Well played, Peter Parker.
The first appearance of Spiderman's black suit reeled in a lot of green Thursday when a single page of artwork from a 1984 comic book featuring the superhero's dark duds sold at auction for a record $3.36 million.
Mike Zeck's artwork for page 25 from Marvel Comics' "Secret Wars No. 8" marks the first appearance of Spidey's black suit, Heritage Auctions said in a statement.
The symbiote suit would eventually lead to the emergence of the character Venom.
The record bidding, which started at $330,000 and zoomed past $3 million, came on the first day of Heritage's four-day comic event in Dallas.
When it hit its final price, shattering all previous comic art records, the auction gallery erupted with cheers, the auction house said.
"We could not be happier, especially for our consignor, who bought the art in the late 1980s and treasured these pages ever since," Joe Mannarino, Heritage Auctions' New York Director of Comics & Comic Art, said in a statement. "Today's results prove what we've long been saying: Comic book art is as beloved and valuable as anything put on canvas."
The previous record for an interior page of a U.S. comic book was $657,250 for art from a 1974 issue of "The Incredible Hulk" that featured a tease for the first appearance of Wolverine.
Sales of comic books and graphic novels soared during the Covid-19 pandemic. And superheroes have flexed their muscles at the box office.
Buyer And Seller Were Not Identified
"Spider-Man: No Way Home" has grossed $1.53 billion worldwide, cementing its place as the eighth-highest grossing movie ever at the global box office, not adjusted for inflation, according to Variety.
In addition to Spidey, one of the few surviving copies of Superman's debut, Action Comics No. 1, sold faster than a speeding bullet for $3.18 million, putting it among the priciest books ever auctioned.
This particular copy of the DC Comics title is called “the Rocket Copy” because the cover features a rocket stamp put there by the 13-year-old who purchased the issue from a newsstand in 1938, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Rocket Copy sale stands behind an issue of Amazing Fantasy No. 15, the first appearance of Spider-Man, that sold for $3.6 million in September 2021, and two other copies of Action Comics No. 1.
None of the sellers or buyers were identified.