A near-mint copy of the first Captain America comic book sold at auction yesterday (7 April) for $3.1 million (£2.4 million).
The high-value sale is the highest price ever paid at auction for super soldier Steve Rogers’ debut, joining Superman and Spider-Man as the only superheroes to have secured bids over $3 million.
According to Heritage Auctions, bidding opened at $1.8 million (£1.4m), but quickly jumped to $2.2 million (£1.7m).
The comic book – 1941’s Captain America Comics No 1 – came from the historic San Francisco Pedigree Collection, and received its near-mint grading from the Certified Guaranty Company. This made it the highest-rated copy seen at Heritage Auctions in two decades.
The cover features Captain America in classic patriotic form, punching Hitler in the face as Nazi soldiers look on.
A total of $13.1m (£10m) was surpassed for all items sold in the first two-hour session of Heritage’s Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction, which will run until 10 April in Dallas, Texas.
Barry Sandoval of Heritage Auctions said: “Every time I looked up during the comic art portion of the session, a new record was falling, and with the comic books, that trend continued. We knew this was a selection of truly exceptional material, and we’re thrilled bidders agreed with that.”
The splash page from Captain America’s first solo Silver Age story – 1964’s Tales of Suspense No. 59 – also sold for $630,000 (£480,000), the highest price ever paid at auction for a Jack Kirby original. 1961’s Fantastic Four debut crossed the million-dollar mark for the first time, securing $1.5 million (£1.15 million).
Captain America was the first Marvel Comics character to appear in media outside of comic books, with the 1944 movie serial, Captain America. Steve Rogers’ feature-length debut came with 1990’s Captain America with Matt Salinger in the title role.
Chris Evans debuted as Captain America in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, since appearing as the character in nine feature films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Captain America 4 – starring Sam Wilson and continuing from the events of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – is currently being scripted.