Captain America and his sidekick, Bucky, make their debut appearance in a 1940 comic.
A nearly like-new comic book featuring Captain America‘s very first appearance fetched Thursday for well over $3.1 million at auction.
The deal sets a new record for Captain America Comics No. 1 and elevates it to the top five most expensive comics ever sold. The total purchase price was $3,120,000, including the buyer’s premium. It was put up for auction as part of Heritage Auctions’ ongoing comics and comic art events.
The comic hit shelves in December 1940 for the first time, a full year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which precipitated the United States’ entry into World War II, and featured one of the most famous covers in the comics medium: the hero smacking Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in his face.
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are the brains behind the hero of Timely Comics, the forerunner of Marvel Comics, with the now-famous story of an infirm young man named Steve Rogers who receives a serum injection that turns him into a super-soldier. Additionally, Cap’s sidekick Bucky was introduced, who would later evolve into the hero known as the Winter Soldier and appear heavily in Marvel Studios films and a Disney+ series. The best-selling comic book immediately took by storm, with hundreds of thousands of copies sold every month.
Vintage comics continue to attract ever-increasing prices, and this is one of just three that have sold for more than $3 million publicly. In September 2021, an Amazing Fantasy No. 15 with the first Spider-Man appearance sold for $3.6 million, setting a new record for the most expensive comic book. In 2014, prior to the current frenzy for comics and comic art, Action Comics #1 sold for $3.2 million.
Numerous others have joined the $2 million club. A Marvel Comics No. 1 from 1939 sold for $2.4 million last month, while two editions of Action Comics have sold in that price range recently, as has a Batman No. 1, which sold for $2.2 million in January 2021.