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A 5-Cent Book Sold For $6 Million

The most valuable comic book in the world sold at Heritage Auctions in Dallas this week.

A copy of Action Comic No. 1, the comic book that introduced the world to Superman, was sold Thursday for $6 million.

Known as the most critical, impactful comic book ever published, it was accompanied by a letter from one of Superman’s creators outlining little-known details about Superman’s original origin story.

“This is where it started for all superheroes in any medium,” said Heritage Auctions vice president Barry Sandoval.

The Dallas auction house said the comic book, which cost just 10 cents in 1938, is one of the world’s finest copies. Only two other unrestored issues featuring Superman’s first flight – or, at least, his first leap over a tall building – have ever graded higher.

“The interest in this has been unprecedented because it’s the best copy we’ve ever had of the best comic there is,” said Sandoval before the auction. “Back in the 70s, this was the first comic that anybody ever paid $1,000 for, then at some point, it became the only one that was worth $100,000, and then it was the only one worth $1 million, and then it’s gone up from there.”

The record $6 million sale leaps over the previous world record held by, who else, Superman. According to comic book grading company Certified Guaranty Company’s list of most expensive comics ever reported sold, a copy of Superman No. 1 sold privately for $5.3 million in 2022, which bested an Amazing Fantasy No. 15 comic book featuring the debut of Spider-Man which sold at Heritage Auctions for $3.6 million in 2021.