Vintage sports cards, video game cartridges, vintage comics, and other memorabilia seem like a very lucrative market, judging by the eye-watering sums surrounding most vintage collectibles—an issue of Action Comics #1 sold in 2014 on eBay for a record-setting $3.2 million. A few days ago, the original Superman comic just sold for a record-smashing price, narrowly beating the previous record.
In a story covered by The Hollywood Reporter, another copy of Action Comics #1 just sold for $3.25 million, narrowly breaking the previous record set by another copy of the same issue. The comic, published in 1938, is famous for introducing Superman to the world, marking the beginning of the superhero genre. And while thousands of copies were initially published, approximately 100 copies lived to today, in varying conditions. This particular copy is among the best-kept ones, found in mint condition, buried under a stack of 1930s movie magazines.
The seller of this copy bought it for $2 million in 2018 and sold it for a record-breaking $3.25 million, making a $1 million profit. ComicsConnect.com, a company that brokered the sale, didn’t disclose any information about the buyer, except that he/she is “relatively new to comic investing.” Whoever bought this comic paid only 10 cents for it in 1938. Its direct cultural impact created and franchised today’s superhero genre, which is a massive part of modern pop culture.
Cryptocurrencies are making a shift in today’s economics, spawning young millionaires almost daily, with very little stock-investing knowledge. However, these individuals grew up under the influence of pop culture franchises like Pokémon, Gundam, Marvel, and DC Universe, which generates value in collectible memorabilia – something they’re willing to invest in. Many young investors view comics and collectibles as investments rather than hobbies and entertainment. This particular copy of Action Comics #1 generated a $1 million profit in just three years. And with the increasing number of millionaires and the decreasing number of mint-preserved copies, its value is likely to increase further over the years.
Action Comics #1, cover-dated June 1938, was the first issue of the original comic book series Action Comics. It featured several comic-book heroes’ first appearance, including, as we previously said, Superman, explaining his origins, his arrival on Earth, and how he assumed his identity as Clark Kent. It’s widely regarded as the beginning of the superhero genre and the most valuable comic book issue in the world. Its previously most-valued copy graded 9.0 by Certifed Guaranty Company (CGC), a comic book grading company, was sold on eBay for $3.2 million, ranking as the most expensive single original copy until now. The record-smashing copy graded 8.5, as is stated on its see-through protective container, sold slightly over the previous record holder for $3.25 million.
And though its condition isn’t as pristine as the previous record holder’s, the increasing rarity of the issue and ever-growing interest indeed drove up the price of Action Comics #1 and will likely continue to do so. Not bad for a comic found under a pile of old movie magazines. This puts an entirely new perspective on cleaning dark and dusty, old magazine-filled attics. What used to be a tedious chore is now a treasure hunt.