Pristine Copy Of First Marvel Comics Issue Auctions For $1.26 Million

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The first-ever Marvel comic book fetched a record $1.26 million at a recent auction (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

A perfectly-preserved copy of Marvel's first-ever comic book was sold to an anonymous buyer for a record $1.26 million by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions on November 21, 2019. Published in 1939 by Timely Comics, which later became Marvel Comics, it features an android superhero called The Human Torch, a costumed detective known as Angel, and a mutant anti-hero dubbed Namor the Sub-Mariner.

The graphic novel was first purchased in 1939 for a mere 10 cents by a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, mail carrier, well-known for his penchant for buying first issues of comics and magazines. Though it has changed hands a few times since, the issue is in "outrageously" good condition, scoring 9.4 on a scale of one to ten. According to the auctioneers, only two other known comic book copies compare with scores of over 9.0.

"This is a historic copy of a historic comic book," Ed Jaster, Heritage Auctions senior vice president, said of the graphic novel. "Without question, this is the granddaddy of all Marvel Comics, without which we would not have the characters and stories we enjoy in today's comics and feature films."

The first-ever Marvel comic book features an android superhero known as The Human Torch (Credit: Marvel.com)

As the name indicates, the android Human Torch, created by fictional scientist Professor Phineas Thomas Horton, had the ability to surround himself with fire and control flames. Initially portrayed as a science fiction horror, he soon becomes a hero and even adopts a secret identity as a police officer.

Though reminiscent of the Fantastic Four member with similar powers, the original Human Torch was the brainchild of American comic book artist Carl Burgos. Similar to many other superheroes created at the time, he fell into obscurity by the 1950s. In 1961, legendary comic book creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby repurposed his name and bestowed his powers on the modern-day Human Torch, a human mutant named Johnny Storm.

The first Marvel comic book was purchased by a mail carrier for 10 cents in 1939 (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

Though the latest sale surpasses the $1.1 million paid in 2011 for a Marvel Comic featuring the first Spider-Man, it is not the most paid for a graphic novel . That honor belongs to the first issue of "Action Comics." Published in 1938 by DC Comics, the graphic novel, which debuted Superman, sold for a mind-boggling $3.2 million in 2014!

Resources: independent.co.uk, comics.ha.com

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231 Comments
  • wolfieland
    wolfielandFriday, March 26, 2021 at 7:44 am
    Why is it so expensive?
    • iam_bannai
      iam_bannaiWednesday, March 10, 2021 at 1:21 pm
      Wow That worth 75x of my money :0
      • jxstin
        jxstinSunday, February 21, 2021 at 3:17 am
        geez thats expensive
        • ilovetacoslol
          ilovetacoslolTuesday, February 16, 2021 at 1:52 pm
          Nice
          • mahomesfan
            mahomesfanWednesday, February 10, 2021 at 7:47 am
            i have a marvel comic from the 70s!
            • adonikus
              adonikusTuesday, January 5, 2021 at 7:41 am
              I have early nineties Spiderman comics and newer comics
              • kurz
                kurzFriday, December 11, 2020 at 9:55 am
                I read comics and I wish I could read all of the originals!!!
                • wytepapi-156856482163
                  wytepapi-156856482163Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 10:32 am
                  wow
                  • hollyhusky
                    hollyhuskyThursday, August 13, 2020 at 4:38 am
                    How long is the book?
                    • l78
                      l78Friday, May 22, 2020 at 6:45 am
                      Expensive!🤑