A copy of Fantastic Four #1 CGC 9.2 has just been sold for a record $1,500,000 at this afternoon's session of the 2022 April 7 – 10 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction #7270 at Heritage Auctions. The November 1961 cover-dated comic book by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee was released on August 8, 1961, and is the beginning of what became an integrated Marvel Universe of superheroes in the Silver Age. The issue introduced the team of Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards), the Invisible Woman (Sue Storm), the Human Torch (Johnny Storm) and the Thing (Ben Grimm), who gained superpowers after being exposed to cosmic rays during an unauthorized rocket mission into space. The title went on to become a Marvel cornerstone franchise over the subsequent decades.
This result is far and away the highest price ever paid for a copy of Fantastic Four #1, at least in a public sale. The previous record-holder was a CGC 9.4 copy sold by Metropolis Collectibles in 2011 for $300,000. Another copy, one of two census-topping CGC 9.6 copies, changed hands in a cash/trade deal valued at around $450,000 in 2008. By way of comparison, the first appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 9.6 sold for a record $3,600,000 in September 2021.
Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel, 1961) CGC NM- 9.2 White pages. This is the most stunning copy of the premiere Marvel Age issue we've seen since we offered the White Mountain copy over eight years ago in the same grade and page quality. No other copy we've offered in our 20+ year comic auctioning history comes close to this beauty! Frankly, it looks nicer than 9.2! But even at 9.2, it has few peers in CGC's census. At the time the issue was published in 1961, Marvel was far behind DC in superhero title offerings. This book was the beginning of a remarkable renaissance that saw Marvel catch up and pass DC in the superhero consciousness of comic collectors, a perch it has maintained now for decades. Without showing off their new group as a guest appearance in another title or in a tryout issue, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby boldly launched the title that by its third issue was already being touted as The Greatest Comic Magazine in the World! Fantastic Four #1 was the origin and first appearance of the Fantastic Four, Marvel's first superhero team of Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, Human Torch, and Invisible Girl. Also featured was the origin and first appearance of Mole Man. Jack Kirby was never better than with his cover and interior story art contributions for the title's first 101 issues. The issue is currently #3 on Overstreet's list of Top 50 Silver Age Comics, and from Overstreet's 2020 edition to its 2021 edition, it has appreciated in value at a faster clip than all but two other issues in the Top 25! Overstreet 2021 NM- 9.2 value = $210,000. CGC census 4/22: 3 in 9.2, 5 higher. From the Truckee Meadows Collection.