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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220 Comments
  • l78
    l78Friday, May 22, 2020 at 6:45 am
    Expensive!🤑
    • g0d0fc00kies
      g0d0fc00kiesSaturday, May 9, 2020 at 9:14 pm
      a lot of money
      • chandleraaru
        chandleraaruMonday, April 27, 2020 at 12:23 pm
        expensive $ but 1.6 k ??
        • legendgold
          legendgoldWednesday, April 8, 2020 at 12:17 pm
          I’m a collector I have it but it is so much money 💵
          • cobrakid
            cobrakidMonday, April 6, 2020 at 11:04 am
            I love Marvel!
            • cross_box
              cross_boxMonday, May 18, 2020 at 8:25 am
              Marvel is litterly the best thing on the planet.
            • marvel4life
              marvel4lifeMonday, March 23, 2020 at 10:20 am
              I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO EVEN TOUCH THAT XD
              • bubblysnowflake
                bubblysnowflakeFriday, March 13, 2020 at 11:55 am
                OoF! So ExPeNsIvE!!!
                • calebball123
                  calebball123Monday, March 9, 2020 at 7:08 am
                  EXPENSIVE 💲💲
                  • iloveicecream2
                    iloveicecream2Monday, March 2, 2020 at 9:07 am
                    wow a 1939 comic still in good condition for around 81 years incredible.
                    • rfdtuhgyg
                      rfdtuhgygThursday, February 6, 2020 at 3:20 pm
                      bruh this is so cool yet so expensive