12 Most Expensive Comic Books Ever Sold!
Believe it or not, the largest comic book market in the world is Japan.
The manga market in Japan was valued at $6 to $7 billion by 1995.
On the contrary comic book market in the United States and Canada was just $1.09 billion in 2016.
Similarly, the global market size in 2020 was $8.48 billion, a 12% hike from the year before.
If we were to look into the actual data from across the world, the popularity of the product is soaring. Cooperative efforts are being made between brands to deliver more engaging content.
Did you know the first comic to feature Captain America sold for a staggering $3.1 million at an auction in April 2022?
Because of easy availability, people today are drawn more toward digital content than printed ones.
And interestingly, this has increased the value of the printed issues of the comic books like never before.
Collectors from around the world potentially pay millions of dollars for the original issues.
What a time to be alive, right?
Let’s check out the 12 most expensive comic books ever sold.
|12. Fantastic Four #1||$300,000|
|11. Tales of Suspense #39||$375,000|
|10. Incredible Hulk #1||$490,000|
|9. X-Men #1||$492,937.50|
|8. Flash Comics #1||$1 Million|
|7. All Star Comics #8||$1 Million|
|6. Marvel Comics #1||$2.4 Million|
|5. Detective Comics #27||$1.74 Million|
|4. Batman #1||$2.2 Million|
|3. Captain America Comics #1||$3.1 Million|
|2. Action Comics #1||$3.18 Million|
|1. Amazing Fantasy #15||$3.6 Million|
Most Expensive Comic Books
# 12 Fantastic Four #1
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and published under Marvel Comics in 1961, Fantastic Four is one of the most important comic books on the list.
This particular issue started the Marvel Age of comics.
It features the first appearance of Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, the Thing, and the Invisible Girl as they fight the Mole Man.
One of the most expensive comic books was sold for a whopping $300,000 in 2011.
#11 Tales of Suspense #39
Yet another creation of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Tales of Suspense #39 is one of the most important comics in history.
This introduced the mighty Iron Man to the world.
Similarly, it features the first appearance of Wong Chu and the death of Professor Yinsen.
Maybe because of the massive popularity of MCU’s Iron Man movie that starred Robert Downey Jr., the comic book sold for a massive $375,000 in 2012.
#10 Incredible Hulk #1
One of the most well-known Marvel characters, Hulk, made his first appearance with the release of the first volume of Incredible Hulk.
Did you know Hulk was actually grey in his first appearance?
The comic debuted shortly after the Fantastic Four in 1962.
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, this comic features several characters, including Ross, Betty Ross, Rick Jones, and General Thunderbolt, in addition to Hulk himself.
A rare copy of the comic was bought by a private collector for $490,000.
An auction site that handled the sale and Comic Connect said it was the most expensive Hulk #1 ever sold.
Before this, one of the highest grade copies was sold for $336,000 in November 2018.
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#9 X-Men #1
X-Men is, without a doubt, one of the most successful comic book issues of all time.
The first issue of the X-Men series was published under Marvel Comics in 1963.
X-Man made his first appearance with this issue.
Similarly, it introduces mutants like Cyclops, Beast, and Magneto as an offshoot race of humans and X-Men’s mission to protect humanity from evil mutants.
The first issue of the X-Men series sold in 2012 for a staggering $492,937.50.
#8 Flash Comics #1
Another Golden Age superhero milestone, Flash Comics #1, brought us the first appearance of the original Flash, Jay Garrick.
It was published by All-American Publications and later by now DC Comics.
Along with Flash, the comic also features the first appearances of Hawkman (Carter Hall), Hawkgirl, and Black Canary.
A crazy bunch of first appearances added with only 48 unrestored copies in the world; this comic is a pure treasure.
In 2010, it sold for $450,000, making it the second-largest amount of any comic book ever.
However, the Pedigree copy graded NM+ 9.6 sold for $1 million, which is its highest recorded sale.
The comic is so legendary that a book graded PR 0.5 (Poor), basically, a book in good enough condition to grade fetched $15,000 in 2018.
Similarly, the same year a mid-grade copy FN 6.0 pulled a whopping $120,000.
#7 All-Star Comics #8
A comic book from modern-day DC Comics All Star Comics #8 features the first appearance of Wonder Woman.
It is an eight-page story written by Charles Moulton (real name William Moulton Marston) with art by H.G Peter.
The issue was a massive success and generated enough positive response that Wonder Woman was awarded the lead feature in the anthology title starting from issue #1.
Similarly, it inducted Starman and Doctor Mid-Nite as members of the Justice Society.
Even though the issue focuses more on the origin of Wonder Woman, it also focuses on the Justice Society of America.
The copy of the issue listed on eBay was sold for $936,223 in 2017, making it one of the most expensive comic book sales.
#6 Marvel Comics #1
If you happen to have a time machine, take a trip to 1939 and buy Marvel Comics #1.
In a recent auction, an initial 10 Cent investment turned into a staggering $2.4 million.
Yes, Heritage Auction sold an extremely rare copy of Marvel Comics #1 for $2.4 million.
Also known as a “pay copy,” this version that kicked the world of the Marvel universe is further treasured.
It also includes a handwritten note from the publisher about how much its writers and artists were paid.
This particular issue features the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner.
Similarly, the cover also teases the insertion of Masked Raider and The Angel, two Marvel characters we don’t expect to see anytime soon.
If you think your grandpa might have a copy lying around in his attic, even a regular one, go find it because it will make you a millionaire.
A traditional copy of Marvel Comics #1 sold for $1.26 million in 2019, a record at the time.
#5 Detective Comics #27
Even though it is not the first of the Detective Comics series, the issue is considered groundbreaking as the first appearance of Batman.
Considered one of the most valuable and important first appearance debuts from DC Comics, the issue is cited to be exceptional to find in mint condition in comic book collecting.
It was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane and published in 1939 by National Press.
It was the most expensive comic book ever sold in 2010, with a price of $1.075 million.
Similarly, in 2020 a CGC 7.0 grade sold for $1.5 million.
The first appearance of Batman achieved new heights in Goldin Auctions on May 21, 2022.
It was sold for a staggering $1.74 million.
With the sale, it now holds the record for the sixth CGC-certified comic book to sell for over $1 million.
#4 Batman #1
Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939.
In 1940, with the release of Batman #1, Bob Kane and Bill Finger introduced new characters into Batman’s group, most notably Catwoman and Batman’s rival, the Joker.
Batman #1 is one of the rarest comics on the planet, and finding one even in not-so-good condition can make you an instant millionaire.
In 2013, one of the copies sold for more than half a million dollars, making it one of the most expensive comic books in the world.
However, it has since come a long way from that point.
In January 2021, a near-mint copy from 1940 sold at Heritage Auctions in Dallas for $2.22 million, including buyer’s premium.
#3 Captain America Comics #1
An American comic book published by Marvel Comics and created by cartoonist Joe Simon and Jack Kirby was released in March 1940.
It sold nearly one million copies when it was released.
Along with Captain America, it also featured his sidekick Bucky.
It was released in 1940, a full year before the Pearl Harbor attack, and the cover features the protagonist punching Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
In April 2022, a near-mint Captain America Comics #1 sold for just over $3.1 million, including buyer’s premium.
The comic is sold as part of Heritage Auctions comics and comic art events.
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#2 Action Comics #1
The first issue of the Action Comics series was published in June 1938.
It features the first issue of several comic-book heroes, most notably Superman.
Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, 1938’s Action Comics #1 is considered one of the most important comics of all time.
Even though it is considered one of the most valuable comic books today, it sold for a mere $0.10, which is equivalent to about $3 in 2022. However, things have changed.
In January 2022, a copy of Action Comics #1 sold for $3.18 million.
The auction was handled by Heritage Auctions.
A collectible marketplace, Goldin purchased the copy on behalf of a private buyer.
#1 Amazing Fantasy #15
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Amazing Fantasy #15 introduced readers to wallflower Peter Parker who gains unbelievable powers but whose self-regard leads to the death of his beloved Uncle Ben.
In September 2021, the comic book featuring the first appearance of our beloved Spider-Man set the record for the most expensive comic ever sold.
The comic sold for $3.6 million as part of Heritage Auction’s Signature Comics & Comic Art auction.
Graded 9.6, it is one of only four copies known to exist in near-mint condition.
Back in 2000, Metropolis Comics in New York City purchased the only known CGC-graded 9.6 copy to market and sold it for $140,000.
Similarly, a near-mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 sold for $210,000 in an online auction on ComicLink.com in 2007.
The same site sold an NM- 9.2 for $460,000 in 2017.
Moreover, CGC-graded 9.6 copies sold to an unnamed collector for $1.1 million in 20011.