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    

Custom 1/4 Scale Bronze Superman Statue Man Of Steel 19-1/2" Tall W/ Marble BaseSuperman Action 1980s-2000s Dc Comic Collection Lot 1st Doomsday #18 Death OfThanos Bronze Ap Bowen Statue Rare Nt Sideshow Superman Captain America CheapPlanet Hulk Bowen Statue Nt Sideshow Avenger Batman Superman Htf Rare Spider-manRed Hulk Bowen Statue Nt Sideshow Avenger Captain America Batman Superman RareBatman Superman #1 Jim Lee Variant We Can Be Heroes Mint Near MintWolverine Rare Bronze Bowen Statue Ap Nt Sideshow Batman Superman Dc Superman Action Comics 492 Page 16 Curt Swan Original Comic Art SignedHulk Grey Bowen Statue Nt Sideshow Superman Walking Dead Arkham Bane Dc Absolute Kingdom Come Hc Hardcover Omnibus Batman Superman **waid Ross** Hot Toys Superman Ex Christopher Reeve FigureSuperboy #10 Dc Golden Age 1st App Lana Lang Vhtf! 1950 SupermanSuperman Man Of Steel #17 #18 1st Print 1st Doomsday High Grade Nm/mt Never ReadSuperman No45 Action ComicsDc Silver Age Lot Of (23) Batman, Flash, Metal Men, Superman,Superman #63 "1950". Pgx Unrestored 5.5 With Off-white To White Pages!Superman: Man Of Steel #18 Cgc 9.8 1st Full Appearance Of Doomsday 1st PrintSuperman: The Man Of Steel #17 (nov 1992, Dc) Cgc Doomsday Movie Jurgens 9.6Dc Comics Presents # 26 1st New Teen Titans. Superman Green Lantern. Perez .niceSuperman: The Man Of Steel #18 Cgc 9.8 White Pages//1st Full Doomsday AppearanceSexy Supergirl Dc Comics New 52 Justice League Jla Superman Original Art1940's Superman Chalkware Statue - Excellent ConditionAction Comics # 13 Cgc Certified 0.5, Superman Stops Train, 3 Days Listing OnlySuperman Unchained # 1 Cgc Ss 9.8 Signed Jim Lee + Scott Snyder + 3 More! SignedSuperman * Man Of Steel * Mego 8" * T1 Early 70's * Nr Mint *Rare Signed Jim Lee Batman Superman #1 Cgc 9.8 We Can Be Heroes Variant Wcbh SsSuperman #75 Cgc Ss 9.6 Signed By Jurgens. Doomsday. Death Of Superman. MovieSuperman The Man Of Steel #17 1st/first Apperance Of Doomsday Great!Superman No.16 (coverless)Dc Universe Figure Lot Mattel/direct ~superman/flash/jla Action League/classicsAction Comics #835 Cgc 9.8 White Pages Superman 1st App + Origin Livewire SimoneMasterpiece Collection: Superman, Batman Wonder WomanJustice League/superman/wonder Woman/cyborg~original Art~allan Goldman~Huge Lot Of Silver And Bronze Age Dc Superman & Superman Related Comics Superman #147 - Beautiful Higher Grade - 1st Legion Of Super-villains! - 1961Dc Superman #75 Platinum Sealed Edition, The Death Of Superman 1992Superman 197, 198. 199, 200 Silver Age Lot Of 4 IssuesSuperman: Man Of Steel # 18 Dc Comics Superman & Doomsday 1st Full AppearanceSuperman Statue Frank Miller Dc (broken Hand Needs Repair As Is) No Deadpool Lot Of 3 Mego 70s Dc & Marvel Comics Figures Superman, Catwoman & SpidermanLot Of 50, Death Of Superman, Funeral For A Friend Doomsday Reign DcSuperman Wonderwoman #1 Variant Cgc 9.8 Gold Signature Charles Soule Tony DanielWorld's Finest #71 Scarce 1st Batman Superman Team Very Rare Cgc 4.5 Hot MovieSuperman Annual #1 - Beautiful Higher Grade - 1st Silver Age Annual! - 1960Superman #204 Cgc Ss 9.4 Jim Lee & Brian Azarello (1st Jim Lee Work On Superman)Cgc 9.4 Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #126 White Pages Nm 1970Shazam! 1 Nm 9.4 1st Captain Marvel Since Golden Age, Cc Beck, Superman CoverSuperman Adventures Lot Including 1 And 5 Livewire!Batman Superman Wonder Woman Justice League 11x15 Original Comic Art C ConidisSuperman Unchained 1 Signed By Jim Lee Scott Snyder Coas Williams & Sinclair WowSuperman Unchained #7 Jim Lee Sketch Variant CoverSuperman #146 - Nice Average Grade - Complete Origin Of Superman! - 1961Superman Unchained #1 2013 Nm B&w Variant By Jim Lee 1:300Mixed Collection Lot Vintage Comics Superman #175 Sgt. Fury Superboy ShazamSexy Wonder Woman New 52 Dc Justice League Superman Art By Scott DalrympleSuperman #24 Classic Flag Cover Dc Golden Age Comic Action White PagesAmazing Spiderman 99 Fn *classic* Clean Comic Key Issue Run Asm Superman Vtg OldSuperman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #21 Silver Age ``1976 Dc & Marvel Present Superman Vs Spider-man! Treasury Size Comic Book -vg!Hot Toys 1966 Batman & Hot Toys Man Of Steel Superman Bundle