Action Comics #1 grade 9.0 Superman debut hits $2.16m World Record price

Last night saw another victory for a comic book superhero at ComicConnect - and this one looks set to last a long time.

The 9.0 graded copy of Action Comics #1, Superman's 1938 debut, had only another copy of the same issue to beat to break the World Record for most expensive comic book.

It didn't disappoint, landing a simply extraordinary $2.16m after 50 bids.

The previous record has been set in spring 2010, also by the ComicConnect/Metropolis stable, when an 8.5 graded Action Comics #1 sold for $1.5m.

Action Comics issue 1 Nicholas Cage graded 9.0
"I'm worth MUCH more than this car..."
The 'Nicolas Cage' 9.0 Action Comics #1

It's hard to believe now that, at the time, it was only the third comic ever sold for a seven-figure sum.

What's more, both of the previous sales (one of an 8.0 Action Comics #1 for $1m, the other an 8.0 Detective Comics #27 for $1,075,000) had both taken place earlier that same year, briefly snaffling the World Record to much fanfare.

The comic is widely believed to be the copy stolen from Nicolas Cage's house in 2000, (along with a Detective Comics #27 and an unnamed third issue) after it (re-)surfaced some months back. The disillusioned Cage dispersed the rest of his comic book collection after the theft.

Neither the star nor the auctioneer has confirmed its provenance - which is a shame because if they had it would confirm the astonishing increase in value for this particular comic. The comic book markets have been such as runaway express train in recent times that it's been hard to keep up.

Cage bought his copy of Action Comics #1 for $150,000 in 1997 - which means that if this is the same copy it has increased in value by 1,340% over the 14 year period. That's 20.99% compound annual growth.

The BBC explains this simply: "…this type of investment has become popular during troubled economic times because rare collectibles hold their value more reliably than property or shares."

The comic is discussed ahead of last night's sale

It does seem, too, that Superman is truly the champion of the comic book world - the world's favourite superhero. We're keen on the Man of Steel ourselves, which is why we have this Christopher Reeve cardstock autograph in stock.

Other impressive comic book sales this year have included a 9.6 graded copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spiderman's debut) selling for $1.1m in March. This surprised many, as it had been thought that only the 'Golden Age' superheroes Superman and Batman were eligible for the seven-figure grade, but the irrepressible webslinger proved them wrong.

A flurry of six-figure sales, notably World Record prices for a copies of the first issues of The Avengers ($250,000 just last month in November) and Captain America ($343,000 in August), have also been and gone this year.

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