Would you pay $3,200,000 for a comic book? The June 1938 cover of Action Comics, featuring the first appearance of Superman (AP photos)
Would you pay $3,200,000 for a comic book?
Lexile

A rare, nearly flawless copy of the first edition of a Superman comic book has sold for a super-powered price, $3.2 million.

New York comics dealers Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo said they submitted Sunday's record-setting bid in the eBay auction for Action Comics No. 1, the 1938 book in which the superhero first appeared. It's believed to be the highest price ever paid for a comic book, surpassing $2.1 million for a similarly high-quality copy of the same book in 2011.

"It's hard to believe that a kid's 10-cent comic could be worth that much money, but it is Superman. That's an iconic thing," Fishler said. "It's the first time anybody saw what a superhero was like."

EBay confirmed the price but said it couldn't yet disclose the buyer's name.

Created by Cleveland teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Action Comics No. 1 introduces the Man of Steel's Kryptonian backstory, earthly role as reporter Clark Kent and identity as a champion of the oppressed.

About 100 to 150 copies are believed to exist, only a handful of them in top condition. The book that was sold Sunday got a 9.0 on a 10-point scale used to measure vintage comic books' condition.

It was kept for decades in a cedar chest in the West Virginia mountains by a man who had bought it off a newsstand, seller Darren Adams told The Washington Post. Adams is a Washington-based collectibles dealer.

After the original owner died, a collector bought it from his estate and built a similar cedar chest to store it, Adams told the Post.

Fishler and Zurzolo own ComicConnect.com, which auctioned the 2011 record-setter and a slightly less well-preserved Action Comics No. 1 for more than $1 million in 2010. The rising prices have been fueled by superhero movies and growing interest in comic books as investments "an alternative place to put money that has a cool factor to it," Fishler said.

Some of the proceeds will go to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, in recognition of the late "Superman" movie star.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is the condition of the comic book important?

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COMMENTS (25)
  • AllisonLogan1
    8/28/2014 - 08:05 p.m.

    To me I think it is ridiculous for someone to pay 3,200,000 for a comic book. A plus about this article is that some of the money is going to a good foundation. A bad thing about this is that someone would pay and be broke just to get one comic book. Just someone paying 3,200,000 is really amazing to me.

  • devan4223
    9/02/2014 - 09:40 a.m.

    If I had the money i would buy it. I would wait a couple more decades and sell it for even more money and i like superman so i would also read the comic.

  • LoganW-Wit
    9/02/2014 - 10:42 a.m.

    For starters i think $15 for a comic is a lot. Also I'm as broke as you can be. I would never buy a comic for $3,200,000. I would sell a comic for that much but not buy it. If the comic is damaged it wouldn't be worth as much.

  • cshields-Cla
    9/04/2014 - 11:59 a.m.

    to a comic book fan this is like winning the lottery. this is actually not unreasonable because there are not that many so having one would make you the king.

  • aknight-Cla
    9/04/2014 - 12:02 p.m.

    I think that paying 3,200,000 for a comic book is insane. Paying that much money is ridiculous and I know that the comic is a classic and all but come on.

  • 3HeidiS
    9/07/2014 - 01:37 p.m.

    Opinion- I think that $3,200,000 is reasonable for this comic book. It was in top condition, making it worth more because torn pages would bring down the value. Also it was a first addition from 1938, "A rare, nearly flawless copy of the first edition of a Superman comic book...Comics No. 1, the 1938 book in which the superhero first appeared. ". Superman was one of the first, and biggest superheros' to appear and was iconic to many kids at this time. Finally the price has gone up because it is and antique ( over 20 years old) , and all prices have gone up since 1938,""It's hard to believe that a kid's 10-cent comic could be worth that much money, but it is Superman. That's an iconic thing," Fishler said." It's very rare to come across 10 cent comic books this day in age. All in all i think the price was reasonable.

  • aubrayb-Koc
    9/07/2014 - 10:29 p.m.

    I know I would buy this comic book! And it is in amazing condition and is an awesome book! I would give this book in its own room and it would be put in a glass case. No one would be aloud to touch.

  • Bohdanwa-Fre
    9/09/2014 - 01:16 p.m.

    The condition of a comic is important because if you keep it in rough condition nobody would want to buy it. Keep it in good condition you could get a profit. So my advice is if you want to make big bucks tuck it away somewhere until you are ready to sell it.

  • meredithkirbo
    10/09/2014 - 12:51 p.m.

    The condition of the comic book is really important because people find them important. Tons of comic book collectors are rich because the way they sell the books in really good Condition they get really good money. The comic books that are in bad shape barely get any money.

  • Hannahr-Lam
    10/22/2014 - 10:46 a.m.

    Wait..What? $3.2 million dollars on a comic book? This better be one good comic if its price is out of this world. I really believe spending your money on this type of thing is not worth your time. Yes, it is the first we see of Superman and yes its in pristine condition, but really. If your that dedicated go ahead but spending money on that is totally worthless. If you're a hard worker struggling to pay you're bills, I really hope buying a comic book is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about money. What about bills? What about food? This can really give people hope, but unfortunately we all know that this is a unreasonable price that not a lot of people will be willing to pay. If you're some millionaire go ahead but I think I'll just save my money for something I really believe is worth the price.

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