Want to own a piece of Marvel history? According to CNN, a rare “pay copy” of Marvel Comics No. 1 that was originally published in 1939 just netted over $2.4 million dollars at auction. That’s right, for one issue of a comic. But, to be fair, a pay copy means that there are notes in there on how much the artists would be paid. Publisher Lloyd Jacquet‘s notes about the work that Frank Paul did on the cover are in there in pencil. Those kinds of additions add a historic value to the comic.
The beginning of Marvel Comics started with this now-rare comic that featured The Human Torch, The Angel, Submariner, and Masked Raider and went on to give us some of our favorite heroes shortly thereafter. But without this issue, we wouldn’t have the Marvel world as we know it today and while $2.4 million is a steep price tag, it is an iconic piece of history to explore.
The auction isn’t new to Marvel. A rare one-page shot of Spider-Man in his all-black suit for the first time auctioned for over $3 million just last year. So seeing big-ticket comics from Marvel’s history isn’t exactly a surprise but owning the first-ever Marvel comic? That would make any comic fan happy.
“This is the beginning. Without this, there would be no Marvel Universe, no Captain America punching Hitler, no Marvel movies, no Spider-Man, not even today’s superhero mythology as we know it,” ComicConnect, the online marketplace that hosted the auction, said in a statement.
Marvel has become a leader in the world of superheroes. Prior to the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it gained popularity with comic characters like Spider-Man and Captain America — it has now grown to bringing even their c-level heroes into the limelight with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because really, whose favorite hero was Ant-Man prior to Paul Rudd‘s take on the character? But having this comic and exploring those first panels of comic history is exciting for any lover of Marvel.
This comic is a huge part of history, especially given how big Marvel has become within the last ten years alone. So to own a piece of history that has some of the first appearances of characters we’ve loved for nearly a century is huge! Congrats to the lucky bidder and hopefully this gets everyone on the right path to finally giving us a Submariner appearance in the MCU.