In December 2011, a 9.0 graded copy of Action Comics #1, Superman's 1938 debut comic book adventure, sold for a World Record $2.16m. The sale made global headlines.
But what if you fancy owning your own copy of Action Comics #1, but don't have $2m-plus to spend?
Well, now that the best copies of the world's rarest comic books are trading for seven figure sums -an 8.5 graded Action Comics #1 also sold for $1.5m - collectors are increasingly on the lookout for solid (yet unrestored) lower-grade copies.
Like this copy of Superman Action Comics #1 which is auctioning online, and is being offered without reserve. Current bids stand at $120,000.
This is a genuine Action Comics #1: the comic that started the Golden Age and is considered one of the 'most important ever published' by collectors. Unlike the $2.16m '9.0' version, this copy is graded at '3.0'. But what exactly does that mean?
Other '3.0' Action Comics #1 editions to have emerged in recent times had defects including hole punches, large missing chunks or water stains. No such imperfections blight this copy, however - apart from two splits in its spine: 1" at the top and 3.75" at the bottom.
The latter extends past the comic's bottom staple, although the back cover is still attached to that bottom staple. The damaged spine is the main factor affecting this comic's grading. Other than off-white to white pages, this edition of Action Comics #1 is in super condition for a '3.0'.
It also boasts good provenance, having formerly resided in Billy Wright's noted rare comic book collection.
So what could you expect to pay for a comic of this calibre? Based on 2011's sales figures, '2.0' graded Action Comics #1s are valued at circa $90,000. While '4.0' graded versions are typically valued at circa $180,000.
According to CGC (Comics Guaranty Company) consensus, there are four extant Action Comics #1 copies in '3.0' condition - and 21 copies in better condition if you happen to have a larger budget.
Given this copy's impressive condition in relation to its 3.0 grading, this Action Comics #1 could soar past its estimated price bracket in the Dallas, Texas, online sale.
Watch this space for more rare comic book news.