Marvel Comics #1 was published in 1939 and features characters such as The Human Torch, The Angel, Submariner, and Masked Raider.
“That’s the beginning. Without it, there would be no Marvel Universe, no Captain America punching Hitler, no Marvel movies, no Spider-Man, not even current superhero mythology such as we know her,” says ComicConnect, the online marketplace that hosted the auction.
The comic is a “paid copy”, which means it includes the publisher’s handwritten notes about the payments due to the artists. Publisher Lloyd Jacquet used a pencil to record amounts owed to artists like Frank Paul, who worked on the cover. These notations add unique historical value to the comic.
Although the comic is over 80 years old, it’s still in “incredible, fresh-on-the-newsstand condition,” ComicConnect says.
Historical editions of Marvel Comics have fetched eye-watering sums at auction, especially when they feature iconic characters like Spider-Man or Captain America. Earlier this year, a single page of a comic showing Spider-Man donning his all-black suit for the first time sold for $3.36 million.
Another copy of Marvel Comics #1, though lacking the ratings that make the “paid copy” so valuable, sold for $1.26 million in 2019. At the time, the sale was the highest ever. paid for a Marvel comic book, according to the auctioneer, Heritage Auctions. In 2021, that record was apparently broken when Heritage Auctions sold another Marvel comic, this one featuring Spider-Man’s origin, for $3.6 million.