Spider-Man Dethrones Batman and Superman as World’s Most Valuable Comic

Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman have long reigned supreme as the most popular, and therefore valuable, superheroes. However, the DC titans usually sat above the webhead. In a Sept. 9 auction, Amazing Fantasy #15, this first appearance of Spider-Man sold for $3.6 million, shattering the record for the world’s most valuable comic.

Spider Man and X-Men Marvel vintage comic books
Spider-Man and X-Men Marvel comic books | Mario Tama/Getty Images

History of the world’s most valuable comic

Landmark events in comics are sure to drive the price up. Whether it’s the first appearance of a character, the first Black female superhero, or the first appearance as a team, firsts are sure to be valuable.

Action Comics #1 was the first appearance of Superman and the first comic to kickstart the superhero genre in the West.

With a hefty amount of firsts, Action Comics #1 held the title of the world’s most valuable comic for years. It even marked the first comic sold for over $1 million.

New Atlas noted that several other comics since then had broken the $1 million mark.

Marvel Comics #1…Detective Comics #27 (the first appearance of Batman), Batman #1 (Batman’s first stand-alone comic), and Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man) all having sold above that mark.”

And prices only skyrocketed. Action Comics #1 sold more than tripled its selling price in 2010.

 “Action Comics #1 set the most recent auction record price for a comic in 2014 at $3,207,852,” New Atlas reported.

Spider-Man’s first appearance is the world’s most valuable comic

Superman’s debut sold for $3.2 million, keeping it as the world’s most valuable comic. Batman #1  maintained second place with $2.2 million.

“The most expensive copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 [sold] at auction was the CGC Near Mint 9.4-graded copy Heritage sold in March 2020. The issue sold for $795,000,” New Atlas reported. “In March 2011, a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 sold privately for $1.1 million.”

Heritage Auctions has a history of selling high-priced and finest-condition comics, selling Batman #1 for $2.2 million and Detective Comics #27 for $1.5 million.

The Spider-Man sale destroyed those records by nearly $1.5 million.

Marvel Comics vs DC Comics

It is no secret that Marvel movies in the past decade have proved far more lucrative than DC. Despite this, DC enjoyed the luxury of Superman and Batman, ranking above even Marvel’s most popular web-slinger.

The trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home obliterated records for the most-viewed YouTube video in under 24 hours. Some think DC’s hold might be slipping now that Spider-Man claims the world’s most valuable comic.

However, that is not entirely true.

Total sales for Superman’s main series and Batman outpace Spider-Man’s lifetime comic sales by hundreds of millions. Marvel’s second best-selling series, X-Men, is more than doubled by Superman at around an estimated 600 million.

In the modern age, everything boils down to a title’s profit. Marvel established itself in film with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while DC maintained its status in comics.

Despite what fans think, though, there is no deep-seated animosity between Marvel and DC. The comic industry faces the same struggles and successes together.

Where Marvel breaks comic headlines, the news makes a positive impact on all comics.

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