Don't look now, but a pristine copy of Marvel Comics #1 is expected to go for more than a million dollars later this month. That's not bad for a 10-cent investment.
The issue is a part of a collection compiled by a Pennsylvania mailman who purchased the first issue of every comic book and magazine he could get his hands on. This particular issue clocks in with a near-mint condition and a CGC grade of 9.4. Other than some off-white pages, the relic is nearly pristine even by modern standards. It's not a surprise that it's the highest-graded copy of one of the rarest and desirable comics produced by Marvel in all of the publisher's storied history. Only two other copies have surfaced that earned a score of 9.0.
A CGC grade is short for the Certified Guaranty Company (hence the CGC), which was founded nearly 20 years ago to provide clear and accurate assessments of authenticity and grade. To put this rare copy of Marvel Comics #1 in perspective, there is only one other 9.4-graded comic in CGS's survey of all the top six most valuable Golden Age issues combined.
"It is nearly impossible to describe the significance of this issue carrying such a high grade," said Ed Jaster, the Senior Vice President of Heritage Aucti0ns. "This is an 80-year-old copy of the issue that launched Marvel Comics and it is in pristine condition. Most collectors never get the chance to see a comic book like this, much less and opportunity to own one."
The rest of the auction catalog is pretty juicy for comic fanatics. Among the other items up for grabs are the Neal Adams cover to Batman #251, which revolutionized the specter of Batman's most depraved enemy, estimated to run around $300,000. For just $2,000 you can grab the original cover to Captain America #103, featuring the Red Skull and signed by Jack Kirby, or nab Frank Frazetta's original painting of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.
For those of you who don't have a couple of million dollars burning up your pockets, you can also get Superman #1, a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 that introduced a little-known web-slinger we know and love, Batman #1 from 1940 or Captain America Comics #1 from 1941.