Superman sells for record-breaking $1,000,000

Million-dollar Action Comics #1, graded 8.0Last year an Action Comics #1, the first Superman comic, published June 1938, sold at an online auction for a cool $317,200. That was the most expensive copy ever sold up until that point.

Today another sale of Action Comics #1 has blown away all previous records not just for Superman, but for any comic ever sold. A private collector who wishes to remain anonymous bought it from another anonymous private collector for one million dollars.

The reason it went for so much is that it’s in Very Fine condition, an 8.0 on a ten point scale. The Action Comics #1 that sold last year was graded a 6.0. Out of the hundred #1s known, there are only 2 graded 8.0 and this is one of them, so it’s the rarest of the rare.

He said that the seller was a “well-known individual” in New York with a pedigree collection, and that the buyer was a known customer who had previously bought an Action Comics No 1.

“The opportunity to buy an un-restored, high-grade Action One comes along once every two decades. It’s certainly a milestone,” said [comic expert and inventor of the grading scale] Mr [Stephen] Fishler.

He added: “It is still a little stunning to see a comic book and $1m in the same sentence.”

So the buyer has at least a million and a half bucks in 2 editions of a single comic book. The mind boggles.

Mr. Fishler had actually sold this same copy to the current seller 15 years ago for $150,000. The astonishing appreciation is due to the sheer rarity of the issue, its condition and how infrequently the piece comes on the market.

As co-owner and COO, Vincent Zurzolo points out, “High-grade copies are rarely, rarely offered for sale. When they do come on the market, you can expect to see a big leap in value.”

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Comment by Gayle M
2010-02-23 12:22:04

The psychology of collectors mystifies me. I guess it’s an investment, like art…but it’s still weird. And I say this as someone who had an extensive collection of Silver Age DC comics in my childhood–they weren’t in pristine condition by any means. The pages were smudged with grimy kid fingers, and sometimes I’d cut out those ads for baby seahorses in the back. It just doesn’t make sense to me to buy something like this for a million bucks, keep it under glass or in a vault. It’s fetishism, I guess…or some decadent manifestation of Late Capitalism. Puzzling.

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Comment by livius drusus
2010-02-23 12:52:01

It certainly turned out to be a great investment for the seller. Fifteen years to convert $150,000 into $1,000,000… That beats the stock market like it owes you money. (Which it does.)

There’s something else afoot, though, of course. An emotional bond, a drive to own, the same impulse that drove Dietrich von Bothmer to spur the Met’s purchase of the Sarpedon krater — the first antique to sell for one million — despite the fact that it was very obviously stolen and he knew it.

Comment by izmir evden eve
2022-12-08 06:17:50

Thank you for great content. I look forward to the continuation.

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