Rare issues of comic books are collectible and can be worth millions, depending on their condition. The first issue of “Action Comics” featuring Superman sold in August 2014 for $3.2 million on eBay.
The Certified Collectibles Group (CGC) is the first, third-party, impartial comic grading company that has graded more than 2 million comic books on a 1-10 grading scale. CGC graders, professionals who review the comic book’s condition, look for any problems or damages. A grade of .5 indicates poor condition, while 10.0 indicates gem mint condition, according to CGC’s website.
Below is a compiled list of the 5 most valuable comics based on recorded sales. Theoretical values are provided by Nostomania, a collectibles evaluator.
5) “X-Men” #1
The first issue of “X-Men,” graded at 9.8, sold for $492,937. Auctioned in July 2012, the issue would soon celebrate its 50th anniversary as the comic book was originally published in September 1963. Nostomania’s estimates a 9.4 graded “X-Men” #1 would be worth $75,000 today.
4) “Batman” #1
“Batman” #1 sold for $567,625 in August 2013. Graded at a 9.2, the comic feature the first appearances of the Joker and Catwoman. Heritage Capital Corporation, who auctioned the issue, noted it as “one of the most desirable comic books [they have] ever auctioned.”
3) “Detective Comics” #27
Boasting the first appearance of Batman in May 1939, “Detective Comics” #27 sold for just over $1 million. The comic, graded at an 8.0 when it sold in February 2010, is estimated to be the second most valuable comic by Nostomania. Although there has yet to be a near-mint 9.4 rated comic for sale, the site estimates its worth at more than $4 million.
2) “Amazing Fantasy” #15
The first Spider-Man comic is the second most expensive comic, selling for $1.1 million on ComicConnect.com in March 2011. “Amazing Fantasy” #15 was published in August 1962 and is the most valuable Silver Age (1956-1969) comic book.
ComicConnect.com founder Stephen Fishler created the grading scale used by the CGC, which graded this copy at a 9.6. “People have often wondered how much this near-perfect condition book would sell for, and today we found out,” he said in a statement after the book’s final sale price was announced.
1) “Action Comics” #1
While in 2014 “Action Comics” #1 sold for more than $3 million, Nostomania estimates a near mint copy graded at 9.4 would be over $7 million. The graded 9.0 issue sold on eBay after garnering 48 bids. It is a pristine survivor from the Golden Age of comic books, an era that ran from 1938-1956.
The issue was sold by Darren Adams, owner of Pristine Comics in Washington. Adams said the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation benefited from the sale with 1 percent of the proceeds being donated in honor of “the most iconic Superman people can remember.” Published in June 1938, “Action Comics” #1 featured the first appearances of Superman, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane.