Debatable Graded Books: You Be the Judge… 

A few months ago there was debate on the Marvel Premiere #15 CGC graded book. Alana presents Graded Books that are, dare we say, debatable.

Every once in awhile you run across a graded book that blows your mind on how it gets that grade hi or low. Doesn’t matter if it’s CGC, PGX, or CBCS I have seen graded books from all of the big 3 that will make you scratch your head. Today’s book a CGC SS 9.8 foil Batman #1 con Jim Lee cover is this a 9.8 you be the judge……………

In my opinion I count 17 defects on the left side of the book alone. The fingerprint is enough to knock it out of 9.8 range by itself. Goes to show you just never know even if a book is graded by a third party.


About Anthony

Collector of comics for 30 years.
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33 Responses to Debatable Graded Books: You Be the Judge… 

  1. William Zwissler says:

    These foil covers from the last year are very difficult to scan and have them look good. In fact, check eBay- most sellers that normally scan are posting pics instead, and they look much better. I have several myself, and holding them in hand they are fine, but when you scan them the light must reflect between the plastic, the inner well, and the foil cover to create a big mess. Both the CGC and the CBCS have the same issue, which makes me think it is not the book, but the holders.

    • agentpoyo says:

      People still use scanners? That’s so.. early 2000’s..

      But I agree, it does appear the book was scanned and the imperfections on the spine could be the result how the light reflects back from the foil cover and through the holder.

      • Adam Lebednik says:

        I def use a scanner. It does depth great and makes perfect pics. HP8300 iirc. Legal size so I can do 1 pass and have the whole slab in it.

      • agentpoyo says:

        I mean… I use a scanner to make copies on a copier but to make pictures, just seems out of date to me and it doesn’t bring out the best quality that actual cameras can take.

  2. Vann says:

    Christ almighty…..

  3. Georges Pearson says:


  4. Cyber Golem says:

    What Tha $#^(

  5. JayClue says:

    9.8 out of what…15?

  6. J.Dan Patane says:

    Looking at that cover makes me very upset.
    I submitted a WW cover that, IMO and the opinion of a third party that presses books, had a real chance at a 9.8. Well, that book was rejected by CGC.

    Yet this cover, with the multiple glaring and obvious dings, spine dents. And scratches gets a 9.8? I know grading can be a bit subjective but come on.

  7. Bobby Mansfield says:

    I can’t see it being the holder. The bottom staple is partially pulled out!

  8. OC_Guy says:

    “IF” all those defects are on the book and not on the case, such as the fingerprint that’s a bit over-graded…Looks more like a 9.2..”BUT if some of them are on the case, who knows….Also if that is Jim Lee’s fingerprint does that increase the value of the book?

  9. Alana says:

    I have the Harley #1 Con foil and I’ll tell you these foil covers are nightmares everyone I’ve seen has a spine tic or two including mine. It looks good from afar but a spine tic is a spine tic.

  10. loganfield says:

    Do any of the grading companies show you who grades your book? Like are the grader notes tagged with an employee.

    • Anthony says:

      No. They don’t. However we do have some graders who read the site regularly and I would love for one to make a comment on something like this. Is it as someone said just the reflection? I do see what appears to be spine creases, thumb prints, and a really weak bottom staple that looks like it will pop.

  11. Ric Lancaster says:

    It must have made a lovely pillow for the grader the night before he finished that bottle of Gin !

  12. Alana says:

    I’m sending some books off to be graded this weekend, went through half the collection so far and have about 300 books that I want to send to be graded lol. It’s always a surprise to see what condition my books are in looks like both my 1st and 2nd print ASM #361 should come back 9.8

  13. Dan Piercy says:

    These foil covers all looked whacked right out of the gate. There are countless examples of these foil 9.8 head scratchers that have been scrutinized the last 11 months. Couple this w/the fact that reflective surface seems to accentuate the flaws.

  14. JJ says:

    As someone who has and does sub thousands of books a year here is my take:
    First, the scanner causes many of the issues viewed in the picture. The white particles all over the cover are likely on the case or on the scanner bed.
    The color for the book has been adjusted to show the book better but lightens the color of the CGC label which is not a faded yellow.
    The scanner also takes any tiny waves or ripples on the foils and refracts the light producing what looks like spine tics that break color, they don’t.
    And quickly as I have to run, the big white spine tick at the lower spine is not there, zoom in and it spreads off the book into the case.
    Fingerprint? No idea, again, could be case or could be book, but hopefully that helps on some particulars with this specific book.

  15. Bradley Bradley says:

    As other people have mentioned, these silver foil covers are basically mirrors, which cause problems with the light reflecting thru (and picking up every imperfection on) both the inner well and the outer holder,

    At CGC there have been several instances of customers sending copies in for a review, doubting the grade. Once the book is taken out of the holder, it looks fine. And once the owners see a photo of the book without the light going thru the 2 layers of plastic, they’ve agreed that the book looks exponentially better. It’s just a light problem that is unavoidable when you’re dealing with these super-reflective covers.

  16. Rob says:

    Fake news 🙂

  17. Lonzilla says:

    That one must have been graded for an employee. Wow!

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