Batman #1 and Superman #1 Break UK Auction Records

Two of the most highly sought-after and exceptionally rare comics, Batman #1 and Superman #1, set new auction records when they were offered for the first time ever in the United Kingdom.

Superman #1 – ranked as #3 on the list of top 100 most important comics of the Golden Age, sold for £97,890 – over four times its starting price of £20,000, and Batman #1 – the first solo-titled comic and 5th most important Golden Age Comic, sold for £31,375 – over five times its starting price of £5,000.

Here’s the full press release from Excalibur Auctions:

HOLY COW! TWO OF THE MOST RARE COMICS
SET NEW AUCTION RECORDS IN THE UK

Superman #1 sells for £97,890 and Batman #1 for £31,375

” Two of the most highly sought-after and exceptionally rare comics set new auction records for the UK when they were offered for the first time ever there. Produced by the famous American publisher, DC Entertainment, Superman #1 sold for £97,890 against a starting price of £20,000. The comic is exceptionally rare with a current ranking of #3 on Overstreet’s list* of the Top 100 Golden Age comics, which is a ‘holy grail’ in comic collecting.

The Golden Age ran from 1938 to 1956 and was a period when the concept of the ‘super-hero’ was created and many well-known characters were introduced, including Superman, Batman, Captain America & Wonder Woman. An event cited as the beginning of the Golden Age was the debut of Superman in 1938 and his popularity helped make comics a major arm of publishing, which then led rival companies to create superheroes of their own.

Superman #1 arrived in 1939, one year after the character’s first appearance in Action Comics #1 which demonstrated his fast rise in popularity. Creating a comic book for a single character had not been done before, therefore setting a precedent. Superman was also the first ever hero character to appear in more than one comic magazine. It was the first time DC* included a letters column for fans to write to the Editor, which also proved very popular.

The issue retells the origin of Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, with new material and the Superman pin-up on the back cover, which was the first pin-up in comics.

Comics specialist Terry Palmer at Excalibur Auctions said at the time of cataloging: “This comic is graded 1.8 by CGC and presents well considering it is 85 years old! At the time of writing, there are currently 77 unrestored copies on the CGC census* (with only 37 of them graded higher). With a starting price of £20,000 and considering its rarity and ranking it is no surprise that it sold for over four times that.”

The second comic was Batman #1, also from the Golden Age, a book considered to be the 5th most important Golden Age comic.

Having first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, this was Batman’s first solo-titled comic and featured the first appearances of two of his most famous foes – The Joker & Catwoman. The issue saw the publication of four stories in total, including two with The Joker, The Giants of Dr. Hugo Strange, and one with The Cat.

The stories are believed to have been written by comic book, TV, and film writer Bill Finger (1914-1974) and featured a classic cover image by Bob Kane (1915-1998), the American comic book writer, animator, and artist, who co-created Batman. It was dated 1940 (graded 3.0 (RESTORED C-3) by CGC*) and sold for £31,375, over five times its starting price of £5,000.

Jonathan Torode, Excalibur’s Auctioneer said: “We were absolutely thrilled to offer these two pieces of exceptionally rare comic history! There was fierce bidding on the telephones, on the internet, and in the room. Interest came from around the globe, with the Superman comic finally winning out to an Australian buyer.

“We did anticipate competitive bidding, due to the rankings and rarity at auction of the two comics, but this far exceeded our expectations! Having not been sold in the UK before (except one without a cover) and setting a new auction record for both comics at auction in the UK, as well as a house record for Excalibur Auctions, I can safely say this was a truly historic moment. “

Who could argue with that?

I know for a fact that if anyone at Dark Knight News had the chance they would love to own copies of Batman #1 and Superman #1!

Press Release Courtesy of Excalibur Auctions and Maylor P.R.. Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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