When the issue number for an Action Comics #1 is fetching $7k, you know things have gotten out of hand. If you kept track of the single pages being sold, you’d have seen it coming years ago.
In the past month, the big news has been the ridiculous price tag for one square from Action Comics #1. You heard that right. On March 16, a small box clipped out of Superman’s first appearance that simply had the issue number sold for $7,101. That’s insane, and it signals a huge wave of lofty price tags for those single pages from the most rare of comics.
Anything is Something
Some comics are so valued and beloved that owning any piece of its history is a hallmark of any collection. When I say piece, I literally mean even the smallest of pieces, hence the aforementioned #1 box. The thing to remember is that collectors covet anything from Action Comics #1. Whether it’s a moldy, water-damaged copy with rusty staples or the cover is completely missing, it’s still one of the most valuable prizes in all of comics.
The lowest grade on record, the 0.5, was sold for $10,200 in 2005. In December, a 3.0 brought $1.6 million. It’s no wonder that collectors will take anything from an Action Comics #1, and that includes torn-out pages from the holiest of holy grails.
Proof is in the Pages
Many collectors forget that Superman only appeared in the first 13 pages of Action Comics #1. He was the featured act, certainly, but the Man of Steel was one of eleven stories featured in the issue. Clearly, the most coveted pages are those with Superman in the panels, especially if he is in full costume. With the issue’s rarity and historical significance, having one page with Superman brings thousands of dollars. A graded first page sold for $25,000 in December.
The amounts fall dramatically after page one, but the prices are still ridiculously high. A slabbed page two brought $5,583 in 2020, and the third page had a $7,200 price tag a year ago. With the clipped #1 rivaling that figure, there’s a possibility the next pages two or three will approach the $10k mark or higher. For that matter, a page four already reached $9,500 last May, but a page five blew just about everything out of the water when it sold for $23,000 that August.
Whether or not Superman is on the page doesn’t detract from the collecting appeal. This time last year, a page 28 that was not part of the Superman story sold for $2,250. Even a page 30 earned $2,589 in August. Definitely, the pages to have are those with the Man of Steel in all his glory, but collectors will take anything they can get their hands on.
Where Could we go from Here?
Before you know it, the world will be celebrating Superman’s 100th birthday. With single pages already hitting the $25k mark and single numbers getting four figures, it is quite likely those prices will double by 2038. All those baffling figures are a testament to the popularity of comics’ most enduring and iconic figures as well as the rising interest in collectibles and their investment potential.
What do you think? What comic page would you hunt for? Let us know in the comments!