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]

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    

Original Art Cover By Nick Cardy Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #157 Dc Comics 1973Superman #14 (1942 Dc Comics) Classic Shield Cover Golden Age Cgc 4.5 No ReserveSideshow Wonder Woman Exclusive Premium Format Figure 1/4 Scale Statue Superman Superman The New 52 #32, Sketch Cover Original Art By Jerry OrdwaySupergirl * Cousin Superman * Man Of Steel * Mego 8" Scale * Super Condition *Huge Cgc Lot Silver Bronze Spider-man Hulk Daredevil Superman And More!! Batman #1 New 52 Van Sciver Variant High Grade! Unread! Batman V. SupermanSuperman Christopher Reeve Version Premium Format Figure Statue Sideshow MintHuge Silver & Bronze Age Comic Lot Marvel Dc Spider-man Batman Superman AvengersEd Benes Superman 29 P 16 Original ArtSuperman Man Of Steel #18 Cgc 9.8 1st Full App Of DoomsdayLab Rats # 4 Pg. 6 By John Byrne! Signed!! Superman In Action!!!Huge Lot Of Coverless Comic Books Superman-dr Strange-x-men-funny-avengersHuge Cgc Lot Silver Bronze Spider-man Superman Hulk !!! Batman Superman #1 Cgc Ss 9.6 Blank Sketch Cover Batgirl By Mike S. Miller Nm+Flash #175 -higher Grade- Dc 1967 - 2nd Superman/flash Race - Justice League AppHuge Lot 321 Comics - Silver Age-modern - Spider-man, Avengers, Super-man, FfWorld's Finest #27 (vg-) 3.5 Dc Comics 1947 Golden Age Batman, SupermanBatman #612 Jim Lee Superman Vs Batman Awesome Cover Key Nm- Gem WowSuperman: The Man Of Steel 17 Cgc 9.8 Nm/mint 1st Doomsday Cameo Dc 19921943 * Superman #25 * Dc Comics * Est 6.0 Fn Rare Off White Pages Army MilitarySuperman: The Man Of Steel 18 Cgc 9.8 Nm/mint 1st Full Doomsday Dc Comics 1992March 1948 World's Finest Comics No. 33 Superman Batman Robin Comic BookDc Collectors' Edition # C-54 Superman Vs. Wonder Woman More Treasury MagazinesDc Comics Presents # 26 Superman Green Lantern Teen Titans # 1Superman Adventures Number 5: March 1997World's Finest #22 (g/vg) 3.0 Dc Comics 1946 Golden Age Batman, SupermanEd Benes Superman 29 P 15 Original ArtDc Comics Presents #26 Superman Dc Comic ~Batman #612 Nm 9.4 Jim Lee Cover Batman Vs Superman Hush Story ArcSuperman #123 "the Girl Of Steel" - Supergirl Prototype World's Finest Comics 53 Dc Scarce 15 Cent Batman Superman Vg/fn ConditionEd Benes Superman 29 P 14 Original ArtSuperman The Man Of Steel 17 Nm+ First Appearance Of Doomsday Bogdanove ArtWorld's Finest #42 (vg) 4.0 Dc Comics 1949 Golden Age Batman, SupermanBatman Superman #1 Cgc Ss 9.8 Blank Sketch Cover Batgirl By Paul Pelletier Nm+Superman #32 Blank Cgc Ss 9.8 Original Sketch By Mike Perkins Nm+/mtSuperman: The Man Of Steel # 18 Cgc 9.8 White Pages. Unrestored Don Heck Superman Family #196 Supergirl Original Comic Art Bronze Age Dc 1977Superman Man Of Steel #18 1st Doomsday & Superman #75 Platinum EditionSuperman #18 Cgc 6.5 (sep-oct 1942, Dc) Jerry SiegelSuperman Escape From Krypton Statue Dc DirectSuperman #45 "1947". Early App. Of Lois Lane As Superwoman! Pgx Vg 4.0Batman: Dark Knight Falls Nm Gem Wow Frank Miller Superman The Forever People #1, 2, And 3 Comic Book Lot 1971 Darkseid Superman Jack KirbySuperman Unchained #1 Cgc 9.8 Vintage 1967 Superman Metal Lunchbox With The 1967 Thermos! Nice Condition!Big Dc Superman And Batman Silver Age Collection Midgrade Lot Of 34 Must SeeDon Heck Estate - Superman Hero Again Art 1990s!Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #134 (dec 1970, Dc) 1st Appearance Of DarkseidMixed Lot Of 29 Superhero Comics Silver Age On Superman Hulk Flash Conan Superman #96 (1955 Dc Comics) Mr Mxyztplk Appearance Golden Age No Reserve Vg+S113. Superman Vs The Amazing Spider-man By Marvel & Dc Comics 5.0 Vg/fn (1976)1992 Superman The Man Of Steel #18 1st Print Appearance Of Doomsday Nm/m Cgc ItDc Dynamics Aquaman Statue #435/1500 Superman Wonder Woman Justice League - New!Fury Of Firestorm 61 Superman Test Logo Variant Cgc 9.8 White PagesDc Collectors Edition Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali #56 1978 Vf Oversized ComicDc Comics Presents #47 Vf+ Superman Masters Of The Universe Superman Unchained #1 Variant Sketch By Jim Lee / The New 52Vintage 1976 Super Friends Superman Batman Wonder Woman Green Arrow Magic Slate