We’ve seen Back to the Future Part II enough to know the perils of tampering with the past. Like how things can go horribly wrong when you try and turn time travel into profit. And yet we can’t help but wish we had the Time Stone to do just that right now. Because we’d very much like to take a trip to the year 1939. We’d buy a bunch of copies of the first-ever Marvel comic book, Marvel Comics #1. A recent auction turned that initial ten-cent investment into a whopping $2.4 million windfall.
Heritage Auctions recently sold a rare copy of Marvel Comics #1. (A sale we first learned about from the Associated Press.) Known as a “pay copy,” this version of the comic that kicked the world of the Marvel universe is extra valuable. It contains handwritten notes from the publisher about how much the company paid its writers and artists. That includes how Frank R. Paul got $25 for illustrating the cover. (Equivalent to around $510 in 2022.). It features the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch in his pre-Fantastic Four days. The front cover also teases the inclusion of The Angel and Masked Raider. Two characters we don’t expect to see in the MCU anytime soon. Artists Bill Everett, Carl Burgos, and Paul Gustavson contributed to interior illustrations.
While the comic itself only cost readers a dime in 1939, this copy—graded with an excellent 9.2 score—cost an anonymous buyer 24,000,000 dimes in 2022. (Actually, it was a few more. The official winning big came in at $2,427,800.)
If you think there’s any chance your grandfather might have a copy of Marvel Comics #1 sitting in his attic, even a regular version, go find it. It was just in 2019 when a traditional copy sold for $1.26 million, a record at the time. And speaking of time, if you find that green Infinity Stone and go back to 1939 please grab a few copies for us too. We know how dangerous that is, but in fairness $2.4 million is a whole lot of dimes.