Fan anticipation for the May 2012 debut of The Avengers film has already been building for months, and here's the latest sign that the popularity of Marvel's own all-star team is currently on a rapid rise: A CGC 9.6 copy of Avengers #1 was sold for $250,000 by Metropolis Collectibles last week — a record sale for an Avengers #1 by a significant margin.
The comic by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, with inks by Dick Ayers, is the first appearance of the Avengers team, which featured Thor, Wasp, Ant-Man, Iron Man, and Hulk in this debut issue cover-dated September 1963 (Captain America would join the team in Avengers #4). The group went on to become one of the core titles of the Marvel Universe.
"This exceptional copy is tied with two other copies ofAvengers #1 CGC in 9.6. The other two copies have never been brought to market," says Metropolis COO Vincent Zurzolo. "Their owners have no interest in selling. This makes this the only publicly sold copy of a CGC 9.6 to date. We are very proud to make this the highest price anybody has ever paid for a copy of Avengers #1. "
As Zurzolo notes, there are only three copies of Avengers #1 graded 9.6 unrestored on the CGC census, with none higher — and no recorded public sales for any of them, until now. Bleeding Cool told you about the sale of a CGC 9.4 copy for $100,000 last March.
With Marvel's visibility at an all-time high among the general public, it's been a banner year for high grade copies of vintage Marvel comics. We've noted record sales of X-Men #1 for $200,000, Fantastic Four #1 for $300,000, and Captain America Comics #1 for $343,000 in recent months, with the best copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man) shocking the vintage collecting scene with a $1.1 million sale in March.
Where does it all go from here? Soon, DC fans strike back — the best CGC-graded copy of Action Comics #1 goes on the block later this month.