Three of the oldest and most historically important Wonder Woman comic books will soon be auctioned off on eBay.
The comics are being sold by Darren Adams, collector and owner of Washington-based store Pristine Comics. A portion of the proceeds will go to Trafficking Hope, an organization that works to combat human trafficking.
All Star Comics #8, the character's first appearance, went on newsstands in December 1941. The following January's Sensation Comics #1 featured her first appearance on a comic book's cover.
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And Wonder Woman #1 from July 1942 was the first comic book named after a female superhero.
It's not the first ever comic named after a female character, however — that honour goes to Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, whose self-titled comic book pre-dated Wonder Woman #1 by three months. (Queen of the Jungle, while an impressive title, technically doesn't earn Sheena a superhero membership card.)
Physical condition of comics is 'insane'
The comics, all of them more than 75 years old, are in exceptionally good condition. Comics appraisal and grading company CGC rated Adams's copy of All Star Comics #8 a 9.4 out of 10; Sensation Comics #1 a 9.6 out of 10; and Wonder Woman #1 a 9.0 out of 10.
"That's insane to find comics books that old in that good of a shape," said Kody Peters, co-owner of Toronto's Silver Snail comic book store.
"To find a book from the '40s that isn't [rated] a 2.0 or a 3.0 is pretty rare," Peters told CBC News, "because nobody knew back then that anything was gonna be worth money. Kids would fold them up and stick them in their pockets."
According to Peters, even brand-new comics printed today would rarely hit a perfect 10 rating under the CGC grading process.
Comics sent to CGC for grading are judged based on multiple factors, losing points for wear and tear like missing staples, and torn or yellowing pages. They're then permanently encased in UV-resistant plastic to help prevent further degradation.
Films spike interest in memorabilia
Interest in Wonder Woman-related items on eBay has spiked since the character's recently released feature film, starring Gal Gadot. According to a news release, sales have increased by 50 per cent over the past year and include comics, Lego sets, costumes and even Wonder Woman-branded fidget spinners.
Peters says that's not unusual for characters who enter, or re-enter, the public consciousness through a blockbuster film. Copies of 1985's Rocket Raccoon #1, for example, went from nearly worthless to $120 in 2014 after Bradley Cooper portrayed the furry, smack-talking mercenary in the Guardians of the Galaxy films.
Wonder Woman is one of the most widely known and loved characters of all time, however, so these comics will likely fetch high prices on the auction block regardless of the timing.
The comics will be open in separate auctions on August 17. They're expected to snag a final price similar to 2014's auction of a 9.0-rated issue of Action Comics #1, Superman's first appearance from 1938. That issue sold for $4.06 million ($3.2 million US).