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The Globe and Mail

This near-mint Superman comic smashes record with seven-figure sale at auction

This 2014 photo provided by e-Bay shows a rare, nearly flawless copy of Superman's comic-book debut which has sold for $3.2-million.


Superman's greatest power is smashing auction records. Sure, he can fly, run faster than a locomotive, shoot laser-beams out of his eyes and do all kinds of things. But when the most prized comic in history starts taking bids, look out.

The last remaining son of Krypton first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938. It cost 10 cents at the time. A well-preserved copy just sold at an eBay auction that ended Sunday for the whopping, ka-pow amount of $3,207,852 (U.S.).

That makes it the single most expensive comic to have ever sold at public auction, as its buyer, Metropolis Comics, boasted on Instagram.

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"It's hard to believe that a kid's 10-cent comic could be worth that much money, but it is Superman," Stephen Fishler of Metropolis Comics told the Associated Press. "That's an iconic thing. It's the first time anybody saw what a superhero was like."

While approximately 200,000 copies of the comics were printed back in 1938, only about 50 unrestored originals are thought to be extant.

The copy sold on Sunday was owned by Darren Adams, who runs a comic shop in Washington State.

Forty-eight people bid on it over the course of the auction.

The previous record for a comic sold at auction was set in 2011. The comic? You guessed it: Action Comics #1, which sold for $2.16-million. Another copy of the comic sold in 2010 for $1.5-million.

The copy bought on Sunday night fetched such a high price because of its near-pristine condition.

The Certified Gauranty Company, a collectibles rating agency, gave it a 9 out of 10 grading.

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While there could be up to 100 copies of the first Superman comic in existence, only two have ever received a 9 from the agency, the Guardian reports.

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