Extremely Rare Copy Of ‘Action Comics’ #1 Auctions For $3.2 Million
An eBay auction for a so-called "pristine" copy of 1938's Action Comics #1 -- the issue in which Superman made his very first appearance -- ended Sunday afternoon, and the winning bidder snagged the issue for a cool $3.2 million. That's the most anyone has ever paid for a comic book, by a pretty wide margin. The previous record was $2.16 million, for a different copy of Action #1. Back in the day, creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were paid $130 the entire character.
The issue that garnered the $2 million bid (which was previously owned by actor Nicolas Cage) was rated 9.0 by the Certified Guaranty Company, but has pages that have yellowed just a bit. The one that drew the $3.2 million Sunday has white pages and is also rated 9.0.
Here's a description from seller Darren Adams' eBay auction page:
Compared to the other 9.0 that sold for $2.1 million several years ago, it has significant superior eye appeal, extremely vibrant colors and PERFECT WHITE PAGES. This means after 76 years the aging process has yet to begin. Truly this book is a museum piece.
In a video posted to the auction page, Adams describes just how the issue survived so well. The original buyer bought it off the newsstand and kept it in a cedar chest in his West Virginia home for decades thereafter, where it was virtually untouched. A dealer bought the issue from the original buyer in the early 1980s. It changed hands one more time, and was kept it in a bank vault for about 30 years.
Adams has promised to donate 1 percent of the proceeds of the sale of the comic (about $32,000) to the Chrisopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which funds research into cures for spinal cord injuries.