Friday, July 22, 2011

Captain America No. 1

The new "Captain America:  The First Avenger" movie opens today, the latest film featuring characters from the Marvel Comics universe.  Before Marvel there was Timely Comics, and it is here that Captain America had his origin during the Second World War.  On the cover, we see Captain America pummeling Hitler early in 1941, months before America even entered the war and four long years before Der Fuehrer was finally defeated.  Americans might not have been eager to enter the war when this was published several months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, but they were certainly no fans of Nazi Germany.

At the bottom of the page, we read that this comic book contains not only Captain America, but "Also Captain America's young ally, Bucky."  Bucky Barnes was, of course, Captain America's sidekick, and he was in fact the original comic book sidekick.

My father has always told us he owned a copy of this very first Captain America comic book. He believes he sold it on a street corner for perhaps a dime.  I do wish he had held on to it for a bit longer.

Here's a very nice copy that sold at Heritage in 2006:
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Captain America No. 1

Captain America Comics #1 Kansas City pedigree (Timely, 1941) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Cream to off-white pages. This is one of the bes...

2006 January Comic Auction #819

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Golden Age (1938-1955):Superhero, Captain America Comics #1 Kansas City pedigree (Timely, 1941) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Cream to off-white pages. This is one of the bes...
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Sold for:
$96,686.25 (includes BP )
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Bid Source: Live: Floor
Auction Ended On:Jan 19, 2006
Item Activity:19 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Printable auction results for all items in the 2006 January Comic Auction.


Captain America Comics #1 Kansas City pedigree (Timely, 1941) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Cream to off-white pages. This is one of the best copies available of one of the best-known and most desirable comic books of all time. In fact, only two unrestored copies of the issue have been certified with higher grades by CGC to date. Of course, having the origin and first appearance of Captain America would make this a significant comic no matter what, but the icing on the cake is the classic cover by the character's co-creators, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Simon once explained the inspiration behind the cover as follows: "There had never been a truly believable villain in comics. But Adolf was live, hated by more than half the world... I could smell a winner." There are two other very significant first appearances here: the villainous Red Skull and of course Cap's sidekick Bucky Barnes. Out of all of the key Golden Age #1 issues, this was the only one to premiere a brand-new character in a comic book devoted to him! That shows the confidence that Timely had in the character, and that confidence was justified, as it catapulted Timely into the top rank of comic book publishers. Overstreet 2005 VF/NM 9.0 value = $95,000; NM- 9.2 value = $140,000. CGC census 11/05: 1 in 9.0, 2 higher.

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Latest Update: 08/2011


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