It’s the highest quality copy of Superman’s introduction ever seen.
Are you a millionaire hoping to own a piece of American history? Then hopefully you’re one of the 70-odd approved bidders on an eBay auction for Action Comics #1, with the proceeds going to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
As the whole world knows, Action Comics #1, published in 1938, is the debut of Sueprman> Arguably marking the beginning of the modern comic book it also codified the Superhero concept right down to present day. No, Superman wasn’t the first superhero – that honor goes to Japan’s Golden Bat, who debuted in 1930 – but Superman was the moment all the elements of a superhero came together for Western readers, and it influenced every following comic book hero.
200,000 copies were printed when it was released, but comics weren’t considered worth preserving at the time. Coupled with the recycling effort during World War II, most issues of Action Comics #1 were lost. Today, it’s estimated that less than 100 copies may still exist. As a result, it is by far the most valuable comic book ever printed.
This particular copy is the finest ever seen. Rated a 9 by CGC Comics, the issue has “pristine” white pages and little to no aging on the cover. Essentially, it’s as close to mint condition as we are ever likely to see with paper from the 1930s. No wonder then that the current bid is $1,650,000.00.
Potential bidders accepted into the auction were required to verify a minimum of $3,000,000 in their bank accounts in order to participate. Whether the bidding surpasses that remains to be seen, but as it’s pushing 2 million already, it’s very possible we’ll see this auction surpass that of the previous record holder: in 2011, a copy of Action Comics #1 owned by actor Nicolas Cage sold for $2,161,000.
The bidding for this auction ends on August 24. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation raises money for research into a cure for spinal cord injury induced paralysis and other neurological disorders.