How do you tell if a comic is worth nothing or a million bucks? Ultimately, they are only worth what people will pay for them. Just as vintage art collectors spend top dollar for pieces of art which they consider valuable, comic collectors have their favorite comic books which they deem ‘worth collecting.' In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most valuable comic book franchises in the world today.
Although comic books have not matched the stellar sales of a Pablo Picasso going for $179 million at auction, there have been quite a few hefty purchases which are staggering in their own right. For example, the comic books on our list of the ten (10) 'Holy Grail' most valuable comic book franchises in the world today.
Specific Amazing Spider-man back issues, Iron Man, Captain America, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, Batman, and many other character comic books can command serious money. We are going to be looking at some of the most valued comic books which sold for earth-shattering prices. Don't expect to find a nice clean copy without spending quite a bit of money as several of these comic books date as far back as the ‘30s,. Due to this fact, a high demand issue that's still dazzling would break the bank as collectors trying to outbid each other to own that rare comic for themselves.
Let’s have a look at 10 of the most valuable comic book franchises in the world today.
10 Most Valuable Comic Book Franchises
No.1 – Action Comics #1
This 1938 comic book is the most valuable comic book franchise in the world today and for a good reason. Action Comic #1 has, so far, sold two different copies for over a million dollars each. This DC Comics’ book is where Superman first originally appeared; it's also the comic that launched the superhero comic books genre. Action Comics #1 is one highly sort after comic today with copies selling for hundreds of thousands to a couple million depending on whether or not it is in mint condition or at least a high grade copy. Even high grade reprints are starting to command higher than cover price over at Ebay.
No.2 – Amazing Fantasy #15
Your friendly neighborhood Spider-man first made an appearance in Marvel Comics’ 1962 release Amazing Fantasy #15. His incredible popularity makes this a top-tier comic book for collectors. Our friendly neighborhood Spider-man's first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 has helped a high grade copy sell previously for more than one million dollars. This automatically puts it on the list of the most valuable comics. This makes Marvel Comics the highest selling Silver Age comic and puts it just behind their number one rival DC Comics on the most expensive list. Also noteworthy, is the fact that mid-grade versions of this Amazing Fantasy #15 comic book are yet to hit the $1 million mark, whereas those of the Action Comics have surpassed the mark.
No.3 – Detective Comics #27
Another Golden Age Key DC comic book on the list is the Detective Comics #27 where Batman made his first appearance. This Batman comic book has sold for around $1 million in the comic collection market. Many fans have longed to own the Bat's first appearance in any comic book. After all, this iconic cover shows him entirely clad in his black and gray costume, looking just like a bat, trying to solve a wealthy business man's murder. Nothing screams The BatMan more than that cover!
No.4 – Superman #1
Our favorite Kryptonian superhero Superman gets his own solo title series which has made this comic book a must snag for collectors. There are rumors that this superman's comic book from DC Comics once sold at a private sale for over $500,000. Although this claim is yet to be confirmed, it's seemingly possible because collectors would jump at the chance to have the first issue of a Superman comic book, even at exorbitant prices.
No.5 – Fantastic Four #1
Once again, Marvel Comics take center stage with Fantastic Four issue #1. This comic was Stan Lee's pivotal move into Superhero comics and started the Marvel tradition we love today. This comic book sold for about $500,000 several years ago. With the rush for vintage comics, its price could go up to a much more lofty price if a new sale is conducted. Fantastic Four lovers with cash to spare should snag this valuable first edition comic book even in a low grade.
No.6 – Marvel Comics #1
Marvel Comics #1 finds its way to the list of the most valuable comics. This comic book features Johnny Storm “The Human Torch” (his first appearance). Timely Comics first published Marvel Comics #1 before the change of name to Marvel Comics. The second issue of this series had a name change causing the first issue to be very valuable to comic collectors.
No.7 – Batman #1
Not long after Detective Comics #27, DC publishes Batman #1. Already changing to his more familiar Blue, Grey and Black costume, this is an important part of comic book history. This launched theBatman Solo Title, where we first see Batman’s arch enemy the Joker. Of all the comics on the list, this is the only one where the Villain makes the book even more valuable.
No.8 – Captain America Comics #1
The winter soldier had his first comic book in 1941 and told the tale of the origin of Captain America. We see a weak Steve Rogers get injected by Professor Reinstein with the super soldier serum. A rapid transformation occurs which births a battle hero we now know as Captain America. This Marvel Comic book was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Captain America Comics #1 takes the 8th spot on our most valuable comic book franchise in the world today.
No.9 – Action Comics #10
The record-breaking Action Comics #10 comes in at 9 on our list. 2011 is the year we saw a CGC grade 9.0 copy of Action Comics #10 reach its milestone $250,000 sale. Old is gold, right? Action Comics #10 proved it when it became the first comic book without a “first appearance” or “spectacular character unveil” to go for such a high amount.
No.10 – All-American Comics #16
Our last entrant is a familiar name in a not so familiar costume. DC's All-American Comics #16 is widely sought after due to it's the first appearance of the Golden Age Green Lantern. This green lantern has a different origin from the current Green Lantern. Collectors and the Green Lantern fans are still keeping an eye out for this All-American Comics #16 comic book.