ACTION COMICS (1ST SERIES)

Dates: 1 Jun 1938-257 Oct 1959(ND); 258 Nov 1959-904 Aug 2011
Issues: CLICK HERE to view issues, super-size cover images and values in 9 grades

Action Comics #1 features the origin and 1st appearance of Superman, the most iconic, famous and influential comic book superhero of them all. The first appearances also of Lois Lane and Zatara the Magician. This comic has made headlines around the world recently with a series of spectactular sales.

The title has become fantastically collectible in recent times, particularly the very early ones (if you can afford them!) right through the early (#200-300) and late Silver Age/Bronze Age (#301-499). Interest slackens off perhaps after #500 and we ignore the terrible Action Comics Weekly! #258-467 are available as pence copy variants.

A 8.0 Very Fine copy was the first comic to reach the fabled 'million dollar comic' mark in Feb 2011. This was followed by a sale of $1.5m for the highest graded 8.5 copy a month later. In June 2011, a 6.5 Fine Plus copy fetched $625,000. And on Dec 1st 2011, all this was shattered by a 9.0 copy fetching $2,161,000. Absolutely incredible. That someone would have that much money to spend on a comic. And I thought the £10,000 ($16,000) that I paid for my copy back in 1986 was a ridiculous sum!

The first officially distributed issue of Action Comics in the UK was #258 cover-dated Nov 1959. It is thought that a small number of issue #257 came over as market testers or possibly as the previous month's 'makeweights' in the distribution parcels along with #258. I recall seeing a pence copy #257 but it was a long time ago and I can't remember where exactly. Issues prior to this were Non Distributed in the UK at the time so are always cents copies.

Jan 2018: noted collector Graham Arthur send me a photo of his UK Variant copy - a rare thing of beauty indeed. Take a look under the individual comic details.

It is worth noting that Detective Comics #272 cover-dated October 1959 may also have come over to the UK is some quantities. And I have recently learned that Strange Adventures #109 cover-dated October 1959 was test-distributed in the north of England only (thanks to Paul Stephenson for that information. He was there. He saw a copy).

The first few years of Action Comics distribution were pretty healthy with no obvious scarce or even less common issues in the UK, not until #334, the first 80 page giant issue dated Mar 1966.

UK Variant copies: #258-315 have a 9d cover stamp. #316-325 have a large 10d cover stamp. #326-353 have a small 10d cover stamp. #354 to have a 1/- (one shilling) cover stamp. #392#393-402 have a 5p cover stamp (#402 it's printed). #403-413 have a seven and a half pence cover stamp. #414-427 have a 6p cover stamp. #428-430 have a 7p cover stamp. #431-445 have an 8p cover stamp. #446-467 have a 10p cover stamp.

Action Comics became the first mainstream super-hero title to reach 900 issues in (cover date) Jun 2011. A great achievement! I am counting down the days to issue #1000.

On Dec 1st 2011 a 9.0 CGC graded copy fetched $2,161,000 - a new world record! Outstanding! And we thought that the $1.5 million 8.5 copy sold mid year would be the record holder for a long time to come.

Stop Press: 24th August 2014. A 9.0 with a white pages accreditation sold on eBay for a new world record $3,207,852. The five million dollar comic book is not that far away I predict.

There is also a copy floating about on eBay USA of 1 1958 Action Comics #1 issued for the SE Asian market. The vendor keeps asking silly money for it....

Superman only appeared on intermittant covers at first as the publishers weren't sure he'd be successful! Numbers 1, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17, 19 onwards.

See also:

SUPERMAN (1ST SERIES) / SUPERMAN (1ST SERIES) ANNUAL / SUPERMAN (2ND SERIES) / SUPERMAN (2ND SERIES) ANNUAL / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES / SUPERMAN AND HIS INCREDIBLE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE / SUPERMAN ANNUAL, THE ADVENTURES OF / SUPERMAN FAMILY / SUPERMAN 80 PAGE GIANT 2010 / SUPERMAN 80 PAGE GIANT 2011 / SUPERMAN AND SPIDER-MAN / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES ANNUAL / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES SPECIAL / SUPERMAN ARCHIVES / SUPERMAN BOOK AND RECORD SET / SUPERMAN GALLERY, THE / SUPERMAN II: THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES / SUPERMAN III MOVIE SPECIAL / SUPERMAN IV MOVIE SPECIAL / SUPERMAN MEETS THE QUIK BUNNY / SUPERMAN PIZZA HUT GIVEAWAYS / SUPERMAN PLUS #1 / SUPERMAN RADIO SHACK / SUPERMAN SPECIAL / SUPERMAN RECORD COMIC / SUPERMAN SPECIAL (2ND SERIES) / SUPERMAN SPECTACULAR / SUPERMAN VS. ALIENS / SUPERMAN 80 PAGE GIANT 1999 / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES) / SUPERMAN AND BATMAN: GENERATIONS / SUPERMAN AND BATMAN: GENERATIONS2 / SUPERMAN AND BATMAN: GENERATIONS3 / SUPERMAN AND BATMAN VERSUS ALIENS AND PREDATOR / SUPERMAN AND BATMAN VERSUS VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES / SUPERMAN AND BATMAN: WORLD'S FUNNIEST / SUPERMAN AND BUGS BUNNY / SUPERMAN AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES / SUPERMAN AND SAVAGE DRAGON: METROPOLIS / SUPERMAN AND SAVAGE DRAGON: CHICAGO / SUPERMAN BEYOND / SUPERMAN CHRONICLES / SUPERMAN - CODENAME: PATRIOT / SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL / SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS / SUPERMAN FOR EARTH / SUPERMAN FOREVER / SUPERMAN INC. / SUPERMAN IN THE EIGHTIES / SUPERMAN IN THE FIFTIES / SUPERMAN IN THE FORTIES / SUPERMAN IN THE SEVENTIES / SUPERMAN IN THE SIXTIES / SUPERMAN KING OF THE WORLD / SUPERMAN METROPOLIS SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS / SUPERMAN MONSTER, THE / SUPERMAN RED/SUPERMAN BLUE / SUPERMAN RETURNS PREQUEL / SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE MOVIE AND OTHER TALES OF THE MAN OF STEEL / SUPERMAN RETURNS: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE ADAPTATION / SUPERMAN SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS / SUPERMAN 10 CENT ADVENTURE / SUPERMAN: THE RETURN OF SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN: THE TRIAL OF SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN 3-D / SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES / SUPERMAN TRANSFORMED! / SUPERMAN VS. BRAINIAC / SUPERMAN VERSUS. DARKSEID: APOKOLIPS NOW! / SUPERMAN VS. THE FLASH / SUPERMAN VS. LEX LUTHOR / SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI / SUPERMAN VS. PREDATOR / SUPERMAN VS. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN / SUPERMAN VS. THE REVENGE SQUAD / SUPERMAN VS. THE TERMINATOR: DEATH TO THE FUTURE / SUPERMAN VILLAINS SECRET FILES / SUPERMAN: WORLD WITHOUT A SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN Y2K / BATMAN AND SUPERMAN ADVENTURES: WORLD'S FINEST / ALL STAR SUPERMAN / ALL STAR SUPERMAN HARDCOVER / ALL STAR SUPERMAN TRADE PAPER BACK / ABSOLUTE ALL STAR SUPERMAN / BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN / DEATH AND RETURN OF SUPERMAN OMNIBUS, THE / SUPERMAN: THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN TRADE PAPERBACK / FINAL CRISIS: SUPERMAN BEYOND 3D / GREATEST SUPERMAN STORIES EVER TOLD, THE / INCREDIBLE HULK, THE VS. SUPERMAN / JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA KINGDOM COME SPECIAL: SUPERMAN / LOIS AND CLARK, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES) ANNUAL / ACTION COMICS (2ND SERIES): SUPERMAN AND THE MEN OF STEEL / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): WHAT PRICE TOMORROW? / SUPERMAN UNCHAINED / ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): SECRETS AND LIES / SON OF SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES / SUPERMAN FAMILY ADVENTURES TRADE PAPER BACK / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): FURY AT WORLD'S END / SUPERMAN VS. MONGUL / ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN TRADE PAPERBACK / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): PSI-WAR / TALES OF THE SINESTRO CORPS: CYBORG SUPERMAN / TEAM SUPERMAN / TEAM SUPERMAN SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): FUTURES END / SUPERMAN BY GEOFF JOHNS AND JOHN ROMITA JR. DIRECTOR’S CUT / SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS DELUXE EDITION / SUPERMAN UNCHAINED DELUXE EDITION / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): UNDER FIRE / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): KRYPTON RETURNS / CONVERGENCE: SUPERMAN / CONVERGENCE: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN VS. DARKSEID / JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS - SUPERMAN / SHOWCASE PRESENTS: DC COMICS PRESENTS: SUPERMAN TEAM-UPS / SHOWCASE PRESENTS: SUPERMAN / SHOWCASE PRESENTS: SUPERMAN FAMILY / SUPERMAN ANNUAL REPLICA EDITION / GIANT SUPERMAN ANNUAL / MANN AND SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES: UP, UP, AND AWAY / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES: THE NEVER-ENDING BATTLE / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES: LAST SON OF KRYPTON / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES: THE MAN OF STEEL / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES: THE MAN OF STEEL (2013 EDITION) / SUPERMAN ADVENTURES TRADE PAPERBACK / SUPERMAN BEYOND: MAN OF TOMORROW / SUPERMAN VS. SHAZAM / SUPERMAN VS. ZOD / THREE-DIMENSION ADVENTURES SUPERMAN / WORLDS' FINEST: THE SECRET HISTORY OF SUPERMAN AND BATMAN / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): THE MEN OF TOMORROW / SUPERMAN UNCHAINED DIRECTOR'S CUT / JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE DARKSEID WAR: SUPERMAN / DC COMICS PRESENTS: SUPERMAN - LOIS AND CLARK 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR / BATMAN AND SUPERMAN IN WORLD'S FINEST: THE SILVER AGE OMNIBUS / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES): REBIRTH / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES) / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): BEFORE TRUTH / SUPERMAN (3RD SERIES): RETURN TO GLORY / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES) ANNUAL / SUPERMAN UNCHAINED TRADE PAPERBACK / DC COMICS ESSENTIALS: SUPERMAN UNCHAINED / SUPERMAN AND JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA / SUPERMAN: THE FINAL DAYS OF SUPERMAN / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES): SON OF SUPERMAN / BATMAN AND SUPERMAN IN WORLD'S FINEST: THE SILVER AGE TRADE PAPERBACK / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES): TRIALS OF THE SUPER SON / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES): MULTIPLICITY / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES): BLACK DAWN / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES): REBIRTH DELUXE EDITION / SUPERMAN (4TH SERIES): REBORN / SUPERMAN: THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN TRADE PAPERBACK (NEW EDITION)

Total value for all issues of this title listed:

Condition

PR
1.0
FR
1.5
GD
2.0
VG
4.0
FN
6.0
VF
8.0
VF/NM
9.0
NM-
9.2
NM
9.4
MINT
10.0
Issues 547 959 959 965 965 965 965 965 965
Total £ 95,620 191,340 288,690 577,170 918,630 1,757,470 3,423,980 4,633,800 5,713,810 Total title value in pounds in UK markets
Total $ 119,780 239,690 361,600 723,130 1,151,550 2,203,360 4,292,730 5,808,850 7,162,200 Total title value in dollars in US markets

Note: some PR issues may have no value. Selected issues in FN, VF or VF/NM may not exist in some titles.