The First Green Lantern Comic Sells for Nearly Double Its High Estimate

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley
DECEMBER 27, 2015

Originally published in the December issue of Robb Report Collection as “Superpowered

If you want to spot the next hot item in the comic book–collecting world, read Variety. News of films to come—even the mere announcement that a studio has acquired the rights to a comic book—boosts prices for copies of that comic, especially the issue in which the lead character first appears. “It jumps up in value overnight in anticipation that a character appearing in a movie or TV show will blow up and become a big deal,” says Aaron White, a grader and consignment director in the comics division of Heritage Auctions. “It’s really interesting to watch the market and how books just skyrocket.” 

In late August, Heritage held its Comics and Comic Art Signature Auction, a sale that totaled a healthy $5.1 million. Once again, a popular superhero’s debut did well—the Green Lantern’s first book sold for almost double its high estimate of $60,000. And original art from comic books and newspaper strips continued to come into its own, with impressive results for a 1980 John Byrne and Terry Austin X-Men drawing. “It’s really exploded, especially in regards to modern-age comic art,” White says. “Ten years ago you wouldn’t see the prices that you see now. There was not the same number of people in the market, and they were not able to be as aggressive as they are now.” At some point, even fanboys grow up.

Featured Slideshows

From Around the Web...
The contents of Tut’s tomb paint a decadent picture of Egypt’s famous boy pharaoh…
Items include a gold medal won by Jesse Owens and a jersey worn in hockey’s “Miracle on Ice” match…
Original cover art by Frank Frazetta sells for world-record price…
Fine jewelry, furniture, dedicated books, and art will be auctioned…
These writing instruments are still a must-have—even in a digital world…
From Basquiat to Duchamp, Bowie’s incredible art collection goes to auction…
Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden landscape installation will be exhibited at the iconic Connecticut...
The nostalgic allure, rarity, and beauty of these pieces and sets are fueling collectors’ demand…
Photo by Donald Bowers
The enormous rough-cut diamond did not find a winning bidder today…
Two groundbreaking modern paintings sell for high above their original estimates…