Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. And more expensive than any other comic book ever...again.
With a final auction price of $3,207,852 (£1.94 million), Action Comics No. 1 has broken its own record for the most expensive comic, after owner Darren Adams sold the iconic work on eBay earlier this year. New York comics dealers Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo, operators of ComicConnect.com, have said they are the buyers.
The most sacred of all comics, Action Comics No. 1 marked the debut of Superman, published in 1938 and ushering in the era of the modern superhero. Since then, the Man of Steel has of course grown into the world's most recognizable comic book character, spawning a countless number of spin-offs, films, TV shows, and merchandise across a brand empire the size of which would make Krypton blush.
"It's hard to believe that a kid's 10-cent comic could be worth that much money, but it is Superman. That's an iconic thing," Fishler told the Associated Press.
The record-breaking comic was shown off yesterday at Comic Con in New York yesterday.
What made Adams' copy so pricey is the rarity and condition of the piece - only a few dozen of the issues still exist today.But just two of them, one of which was Adams', are graded 9.0 on a 10-point mint scale by comics authority Certified Guaranty Company (CGC).
Adams's copy was in such great condition because the owner from whom he originally purchased it kept it in a cedar chest at high altitude in his West Virginia home.
What made the announcement so unexpected, however, was that seemingly nobody knew to expect Adams' edition to even exist.
"I actually held it for a few years," Adams told The Washington Post. " And equally exciting to having a book of this condition is the fact that nobody knew it existed. Most books have a history ... but this book was totally off the grid, and nobody knew about it till I made it known.”
The auction took place among 13 bidders on the online auction site eBay. The final bid trumped the one before it by just $100.
It continues a dominant history of Action Comics No. 1 as the most expensive comic. In fact, this marks four times out of the last five record-setting transactions that the issue has held this title. This new sum surpasses the $2.161 million (then £1,388,850) paid by an anonymous bidder for another copy of Superman's debut on Nov. 30, 2011. That one was sold via an auction on the very ComicConnect.com site run by the winning bidders this time around.
The only comic to break this super stranglehold in the last decade was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the debut of Batman. On Feb. 25, 2010, a 1939 copy of Detective Comics #27, Batman's first appearance, was graded an 8.0 by the CGC. An anonymous bidder made the purchase via Heritage Auction Galleries for $1,075,500 (then £703,645).
But now, leaping gigantic stacks of money in a single bound, Superman and Action Comics No. 1 have reasserted themselves as masters of the expensive comic universe.
And for the latest on all things world record, visit Guinness World Records on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and our brand-new Instagram. Plus check out Guinness World Records on YouTube to subscribe for the latest record-breaking videos!