The highly successful “comic book” movies introduced the characters of the golden age of comic books to a new generation, as well as reinvigorating the memories of those who actually remember running out to the store to buy these with books with the $0.25 allowance. This list shows what the original comics of the older generation are worth now, and might make you squirm realizing that you probably had some of these yourself. Ouch!
13. Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #1: $116,000
Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, sometimes abbreviated WDC or WDC&S, is an anthology comic book series that has an assortment of Disney characters. The precursor to WDC was Mickey Mouse Magazine, published in several incarnations from 1933 to 1940. By the mid-1950s the title was the best selling comic book in the United States, with a monthly circulation of over three million. The first edition of this title was sold Nov 12, 2008 at a Heritage sale for over $116,000.
12. X-Men #1: $116,150
The first edition and original copy of X-Men #1 joined the 100K Club in 2004 with its first sale at this level. This issue featured one of the first hits from the powerhouse pairing of Stan Lee (writing) and art by Jack Kirby (art) that defined many of the first titles from then-fledgling Marvel Comics. Creator Stan Lee devised the series title after Marvel publisher Martin Goodman turned down the initial name, “The Merry Mutants”, stating that readers wouldn’t know what a “mutant” was.
11. Incredible Hulk #1: $125,475
In addition to the origin and first appearance of the Hulk (who was gray in this first issue before becoming green in issue #2), this landmark book has the key first appearances of Rick Jones, Betty Ross, and Thunderbolt Ross. Jack Kirby provided the cover art. The Marvel line as we know it today had not been around very long when this superhero series appeared in mid-1962. The Fantastic Four was the first Marvel superhero title and the only series to precede The Hulk. FF was on its fourth issue when the Hulk was first published. Spider-Man and Thor would follow Hulk by the end of 1962.
10. More Fun #52: $207,000
More Fun was a title from DC comics, with issue #52 published in 1940. It is a highly sought after comic by serious collectors because it is the first appearance of The Spectre, with only a reported 5 copies in existence (in decent condition), earning it one of the highest “rare” ratings. The eerie, ultra-powerful Spectre, in addition to starring in this series, was so popular that he was made a charter member of the Justice Society in All-Star Comics. He went on to have his own title in the 1960s, a memorable run in Adventure Comics in the 1970s, and his own series in the 1980s and once more in the 1990s. This copy is from the collection of a comic-loving Nebraska youngster named Lamont Larson, which has gained fame since being “discovered”.
9. Amazing Fantasy #15: $210,000
Published in 1963 by Marvel comics, this was the first appearance of Spider-Man and is among the most coveted comic books from the 1960s. Two copies have recently sold for more than $200,000 including the legendary White Mountain copy, which sold at ComicLink.com for a Silver Age record $226,000. The White Mountain copy has set a Silver Age price records several times – including being the first Silver Age Marvel Comic to break the $10,000 barrier when it was first brought to the market by Jerry Weist in 1990.
8. Fantastic Four #1: $250,000
Published by Marvel comics in 1961, Fantastic Four #1 heralded the start of the so-called “Marvel Age” of comics, a period of creative dominance for Marvel that lasted throughout the decade of the 1960s. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee really changed the landscape with the ongoing story of four adventurers, Reed Richards, Johnny Storm, Sue Storm and Ben Grimm, transformed in a cosmic ray storm to Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, The Invisible Girl and The Thing.
7. Superman #1: $250,000
The most famous superhero there is, Superman was created by a couple of kids from Canada and turned into an empire. The first edition featured how the son of Jorel came to earth and how he came to have his powers. He could not yet fly in this edition, but he was able to outrun a speeding train and had the strength of many men. As he grew, and as the series evolved, Clark Kent truly became a Superman.
6. Captain America #1: $260,000
The ultimate defender of freedom makes his first appearance by landing a right hook on Hitler’s jaw on the cover of the first issue. This was perfect for 1941 when the series was first published. Indeed, recognizing that not all heroes have to be “super”, Captain America was the ideal hero for the regular folk during World War II. And recognizing that it takes a villain to make the hero, the writers had no shortage of real life bad guys to give as the ultimate WWII villains. Not only did he take on Der Fuehrer, but Hitler’s protege, the dastardly Red Skull, also debuts in this famous first issue. Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Cap is far and away the most recognizable of the patriotic superheroes and is still fighting battles on a monthly basis in Marvel comics to this day.
5. Batman #1: $280,000
The first Batman was a dark hero, reminiscent of the recent Dark Knight movie. Batman was a bitter, hard hero with little empathy, and after losing his parents to killers, he had no hesitation in delivering the same fate to criminals that he caught up with. Appropriately named as a creature of the night, Bruce Wayne would dawn his costume and venture into the darkness to exact his revenge and rid society of criminals. From the first appearance in Detective Comics, Batman proved to be so popular that a self-titled ongoing comic book series began publication in the spring of 1940.
4. Flash Comics #1: $350,000
Flash Comics #1, published by DC in 1940, featured the origins and first appearances of the Flash, Hawkman, Shiera Sanders, the Whip, and Johnny Thunder. Flash Comics was an anthology comic book published by All-American Publications and later National Periodicals (DC Comics). The title ran for 104 issues between January 1940 to February 1949. Towards the end of the 1940s, superhero comics fell out of favor and the All-American line of comics were all cancelled. Flash Comics was cancelled in 1949 with issue #104. When DC Comics gave the Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen, his own comic book series, The Flash, the series received the old numbering of Flash Comics starting at issue #105.
3. Marvel Comics #1: $350,000
Published in 1939 by Timely Comics, this book marks the beginning of the universe that would later come to dominate the American superhero comic book landscape. Marvel Comics #1 introduced the Human Torch and the Sub Mariner. The third most valuable comic, according to the Overstreet Price Guide, the so-called “Pay Copy” is the current verified record holder for an individual comic book sale. Known as the “Pay Copy” because it was used by the original publisher to take notes on who should receive what money for work on the book, the book sold to coin dealer Jay Parrino for $350,000 in the early part of this decade.
2. Detective Comics #27: $1,075,000
This comic set a new record on Feb 26, 2010, beating the record set only days earlier by the first edition of Superman. While the Superman was the first comic to sell for a landmark $1 million, Batman kicked Supe’s butt at $1.075 million. Published by DC Comics in 1939, this issue is famous for the first appearance of Batman. There are only between 100 and 200 copies of Detective Comics No. 27 in existence, and perhaps none in such “very fine” condition. Robin was introduced in Detective Comics #38 in 1940.
1. Action Comics #1: $1,500,000
This comic – the first appearance of Superman – set the record at $1 million. Then three days later was beaten (see #1). Published in 1938 by DC Comics, this comic featured the first appearance of Superman, the first superhero. The finest copy of this book from the famous Mile High/Edgar Church collection (a hoard of pristine comics amassed by a man named Edgar Church and discovered by Colorado’s Mile High comics) has attained legendary status. It’s believed only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 exist.
Note: This list is based on actual market sales, and will differ from the Overstreet Price Guide–the industry standard for pricing and valuation.