Action Comics No. 1 sale pushes Superman to new heights

Feb. 23, 2010 | 6:44 a.m.


Superman lifting a car? Not a big deal in today’s comics, but when it’s the Man of Steel lifting a car drawn on a “very fine”-rated 10-cent-issue of Action Comics No. 1, the deal is the biggest in comics history: $1 million.

Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the auction site, which mediated the deal, told the Associated Press: “It is still a little stunning to see ‘a comic book’ and ‘$1 million’ in the same sentence.”

The buyer remains anonymous, as often happens in these big money deals. The book doesn’t reach the record heights of Pablo Picasso’s Boy with a Pipe (The Young Apprentice), which sold for $104.1 million at auction in 2004, or a bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti that sold for $103.4 million (or $104.3 million,  depending on how you measure it), but comparatively, it’s still a wonder.

How have other high-priced comic books fared at auction, you ask?  Well, that’s what Hero Complex (and Comic Link, where we got some of the figures) is here for. Most of these books fetched high prices not only because of the issues, but the state that they’re in as appraised by the Certified Guaranty Company, or its CGC grade.


Amazing Fantasy #15
Sold for: $227,000

You-know-who swung into our lives courtesy of this issue, and this specific, near-mint book was part of the noted White Mountain pedigree collection.
Fantastic Four #1


Sold for: $52,000

The origin and first appearance of the first family of Marvel Comics takes place here, and Stan Lee and Jack Kirby launch the Silver Age. There are only five graded 8.5 by CGC.


All Star Comics #8
Sold for: $20,000

The introduction of Wonder Woman, the greatest female hero in comics (no debate! unless you want to leave a comment). This 1941 issue is one of only five examples of All Star Comics #8 assigned a grade as high as 7.5 by CGC.

Sensation Comics #1


Sold for: $25,250

The Amazon with the golden lasso made her first cover appearance in Sensation Comics #1. This particular book, at least as far as anyone knows, is one of only six in the world that could be assigned a grade as high as 8.5 by CGC.


Showcase #23
Sold for: $15,928

The Blackest Night saga is currently taking the comics world by storm, and this comic has the second appearance of the Silver Age Green Lantern at the center of it all, Hal Jordan. Apparently, this 1959 issue is extremely hard to come by, and it’s even tougher to find one that can match the 9.4 grading that was given.

— Jevon Phillips



First Superman comic scores a heroic price: $317,200

Forrest J. Ackerman, a life of pop-culture passion

Hollywood auction includes Ackerman treasures

Fantastic Four as your 401K

Joker creator Jerry Robinson reflects on Gotham’s golden age

 Marvel comics flashback: Check out these great 1940s house ads

The Superman problem: Can he still fly in 21st century?

The sordid secret of “Superman” co-creator Joe Shuster

Photos courtesy of Associated Press, Marvel Comics and DC Comics.


8 Responses to Action Comics No. 1 sale pushes Superman to new heights

  1. george drake says:

    does the 1965 or 1987 comic of superman lifting a car sell for anything?

  2. bob stanley says:

    Great article. There has been a lot of talk on any superman movie, I read something hilarious the other day an open letter to superman, that I'll think you'll enjoy

  3. robert says:

    i have a one ejemplar of superman no.1 of 1938 in english, in good conditions im from jalisco mexico
    this is a number 26 of 100 i want a imformation for your vent.

  4. […] Adams has shown an affinity for finding the plucky but pitch-perfect center of old-school roles; in the cartoonish ”Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” she brought a surprising amount of yearning emotion to the role of a simplified Amelia Earhart and she won rave reviews for the role of Giselle in “Enchanted” and it’s sly send-up of Disney princess traditions that date back to “Snow White,” which premiered just six months bfore Lois Lane hit newsstands in the pages of Action Comics No. 1. […]

  5. […] people who believed a foil-covered variant first edition of Solar was going to be worth as much as Action Comics #1. But it also brought in readers looking for something new. It […]

  6. juan gonzalez says:

    un amigo qiere que le inbestgue sobre el comics de superman 1 al de el le falta la pasta por eso se le dificulta saber pero la historia comiensa en ese libro ese es el numero 1 yese es el que alcanso el gran presio de venta quien me puede ayudar grasias

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