Marvel Comics continues to be a cash cow. This time, however, instead of raking in yet another billion dollars with sales to see the latest Marvel blockbuster to line the coffers at Disney, the money is going to a private collector that just auctioned off the first comic book ever produced by Marvel. Marvel Comics No. 1 was sold at a public auction in Dallas, Texas, for $1.26 million.
Dubbed the “Big Bang of the Marvel Comics Superhero Universe,” Marvel Comics No. 1 was first published by Timely Comics, which was created by Martin Goodman and would later become Marvel. The issue spawned the careers of a few characters, including the Human Torch, Ka-Zar, Angel, and the Sub-Mariner. “This is a historic copy of a historic comic book. Without question, this I 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,” said Ed Jaster, senior vice president at Heritage, the auction house that sold the comic book.
The comic book in question was first purchased at a newsstand by a mail carrier from Uniontown, Pennsylvania. From there, it only changed owners a few times, which helped to keep it in its near mint condition. The book was rated a 9.4 out of 10, earning it the title of being the comic book in the best condition ever found. The cover features art from the famous and influential science fiction illustrator Frank R. Paul.
The whopping $1.26 million price joins other Marvel record holders, including a 1962 issue that featured the first appearance of Spider-Man, which sold for just of $1 million. The comic didn’t quite rise to the level of Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics No. 1. That comic book sold for $3.2 million on eBay in 2014.