Spider-Man's debut comic sells for $1.1 million

In this comic book cover released by ComicConnect/MetropolisComics, the cover of the Spider-Man comic,
In this comic book cover released by ComicConnect/MetropolisComics, the cover of the Spider-Man comic, "Amazing Fantasy #15," is shown. The issue, graded 9.6 or near-mint, plus, was sold by ComicConnect.com for $1.1 million on Monday, March 7, 2011 to an undisclosed buyer. (AP Photo/ComicConnect/MetropolisComics) (AP)
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The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 8, 2011; 4:51 PM

PHILADELPHIA -- A comic collector has been caught in Spider-Man's web, paying $1.1 million for a near-mint copy of "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15 that features the wall-crawler's debut.

The issue, first published in 1962, was sold Monday by a private seller to a private buyer, ComicConnect.com chief executive Stephen Fishler told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

It's not the highest price ever paid for a comic book, an honor that goes to "Action Comics" No. 1 with Superman on the cover, which went for $1.5 million.

But Fishler says the price paid is the most for a book from the Silver Age, the mid-1950s to about 1970.

"The fact that a 1962 comic has sold for $1.1 million is a bit of a record-shattering event," he said. "That something that recent can sell for that much and be that valuable is awe-inspiring."

Usually, it has been comics from the Golden Age - typically from the late 1930s to the early 1950s - that draw seven-figure sums.

In March 2010, a copy of the 1938 edition of "Action Comics" No. 1 sold for $1.5 million on ComicConnect's website. That issue features the debut of Superman and originally sold for 10 cents.

In February 2010, Heritage Auctions in Dallas sold a rare copy of "Detective Comics" No. 27, which featured the debut of Batman, for $1,075,500. Fishler said the same issue had initially sold for just $2,500 in 1985 and for $140,000 in 2000.

"Over the last decade it has become a rather legendary copy because it was in the hands of a collector and no one thought he would sell," Fishler said. "The owner came up with a figure that he didn't think anyone would pay, and it was paid."

"Amazing Fantasy" No. 15 has long been prized by collectors because of Spider-Man's debut. It has been reprinted and made available as a hard-cover, too.

The cover, drawn by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, shows Spider-Man clutching a villain in one arm and swinging from his web with the other. It originally sold for 12 cents.

Writer Stan Lee and Ditko co-created the web-slinger and his alter ego, the awkward but educationally gifted Peter Parker, who was bitten by a radioactive spider.

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