Would you pay $3,200,000 for a comic book?
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?