by Ashley Cotter-Cairns
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This article lists the best of Superman's appearances, both in Action Comics and the eponymous Superman Comic series, as well as his numerous appearance in crossover and multi-character comic books.
If you have a collection of old Superman comics, send us details to get a free appraisal and valuation. We'll also make a cash offer for your Superman comic books, should you wish to sell.
Most people know that Action Comics #1 is arguably the most desirable comic book in the world.
Somehow, even if you think Superman himself is uncool, Action Comics #1 is cool. Nic Cage even owned a very fine copy of it once: his comic book was stolen after a party in his home, before turning up after a blind auction purchase on a storage unit. It's more outrageous than a comic book script: you can't make this stuff up!
Nobody is sure just how many copies exist. However, there are only 34 graded by CGC (and 23 restored).
The comic is now over 70 years old. While there are bound to be more Action 1s to find out there, it's incredibly rare, and if you have one, it's a major asset.
Highest price to date: $2.1 million!
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $116,000
Get yours appraised today. We'll offer to buy it from you too, if you wish to sell your copy.
Do You Own a Rare Comic?
Find out with our article on Rare Comic Books here. We'll value yours for free, too!
You'd expect Action Comics #2 to be the second-most-valuable Superman comic book in the Action Comics series. But that's not true.
Vintage Superman comic book covers are far more desirable than non-Superman covers, and collectors pay a hefty premium for the earliest cover art. Don't worry if you "only" have a copy of Action Comics #2, it's still a decent payday for you!
But if you happen to have Action Comics #7, then you have a very appealing book -- the second cover featuring Superman.
Highest price to date: $143,000
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $8,900
We'll be happy to tell you what your copy of Action Comics #7 is worth. Get in touch.
Action Comics #10 is another great find, and actually rarer than #1!
In addition to the cool WWII cover, with Superman smashing an axis plane in the nose, this is only the third ever Superman cover.
There are very, very few of these in existence, with only 13 unrestored and 11 restored copies graded.
This is reflected in the prices realized for the few copies which have sold to date. If you have one, you're in the money!
Highest price to date: $258,000
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $45,000
We'll be happy to tell you what your copy of Action Comics #10 is worth. Get in touch.
The most famous (or should we say infamous!) of Superman's foes makes his evil bow in Action Comics #23. Lex actually has hair in this incarnation -- the first BALD Luthor appearance is in Superman Comic #10 (see below).
There are 47 unrestored copies of this Superman comic book graded, and another 19 restored ones.
Sadly Action Comics #23 is not a classic when it comes to resale values, but it is definitely not a total dud either.
Highest price to date: $10,400
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $1,800
We'll be happy to tell you what your copy of Action Comics #23 is worth. Get in touch.
While there are plenty of early issues we have not covered here with significant value (the best way to find out what your early Action Comics are worth is to send us details of your collection), we jump ahead now to Action Comics #242, the origin and first appearance of Braniac.
This comic is amazingly valuable for a late 1950s Superman comic book. Most from the period have value, but the only one which beats it is Action Comics #252 (see below).
It doesn't take a Braniac to realize that the better the condition of this later Superman comic book, the more it will be worth when you want to sell. Unlike the very early Action Comics books, poor copies are comparatively valueless.
Highest price to date: $6,878 (but this will surely be beaten once another 9.0 is sold)
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $175
We'll be happy to tell you what your copy of Action Comics #242 is worth. Get in touch.
This is arguably the most important 1950s issue of Action Comics. #252 sees the origin and first appearance of Kara Zor-El, alias SuperGirl.
There were several other tryouts for a SuperGirl type character, including two Lois Lane as SuperGirl issues. See our article on SuperGirl in the DC Comics characters page for more details. But Action #252 is the first "real" SuperGirl -- Superman's cousin.
1950s comic books are less rare than 1930s and 40s issues, but are still very desirable in top condition.
Highest price to date: $25,500
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $250
We'll be happy to tell you what your copy of Action Comics #252 is worth. Drop us a line for a free appraisal.
There are many desirable Superman comic books in Action Comics. Here are some more you should look out for.
Basically any issue of Action Comics from #1 to #252 has value. The higher the condition, the more it's going to be worth.
There are certain "key" appearances of villains, or defining moments in the Superman universe, that are worth much more than the comics around them.
Any pre-#100 issue in any condition will quickly find a new home. Really beaten-up copies will not command a huge amount of cash individually.
But as a comic book collection, you can expect a decent cash windfall, at least $100 per comic book, as long as they're complete with covers.
The quickest way to find out what your old Superman comics are worth is to send us details of the comic book collection you wish to value.
We'll back up our free valuation and appraisal with a Dollar offer, if you wish to sell your comic books.
This is also a very rare Superman comic book. Only 32 have been graded by CGC (plus 65 restored copies).
While it's not the bonanza payday that stumbling across a copy of Action 1 would be, Superman #1 is really a nice book to find. Almost any comic book collector wants to own one.
For sure, the record unrestored price below will be beaten in the next few years, when a higher grade copy comes to light.
Highest price to date: $216,000 unrestored.
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $15,000
Get yours valued by Sell My Comic Books. We'll offer to buy it from you too, if you wish to sell your copy.
Every early issue of Superman Comic had the Man of Steel on the cover, so unlike Action Comics #2, Superman #2 is the second-best issue to find in your vintage comic book collection.
The cover is not nearly as cool, to our eyes, as #1, and that yellow stripe shows a lot of dirt and wear, but you can count yourself fortunate if you have a Superman #2. Check out the prices below!
Highest price to date: $54,000 unrestored. (That sale was over six years ago, and a more recent, lesser copy sold for $48,000.)
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $1,700
Find out what your Superman comic #2 is worth. We'll offer to buy it from you too, if you need to sell it.
Following in the footsteps of Superman #2 comes the third-best comic in the Superman series, Superman #3.
Values get a little less predictable from here on in, with some more unusual later issues commanding a higher premium. But #3 is still one you want to find in your old collection.
Highest price to date: $33,500 unrestored.
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $680
Sell My Comic Books will appraise your vintage Superman comic books. Get in touch to find out what yours are worth!
The impact of World War II can be seen in the next couple of comics we're going to feature.
Superman #14 is considered a classic piece of cover art, and there's no doubting which side Supes is fighting for!
Its predominantly black cover makes this one particularly hard to find in higher grade. You cannot help but feel moved by the cause when you see this cover image.
Highest price to date: $26,600 unrestored.
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $370
We'll appraise your Superman #14 free of charge.
Highest price to date: $10,450 unrestored.
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $580
Highest price to date: $8,300 unrestored.
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $225
We'll appraise your vintage Superman comics free of charge.
All classic super-villains have a landmark first appearance. Mr. Mxyztplk shows up for the first time in Superman #30.
Another of those classic covers in all yellow -- these Golden Age issues show any dirt really badly.
Highest price to date: $5,000 unrestored.
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $260
We'll appraise your old Superman comics free of charge.
Ten years in, here was the way to celebrate Superman's anniversary. A big "new origin story" in Superman #53.
It's a pretty beautiful cover, and hard to find in high grade due to the combination of black and yellow.
Highest price to date: $12,650 unrestored. (That was a VERY long time ago, and if the best copy were to sell again, it would smash that price.)
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $100
We'll appraise your old Superman comics free of charge.
When two heroes are fighting over a damsel in distress, it's probably a fair sign of recession... But seriously, two of the world's greatest heroes collide in Superman #76.
This has dual appeal, because Batman collectors will want a copy of this comic, as well as Superman fans. This drives the price up during an otherwise pretty average early 1950s period.
Superman #76 is worth three times as much as other issues from the period.
Highest price to date: $8,350 unrestored
Cheapest price (complete, unrestored copy): $150
We'll appraise your old Superman comics free of charge.
Here are the other Superman comic books you should look out for from the Superman Comics series.
Any issue from #1 to #100, in any condition will find a buyer easily. There are so many Superman collectors, and only so many Golden Age comics to go around.
There are a few other "important" comics from later in the series.
Kryptonite: there are various first appearances of Kryptonite.
Superman #128 is a SuperGirl tryout story.
Superman #130 second appearance of Krypto the Wonder Dog.
Superman #149 imaginary Death of Superman story.
Superman #199 is a race between Superman and The Flash.
There are plenty of other Superman comic books, but we will only list the "goodies" here.
The first are undoubtedly the New York World's Fair comics of 1939 and 1940. These are very rare comics.
The 1939 in particular is a fantastic find, so if you've got one, get it valued right away!
World's Best Comics #1: this is the only comic of this name. The series was renamed from #2 (see below). Very rare and valuable.
World's Finest Comics, picking up from World's Best #1, and Superman starting in #2, World's Finest Comics #65 (origin of Superman retold, again!), World's Finest Comics #71 (first Superman comic book with him and Batman working as a team), and many other appearances.
You know the drill by now. If you have any old Superman comic books, then send us details.
We'll value them for you and make a Dollar offer if you wish to sell them.
DC Comics Characters in Superman Comic Books
Value of Vintage Batman Comics
Green Lantern Comic Book Price Guide
Use the search box below to find the series you're looking for, or check out our alphabetical comic prices here.