It's an Avengers world these days, and not only are they here to help save it, but also to help put the market for Avengers-related vintage comics into overdrive. Bleeding Cool has told you about quite a few eye-popping record sales over the past year related to Avengers team members first appearances — such as Avengers #4 CGC 9.6 for $91,500 (first Silver Age appearance of Cap), Captain America Comics #1 CGC 9.2 for $343,000, Journey into Mystery #83 CGC 9.4 for $222,200 (first appearance of Thor), and Avengers #1 CGC 9.6 for $250,000.
Now comes word that a Tales of Suspense #39 CGC 9.6 has just sold for $375,000 through Comiclink. 9.6 is the highest grade given to any copy of this book by the Certified Guaranty Company, the industry's 3rd-party grading service. There are 3 copies graded CGC 9.6 and none higher.
This is a new record by a wide margin for this 1963 issue by Stan Lee and Don Heck with cover by Heck and Jack Kirby. The comic contains the first appearance of Iron Man. Bleeding Cool told you about the previous record sale for any copy of this comic in March 2011, when a CGC 9.4 copy went for $147,500. (UPDATE: Josh Nathanson of Comiclink writes to tell me that they sold a Tales of Suspense #39 CGC 9.4 for $150,000 in April 2011, thus edging out the March record for a copy in that grade).
Even in an era when a comic book can sell for over two million dollars, this sale is a stunner. Putting it in perspective, this is now the second highest (all cash) price ever paid for a Silver Age comic — behind the $1.1 million paid for an Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 9.6 in 2011, but ahead of the $300,000 paid for a Fantastic Four #1 CGC 9.4, also last year.
It's shaping up to be another brisk year on the vintage comics scene, and in 2012 Bleeding Cool will be bringing you more coverage than ever on what's going on in the #comicmarket from Golden Age to present, both here and in Bleeding Cool magazine. If you have a noteworthy sale to report, let us know.