First comic book to feature Superman sells for record $6M at auction

According to Heritage Auctions, the copy of "Action Comics" No. 1 is one of just four known pedigreed copies in existence.
Action Comics No. 1 comic book featuring Superman's first appearance.
Posted at 12:16 PM, Apr 08, 2024

A comic book in which Superman made his first appearance has just sold at auction for a record-breaking amount.

A copy of the original "Action Comics" No. 1 from 1938 sold for $6 million, according to Heritage Auctions, making it the most expensive comic of all time. The auction house called it "the most important comic ever published."

"Without Superman and Action Comics No. 1, who knows whether there ever would have been a Golden Age of comics — or if the medium would have become what it is today,” Heritage Auctions Vice President Barry Sandoval said in a statement.

Heritage Auctions / HA.com

Despite being released 86 years ago for just 10 cents, this particular copy of "Action Comics" No. 1 is still in relatively good shape. It was graded an 8.5/10 — or "Very Fine" — by the Certified Guaranty Company and according to Heritage, it is one of just four known pedigreed copies in existence out of the 200,000 that were originally printed.

Authored by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the three-page comic details Superman's origin story as a baby sent to Earth to escape the impending destruction of his home planet Krypton. It would go on to spawn a number of other comics, blockbuster movies, toys and more that helped make Superman one of the most recognizable figures in American pop culture.

According to CGC's list of the most expensive comics ever sold, this copy of "Action Comics" No. 1 surpassed another comic for the same hero — "Superman" No. 1 (1939) — that sold privately for $5.3 million in 2022. The previous world record holder before that was a nearly perfect copy of "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15, which debuted Spider-Man.