In the 1950s the comics industry went through many changes, which included revamping superhero characters for a new generation of readers and adhering to the new Comics Code Authority’s approval. At DC, the pivotal book that began the next phase in comics (the Silver Age) was Showcase #4.

A milestone book, Showcase #4 introduced readers to Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash. Barry had all the speed of his predecessor Jay Garrick, but in a sleeker costume and more complex background. In the years since, Barry has been a pivotal member of the Justice League of America, his abilities have grown, his personal life has expanded, and 65 years later, he’s still one of DC’s most popular characters.

When Barry and Iris West were introduced in September-October 1956, Showcase #4 carried a cover price of 10¢. When Robert M. Overstreet published the first Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide in 1970, a Near Mint copy of Flash’s debut was valued at $12. Ten years later it had run a significant race to $875.

For the Guide #20 in 1990 when the Flash was starring in his own TV show, Showcase #4 had broken the four-figure plane at $3,000. After another decade in Guide #30, Barry’s first appearance had grown to more than eight times that value at $25,000.

A little over a decade ago in 2010’s Guide #40, the Silver Age key had more than doubled to $54,000. Five years later when the new Flash TV show had been on the air for a year, it raced to $80,000. Since then, The Flash TV show has aired eight seasons, Barry starred in a Justice League movie, and is poised to star in his own movie in 2023. In 2021’s Guide #51, Robert M. Overstreet priced a Near Mint copy at $175,000.