There’s a fair amount of debate about the beginning of the Golden Age of comics. Some peg it to 1933, when the format of newsstand comic books was codified, but others place the moment in June of 1938, when Superman made his debut in Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s first issue of “Action Comics,” whose cover featured the red-caped superhero from the planet Krypton lifting a car over his head.

“Action Comics” number one is probably the rarest comic book in the world, easily commanding six figures for a clean copy. Issues two through six did not have Superman covers, but seven did, which is why it is also highly prized. Superman’s archenemy, Lex Luthor, came on the scene in 1940 with issue 23—naturally, that issue is also collectible.

By this time, Superman had his own comic book. The first issue of that comic from the summer of 1939 (the first five “Superman” comics were quarterly) is almost as sought-after as issue one of “Action Comics.” In it, the first four Superman stories from the early issues of “Action Comics” are reprinted, including four pages that never made it into issue one.

“Superman” number two is notable for its full-page ad for the New York World’s Fair, while the cover of number 17 from July/August of 1942 depicts Superman, flying high above the Earth, holding the terrified caricatures of Adolph Hitler and Emperor Hirohito by the backs of their uniforms. Also collectible is issue 53, which marked the 10th anniversary of the Man of Steel.

The “Superman” comic ran for 423 issues until 1986, when it became “The Adventures of Superman.” Comics from that series are considerably less valuable.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Cover Browser

Cover Browser

Philipp Lenssen's incredible archive of over 94,000 comic book covers - Wow! Wham! Yikes! Browse by title from the … [read review or visit site]

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Doug Gilford's great Mad Magazine reference site features cover scans and reference information on every issue of t… [read review or visit site]

TheComicBooks.com

TheComicBooks.com

Jamie Coville's in-progress ode to the history of 20th century comic books. Start with his Newsstand Period Part 1 … [read review or visit site]

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Bruce Shults takes us on a comprehensive Popeye fan tour, from the early comic strips to cartoons and collectible m… [read review or visit site]

Barnacle Press

Barnacle Press

This collection of obscure newspaper comic strips provides scans browsable by title, year and date. Showcases comic… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Classic Confrontations: Superman Vs Darkseid Statue In Original Box 2008Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 Cgc 8.0 1st Darkseid Key Issue Hot!World's Best Comics #1 - Batman, Superman, More! Rare Issue 1941 - No Last PageAction Comics #78 Cgc 8.0 White Dc Superman Al Schwartz Golden Age ComicKingdom Come: Superman Man Of Steel Full Color Statue In Original Box Alex RossRare Golden Age Action Comic Book # 59 Superman 1943 Issue German Soldiers TanksWonder Woman #36 1:100 Variant Cvr Dc Comics David Finch Superman+ Marvel Bonus Vintage Xl Spider-man Vs Superman Comic - Marvel Dc Battle Of The CenturySuperman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 (dc 1970) 1st Appearance Of Darkseid No ReserveSuperman Vs. Muhammad Ali Ultra High Grade Unread Dc Treasury Comic 1978 VfSuperman The Man Of Steel Statue By Lee BermejoSuperman #19 (1942) Cgc 3.5 Ow Pages - Restored - Free Shipping - No Reserve!!!Superman Unchained #9 Rare Jim Lee 1:100 Wraparound Sketch Cover VariantSuperman Unchained #9 1:100 Variant Sketch B&w Black And White Wraparound CoverOriginal Art- Adventures Of Superman #596 Pg 18 Mike Wieringo (signed) Recalled Superman Man Of Steel #18 Cgc 9.8 Ss Louise SimonsonArtfx Superman Pvc Statue By KotobukiyaWorld's Finest Comics #17 Good / Fair 1945 Superman Batman RobinSuperman #5 -1940-very Good(-)complete Very Nice "all Original"Lot Of 3 Dc Bronze Age Comics Batman #251-superman #226-forever People #1 NrDc Direct Superman No. 14 Hand Painted Cold Cast Porcelain StatueSuperman #199 Cgc 6.5 Fine+ 1st Superman Flash RaceSuperman Comics #199 Classic Story Race Vs. The Flash Silver Age Dc Book NrBatman The Dark Knight Returns #4 Cgc 9.8! Frank Miller! Batman Vs Superman!Action Comics #114 Very Good+ 1947 SupermanSuperman The Man Of Steel #18 Cgc 9.8 White Pages 1st Doomsday Newstand CopyPrincess Diana, Batman, Superman By Mariah Benes And Jp Mayer - Ed Benes StudioSuperman: The Man Of Steel #18 Cbcs 9.6 1st Doomsday Cbcs/cgc Dc Comics White PaAll Star Superman #1 Cgc 9.8!! Grant Morrison!! Rare!!Superman 52 Prankster! May-june1948 Dc 4.0 Vg Or HigherSuperman #39 Very Good- 1946Dc Archives Hard Covers Adam Strange Atom Flash Hawkman Green Lantern SupermanSuperman #58 Good 1949 Tiny TraxWorld's Finest Comics #199 Cgc 9.6 White Pages // Superman Vs. Flash Race Ends1978 Boxing Ticket - Muhammad Ali Vs Superman & Window Decal From Comic BookVintage Lot Of 30 Old Silver, Bronze Age Comic Books, Superman, Batman, All DcSuperman The Man Of Steel Statue By Rags MoralesBatman/superman #1 Cgc 9.8!! Rocafort Variant Cover!! Movie Upcoming! Rare!!!Vintage Lot Of 32 Old Silver, Bronze Age Comic Books, Superman, Batman, All DcSuperman/batman 1 2 3 4 Cgc 9.8, 9.2 White Pgs Jeph Loeb Mcguiness 10/03 1st VolDoomsday Superman Original Sketch Cover Scott Blair 1/1Superman Unchained #8 1:100 Variant Sketch B&w Black And White And 1:50 ReisVintage Lot Of 31 Old Silver, Bronze Age Comic Books, Superman, Batman, All DcSuperman Mini Statue 2727/5000 Randy Bowen Dc Comics SeinfeldSuperman #85 Good / Fair 19534x British Golden-age Comics 1950s Batman Superman Whiz Captain Marvel L MillerHuge Dc Superman Comic Lot (27 Comics)World's Finest #199 High Grade A/c Adams Superman Flash Check Out Our Comics!!Dc Chronicles: Superman Mini Statue In Original Box 2010 Tim BrucknerSuperman #9 -1941-"coverless"-very Good Complete Nice "copy Dc Direct Superman Kingdom Come 1:6 Scale Deluxe Collector FigureSuperman #48 Very Good- 1947 1st Time TravelSuperman #75 Cbcs 9.6 Death Of Superman Cbcs/cgc Dc ComicsAdventures Of Superman #500 Cgc 9.8!! Death Of Superman!! Rare!!Kingdom Come Superman 9" Full Size Statue Alex Ross #1823/3000 Dc Direct NibLot Of (42) Dc Comics Batman Superman Action Comics Dark Knight Adventures RobinSuperman Through The Ages Action Figure Gift SetDeath Of Superman Comic Book Set #500 White & #75 Black Both (new & Sealed)Superman Masterpiece Edition Collectible SetDc Direct " The Bottle City Of Kandor" Prop Replica Mib Superman # /1435 Rare!