20 Most Expensive Comic Books Ever Sold
The list of the most expensive comic books ever sold has changed a lot in the past few years. We’re seeing more recent entries while the comic book industry booms once again.
CGC (Certified Guaranteed Company) currently leads as the main grading establishment for all the major sales and titles in the list and their grading system rates the book which becomes a guideline for sellers to dictate the price.
The grade however is not the only determining factor to what the value of the comic book is. Factors such as supply and demand as well as popularity growth caused by newly released DCU and MCU movies or TV shows are considered heavy influences on how desirable the comic book is or will be.
Here you will find the most updated list on the internet for the 20 most expensive comic books ever sold to date:
1. SUPERMAN #1 CGC 8.0 $5,300,000 (2022)
This is the most expensive book ever sold breaking the previous record in less than 5 months set by Amazing Fantasy #15 9.6. Sold by Mile High Comics and brokered by Tony Arnold of TonyeTrade Enterprises, the buyer and seller still remain anonymous. No other Superman #1 is graded higher than 8.0 and only 4 copies in existence graded over 6.0 so it’s understandable why it sold for this much.
2. Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 9.6 $3,600,000 (2021)
Currently the world’s second most expensive comic book ever. Sold during Heritage’s Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction on September 9, 2021. This is a little bit of a surprise being a Silver Age comic since all the other books sold in the 3 million range has been a golden age book, namely Action Comics #1. Arguably the best comic book of its generation, the first appearance of Spider-Man will be going ahead of Action Comics and Batman on this list.
3. Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 $3,250,000 (2021)
Who ever thought the first appearance of the iconic superhero Superman would be worth this much? Action Comics #1 was in newsstands everywhere costing only 10 cents back in 1938 but is now one of the world’s most expensive comic books. This specific copy was the second major acquisition of Vincent Zurzolo completed in a private sale.
4. Action Comics #1 CGC 9.0 $3,207,852 (2014)
Purchased from vintage collectibles dealer Joe Mannarino by Vincent Zurzolo and Stephen Fishler. This is considered one of the best comics ever which at the time made it to the Guiness Book of World Records. The discovery of this comic book in this condition has always been a wishful thought but turned out to be a reality. It was reported to have perfect white pages making it a very solid 9.0.
5. Action Comics #1 CGC 6.0 $3,180,000 (2022)
Sold on January 16, 2022 on Heritage Auctions. This sale is very notable since it sold nearly as much as the Action Comics #1 8.5 despite being a 6.0. This copy is widely known as the “Rocket Copy” for having a red rocket stamp on the front cover. The desire to obtain a copy of this just keeps rising and shows no signs of slowing down.
6. Captain America Comics #1 CGC 9.4 $3,120,000 (2022)
Another strong Marvel entry for this list is Captain America’s comic book debut. This copy was last sold in 2019 for $915,000, more than tripling its value in only 3 years. The Red Skull and Bucky also make their first appearances in this book. Also known as the San Francisco Pedigree, this is currently the 2nd highest valued graded Marvel published comic book on record.
7. SUPERMAN #1 CGC 7.0 $2,604,750 (2021)
After a spectacular run in the Action Comics series this is the debut of Superman’s titled comic book series. Sold last December on ComicConnect, there have been less owner changes of Superman #1 than Action Comics #1. The last recorded sale of a graded Superman #1 before this was sold in 2017. This particular Superman #1 has only had 2 owner changes, the first was the newsstand and the second was the previous owner who kept it for over 40 years before bringing it to the market.
8. Marvel Comics #1 CGC 9.2 $2,427,777 (2022)
The Human Torch, Angel, Ka-Zar and Sub-Mariner all make their first appearances in this Timely Comics issue which we all know now as Marvel Comics. It is special to mention that this the Marvel Comics #1 Pay Copy which during 2002 was the most expensive comic ever sold at the price of $350,000.
9. Batman #1 CGC 9.4 $2,220,000 (2021)
Currently the highest graded Batman #1 in existence, this was auctioned by Heritage in January 2021. This is where Joker and Catwoman made their first appearance. There are currently less than 200 universal grade copies of Batman #1. This comic book is even priced higher than Detective Comics #27’s recorded sale which is Batman’s debut in comic books.
10. Action Comics #1 CGC 9.0 $2,161,000 (2011)
Famously known as the Nicolas Cage copy, this Action Comics #1 is the first comic book in history to reach the $2 million mark. This book was stolen from Cage’s home and had gone missing for over a decade before being recovered by the police. It was auctioned by ComicConnect and was the highest graded Action Comics #1 at the time.
11. Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 $2,052,000 (2018)
Auctioned by ComicConnect, only 2 copies in the world are graded higher than this Action Comics #1. At the time it was the 3rd comic book to be sold that has reached the $2 million barrier. Towards the final moments of the auction a website glitch ended it prematurely at $2,007,500. It was resumed at a later time which increased the sale value a little bit more.
12. Detective Comics #1 CGC 6.5 $1,740,000 (2022)
Batman makes his first appearance in this Golden Age iconic comic book. This Goldin Auction sale which was happened in May of 2022 is the 2nd Detective Comics #27 graded sale recorded within the year. There are only seven 6.5 graded copies of Detective Comics #27 in the world.
13. Action Comics #1 CGC 3.0 $1,638,759 (2021)
Previously sold on ComicConnect at $300,000 in 2010 the seller has made a $1.3 million profit. It’s not surprising to see Action Comics #1 making multiple entries in the list but each will always have their unique story behind it. For a 3.0 it had really bright colors as shown on YouTube where Metropolis Collectibles posted as an event auction highlight.
14. Detective Comics #27 CGC 7.0 $1,500,000 (2020)
This sale could be said to have triggered the sale of more graded copies of this issue. The last recorded sale of a Detective Comics #27 before this was in 2010 for $1.075 million at a graded CGC 8.0. At the time there were only 5 copies graded higher than 7.0. Offers on this copy have already reached $2.3 million on Heritage.
15. Fantastic Four #1 CGC 9.2 $1,500,000 (2022)
This is the first time a Fantastic Four #1 has ever surpassed $1 million. This sale happened in the same day the Captain America Comics #1 9.4 was sold. It is currently the 2nd most expensive Silver Age comic book ever sold only falling behind Amazing Fantasy #15.
16. Batman #1 CGC 8.0 $1,476,000 (2021)
Part of the Larson Collection pedigrees, this Goldin Auction sale happened in September of 2021. This was the 3rd Batman 8.0 to sell for the year as well as the 2nd most expensive Batman #1 on the list.
17. Batman #1 CGC 8.0 $1,207,500 (2021)
This is the 2nd Batman #1 sold in 2021 that passed the $1 million mark. It was auctioned on ComicConnect reaching close to 50 bids before it closed. Batman is arguably the most popular character in the DC universe so it’s not a surprise having the caped crusader show more times on the list than Superman and Spider-Man combined.
18. Detective Comics #27 CGC 4.5 $1,140,000 (2022)
The first major sale of a graded Detective Comics #27 sold in January of 2022. It’s not surprising to see this title on this list as it is still one of the most sought after issue for Batman fans all over. There’s not a lot of unrestored Detective Comics #27 books lying around so we expect the value to just keep rising.
19. Detective Comics #27 CGC 5.0 $1,125,000 (2021)
Once again Batman makes another entry in the list with a Heritage auctioned Detective Comics #27 held in June 2021. Almost every unrestored Detective Comics #27 graded 5.0 and above are making the $1 million dollar range and undoubtedly more will keep appearing in the months and years to come. This particular copy was sold at ComicConnect for $710,000 in 2017 nearly doubling its value.
20. Detective Comics #27 CGC 8.0 $1,075,500 (2010)
This was the first $1 million sale for Detective Comics #27 which happened on Heritage Auction. At the time the estimated price of the book was $300,000 but the actual results tripled the estimate. The previous owner at the time actually purchased it in 1960 for $100.
All Star Comics #8 CGC 9.4 $936,223 (2017)
Worthy of mention for a lot of firsts. So far the first Ebay auction sale, featuring the first appearance of Wonder Woman, the first time on the most expensive list and the first DC title not featuring Batman or Superman.