First Comic Book Featuring Captain America Sells For Over $3 Million At Auction

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Captain America Comics No. 1, a 1941 comic book issue featuring the first appearance of the titular character, sold for over $3.1 million Thursday, becoming the one of the most expensive comic books ever sold at auction—the latest testament to the ongoing dominance of comic book lore in popular culture.

Key Facts

An unnamed buyer purchased the issue at auctioneer Heritage Auctions’ comic and comic arts event for $3.12 million.

The Certified Guaranty Company, a service that verifies the condition of rare comic books and other collectables, gave the issue a 9.4, which is near-mint condition for the 81-year-old comic.

There are only three known copies of a 9.4-graded version of the comic book in the world, as well as one 9.8-graded version that has never been auctioned, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The issue, written and drawn by groundbreaking comic book creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, also features the first appearance of the Marvel hero’s ally Bucky, who would go on to become the Winter Soldier.

Crucial Quote

“Smashing thru, Captain America came face to face with Hitler,” the cover of the issue reads, alongside an illustration of the soldier-turned-superhero striking the Nazi leader. The issue was published nine months before the US entered World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

BigNumber

$3.6 million. That’s how much a 9.6-graded copy of 1962’s Amazing Fantasy No. 15—featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man—sold for in September, becoming the most expensive comic book ever sold at auction. The sale beat out the previous record set in April 2021: $3.25 million for an 8.5-graded issue of 1938’s Action Comics No. 1, which featured the first appearance of Superman. A 9.0-graded version of the same comic sold for $3.2 million in 2014, and 6.0-graded version sold for 3.18 million earlier this year.

Key Background

The rise in value of vintage comic books parallels the record-breaking success superhero films have had at the box office in the last decade. Four of the top 10 highest grossing films of all time are Marvel superhero films that have been released in the past decade, according to IMDb.

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