Spider-Man’s debut appearance is now the most world’s most valuable comic book.
The finest-known copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15 sold for $3.6 million Thursday morning at Heritage Auctions during the third session of the Sept. 8-12 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction. Graded CGC Near Mint+ 9.6, the 1962 Marvel comic is one of only four copies ever to receive such a high grade, and there is not a single known copy in better condition.
“What better book to break the record than the debut of Marvel’s most beloved character, Spider-Man?” says Heritage Auctions Vice President Lon Allen. “Amazing Fantasy No. 15 is the Action Comics No. 1 or Detective Comics No. 27 of the next generation. I’m honored to have been a part of the most important comic book sale to date. In my 20 years at Heritage, to bring the most expensive book to market has been the pinnacle of my career.”
Spider-Man leaps over the world record previously held by Superman. A copy of Action Comics No. 1, featuring the first appearance of the Man of Steel, sold privately for $3.25 million earlier this year.
Until Thursday, the most expensive copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15 was the CGC Near Mint 9.4-graded copy Heritage sold in March 2020. The issue sold for $795,000.
Spider-Man is certainly at the center of the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe; the recently released trailer for the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home is the most-viewed video on YouTube over a 24-hour span. But he was beloved and significant long before he ever took a swing across the big screen.
As his longtime artist John Romita wrote in Fantastic Firsts, Amazing Fantasy No. 15 “was obviously different in every way, and comics have never been the same since.” In Lee and Ditko’s story, the embittered, selfish wallflower is bitten by that radioactive spider, climbs on walls and into the wrestling ring, then bears the responsibility when his beloved Uncle Ben is killed as a result of his willful inaction.
Here, for the first time, are the words that would become a catchphrase that turned into a mantra: “With great power there must also come great responsibility!”