Gotta Collect ‘Em All: The Most Expensive Comic Books
Gone is the time when comic books were just a children’s hobby and “real” collectors sought postage stamps, books, and baseball cards. You just need to check the humongous box office figures of the latest Marvel and DC movies to see that everyone enjoys superhero stories.
Comic book collecting gained traction in the 60s when conventions were popping up everywhere, and people met to discuss their favorite comics and talk to the creators. Once the market went mainstream in the 80s, collectors turned to the rare issues of the Golden Age, when most of the famous superheroes were created.
Nowadays, with the aid of buyer’s guides, niche auction sites, and the CGC (Certified Guaranty Company) comic book grading service, people can properly evaluate their comics and know how much they’re worth.
Could you be sitting on a rare comic issue? Read on to see the most expensive comic books ever sold.
1. Captain America Comics #1
The first issue of Captain America Comics was published in 1941 and quickly became a sensation. The cover showed Captain America punching Hitler in the face, which led to the Jewish creators Jack Kirby and Joe Simon to receive death threats because of it!
In 2011, a copy in near mint condition was sold for $343,057 via the ComicConnect auction website. It was part of the Atlantic City collection, a group of comic books bought in the 30s and 40s and kept in really good condition.
Marvel Masterworks Golden Age: Captain America Comics Vol. 1 (1941) pic.twitter.com/Y8lp2QC2qt
— katherine (@spideywoman_) May 1, 2016
2. All American Comics #16
All American Comics #16 is another rare find as it’s the first comic book to feature the Green Lantern. A young engineer called Alan Scott survives a train explosion and finds a mystical Chinese green lamp that gives him superpowers.
Although it was originally sold for $0.10, it’s estimated that one copy can sell for $725,000 nowadays. It was published in 1940 and some experts believe there are now only 10 to 20 copies in the world.
Before the Corps, there was Alan Scott! Revisit the first appearance of the Golden Age Green Lantern in ALL-AMERICAN COMICS #16 in this new to digital collection: https://t.co/8GdaFxKOCv pic.twitter.com/YRBYOllCBy
— DC (@DCComics) February 4, 2018
3. Incredible Hulk #1
As you may have guessed, the first issue of Incredible Hulk was the first time the destructible green man appeared in a comic book. Hulk was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and loosely inspired by story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It depicts Dr. Bruce Banner, who gets caught in a nuclear bomb explosion that severely alters his physiology. When he gets angry, he transforms into a massive green beast.
First published in 1962, this issue sold for $0.12, but in 2016, the auction house ComicConnect sold a copy for a staggering $375,000. The same copy had been sold in 2014 for $326,000, which then was considered a record-breaking figure.