Unless you’re a bit of a geek, you might not realise how much of an investment comic books can be.

Most of us have seen the glee that ‘Comic Book Guy’ from The Simpsons takes in collecting his prized tomes.

What you might not realise is that the chubby chap is actually generating a pretty serious investment portfolio at the same time.

most valuable comics

A mint-condition Superman comic book once sold for a hefty $3.2 million. Not bad considering that it originally cost just 10 cents in June 1938. Plus, that price value will probably increase significantly as the years go by.

That particular issue of Action Comics is the highest selling comic of all time, but it’s by no means the only pricey one out there. In every ‘age’ of comic books there’s a few that are more valuable than the rest.

Using the handy guide on SellMyComics.com we’ve put together a list of the most valuable comics from each generation.

For those who don’t have a Comic Book Guy level of knowledge, here’s how the ‘ages’ are broken down:

  • Golden Age of Comic Books – late 1930s to around 1950.
  • Silver Age of Comic Books – 1956 to 1970.
  • Bronze Age of Comic Books – 1970 to 1985.
  • Modern Age of Comic Books – 1992 to present day.

The most valuable comic books ever sold

Golden Age

15. Action Comics #13 (Jun 1939)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: Fourth ever Superman cover appearance.

Highest sale: $185,000

Minimum value: $5,000

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14. All-Star Comics #3 (November 1940)

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story for the Justice Society Of America.

Highest sale: $200,000

Minimum value: $3,000

13. All-American Comics #16 (July 1940)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story for the Green Lantern (Alan Scott incarnation)

Highest sale: $203,000

Minimum value: $8,000

12. Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939)

Noteworthy for: Introduction and origin story for the original Human Torch (Jim Hammond incarnation) and The Angel.

Highest sale: $227,000

Minimum value: $15,000

11. Action Comics #10 (Mar 1939)

Noteworthy for: Third Superman cover appearance.

Highest sale: $258,000

Minimum value: $8,000

10. Whiz Comics #1 (#2) (February 1940)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Captain Marvel (the character was later renamed Shazam to avoid conflict with Marvel Comics!)

Highest sale: $281,000

Minimum value: $12,000

9. Wonder Woman #1 (Jun 1942)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: The first solo appearance and origin of Wonder Woman.

Highest sale: $291,000

Minimum value: $1,500

8. Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Captain America.

Highest sale: $306,000

Minimum value: $15,000

7. Sensation Comics #1 (Jan 1942)

Noteworthy for: First cover featuring Wonder Woman.

Highest sale: $399,000

Minimum value: $5,000

6. Flash Comics #1 (Jan 1940)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin stories for the Flash (Jay Garrick incarnation), Hawkman (Carter Hall incarnation), and Johnny Thunder.

Highest sale: $450,000

Minimum value: $5,000

5. Superman #1 (Jun 1939)

Noteworthy for: The first solo Superman comic book.

Highest sale: $507,000

Minimum value: $15,000

4. Batman #1 (April 1940)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First solo appearance of Batman. First appearance of Catwoman and the Joker.

Highest sale: $567,000

Minimum value: $12,000

3. All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941)

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Wonder Woman.

Highest sale: $936,000

Minimum value: $10,000

2. Detective Comics #27 (May 1939)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Batman.

Highest sale: $2.1 million

Minimum value: $70,000

1. Action Comics #1 (June 1938)

Most Valuable Comic Books

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Superman. First appearance of a superhero on the front of a comic book.

Highest sale: $3.2 million

Minimum value: $75,000

Silver Age

15. Amazing Spider-Man #4 (Sept 1963)

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin of Sandman (the Spiderman villain.)

Highest sale: $77,000

Minimum value: $500

14. Fantastic Four #2 (Jan 1961)

Noteworthy for: First appearance of the Skrulls (General Marvel villains.)

Highest sale: $90,000

Minimum value: $50

13. Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Black Panther.

Highest sale: $90,000

Minimum value: $180

12. Avengers #4 (March 1964)

Noteworthy for: First Silver Age appearance of Captain America.

Highest sale: $120,000

Minimum value: $100

11. Brave and the Bold #28 (March 1960)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of the Justice League of America.

Highest sale: $120,000

Minimum value: $500

10. Showcase #4 (October 1956)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of the Flash (Barry Allen incarnation.)

Highest sale: $179,000

Minimum value: $1,400

9. Tales to Astonish #27 (January 1962)

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Ant-Man (Hank Pym incarnation.)

Highest sale: $200,000

Minimum value: $450

8. Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First issue of Spiderman’s solo comic book.

Highest sale: $262,000

Minimum value: $500

7. Journey Into Mystery #83 (August 1962)

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Thor.

Highest sale: $275,000

Minimum value: $500

6. The Avengers #1 (September 1963)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First united appearance and origin story of the Avengers.

Highest sale: $274,000

Minimum value: $500

5. Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of the Fantastic Four.

Highest sale: $300,000

Minimum value: $1,000

4. Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Iron Man.

Highest sale: $375,000

Minimum value: $400

3. Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of the Hulk.

Highest sale: $375,000

Minimum value: $2,500

2. X-Men #1 (September 1963)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of the X-Men.

Highest sale: $492,000

Minimum value: $450

1. Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Spiderman.

Highest sale: $1.1 million

Minimum value: $3,000

Bronze Age

15. Iron Man #55 (1973)

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Thanos.

Highest sale: $6,000

Minimum value: $70

14. Batman #227 (1970)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: Classic cover.

Highest sale: $6,400

Minimum value: $10

13. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (1970)

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Darkseid (a recurring DC villain.)

Highest sale: $6,700

Minimum value: $10

12. Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1975)

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of the New X-Men.

Highest sale: $7,200

Minimum value: $50

11. Iron Fist #14 (35c price variant)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: Rare variant cover.

Highest sale: $8,300

Minimum value: $100

10. Cerebus #1 (1977)

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Cerebus the Aardvark.

Highest sale: $9,000

Minimum value: $50

9. The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (1974)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance of the Punisher.

Highest sale: $15,500

Minimum value: $100

8. House of Secrets #92 (July 1971)

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Swamp Thing.

Highest sale: $14,000

Minimum value: $80

7. Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975)

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Moon Knight.

Highest sale: $14,500

Minimum value: $40

6. X-Men #94 (August 1975)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First regular appearance of the new line-up of the X-Men.

Highest sale: $15,000

Minimum value: $80

5. Hero for Hire #1

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Luke Cage.

Highest sale: $24,000

Minimum value: $30

4. Star Wars #1 (35c Price Variant)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: Rare variant cover of the first issue of Star Wars comics.

Highest sale: $26,000

Minimum value: $450

3. Green Lantern #76 (April 1970)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: A crossover between Green Arrow and Green Lantern.

Highest sale: $31,000

Minimum value: $40

2. Incredible Hulk #181 (November 1974)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance of Wolverine.

Highest sale: $150,000

Minimum value: $300

1. Marvel Spotlight #5 (August 1972)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: First appearance and origin story of Ghost Rider.

Highest sale: $48,500

Minimum value: $20

Modern Age (note that most of these are valuable for specific variant covers)

15. Amazing Spider-Man #700 (2013) Steve Ditko variant cover

most valuable comic books

Highest sale: $2,200

Minimum value: $75

14. Danger Girl #2 (1998) Ruby Red smoking gun variant cover

Highest sale: $2,250

Minimum value: $50

13. Saga #1 (2012) Retailer incentive variant

Highest sale: $2,500

Minimum value: $45

12. Batman Adventures #12 (1993)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: The first comic book appearance of Harley Quinn.

Highest sale: $2,500

Minimum value: $70

11. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5 (2000) Recalled edition

Highest sale: $2,500

Minimum value: $100

10. Siege #3 (2010) Campbell variant Deadpool cover

Highest sale: $2,600

Minimum value: $150

9. Spawn #185 (2008) Sketch cover

most valuable comic books

Highest sale: $2,750

Minimum value: $50

8. Spawn #1 (1992) Manufacturing error

Highest sale: $2,800

Minimum value: $150

7. Wolverine #1 (2010) J. Scott Campbell Deadpool variant cover

Highest sale: $2,800

Minimum value: $150

6. Batman #608 (2002) Retailer appreciation variant cover

most valuable comic books

Highest sale: $3,300

Minimum value: $180

5. Amazing Spider-Man #678 (2012) Mary Jane as Venom variant cover

Highest sale: $3,000

Minimum value: $250

4. Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (2014) Gwen Stacy Becomes Spider-Woman retailer incentive cover

most valuable comic books

Highest sale: $3,500

Minimum value: $150

3. Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1 (1999) Rare One Shot

most valuable comic books

Highest sale: $4,700

Minimum value: $150

2. Dark Knight III: Master Race #1 (2016) Jim Lee variant cover

most valuable comic books

Highest sale: $2,800

Minimum value: $150

1. The Walking Dead #1 (October 2003)

most valuable comic books

Noteworthy for: The first issue of the The Walking Dead.

Highest sale: $11,000

Minimum value: $250

The most valuable comics of all time

As you can see, there’s a huge amount of valuable comic books out there.

Even recent ones can be worth keeping if you’ve got your hands on a good one. However, since we’ve broken them all down by age, you may want a more definitive list.

Here are the top 15 from the highest selling price to the lowest highest selling price.

  1. Action Comics #1 (June 1938) – $3.2m
  2. Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) $2.1m
  3. Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) $1.1m
  4.  All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941) – $936,000
  5. Batman #1 (April 1940) – $567,000
  6. Superman #1 (June 1939) – $507,000
  7. X-Men #1 (September 1963) – $492,000
  8.  Flash Comics #1 (January 1940) – $450,000
  9. Sensation Comics #1 (January 1942) – $399,000
  10. Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963) – $375,000
  11. Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962) – $375,000
  12. Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) – $306,000
  13. Fantastic Four #1 (November 1963) – $300,000
  14. Wonder Woman #1 (June 1942) – $291,000
  15. Whiz Comics #1 (#2) (February 1940) – $281,000

We also thought it might be a bit of fun to rank the individual superheroes as from top to bottom, to see whose comics appear most and therefore, who you’re most likely to turn a profit on if you pick up a random of their books.

  1. Spiderman
  2. Batman
  3. Superman
  4. The X-Men, Fantastic Four, Wonder Woman
  5. Spawn, Hulk, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Avengers, Flash, Captain America

However, it’s worth remembering that in terms of sheer value, Superman still rules the roost.

There’s obviously plenty of money to be made in comic books, if you know where to invest. And these prices will just keep rising, at least for as long as there are people who love superheroes…