NEW YORK — A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman has sold for $317,200 in an Internet auction.
The winning bid for the 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1 was submitted Friday evening by John Dolmayan, the drummer for the rock band System of a Down.
In addition to being a musician, Dolmayan is also a dealer of rare comic books. The auctioneers say he was acquiring the Superman comic on behalf of a client.
The price was one of the highest ever paid for a comic.
The auction site ComicConnect says the man who had owned the comic book purchased it in a secondhand store in the early 1950s when he was 9 years old. He paid 35 cents for it and held onto it for the following 58 years.
When the auction was first announced last month, comic book expert Stephen Fishler predicted that bidding for the comic book would be sure to go up, up and away. He said that copies of Action Comics No. 1 in "fine" condition were worth about $126,000, but that this copy could sell for several times that.
The character of Superman, a superhuman champion of justice who came to Earth after surviving the destruction of the planet Krypton, was originally created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1932. In 1938 they sold the character to Detective Comics, Inc.
After appearing in Action Comics No. 1, Superman quickly caught the public’s fancy, paving the way for Batman and myriad other super-heroes in colorful costumes. Over the years the Man of Steel become the star of newspaper comic strips, radio drama, television and big-budget motion pictures.
Detective Comics, Inc. is today known as DC Comics, which continues to publish the character’s adventures. DC’s Superman titles still include Action Comics, which has published nearly 900 issues since 1938.
About 100 copies of the No. 1 edition are known to exist. It originally cost 10 cents.
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