Value of old comics

Learn how to determine the worth of vintage comic books

Detective Comics 27

Possessing knowledge on appraising the value of old comics is priceless. For instance, if you found a trove of vintage comic books in your grandfather’s basement, you will no longer need to go to a professional appraiser and pay a substantial fee in order to know the estimated value of the old comics.

Moreover, appraising your old comics by professionals is not a good option especially if you do not want to spend money on an uncertain investment. There is that possibility that the old comics may actually end up being near worthless.

Knowing how to appraise old comics on your own is the best way to go. Here is a quick guide and tips that can help you determine the value of your old comic books.

Old comic book valuation

Determining the value of old comics involves five criteria that you need to mull over. They include the following:

• Old comic book grading

The grading of a comic book is about the condition of the comics. A good grade will increase the value of your comics. Comic book grades are determine by a special grading scale.

With a number scale from 1 to 10 and its corresponding terms such as Mint, Near Mint, Very Fine, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor, try to examine each old comic book and decide which term that best describe its condition.

• Age of comic books

Just like other collectibles, older comics are more likely to fetch a higher price compare to the more recent ones. Check out each old comic book that you have and see the date of its printing. There are five ages in comic books and find out which age that your old comics fall into.

The ages are the following:

  • The Platinum Age of Comics (1897-1937)
  • The Golden Age of Comics (1938-1955)
  • The Silver Age of Comics (1956-1972)
  • The Bronze Age of Comics (1973-1985)
  • The Modern Age of Comics (1986-present)

If you have a near perfect condition of old comics that belong to the Golden Age, you may potentially have very valuable comic books in hand. Check out the other 3 factors though to be more certain.

• Comic book titles and issue

Look out for first issues comic books. Popular titles and key issues of comics such as Action Comics 1, Superman, Detective Comics 27, Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America, Incredible Hulk, and Fantastic Four are among the most valuable comics of all time.

Comic book issues that featured the first appearance of popular character or superheroes can fetch thousands or even over a million of dollars.

• High demand old comics

The demand of particular old comics in the market is a huge factor to its value. When we talk about demand, scarcity of supply may also come to mind.

Most sough-after old comic books are usually those published in a limited print run, or those few copies of popular titles that have survived after a long period of time.

• Rare vintage comics

Another very significant factor to look into is the rarity of your old comics. Some of the most valuable & rarest old comics include Action Comics 1, Detective Comics 27, Superman 1, Marvel Comics #1, and Flash Comics #1.

How to find a price guide for old comics?
After you have done your evaluation of your old comic book collection based on those factors above, it is time to find a price guide. The most highly recommended price catalogs of comic books are The Overstreet Price Guide and Wizard Magazine, which you can purchase from your local or online book shops.

You can also get free information from reputable websites such as the,,, and

Top 5 most valuable old comics

Applying those factors above, as of June 2010, here is a list of the top five most expensive old comic books in the world, in near mint condition:

  1. Action Comics 1 – published in 1938, featured the first appearance of Superman, and is valued at $1,990,000.
  2. Detective Comics 27 – published in 1939, introduced Batman, and is valued at $1,650,000.
  3. Superman 1 – published in 1939, the first comic book title and issue devoted entirely to Superman, which is valued now at $550,000.
  4. Marvel Comics #1 – published in 1939, Human Torch made his premier, and is valued now at $420,000.
  5. Flash Comics #1 – published in 1940, the debut of the Flash, and is valued at $410,000.
An individual who has a strong interest in comic books and the culture surrounding them. Comic books are a form of printed or digital media that combines text and artworks that tell beautiful and interesting stories, often featuring characters with superhuman abilities and adventures. A comic fan, passionate about the medium and collect, read, discuss, and even create comic books.