A near mint condition copy of 1939's Marvel Comics #1 -- the finest known copy in existence -- has been sold by Heritage Auctions for a grand total of $1.26 million.
The comic was sold today -- Nov. 21, 2019 -- at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic book art held by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. According to the Certified Guarantee Company, it is in fact the most pristine copy of Marvel Comics #1 ever found, with a CGC grade of 9.4.
Not only that, but with a final price tag of $1.26 million, this copy of Marvel Comics #1 has set a world record as the single most-expensive Marvel comic book ever sold at a public auction, as well as the most expensive comic ever sold by Heritage -- the world's largest auctioneer of collectibles.
First published by Marvel Comics -- then known as Timely Comics -- in 1939, Marvel Comics #1 is considered to be the catalyst of Marvel's superhero universe as we know it today. The issue features the first appearances of such characters as the Human Torch (Jim Hammond), Angel (Thomas Halloway), and Ka-Zar, not to mention the first Marvel/Timely appearance of Namor the Sub-Mariner (who previously debuted in Motion Picture Funnies Weekly).
Marvel Comics #1 features the work of such prominent early Marvel creators as Bill Everett, Carl Burgos and Paul Gustavson, not not mention cover art by noted sci-fi artist Frank R. Paul. The particular copy sold at Heritage's action was first purchased off a newsrack by a mailman in Uniontown, Pa. -- who made it a point to purchase as many first issues of comics and magazines as he could.
"This is a historic copy of a historic comic book," said Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Ed Jaster. "Without question, this is the granddaddy of all Marvel Comics, without which we would not have the characters and stories we enjoy in today’s comics and feature films."