This January a CGC-graded copy of Superman #1 was sold for a record $5.2 million. The sale was kept private until now. While both the seller and the buyer wish to remain anonymous, the blockbuster sale has done what Superman does best and caused record-breaking ripples in the comic book world, something the character has been doing since 1938.
This copy of Superman #1 comes from the Edgar Church/Mile High Collection, the foremost authority in classic comic book pricing and inventory, and graded by CGC (Certified Guaranty Company) with a universal rating of 8.0. CGC is another major player in merchandise grading and their Golden Age comics are their most coveted. Every graded comic or trading card has a barcode and identification number. According to the CGC cache, they only have four other grades higher than the average of 6.0 and Superman #1 is extremely hard to find in such a condition.
The sale of this 1939 comic book broke several records with its $5.2 million sales. Action Comics #1 had previously sold for $3.25 million with a grade of 8.5, and that was Superman’s debut. Other notable superheroes and their debut Golden Age issues that have sold are Captain America #1 with a grade of 9.4 for $3.12 million, Batman #1 with a grade of 9.4 for $2.22 million, and even Marvel Comics #1 with a grade of 9.2 for $2.4 million. All of which were graded by CGC.
But the most recent comic book sale that rocked the world was Amazing Fantasy #15 for $3.6 million with a 9.6 CGC grade. This sale took place in September. The debut of Spider-Man would remain one of the highest valued comic books for about three months until Superman #1 sold at $5.2 million. This sale has been described by CGC as “putting the Man of Steel back on top of the comic book world.”
Action Comics #1 debuted Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938, setting in motion a series of events in the comic book world that we still carry out today with superhero stories as we know it. The newsstands saw sold-out copies and demand for this new type of story and character. This led DC, Siegel, and Shuster to give Superman his own series in the summer of the next year. This also led to other heroes such as Batman and Wonder Woman getting their own centric series. Marvel would also follow suit with their Captain America series. These are the books that made up the comic section of WWII newsstands.
This sale comes at a time when Golden Age comics are starting to break the $1 million mark. Within the past year, eight comics have sold for at least that amount. This sale of Superman #1 shows that there really is no hero like Superman.