Here’s Why That First Superman Comic Is Worth $3.2 Million

Think it's all hype? Nope, there's some serious stats at work here.

The most pristine copy of “Action Comics No.1″ ever graded by the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) became “the most valuable comic book of all time Sunday when it sold for a whopping $3,207,852 on eBay. What makes it so special? Well, this is the comic book that introduced Superman worldwide back in 1938.

It’s pretty much the holy grail of comic books, and was previously owned by Pristine Comics, which plans to donate 1% of the winning bid to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Reeve, who died in 2004 after lobbying for years on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries, was the first actor to ever portray the Son of Krypton on the silver screen in 1978’s “Superman.”

While the multi-million dollar price tag may seem astronomical to most for a comic, there are quite a few reasons why this special edition of the issue shattered the record books:

1. Before this edition swooped into the record books, Nicolas Cage’s edition of the issue sold for $2.16 million in 2011.

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Yup, Nic Cage himself used to be the reigning champ when it came to uber expensive comics. So this sale breaks that record by far—even if it’s technically for the same comic, it’s not the same copy of it. But Cage is probably fine with it, after all, he almost played Superman one time, remember?? There’s even going to be a documentary about why “Superman Lives” never made it to the silver screen.

2.Of the 200,000 copies originally published, only 34 unrestored copies are still in existence.

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Among those 34 unrestored copies, only two of them have perfect white pages, despite their age. This is one of them!

3. This edition, which only cost 10 cents in 1938, has only changed hands three times in 76 years.

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Let me do the math for you, that’s about 25 years a person. We’re watching history unfold here. God bless eBay for bringing these long lost gems back into the limelight. But also, the fewer owners a collectible item has, the more likely it is to be in good condition.

4. This debut issue features the first appearance of Superman, alias Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

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An American hero was being born and the manufacturers barely even realized it!

5. When Superman was introduced in Action Comics No. 1, there was no mention of the Kent family in Kansas. In fact, the Man of Steel was originally an orphan.

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Sure, important backstory details can always be fleshed out later in the millions of versions of Superman’s story that would erupt. But the fact that his story was so bare bones speaks to how far back this comic was in the process of Superman’s creation.

The winner of the auction will be the only one to actually hold this incredible issue in their hands, but the rest of us can at least see what all the fuss is about in the above video made by Pristine Comics owner Darren Adams.

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