Superman’s Debut, ‘Action Comics #1,’ Just Sold for Over $3 Million

Superman first debuted in Action Comics #1, one of the most important comic books ever printed. It kicked off the superhero genre, paving the way for the DC and Marvel Universes to take off. A copy of Action Comics #1 sold for over $3 million, making it one of the most valuable comics.

Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman in DC Comics
Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

How much did Action Comics #1 sell for?

Superman and DC Comics’ Action Comics #1 sold for $3.18 million. “The purchase was brokered by leading collectibles marketplace Goldin on behalf of a private client and now sits firmly as one of the three most valuable comic book purchases of all time,” Goldin reported.

The CGC graded the issue a jaw-dropping FN 6.0, making the copy sold one of the finest still existing today.

For those outside the comic-collecting community, ‘CGC’ stands for Certified Guaranty Company.

They grade rare comics on a 10 point scale. The scale ranges from 0.5, “A heavily defaced collectible with a number of major defects,” to a 10.0, where a comic is graded in perfect mint condition.

With Action Comics #1 and Superman first releasing in April 1938, finding issues in even moderate condition can prove challenging.

Goldin Founder and Executive Chairman Ken Goldin doesn’t ‘want to imagine a world without’ Action Comics #1

The sale comes as almost no surprise to Goldin Founder and Executive Chairman Ken Goldin. He said that without Clark Kent, Superman, and Action Comics #1, then the superhero genre might not exist at all.

“There really aren’t appropriate words to describe the impact that this item has had on the collectible industry, superhero comics, and pop culture in general,” Goldin said. “And we’re thrilled to win this auction on behalf of our client.”

DC Comics then quickly grew to become one of two powerhouses in the comic industry right alongside Marvel. The two have remained competitors through the years, with DC often coming out on top before the 2000s.

“Without Action Comics #1, there is no Superman. Without Superman, there are no DC and Marvel Universes,” Goldin continued. “Who would want to imagine a world without superheroes? Not me.”

Goldin has a high reputation in the collector community

Securing Superman first appearance for $3.18 million did not mark Goldin’s first major win. Over the years, Goldin has dealt in trading cards, memorabilia, and other collectibles besides comics.

“In 2021, the company did over $330 million in sales at auction,” they report.

The sale creeps Action Comics #1 back toward to top, after Spider-Man’s debut issue, Amazing Fantasy #15, became the highest-selling comic issue of all time. It sold for $3.6 million at an auction in 2021.

While Superman might have started the genre, even he has trouble competing with the popularity of Peter Parker and his spider bite powers. And with Spider-Man: No Way Home only pushing the popularity further, Superman, Batman, and the rest of DC have a bit of catching up to do.

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