Spidey sense: Amazing Fantasy comic book sells for $454,100

'Amazing Fantasy' No. 15, marking the debut of Spider-Man. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

‘Amazing Fantasy’ No. 15, marking the debut of Spider-Man. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions


DALLAS – A copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15, the 1962 first appearance of Spider-man, sold at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on Feb. 18 for $454,100, a record price at public auction for the comic. The near-mint, 9.4 CGC copy claimed top lot honors in Heritage’s $5.7 million Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction.

The copy was purchased in 1980 by New York area collector Walter Yakaboski, a comic book collector, who had the opportunity to buy a handful of key early Marvel comic books for the tidy sum of $10,000 – a good bit to spend in those days. Among them was the copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15, the landmark first appearance of Spider-Man.

The book was purchased by an anonymous collector. Another Spider-Man comic from Yakaboski’s collection drew serious attention as a 1963 copy of The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 sold for $110,537.

A copy of Detective Comics No. 27 – marking the first appearance of “The Batman” – shocked the auction room floor when it hammered for $167,300, despite its 4.5 CBCS grade and extensive restoration. A high-grade, near-mint 9.4 CGC copy of The Avengers No. 1 sold for $98,587.

Perhaps foreshadowing the success of his big screen debut in Captain America: Civil War, a near-mint 9.8 CGC copy of Fantastic Four No. 52, famous for the first appearance of the Black Panther saw intense bidder interest as it sold for $83,650. Another key book, Tales of Suspense No. 57, introducing fellow film star and Avenger Hawkeye, sold for $47,800.

The auction’s astonishing 99 percent sell-through rate included classics of original comic book art, including John Romita Sr.’s original cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man No. 62. The 1968 cover, depicting a battle between Spidey and Medusa of the Inhumans, measures 12 1/4inches by  18 1/2 inches – a rare and coveted example of the comic master’s larger artworks to cross the block. Competition between 26 different bidders pushed the rarity to $179,250.