the war ended. Adams refers to the comics as the “war-time comic” finds.

Adams said he has been collecting Wonder Woman comics for some time as he has anticipated interest in her character would increase.

“Batman and Superman have been stealing the thunder,” Adams said. “The prices of those books are through the roof. Wonder Woman is one of the most iconic, and she’s definitely the top three.”

Adams said the cost of Wonder Woman comics have been under-priced, and he wanted to get his hands on them for the past 10 years, anticipating the value would rise.

With the money raised from the three comic books he just sold, Adams said he will donate a portion of the money to organizations fighting human trafficking.

“It’s a really said situation that takes place in our own country — 150,000 kids a year,” Adams said. “It’s pretty tragic and doesn’t get the coverage that it should. The only way people usually find out about it, unfortunately, is by experiencing it or having someone they know experience it. It’s a very, very worthy cause, and I couldn’t think of a better alignment than Wonder Woman.”

Adams and Pristine Comics set a Guinness World Record in 2014 when he sold the 9.0-rated copy of “Action Comics #1” for $3.2 million.

Adams also donated a portion of the proceeds from $3.2 million comic book sold in 2014 to the Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation. Christopher Reeves played Superman in the 1978 film. He injured his spine which paralyzed him from the neck down. This organization is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding for innovative research.

Adam’s retail store, 2008 S. 314th St., is of the largest buyers of gaming and sports collectibles.

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