Ever wonder which comic books are worth the most money? Learn how to cash in on the most expensive comic books, like the $5.3 million Superman #1 and other coveted classics.
Updated Apr 12, 2023
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Are you a comic book enthusiast looking to turn your hobby into a profitable investment? If so, you're in luck. Not only are vintage comics fun to read, but they can also be incredibly lucrative.
We've compiled a list of some of the most expensive comics that have ever sold. From Captain America comics to other Action Comics, these gems can command millions of dollars.
But why are these pieces of paper worth so much money? Well, some comics are rare—those are usually early issues in incredible condition or ones depicting first appearances or crucial narratives that make them distinct and sought-after by comic collectors.
Each comic book issue is an adventure featuring exciting images, hilarious stories, and wild rides through another world. From colorful panels and complex themes to wacky wordplay and witty dialogue, every comic has something unique to offer.
Collectors often pay a premium for these coveted items, making them potential investments that could earn serious cash. So, if you think you have what it takes, strap in and hold on tight as we zoom you through the most expensive comic books ever sold.
Vintage comics are increasing in value because popular ones in good condition are growing scarcer. Demand goes up as collectors vie for rare, well-preserved comic books and new investors enter the scene—increasing speculation and causing prices to go higher than ever before.
This was exacerbated when we were all stuck inside due to the pandemic.
People are jumping on the comic bandwagon faster than you can flash the bat signal, with everyone and their Aunt May keen to get in on the action. Third-party agencies like Comic Guarantee Corporation (CGC) are doing a stellar job at analyzing the market for rare comic books by gathering data on prices and supply.
That means collectors have more information than ever on what's valuable and where investors are shelling out cash for the good stuff. It's a lucrative time to be a comic book fan, that's for sure.
Marvel celebrates Black History Month with this special one-shot Wakanda Forever (2023) #1.
When determining if your vintage comic books are worth anything, consider their condition and when they were originally published. Rare or highly collectible comics, such as ones featuring a first character appearance, can still be worth big bucks even if they are not in mint condition.
Comics are usually considered vintage if they have a cover price of ranging from 10 to 25 cents. Ultimately, the most expensive comic books come from four distinct eras: Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, and Copper Age.
Whether your comic collection is worth anything depends on the market itself. If every comic is going up in value, then all bets can be off.
Investing in the most valuable comic book could be a golden ticket to fortune. Even the most inexpensive comic book can be worth millions if it’s in mint condition or better, introduces popular characters, or is super rare.
Here are some of the most expensive comic books ever sold.
Amazing Fantasy #15
Action Comics #1
Ungraded (potentially CGC 9.4)
Captain America Comics #1
Detective Comics #27
Fantastic Four #1
Now you can see why you should keep an eye out for comics that could potentially become amazing investments. In a nutshell, the key factors that influence the value of a comic book include its grade, character debuts, rarity, and demand.
So ride along with us as we fly head-first into the most expensive comic books to invest in right now.
Amazing Fantasy Comics have been thrilling readers' imaginations since 1961. Amazing Fantasy #15 marked the birth of one of the world's most beloved superheroes—Spider-Man.
It recounts the story of Peter Parker and has been adapted into countless films and animated series. Some recent Spider-Man reprisals, like Into the Spider-Verse depict Peter Parker’s successor, Miles Morales.
The comic book series became an instant hit and was immortalized as one of the most expensive comic books of all time after selling for $3.6 million at Heritage Auctions. Marvel's heroes are soaring in popularity, and Amazing Fantasy #15 is a testament to that.
This spectacular purchase sent shockwaves through the comic collecting world, setting a world record for the most money paid for a comic book at the time.
Marvel's Captain America #1 published in March 1941 is an iconic comic with cover art of Captain America serving Adolf Hitler a knuckle sandwich. Written by Joe Simon and penciled by Jack Kirby, the comic introduces readers to Steve Rogers, a scrawny, frail man who is artificially transformed into a super soldier.
Today, if you have a hold of one of the CGC 9.2 copies of Captain America #1, you'd be living large with an asset worth around half a million dollars. In an even crazier turn of events, a San Francisco copy graded CGC 9.4 sold for a staggering price of $915,000 in August 2019.
But that's nothing compared to the jaw-dropping $3.1 million that a near-mint version of the comic featuring the very first appearance of Captain America sold for in April 2022. One of the most valuable comics ever created, and still beloved today, Captain America #1 is an invaluable part of Marvel history.
A graded 6.5 Detective Comics #27 recently sold for a jaw-dropping $1.7 million, making it an appealing collector’s item.
Detective Comics #27 released in 1939 is the debut of one of the most popular superheroes and certified badass rich dude: Batman. The Bob Kane cover art features the Dark Knight swooping in to thwart a crime, and Bill Finger’s story “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” tells the narrative of Batman investigating the murder of an industrialist and his partners.
Batman immediately struck a chord with readers, and the impact of his debut has echoed in the zeitgeist for years, inspiring dozens of movies, endless scholarly debate, and thousands of slutty Halloween costumes.
Decades after its release, the comic has become a record-breaking collector’s item, with a CGC 6.5 copy recently selling for a jaw-dropping $1.7 million. It’s no wonder why this iconic comic is the Holy Grail for comic book enthusiasts. Owning a copy is akin to having a piece of comic book history.
Depending on its condition, this iconic comic could be worth anywhere from $150,000 to an unimaginable three million dollars. So if you have some spare cash lying around and you're a fan of the Dark Knight, you might want to try getting your hands on this issue.
The All-Star Comics #8 featuring the iconic superheroine Wonder Woman sold for nearly $1,000,000 in 2021.
All-Star Comics #8 is a comic book milestone, published in 1942 and being the very first to feature the iconic superheroine Wonder Woman. Written by William Moulton Marston under the pen name "Charles Moulton'' and drawn by Harry G. Peter, the story details the events leading up to Wonder Woman leaving her home of Paradise Island to help America fight the Nazis during WWII.
It's no wonder that this comic has become such a hot commodity in the past 80 years, with its current value in mint condition estimated to be worth seven figures. Not only is this issue the first appearance and origin of Wonder Woman, but it's also the origin of Paradise Island and features appearances by Dr. Fate and Shiera.
The comic sold for nearly $1,000,000 in 2021 and—considering how Warner Bros. is pushing this iconic character’s long, storied history into its cinematic universe—the value and demand for this and other key issues from the series is expected to continue skyrocketing.
Owning a near-mint, unrestored copy of this issue would be a great long-term investment, and if you get a chance to pick one up, lasso it in while you can.
Action Comics #1 is among the most sought-after comic books of all time as it’s the first one to introduce the world to Superman. The issue was written by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and published in 1938—it quickly launched the superhero genre.
Over eighty years later, this comic is prized for its historical significance. That particular copy of the comic book is also referred to as "The Rocket Copy" because the cover bears a rocket stamp applied by a young man who purchased the issue from a newsstand back in 1938.
The rarity, condition, and historical value of this issue have made it priceless. In December 2021, an ungraded copy of Action Comics #1 was auctioned off for a colossal $4.5 million, and we estimate that if a CGC 9.6 copy were to come up for sale, it could be worth millions.
The moral of the story? If you ever find an old copy of Action Comics #1, don't throw it away. It could be worth a small fortune.
The iconic X-Men #1 has made yet another appearance in the Marvel comic world, this time garnering a record-breaking price tag. Written by Gerry Duggan and drawn by Pepe Larraz, X-Men #1 featured the hero team that readers had come to know and love.
The issue published by Marvel Comics not only has a fascinating story but also looks cool, with Marte Garcia’s colors and Clayton Cowles’ lettering of Larraz’s artwork giving a fantastic and modern feel. And fans have taken notice: the near-mint edition of this fantastic comic book was recently sold for an astonishing $872,000 in an auction overseen by ComicConnect, smashing the previous record for the same book.
While this X-men #1 may not be the most expensive comic book of all time, it still has it’s place in the pantheon of the most expensive comics ever sold. It's no surprise that a book like this can inspire such hype and excitement—the X-Men #1 finds a balance between modern and classic, with stunning visuals and a story that pulls at the nostalgic heartstrings of old-school fans.
These days, it looks like X-Men #1 is more in demand than ever. Who knows what impressive price tag the iconic comic might set next?
The Fantastic Four #1 comic is a highly revered comic book because it’s the origin story of Marvel’s first family and marks the first comic book reappearance of the team since the Golden Age of comics.
Thanks to the creativity and revolutionary ideas of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, this issue was the catalyst for Marvel's expansion into cinema, giving way to a multitude of other titles, movies, and merchandise.
Fantastic Four #1 in grades higher than 5.0 will cost roughly $25,000, while the highest recorded sale of the comic was $300,000 in 2011. But that record was shattered back in April 2021 when a Fantastic Four #1 CGC 9.2 sold for a massive $1.5 million.
It’s clear that the Fantastic Four series is an integral part of Marvel's history, and continues to appreciate in value year after year.
Superman #1 is an icon in the world of comic books and a testament to Superman's lasting and universal appeal. It tells the Man of Steel's origin story and is his first titular issue—it certainly doesn't come cheap.
A copy of Superman #1 graded CGC 8.0 recently sold for an estimated $5.3 million in a private auction in April 2022. What's more, Superman #1 is also part of one of the rarest collections of high-graded and sought-after comic books—the Edgar Church Mile High collection.
When you factor in the CGC 8.5 copy of Action Comics #1, the combined worth of issues depicting Superman’s earliest appearances in the best condition could reach as high as $10 million.
For the wealthy and savvy investor, Superman #1 is a unique and relevant opportunity. While returns aren’t guaranteed when it comes to comic book investments, prices continue to trend upward, and Superman's iconic presence makes him as much of a hero on the page and the silver screen as he is in your portfolio.
Comic books can be great investment assets, with some rare comics experiencing a major influx of investors over the years. In 2021, the global Comic Book market size was an estimated $11.8 billion—projected to reach a height of $19.5 billion by 2028.
That sounds like a lot of money in comic books, doesn't it? Well, the good news is that with the right knowledge, you can invest in comics and potentially see superhuman returns. Yet, like with any other form of investing, it’s good to take a few measures first.
Before you make that purchase, do your research on the current trends of the comic book market as well as factors such as age, grade, and cultural relevance. Also, keep in mind your budget and decide if you want to invest short-term or long-term.
One of the great things about getting into comic book investing is that it can be enjoyable, too. After all, comic book fans’ greatest reward is getting to geek out over their collection and share their fascination over stories and alternate universes. Not to mention the bonus of having a hand-picked portfolio of your favorite comic books heroes (or villains, if that’s your thing).
So, if you want to add some action to your investment portfolio and give comic books a try, then shoot for the stars. With enough knowledge and the right backup, investing in comics could pay off in the long run.
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