In 1938, Detective Comics (DC) introduced Superman into their ‘Action Comics’ No. 1 little knowing he was to become the most famous superhero of all time. To illustrate the significance of Superman to collectors would be to reference the battered and torn copy of this edition which was found in America being used as wall insulation and sold at auction for $175,000. There are thought to be about 100 copies of this edition in circulation with the near-mint copy belonging to Nicholas Cage selling for $2.6 million in 2011; the most expensive comic ever sold at auction.
During this Golden Age of ‘modern’ comics (1938-1955), DC gave Superman his own comic book and introduced many other superheroes that we know and love today including Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash. Interest in Superhero comics specifically had started to dwindle towards the end of the Golden Age but then in the late 1950s and into the 1960s, there was a surge of new, modernised superheroes from the creative genius of Stan Lee and his Marvel Comics. During this time, the likes of The Uncanny X-Men, the Amazing Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four first made appearances in Marvel Comics. Comic book collecting also took off at this time and by 1970 was a fully
established collecting area.
As with most collectables, condition is by far the most important factor in assessing value. The most desirable comics are mint-condition, which can be difficult to find particularly
with early comics which were printed on low quality paper. First issues are also sought after, as are editions featuring the first appearance or death of a character and interest can also be revived for certain characters in line with new films or TV series.
Senior Valuer Michael Dowse
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