Auction News

Superman debut comic could make millions at auction


Detail from the cover of Action Comics #1 showing Superman in action for the first time.
Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

A copy of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, could realise millions of dollars when it is sold at auction at the beginning of April.

The sellers, Heritage Auctions, describe the item as an example of “the most important, impactful comic book ever published.”

Superman was the work of Jerry Siegel (words) and Joe Shuster (artist). They told the story of a child set adrift from the destruction of his home planet who became the greatest hero of his adopted home. The experience of their parents – all Jewish refugees to the US – played a major role in this creation.

From this birth in 1938 Superman has become an enormous franchise across comics, movies, TV, games and more.

The issue in which he was born is rare and highly desired. And this could be one of the best copies ever made available at auction. “Stunningly rich” colours are described in the catalogue.

Action Comics #1 sold for 10 cents in 1938 and now may make millions of dollars. Image courtesy Heritage Auctions.

Professional graders have rated the issue as an 8.5, the highest grade among just four certified, pedigreed copies of this issue. In total there are probably fewer than 100 of this comic anywhere in the world.

Heritage, who have not yet published an opening price or estimate for the lot say: “It is also the finest copy we’ve ever had the opportunity to offer at auction and the highest-graded unrestored copy we’ve seen, surpassing the FN 6.0 Rocket copy that sold for $3.18 million in January 2022. “

The sale is sure to be an event in the comic collectors world.

And comics can make huge sums. A copy of the 1939 Superman #1 (the title to which he moved, the first single-character comic book) was sold for $5.3 million in a private sale in 2022.

Superman is currently the top of the tree for collector value (though Spiderman took his place briefly in 2021 with a $3.6 million sale). Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27 has twice realised around $1.75 million.

In 2004 the most expensive comic book sale on record was $350,000. Now, the records are easily 10-times that amount. Will this book take them to a new level? It’s perfectly possible.

Just Collecting