Most of us have, at some point, had that conversation with our parents, flatmates, siblings or significant others. You know, the one that usually starts off with ‘Wow, you do have a lot of comics,’ eventually descends into an explanation of the difference between a comic and a graphic novel, and usually results in various protestations of fire hazards and health and safety before you’re ordered to get rid of them or find somewhere else to live.
It turns out though, beautifully, that those of us inclined toward the hoarding instinct may have been right all along. Keep those first-appearance issues, as a near-mint copy of Action Comics number one, the release that first introduced Superman to the world, has sold at auction for $1 million. One million dollars. That’s likely more than you or I will ever make in our lives, let alone be able to blow on a comic book. Fortunately, we don’t have a particular target for our envy, as it was sold by a private collector to a private buyer.
With that in mind, and if you find yourself in the position where putting something worth a couple of hundred thousand bucks on a Christmas list won’t find you mocked/ignored/divorced, here’s a few of the most valuable comic books around that would make excellent stocking fillers. If stockings were clear plastic cases with hard backs, of course.
Famously referred to as the Holy Grail of comic collections, Action Comics 1 first brought the Big Blue Boy Scout to the comic-buying public, and recently sold for a cool million at auction. As much as we love comics, we probably wouldn’t pay that much, but still.
Essentially the Adventure Comics story repackaged into Superman’s own titled series. This shares the top spot as the most valuable comic in existence, particularly if you’re lucky enough to have one with a high CGC grade.
Being the adventures of a man in leather and a boy in a gimp mask, the first issue of Detective Comics to introduce Batman is enduringly popular with fans of the character and the form generally. And bank managers.
The idea of an ordinary man chancing upon superpowers would later be inexorably repeated in popular media, but Green Lantern’s first issue remains one of the best examples of this trope. Estimated at over $100,000.
The introduction of Spider-Man is a seminal moment in comics, particularly the more modern era, and a high CGC-grade copy of this issue commands an awe-inspiring price of around $225,000 at auction.