Pow! Early Superman comic sells for record US$3.2 million
Agence France-Presse in New York
A near-flawless edition of the first comic book featuring Superman, from June 1938, has fetched US$3.2 million at auction, surging past the previous record for a single comic.
After the 10-day eBay auction concluded on Sunday, the hammer came down for Action Comics No1 with a price of US$3,207,852.
The vintage work's seller, Darren Adams, a collector in America's Washington state, described it as possibly the "best copy in existence" and the "Holy Grail" of comic books.
It was kept for decades in a cedar chest in the West Virginia mountains by a man who had bought it off a newsstand, Adams told The Washington Post.
The cover features the red-caped man of steel hoisting a car over his head. The character is widely credited with starting the multibillion-dollar superhero phenomenon.
The first issue of Action Comics was bought by marketplace firm ComicConnect.
Only 50 to 100 copies of the comic book are believed to still exist, most of them in considerably poorer condition than that owned by Adams. In 2011, another copy of the comic book - with faded white pages instead of the pristine ones of Adams' copy - sold for US$2.1 million.
Superman may be the world's most famous superhero, but he is not the subject of the world's most expensive cartoon art.
In May, a 1937 two-page spread by Belgian artist Herge depicting his character Tintin with his dog Snowy sold for €2.65 million (HK$27.14 million), a record for cartoon art in a market where some prices have risen tenfold in the past dozen years.
Additional reporting by Associated Press