COMICS superfan Steve Eyre saved this £15,000 first edition of The Avengers from the skip - because the owner had no idea how much it was worth, writes Graham Walker.
World Of Superheroes boss Steve, aged 51, of Sheffield, bought it as part of a £20,000 collection from a householder who inherited a stash of old comics and planned to thrown them away.
But Steve recognised it instantly as comic gold.
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He’s invested a small fortune after turning his hobby into a new Sheffield-based business which buys, sells, values and celebrates comics and memorabilia at www.worldofsuperheroes.com.
He says rare comic collectibles can be a more popular investment than property or shares, as prices soar with the release of movie versions like Avengers Assemble - which brings together Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and more.
Steve turned up to the Avengers Assemble regional premiere at Cineworld Sheffield with his new prized possession and took along his life-size replica of the Iron Man.
He also handed out hundreds of free comics to fans, young and old, as he told The Star how he discovered the 1963 number one edition of The Avengers, original price 9d - nine old pennies.
“The owner was offered £1,000 for all the comics about five years ago. But he didn’t know if anyone would really pay that now. He just wanted rid and had even considered putting them in a skip. So he was shocked when I told him how much the collection was now really worth. He snatched my hand off when I offered him £20,000,’’ said Steve, President and CEO of The World Of Superheroes.
“There are other great comics in that collection, including the first Avengers appearance of Captain America. Many old comics are just worth pennies. But the first Avengers edition is the prized piece here. It’s the UK version, which was printed at the end of the American run and is in near mint condition. We believe it’s one of only a dozen in the world. With the release of the Avengers Assemble, it could soon go up in value to around £30,000.
“An American first edition copy, in only slightly better condition, sold last year for $250,000. Some people will have valuable old comics in their attics. We’d love to hear from anyone who wants them valued and we’ll buy them if they are valuable. It’s our business.
“But I’ll be honest, it’s not going to be easy to sell something like this Avengers first edition. Not when I’ve been a huge comics fan since I was a kid.”