It’s easy for us to forget that many of the superheroes we’ve seen in movie theaters have been around for upwards of 50 to 60 years in the pages of comic books. Generations ago, the only place to take in these stories was in print, leading to an empire that’s made for some of the most valuable collectibles out there. Of course the market likely hasn’t been hurt much by Marvel pumping out blockbuster after blockbuster, with DC starting to do the same.
Because of these thorough cinematic universes, the heroes in comic books have never been more recognizable to the general public. This leads us to wonder though: When did these heroes first appear, and how much are their first issues worth? Some carried their own comics, beginning in their titular “Issue #1.” Others first surfaced in the pages of other heroes’ editions. Regardless, it hasn’t hurt the worth of their first appearances in print, whether it’s a well-known DC or Marvel superhero.
1. Tales of Suspense #39 (First appearance of Iron Man)
Highest Price Sold For: $262,000
Today, we recognize Iron Man as a first-tier hero thanks in large part to Robert Downey Jr.’s spot-on portrayal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Tony Stark wasn’t always as famous as he is now, first showing up in the 39th issue of the Tales of Suspense issue. The lowest this one has ever sold for at auction was $900, so needless to say no matter what condition it’s in, Iron Man is worth far more than the metal he’s named for.