This image courtesy of Heritage Auctions shows a copy of Marvel Comics No. 1, the 1939 comic book considered the ‘Big Bang’ of the Marvel Comics Superhero Universe. - The comic book sold for US$1,260,000 on November, 21, 2019, at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic art held by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. -AFP/Heritage Auctions

A 1939 comic book that introduced Marvel characters for the first time sold for a record US$1.26 million at auction, Dallas-based auctioneer Heritage Auctions said on Thursday.

“Marvel Comics No. 1” features the first appearances of characters including Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. Decades later, Marvel debuted Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and other superheroes that have headlined recent blockbuster movies.

The item was originally purchased at a newsstand by a Pennsylvania mailman. The book’s condition was rated as 9.4 on a scale of 1 to 10, the auctioneer said.

The sale was part of a four-day auction of vintage comic books and comic art.

The previous record-holder for a Marvel Comics book was a 1962 issue featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man, which sold for US$1.1 million in 2011.

A handful of other comic books have topped the US$1 million price tag. In 2014, a Superman comic was purchased for $3.2 million on eBay.--Reuters