First Marvel Comic Ever Published Sells for $2.4 Million

Human Torch as seen on the cover of Marvel Comics #1.

A crop of Marvel Comics #1, the first Marvel comic.
Image: Marvel Comics

When you talk about the all-time most Valuable comics, a few instantly come to mind. Superman’s first appearance in 1938’s Action Comics #1Batman’s first appearance in 1939’s Detective Comics #27and Spider-Man’s first appearance in 1962’s Amazing Fantasy #15 are probably the most well-known. But a lesser-known but maybe equally as influential comic just sold for big bucks, and this particular version has something even those don’t have.

The comic book in question is Marvel Comics #1published in August 1939. Referred to as the one that started it all,” it was the first comic book ever published by Timely Comics, a company that would, in the decades to come, eventually become Marvel Comics. The release came after many famous DC characters debuted, but obviously before any of the famous Marvel characters. However, two of the heroes in the book, Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner, are still recognizable to most comic book fans.

Marvel Comics #1 featuring artwork by Carl Burgos, Al Anders, Bill Everett, and Paul Gustavson

Marvel Comics #1 featuring artwork by Carl Burgos, Al Anders, Bill Everett, and Paul Gustavson
Image: Marvel Comics

So it’s an important book to comic book history, and tthe New York Times reports a copy in incredible 9.2 graded condition just sold on the auction site ComicConnect for $2.4 million to an anonymous buyer. That’s less than some of the aforementioned comics that can sell for over $3 million these days, but this one is even more special. This specific copy of Marvel Comics #1 was discovered in the mid-’90s and was once owned by Lloyd Jacquet, who owned a company called Funnies Inc. That company sold artwork to comic book publishers and this specific comic has Jacquet’s notes on how much his company owed some of the book’s artists. “Owning the pay copy of Marvel Comics No. 1 would be like owning a first-edition Charles Dickens novel in which he documented his royalties,” one comic expert told the Times.

You can read more about the sale in tthe New York Times piece—but if you want to read the comic itself and don’t have a few million lying around, it’s on Marvel’s digital Unlimited service for just $2.

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