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


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:

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!


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  • 283731964
    283731964Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8:01 am
    if action comics #1 sold for 3.2million and marvel comics #1 for 1.2million how much more did action comics sell for? also R.I.P. stan lee
    • kklife4evr
      kklife4evrThursday, December 5, 2019 at 5:20 pm
      AWESOME! i mean think about it, if we never had that 1 comic created, then we might not have all those famous super heros today!
      • darkterrorist
        darkterroristThursday, December 5, 2019 at 2:18 pm
        I LOVE comix!😁😁
        • dufezupi-157003214191
          dufezupi-157003214191Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 12:40 pm
          #R.I.P STAN Lee
          • superjk5
            superjk5Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 12:12 pm
            Man, this comic book must have been expeeeeeeeeeeeeensive!!
            • chickpeazzz75
              chickpeazzz75Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 9:41 am
              • sugarplums09
                sugarplums09Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 8:51 am
                R.I.P Stan Lee he was a great man
                • calebball123
                  calebball123Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 7:43 am
                  *R.I.P STAN lee
                  • master121345678
                    master121345678Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 1:54 pm
                    stan lee was the best sad R.I.P
                  • ll274263
                    ll274263Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 6:31 am
                    Thats awesome
                    • xpertthief62
                      xpertthief62Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 6:54 pm
                      #RIP STAN LEE I want this comic book!!