World's most valuable non-superhero comic sold at Heritage
A rare Golden Age comic books with a highly controversial cover has set a new world record price at Heritage.
Last week's sale of comics and comic artwork in Dallas was topped by a copy of Suspense Comics #3, regarded as one of the rarest comic books ever published during the 1940s.
Released in 1944, the issue featured a striking cover by Alex Schomburg, combining images of action, adventure, bondage, Nazis and hooded figures resembling the Klu Klux Klan. Such was the nature of the cover, it is believed many copies never made it to the news-stands and few have survived to this day.
The copy on offer was from the Pennsylvania pedigree graded CBCS 9.0, the finest-known copy in existence, and featured as the frontispiece for the 1990 Gerber Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books. It sold for a remarkable $173,275, setting an auction record for any non-superhero comic book.
"This copy, the one pictured in Gerber's Photo-Journal, is now the ultimate mark of collecting credibility for the new owner" said Barry Sandoval, Managing Director of Comic Auctions Operations at Heritage. "True collectors, those at the heart of the hobby, understand that this is one of the most special comic books in existence and, we can now safely say, the most valuable one that doesn't feature a superhero."
Topping the original comic art section of the sale was a stunning splash page from X-Men #137 – the penultimate issue in John Byrne and Terry Austin's iconic Dark Phoenix Saga run. Described as "arguably the most famous image from the greatest and most popular X-Men story of them all", the double-page artwork sold for $167,300, setting a new record for artwork by Byrne.
"This splash page, for many fans, represents the very heart and soul of what made the X-Men one of the most popular comic books of all time," said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. "It's got it all: amazing art, incredible creativity and the luster of being the best X-Men story arc ever created."
Further notable results from the sale included a CGC-graded 6.5 copy of All-American Comics #16 featuring the debut of the Green Lantern, which sold for $110,538; an original piece of 1935 Flash Gordon comic strip art by Alex Raymond which realized $95,600; and a CGC VF+ 8.5 graded copy of Action Comics #23, featuring the very first mention of The Daily Planet, which fetched $62,725.
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