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)
  • bob1212
    10/27/2014 - 02:27 p.m.

    this article reminds me of the story i read in a magazine it sad that comics funny now i just remember that comic are funny and i thing that comics are for younger kids like 10 year old will have reading a comic book and because it is for younger kid they don't have the money.

  • eijara
    11/16/2014 - 05:45 p.m.

    I love reading, and I really appreciate when someone recommends me a good book, but pay $3,200,000 for a book its too much, but if youre really superman comic fan and if want to spend that amount of money in a comic, its your decision.
    If we talk about books, in my country, books are incredibly expensive. Im talking $50-$80 for a new hardcover and $30-60 for a new soft cover. Even used books can be $5-15. Its even more expensive for books in English. Its a terrible situation and no one (politicians) wants to make a change about that.

  • garrith-Bea
    11/19/2014 - 03:41 p.m.

    Personally, I wouldn't spend that much money on a comic book. I would use that money on something more useful. I suppose that if I was really into comic books and had that kind of money though, it would be a good investment. It's interesting that the comic book managed to stay in such good condition after all these years. I wonder who bought it.

  • PotatoSkin3
    12/02/2014 - 01:25 p.m.

    Wow! I didn't know that someone would get the bright idea to spend 3,200,000 for a comic book. You could by a lot of TVs with that money!

  • SDakota-Sti
    12/22/2014 - 09:54 a.m.

    I wouldn't buy a $3,200,000 comic book. that is way to much money. its just a comic not something that is going to change someone's life.

  • ne2001bieber
    1/07/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

    The article says, " A rare, nearly flawless copy of the first edition of a Superman comic book has sold for a super-powered price, $3.2 million. " So I'm guessing if it is in better condition it will sell for more.

  • vancer-Che
    1/28/2015 - 01:56 p.m.

    I would for action comics 1, Superman was the first superhero, and the book is in good condition, Vintage comics like these go for millions all the time like detective comics 27 (first batman issue) or even Whiz Comics 2 (first Captain Marvel aka Shazam). But this does break the record so...

  • AlejoN-Ver
    1/30/2015 - 02:34 p.m.

    I think that paying 3.2 million dollars for what used to be a 10 cent comic book is insane. I understand that it is very popular and super collectible but, it still shouldn't of sold for so much money. It is a very nice thing that some of the proceeds will go to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation but overall I still agree that such quantity of money shouldn't be used for a comic book.

  • DD2001basketball
    2/10/2015 - 10:09 a.m.

    The condition of the comic book is important because if you want to sell a comic book that cost a lot, it must be in good condition so the person that is buying it can read or display it.

  • Haley Patterson
    2/19/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    I would never pay this much money for a comic book. I would much rather spend that type of money on multiple things instead of just one comic book.

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