It may be a bird or a plane, but it’s no longer pie in the sky. The first Superman comic book has fetched $1 million at auction.
ComicConnect.com sold an extremely rare, top-condition copy of the world’s most coveted comic book for exactly $1,000,000. That figure is more than three times higher than the prior record-holder, also set by ComicConnect.com.
That comic book, of course, is Action Comics #1, which marked the debut of Superman in 1938 and promptly changed the course of pop culture forever.
“It’s the Holy Grail of comic books,” says founder Stephen Fishler, one of the leading experts on collectible comics. “Before Action Comics #1, there was no such thing as a superhero or a man who could fly,” notes Fishler, who created the 10-point grading scale which today is used universally to evaluate the condition of comic books.
This particular copy has been in a private collection for more than 15 years, and it’s likely to disappear again once it’s been turned over to its new owner. However, ComicConnect.com will allow the media to view it briefly in its New York City showroom (873 Broadway, Suite 201).
Only about 100 copies Action Comics #1 remain in existence, and of those 100, only two have received a grading of 8.0 (Very Fine) or higher. This particular book is one of them, making it among the rarest of the rare.
Up until now, the record-holder was another Action Comics #1, this one with a grading of 6.0. It sold on ComicConnect.com for $317,200 in 2009.
According to the Overstreet Price Guide to Comic Books—the industry bible—Action Comics #1 is indisputably the highest-valued comic book of all time. In second place is Detective Comics #27, which marked the first appearance of Batman in 1939. An Action Comics #1 graded 8.0 or higher is priced about 25% higher than a comparable Detective Comics #27.
Until last week, some collectors weren’t aware of the existence of this million dollar copy. Fishler, however, knew it well, because 15 years ago, he sold it for $150,000.
In 1938, this very comic book sold for ten cents.