"Quick, Robin! To the Batcave! To dig through our old boxes of comic books!"
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A rare and pristine copy of the first issue of Action Comics, famed for the first appearance of Superman, has set a record Wednesday for the most money paid for a single comic book: $2.16 million.
The issue, graded at 9.0, was auctioned starting Nov. 11 online at www.comicconnect.com . The starting bid was just $1 but there was a reserve price of $900,000. Neither the name of the buyer nor seller was disclosed.
It's the first time a comic book has broken the $2 million barrier. The issue was published in 1938 and cost just 10 cents. . . .
The previous record set in March 2010 was followed by the sale of another copy for $1 million. But neither of those issues was in as good a condition as the issue that sold Wednesday, though it's pedigree of setting records was already documented. Twice before it set the record for the most expensive book ever, selling for $86,000 in 1992 and $150,000 in 1997.
But in 2000, it was stolen and thought lost until it was recovered in a storage shed in California in April this year.
About 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 are believed to be in existence, and only a handful of those in good condition.
After it was stolen, Fishler said, collectors figured it would never be found or, worse, would be destroyed.
"Clearly, I was wrong. Not in my wildest imagination could I have predicted that this legendary, stolen Action Comics No. 1 would be found, graded at 9.0 and break the record a year and a half later," he said.
Update: Just how does a comic book get graded? The Certified Guaranty Company explains their process here.