Last year, a first issue Superman originally stolen from Nicholas Cage was eventually recovered from a storage locker - with the comic ultimately selling at auction for $2.1 million.
The first issue of Spider-Man may not be anywhere near as rare, but a copy was touted on the show Pawn Stars, and subsequently went for a pretty penny.
When Cage’s copy of the first Superman was finally recovered in April 2011, it had a 9.0 rating, which is very rare.
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed there are only five available in the world with that particular rating. (There are about 100 copies of the first Superman comic left, and if you want one in fair condition, you can get it for about $300).
It’s somewhat difficult to ascertain just how much a first Spider-Man would be worth, as prices and estimates vary, and it’s tough to tell if anyone knows what they’re talking about. And of course, you have to differentiate between the issue of Amazing Fantasy that Spider Man debuted in, #15 from August 1962, to his first solo comic as The Amazing Spider-Man.
As noted above, an Amazing Spider-Man was recently appraised on Pawn Stars, at Fine- or Fine+ condition, which should fetch about $6-7,000. Yet thankfully, unlike an original Superman or Batman, it won’t totally cost you an arm and a leg, maybe just a few fingers and toes.
Watching the clip on Pawn Stars, the comic expert appraising the first Spidey, noticed the binding looked good, the color hadn’t faded, and even with a tiny little scribble on one of the pages, it still could get the $6-7 Gs he estimated it at.
So what are some estimates I’ve seen around for what it’s worth? SamRuby puts #1 at $40 grand if you have it near mint, AllExperts put a mint #1 at $33,500. The rare book site Abe's has one for sale at $5,400 at "very good +," and I found a "poor" Amazing Fantasy #15 on Ebay up to $1,875 with twenty-two bids.
Interestingly enough, some people believe that with the advent of EBay, a lot of things we thought would be valuable today aren’t, because it’s easier now to track things down. At the same time, there are so many people today who still can’t believe their parents threw out their comics when they were kids, and how much money they’d be worth today if they kept them.
We’re supposed to grow up and out of all this some day, but once we do we still try to get ‘em all back when we can afford it. And today’s generation of parents probably know better then to throw ‘em out anymore.