Marvel Comics #1 Sells for a Record $2.4 Million – Robb Report

Marvel comics apparently don’t need Superman to set sales records.

An anonymous collector has purchased a rare copy annotated by the publisher of Marvel Comics no. 1 for a whopping $2.4 million from ComicConnect late last week, reports The New York Times. The hammer price easily shattered the previous comic book record that sowed the first seeds of the Marvel Cinematic Universe over 80 years ago.

The 68-page booklet was released in October 1939 when the publisher was known by its first name, Timely Comics. Published more than 20 years before Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Avengers and X-Men in quick succession, the comic stars two characters likely unfamiliar to modern fans of the society: the original human torch. and Namor, the submariner. Despite its lack of star power, the book was a success. Punctual printing of 80,000 copies the first month and 800,000 the following month.

This example of Marvel Comics no. 1 is particularly noteworthy because it is a paid copy. The publisher used it to record payments due to artists who worked on the book, such as Frank R. Paul who drew the cover for $25 (just over $510 in today’s dollars) . It’s also in terrific condition despite being over 82 years old, having received a 9.2 rating from the Certified Guarantee Company. These two facts may explain why it easily beat the book’s previous record selling price. A 9.4 copy sold for $1.26 million in 2019.

As mind-boggling as $2.4 million might be, it’s far from the all-time high. This title currently belongs to a level 9.6 copy of amazing fantasy no. 15 — the comic book that introduced Spider-Man and his alter ego Peter Parker to the world — which sold for $3.6 million last September. The copy of Marvel Comics no. 1 ranks at number four, however, behind this book and two copies of Action comic no. 1which features the beginnings of Superman.

This example from Marvel Comics no. 1 is out of reach for most of us, but there are still ways to read it. You can buy a digital copy for $2, as Gizmodo points out, or play it through the company’s unlimited subscription service for $9.99 per month.

Both sound like a bargain to us.

Lisa M. Horner