A near-mint condition copy of Marvel’s first ever comic book has changed hands for $1.26 million at an auction in Dallas. The 1939 copy of Marvel Comics No. 1 was sold to an anonymous buyer on Thursday, according to Heritage Auctions. The item, which is the best-preserved copy known to experts, features the first appearances of characters such as the Human Torch, Ka-Zar, Angel and the Sub-Mariner. The auction house’s senior vice president Ed Jaster said the comic book was the granddaddy of Marvel’s modern Avengers movie empire.
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The comic book was first published by Timely Comics, which later became Marvel. Auctioneers said it was in outrageously good condition, scoring 9.4 on a scale of one to ten. There are only two other known copies which score as high as 9.0, they explained. Heritage said it was first purchased for 10 cents by a mail carrier in Uniontown, Pennsylvania who made a point of buying the first issue of comics and magazines. Since then, the issue has only changed owners a handful of times, Jaster said. The $1.26 million sale also makes it the most expensive Marvel comic book in history. “Amazing Fantasy #15,” in which Spider-Man first appears, slipped to second place, having sold for $1.1 million in 2011. Spider-Man was one of numerous iconic superheroes created by Marvel in the 1960s under the direction of Stan Lee. They have risen to even greater prominence in the 21st century thanks to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe series of movies.
Photo Credit: Heritage Auctions