Rare Superman comic sells for $189,000 at UK auction to Australian buyer

Rare Superman comic sells for $189,000 at UK auction to Australian buyer
  • PublishedJune 11, 2024

The sale of two exceptionally rare comic books in the United Kingdom has far exceeded expectations, according to the auctioneer. 

The first comic — Superman #1 — sold for 97,890 pounds ($189,089) against a starting price of 20,000 pounds to an Australian buyer.

The comic, by DC, is listed as number 3 on Overstreet’s Top 100 Golden Age comics — which is considered the authority on comic book grading and pricing — and is exceptionally rare. 

A comic book cover with superman on it.
Superman #1 sold to an Australian bidder.(Supplied: Excalibur Auctions)

The comic book Golden Age ran from 1938 to 1956 and was when many well-known superheroes were created including Superman, Batman, Captain America and Wonder Woman. 

The debut of Superman in 1938 in Action Comics #1 is considered the beginning of the Golden Age as his popularity helped make comic books a major arm of publishing. 

Superman #1, released a year later, was the first time a comic book had been created for a single character and set the precedent for many comics to follow.

The issue, written by Jerry Siegel and illustrated by Joe Shuster, retells the origin story of Superman and features a pin-up back cover.

It was also the first time a superhero appeared in more than one comic and the first time DC included a letters column for fans to write in. 

Holy Cow, Batman! Sale! 

A comic book cover with Batman and Robin on it.
Batman #1 is considered the fifth most important Golden Age comic. (Supplied: Excalibur Auctions)

A copy of Batman #1 also fetched a massive 31,375 pounds, more than five times its starting price of 5,000 pounds. 

Batman #1 is considered the fifth most important Golden Age comic by Overstreet.

The 1939 comic was Batman’s first self-titled comic, following his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in the same year.

The comic, believed to be written by Bill Finger and illustrated by Bob Kane, features four stories — The Joker, The Giants of Dr Hugo Strange, The Cat and The Joker Returns. 

It also debuts two of Batman’s famous foes, the Joker and Catwoman. 

Jonathan Torode from Excalibur Auctions said there was fierce bidding for both comics on the phones, online and in the room. 

“Interest came from around the globe, with the Superman comic finally winning out to an Australian buyer,” he said. 

“We did anticipate competitive bidding due to the rankings and rarity at auction of the two comics, but this far exceeded our expectations.” 

He said, with the exception of one comic sold without a cover, this was the first time the comics had sold in the UK and had set a new record in the UK and in house. 

“I can safely say this was a truly historic moment,” he said. 


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