The highest-graded copy of Tales of Suspense #39 is the star lot in Heritage Auctions' November 21-23 Comics Signature Auction in Beverly Hills.
The 1963 comic sees the first appearance and origin story of Iron Man, one of Marvel's most successful characters. The example at auction is tied with a copy from the celebrated Pacific Coast Collection for the highest-grade title, with both graded NM+ 9.6 by CGC.
The Pacific Coast Collection is considered the greatest amassment of Silver Age comics ever assembled, founded by Robert Roter of Pacific Comic Exchange in 1999. Its copy of Tales of Suspense #39 sold for $262,000 at Heritage in July 2012, and it's likely that this example will see similar results.
As Heritage Auctions states: "Old-school collectors might do well to note that Iron Man has been more of a pop culture presence than the likes of the Fantastic Four or the Hulk in recent years, so in years to come this key could well move even further up the rankings of most valuable 1960s Marvels."
The second highest bids of the sale are expected to be seen by Barry Windsor-Smith's original cover art for 1971's Conan the Barbarian #4 "The Tower of the Elephant". Heritage described it as "nothing less than a 'holy grail' cover from a super-early issue of Marvel's most popular Bronze Age title".
Barry Windsor-Smith's portrayal of Robert E Howard's Conan is considered the definitive artwork of the series and is highly sought after by collectors. The piece will open for bids at $40,000.Paul Fraser Collectibles has some fantastic examples of comic and illustration art for sale.