Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but time is the enemy of comic books. That’s the reason the superhero’s first Action Comics appearance is fetching such a high price in an eBay auction thanks to its pristine condition.
Update: The winning bid on Action Comics #1 price on the comic was $3,207,852.00 by Metropolis/ComicConnect, which is the highest price ever paid for a comic book. Interestinly, owners Vincent Zurzolo and Stephen Fishler also sold Nicholas Cage’s Action Comics #1 in 2011 for $2.16 million.
Original Story: Action Comics #1 was originally published in 1938 and was the first appearance of Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. What makes this copy so special though? Like Superman himself, it is one of a kind.
According to CNET, there are approximately 50 unrestored original copies of Action Comics #1 in existence. This particular copy is in almost perfect condition with vibrant colors and white pages. Most comic pages from that era have long since yellowed.
The condition of Superman’s earned it a rating of 9.0 out of 10 by the Certified Guaranty Company, a comic book quality rating company. Only a handful of Action Comic #1 copies even managed to grade out at a rating higher than 6.0.
“The quality and preservation of this Action #1 is astounding,” Paul Litch, CGC Primary Grader, said in a statement on the eBay listing. “The book looks and feels like it just came off the newsstand. It is supple, the colors are deep and rich and the quality of the white pages is amazing for a comic that is 76 years old.”
How did the copy end up in such a condition? Seemingly, through blind luck according to the collectibles dealer Darren Adams, who is selling the comic. The original owner lived in a high altitude area of West Virginia and kept Superman’s debut locked away in a cedar chest. This was an ideal solution to preserve the comic because it was cool, dry, dark, and had little air.
The copy of Action Comics #1 was eventually discovered by a comic collector in the late 1970s or early 1980s. He sold it to a dealer who held on to the comic for about 30 years before selling it to Adams. Consider it the right place at the right time with interest high in the character thanks to the excitement around Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Bidding for the listing of Action Comics #1 is limited to only pre-qualified buyers. The opening bid of August 14 was $1 million. There are 11 bidders currently competing for the comic with the highest bid at $2,250,119.38 as of Saturday evening. The auction will end at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday night.
Actor Nicholas Cage sold his copy of Action Comics #1 for $2.16 million in an auction in 2011. It also received a 9.0 rating from CGC but had “cream-colored to off-white pages” versus the pristine white pages of the current listing.
[Image via eBay]