eBay will auction off a rare comic treasure

The online marketplace will offer up the original Superman comic next month.

Abby Callard

It’s potentially the biggest comic sale in eBay Inc.’s history.

At least, that’s what experts are saying. On Aug. 14, eBay’s online marketplace will auction off the original Superman comic, titled Action Comics #1  

The comic book, which was published in 1938, introduced the world to Superman. Experts believe there are only 50 unrestored original copies of the comic book still in circulation.

"Action #1 started it all,” says Paul Litch, comic book grading service Certified Guaranty Company’s primary grader. “The first appearance of Superman, arguably the world's most recognized super hero. It is the collecting grail for most comic book collectors. This copy in particular is like looking back in time when the book just came off the newsstand. Historians, Americana enthusiasts and comic book fans will all be watching."

Certified Guaranty Company graded the comic book a 9.0—“very fine/near mint”—on the comic book grading scale of 10.0. Litch says it’s easily one of the top 10 comic books his grading team has ever certified.

“EBay connects shoppers to the things they love—offering one-of-a-kind inventory, like Action Comics #1, that cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” says Gene Cook, general manager of emerging verticals for eBay Marketplaces. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire the most valuable comic book in existence and we look forward to sharing a piece of pop culture history with the global eBay community of 149 million buyers.”

Three years ago, one of those copies sold for $2.161 million despite  Certified Guaranty Company rating that book a 9.0  of out 10.0because its pages were cream colored. The book being auctioned on eBay in August is also rated a 9 but has white pages, which means it could fetch an even higher price.

"The quality and preservation of this Action #1 is astounding,” says Litch. “The book looks and feels like it just came off the newsstand. It is supple, the colors are deep and rich and the quality of the white pages is amazing for a comic that is 76 years old.”

Earlier this summer eBay blocked the sale of a Mercedes owned by a Nazi leader. eBay also recently announced it was teaming up with auction house Sotheby’s for live auctions of such luxury items as jewelry, watches, prints, wines and photographs.


e-commerce, eBay, eBay Marketplace, online auctions, online marketplaces