CGC-graded Superman #1 and Action Comics #1 Each Sell for More than $1 Million

Posted on 6/15/2023

Early Superman comics in a Goldin auction became the latest CGC-graded comics to realize seven figures! A CGC-graded Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus card was also sold for $132,000.

Just days after the annual celebration of Superman Day, two early Superman comics graded by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®) were sold for more than $1 million each. They were the top lots in a spectacular Goldin Auctions sale on June 14, 2023.

Leading the way was an example of Superman #1 graded CGC 7.0 (lot 2) that realized $1.62 million, followed closely by an Action Comics #1 graded CGC 3.0 (lot 12) that realized $1.5 million.

Click images to enlarge.

Published in 1938 by National Press, Action Comics #1 launched the Golden Age of comics with the introduction of Superman by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster. The comic was an immediate hit, and the franchise rapidly expanded with merchandise, radio programming and movies. DC then decided to give Superman his own title, another first for the burgeoning comic industry. Superman #1 hit the stands in the summer of 1939 and instantly sold out, proving the star power of the superhero.

The sale took place just two days after Superman Day, which is recognized each year on June 12 to commemorate the cover-date release of Action Comics #1.

These are the fourth and fifth CGC-graded comics to sell for more than a million dollars this year. Another CGC-graded copy of Action Comics #1, the  “Rocket Copy,” was sold for $3.55 million in January. Other CGC-graded comics topping a million dollars in 2023 are a Detective Comics #27 graded CGC 6.0 and a Batman #1 graded CGC 8.0 that were sold for $1.7 million and $1.1 million, respectively.

In addition, there were nine CGC-graded comics that sold for more than a million dollars each in 2022, including a copy of Superman #1 graded CGC 8.0 that set the record for most valuable comic when it traded hands in a $5.3 million deal.

Other CGC-graded comics featured in this Goldin auction included a Pep Comics #22 (lot 14) graded CGC 6.5 that realized $180,000. The book features the first appearance of Archie Andrews and his pals Jughead and Betty. An Amazing Fantasy #15 (lot 15) graded CGC 7.5 realized $122,400 as bidders competed for an example of the book that introduced Spider-Man to the world.

Also sold in this auction was a Black Lotus, Magic: The Gathering (1993) Beta Artist Proof graded CGC 8.5, with subgrades of 8.5 for Centering, 9 for Surface, 8 for Corners and 9.5 for Edges (lot 42) that realized $132,000.

Click images to enlarge.

Black Lotus is one of the most coveted Magic: The Gathering cards in existence. It is one of the Power 9 — a set of nine early Magic cards that gave players such an advantage in play that they were later banned from all formats. Out of those nine cards, Black Lotus is the most sought-after by collectors for its beauty and rarity. The Beta set, much like Alpha, sold out incredibly quickly, with a print run just three times the size of Alpha. This equated to roughly 3,300 copies of each rare card being printed, including the Black Lotus.

Prices realized include a buyer’s premium.

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