WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A Texas auction has sold an extremely rare copy of the first-ever issue of Marvel Comics for a record-breaking $1.26 million.
- This is the highest price tag ever sold at a public auction for a Marvel-produced comic.
- The issue, Marvel Comics No. 1, was published in October 1939 and introduced fans to classic Marvel characters such as Angel and the Human Torch.
A Texas auction had a record-breaking sale on Thursday when an extremely rare and nearly perfect copy of the first-ever issue of the now-iconic Marvel Comics sold for $1.26 million.
This is the highest price tag ever sold at a public auction for a comic made by the company, according to a Heritage Auctions press release.
The issue, Marvel Comics No. 1, was published in October 1939 by Timely Comics, which later became Marvel in the 1960s.
Certified Guaranty Company gave the copy a rating of 9.4 out of 10 — the highest-ever rating of the said issue. The comic book site Newsarama stated that only two others have been rated 9.0 or above.
Heritage Auctions’ senior vice president, Ed Jaster, stated, “This is a historic copy of a historic comic book.”
It was the issue that introduced fans to classic Marvel characters such as Angel, the Human Torch, Ka-Zar, and the Sub-Mariner.
Jaster remarked, “Without question, this is the granddaddy of all Marvel Comics, without which we would not have the characters and stories we enjoy in today’s comics and feature films.”
The previous record-holder for the most expensive Marvel comic ever sold at a public auction was Amazing Fantasy No. 15. This issue featured the first appearance of Spider-Man. According to an Agence France-Presse report, it sold for $1.1 million in 2011.
This particular copy of Marvel Comics No. 1 was first bought by a mail carrier at a newsstand in Pennsylvania. The carrier reportedly had a habit of buying the first issue of comics and magazines. Over the next eight decades, the issue changed owners only a few times.
According to a CNN report, the price record only holds true for a Marvel-produced comic — the most expensive comic ever sold is still Action Comics No. 1, which went for more than $3.2 million in 2014. The issue featured the first-ever appearance of the iconic DC Comics character who is arguably the most popular superhero of all time: Superman.
Marvel was acquired by Disney for $4 billion in August 2009, which allowed the company to control more than 5,000 comic book characters. But Marvel has enjoyed tremendous success since then.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a multi-billion dollar franchise, with nearly two dozen movies under its belt.