Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 9.6 About to Set the Comic Book Record?

A stunning copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 9.6 is well into record territory as of this writing, as it approaches the $3 Million dollar mark in bidding for Heritage Auctions' Sept. 8-12 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction.  That's already a record price for a Silver Age comic book, easily surpassing the $1.1M mark set a decade ago.  But with over a week left to go before the auction closes, the all-time record price ever paid for a comic book recently set at $3.25M for an Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 for the first appearance of Superman seems well within reach.  Amazing Fantasy #15 is of course the first appearance of Spider-Man, created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, and published by Marvel, cover-dated August 1962.  There are four copies of Amazing Fantasy #15 in CGC 9.6 on the CGC Census, and none in higher grade.

Amazing Fantasy #15, Marvel 1962.
Amazing Fantasy #15, Marvel 1962.

The strong showing for this copy in the early going is the latest example of just how hot the vintage comic book market has been in 2021.  We've already seen sales ranging from Batman #1 CGC 9.4 for $2.22M to Marvel Spotlight #5 CGC 9.8 (and the first appearance of Ghost Rider) for $264,000, not to mention a long list of records set by the Promise Collection, such as the first appearance of the Riddler in Detective Comics #140 CGC 9.6 for $456,000.

"In my opinion the real bidding hasn't even started yet," says Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Ed Jaster,  and I would have to agree.  I'll be watching this auction closing live on September 9, in what is sure to be one of the most important sales in vintage comic book collecting history.  There are also a number of other high-grade Spider-Man issues in this auction from the #1 Amazing Spider-Man Registry Set Collection, and I expect we'll see a number of other records set that day as well.

Amazing Fantasy #15, Marvel 1962.
Amazing Fantasy #15, Marvel 1962.

DALLAS, Texas (Aug. 31, 2021)  – Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man has already swung past an all-time auction record. And that auction doesn't even close for another week.

The finest-known copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15, which features Peter Parker's debut as the Web-Slinger, is a centerpiece of Heritage Auctions' 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 high marks, and there is not a single known copy in better condition.

As such, bidding on this pristine piece of pop-culture history has already reached $2.82 million, including the buyer's premium. That makes this work by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko the most expensive comic book ever sold at Heritage Auctions – and one of the world's most valuable superhero stories ever told or sold.

"In my opinion the real bidding hasn't even started yet," says Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President Ed Jaster. "The comic-book market has gone to a new level during the last year and a half, and this is the finest comic to come to market since our Batman No. 1 earlier this year. It's stunning to look at – as close to a flawless copy as you will ever find. Given the fact this is graded 9.6, and the fact Spider-Man is the most important character created after the Golden Age, I think we're only getting started."

The book will be sold during a live auction on Sept. 9 that begins at 11 a.m. CDT. The session will take place at Heritage Auctions' world headquarters in Dallas and at

Until now, the most expensive copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15 was the CGC Near Mint 9.4-graded copy Heritage sold in March 2020. The copy sold for $795,000, including the buyer's premium. But with days to go, Spider-Man has pushed Batman from his record-holding rooftop perch.

Heritage's previous comic-book record was set last January, when the only known Batman No. 1 graded CGC Near Mint 9.4 sold for $2.22 million. That book shattered the previous $1.5-million world record set for a Batman title in November 2020, when Heritage sold a copy of 1939's Detective Comics No. 27 for $1.5 million. At the time that was the highest price ever realized for any Batman comic book.

Previously, the most title of most expensive comic book sold at Heritage belonged to the CGC 9.4 copy of Marvel Comics No. 1 that sold in November 2019 for $1.26 million.

Perhaps most notably, Amazing Fantasy No. 15 is also closing in on the all-time record, which currently belongs to the Action Comics No. 1 that sold privately for $3.25 million earlier this year.

Amazing Fantasy No. 15's price tag should not surprise. Yes, 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 became 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 Spider-Man artist John Romita wrote in Fantastic FirstsAmazing 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. And here, for the first time, are the words that would become a catchphrase that morphed into a mantra: "With great power there must also come great responsibility!"

Spidey's record-shattering debut is among the 161 books offered in this auction from The #1 Amazing Spider-Man Registry Set Collection, which features one of the most amazing Amazing Spider-Man comics in existence. That includes a CGC NM 9.4-graded copy of 1963's The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1, which is also nearing an auction record with bidding currently at $228,000 with the buyer's premium.

This auction is a landmark event for Spider-Man fans, as not only does it include this history-making collection, but several signature pieces of original Ditko art, including Page 12 from Amazing Spider-Man No. 18, featuring Spidey and Sandman. Here, too, are more than two dozen Amazing Spider-Man books from Ditko's private collection, offering an extraordinary chance to own books once owned by the man who made them.

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Mark SeifertAbout Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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