First Superman Comic Breaks $2 Million on eBay

Will Action Comics #1 set a new record for most expensive comic sold at auction?

Previous owner Darren Adams with Action Comics No. 1 ahead of the sale Photo: Courtesy eBay

Action Comics #1 (June 1938).
Photo: Via eBay.

With blockbuster superhero movies dominating cinemas this summer, it’s not surprising to see blockbuster comic book sales at auction. Darren Adams, owner of Pristine Comics, is auctioning off a rare copy of the first issue of Action Comics on eBay, and, with a current bid as of this writing of $2,002,038, it could break the record for the most expensive price ever paid for a comic book. Action Comics #1 was first printed in 1938 by DC Comics, and is famous for marking the first appearance of Superman. Another copy of the same comic set the current comic auction record of $2,161,000 in 2011. Adams’s auction ends August 24, leaving it plenty of time to surpass that record.

“It is referred to as the Holy Grail of comics and this is the finest graded copy to exist with perfect white pages,” writes Adams in the auction’s listing. “This is…. the Mona Lisa of comics and stands alone as the most valuable comic book ever printed.”

The online auction launched on August 14 with no reserve, at $.99, and has since soared up to over $2 million. The listing states that a portion of the proceeds will go towards the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Comics Guaranty LLC, or CGC, graded the comic at 9.0, sharing the highest grade for an Action Comics #1; it is one of only 50 to 100 copies known to exist.

The comic has a colorful history, and has achieved an almost mythic status in the comic book world. A copy was stolen from actor and comic collector Nicholas Cage in 2000 and was recovered in 2011; it was then sold at ComicConnect for the record $2.1 million. The best known copy is believed to belong to an unidentified collector, affectionately known in the comic book community as “The Dentist.” This copy was originally found by Mile High Comics owner, Chuck Rozanski, and was a part of the Edgar Church, or “Mile High” collection. Rozanski originally sold the comic in 1982 for $20,500 to another dealer who sold it to the unidentified collector in 1984 for $25,000, a large sum at that time. Former CGC president and primary grader, Steve Borock, who has seen the book, graded it a 9.4. The collector has refused to get the comic professionally graded.

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