The Most Valuable Comic Books and What Collectors Paid for Them

by Modis on May 10, 2017

Comic book lovers are a unique breed of geek. Our passion for the art of visual storytelling may have first kindled way back in early childhood experiences thumbing through superhero-adorned racks at the local supermarket, but it has evolved in fascinating ways alongside a rapidly changing industry. While digital may be the inevitable future of comics, there’s still something magical about cracking open the well-worn classics of our youth.

Serious collectors are willing pay a high prices for that taste of nostalgia, which is why well-preserved copies of some of the earliest and rarest comic book hits are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more, in intense bidding wars. Here’s a look at a handful of the most valuable comic books on the market, and some of the insanely high prices enthusiasts have been willing to pay to add them to their collections.

1) Flash Comics #1 ($450,000)

As you’ll see in many of these rare and high-valued comics, first appearances are a big deal to hardcore fans. Flash Comics #1, published in 1940, marks the debut of The Flash as well as The Hawkman. Despite its age, an incredibly well-preserved copy sold for $450,000 at auction in 2010.

2) X-Men #1 ($492,937)

DC Comics may have the market cornered on outrageously high valued oldies, but Marvel’s classic X-Men series is a heavy contender and a long-time comic fan fave. Sporting their original black and yellow costumes, the X-Men get an epic introduction and face off against Magneto for the first time in issue #1. A near-perfect copy sold for $492,937 in 2012.

3) Batman #1 ($567,000)

Ironically, Batman #1 isn’t the first time the Dark Knight made his grand entrance on the comics scene, but it is the first time we were introduced to long-time series standbys – The Joker and Catwoman. A well-preserved copy of Batman #1 sold at auction in 2013 for $567,000.

4) Detective Comics #27 ($2.1 million)

This series is where DC Comics got its name, and Detective Comics issue 27 was the first to introduce Batman and his alternate identity Bruce Wayne to the limelight. A near-pristine copy of the issue was sold for $2.1 million and reportedly is the exact one previously owned by actor Nicolas Cage. It was stolen from his home in 2000, then later recovered in an abandoned storage locker and resold. Crazy!

5) Action Comics #1 ($3.2 million)

This notorious DC Comics treasure, released in June 1938, is the world’s first introduction to the iconic Superman. Not only that, it’s also the first comic book to ever feature a superhero at all, marking the beginnings of the popular genre in the comics industry. A pristine condition of Action Comics #1 sold on eBay in 2014 for a record-setting $3.2 million, making it the highest price on record ever being paid for a single comic issue.

Have a favorite classic comic you’re pining for? Let us know what comic you’re dying to have and what lengths you’d go for to get a copy in mint condition!

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