Over the weekend, DC Comics Publisher and CCO Jim Lee posted out on Instagram, a video of the original artwork for his four covers for X-Men #1, inked by Scott Williams, that formed the quadriptych cover of the best-selling comic book of all time, X-Men #1 by Jim Lee and Chris Claremont. Bleeding Cool has been given the tip-off that this is likely ahead of a private sale, to be conducted by interested bidders behind closed doors. Estimates are that all four covers, which combine together to form a fifth cover when the comic was released, could fetch a significant seven-figure sum, with estimates at around five million dollars. This could make it the most expensive piece of comic book original artwork ever, beating out Frank Frazetta's cover to Eerie which sold for $5.4 million. And certainly the auction sale for a piece of artwork by Herge that included number of Tintin comic book covers for $3.4 million. Here are screencaps taken from the Jim Lee video of the pages in question. If there is indeed a private sale, it is unlikely we will ever know just how much they sell for.
In 1991, Marvel revised their entire lineup of X-Men comic book titles, centered on the launch of a second X-Men series, simply titled X-Men. With the return of Xavier and the original X-Men to the team, the roster was split into two strike forces: Cyclops's "Blue Team" in X-Men, and Storm's "Gold Team" in The Uncanny X-Men. The first issues of the second X-Men series were written by Claremont and drawn and co-plotted by Jim Lee. Retailers pre-ordered over 8.1 million copies of X-Men #1, generating and selling nearly $7 million (though it is estimated that retailers probably sold closer to three million copies at time). Guinness presented the Guinness Book of World Records best-selling comic book of all-time honors to Claremont at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con.