A nearly perfect copy of Action Comics No. 1—aka the debut of Superman—sold for a record-setting $3.2 million on eBay, another example of iconic comics selling for house-in-the-Hamptons amounts of cash.
The sale of the 1938 book, by Federal Way, Wash. comic book shop owner Darren Adams, handily topped the 2011 sale of an equally pristine copy of the volume for $2.16 million. The price sets a new benchmark for a comic book sale on eBay, and suggests stratospheric prices for the most coveted comics like Action Comics No. 1 and Detective Comics No. 27 (which marked Batman’s debut) aren’t returning to Earth anytime soon.
“It’s a historic moment that not only speaks to the greatness of Adams’ Action Comics No. 1, but also the overall health of the comic book market,” Harshen Patel, director of operations for the Certified Guaranty Company, which gave the comic a near-perfect grade of 9.0, said in a statement. “You see it with collectors enjoying record sales, with the performance of Guardians of the Galaxy at the box office, and with the attendance at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con this past week. It’s a dynamic time for the comic book industry and its future is very bright.”
Bidding on the comic, of which only 50 unrestored originals are known to exist, started at $1 million. Just 48 people placed bids. The name of the buyer has not yet been disclosed, but Adams said in a statement he is “proud to have owned the most valuable comic book in the world … working with eBay on this auction allowed me to share this rare treasure with their global community and ensure the next owner is just as passionate about its place in history.”
A portion of the proceeds from the auction are being donated to the Christopher Dana Reeve Foundation.