A few weeks ago, this bloke was renovating his Minnesota home when he made a startling and super discovery. Hiding amongst the mess of newspaper wall insulation was what looked like a dusty old comic book. But this was no ordinary comic. Closer inspection revealed that it was published way back in 1938 and boasted the very first appearance of the father of all heroes, Superman. It was Action Comics No.1 and it was worth a lot of money.

He quickly sent it to the experts who promptly valued its current worth at a whopping $175,000. If the years spent working as wall insulation were kinder to its delicate pages, it would have been worth even more. Depending on it’s condition, Action Comics No.1 can sell for up to $2,890,000. Suddenly eager to knock down some walls? Us too.

This got us thinking. If we were renovating our homes, what comics should we be looking out for? We’re always after the best deal, so we want to know which comic books would bring us the highest price tag. Time to do our homework. Here are 5 of the most valuable comic books that would change your life forever if you stumbled across them:

Action Comics #1

Published in June 1938, Action Comics Number 1 introduced readers to a number of well known superheroes, most notably Clark Kent’s alien alter-ego, Superman. As such, it’s widely considered to have single handedly kick started the comic book craze and still remains at the top of every collectors’ wish list.

On February 22, 2010 a grade 8.5 (Very Fine+) copy of Action Comics No.1 sold at auction for $1,000,000 becoming the first million-dollar-selling comic book. Over the years a number of copies have sold for similar amounts, while one was stolen from renowned comic book and Superman enthusiast Nicholas Cage in 2000, only to resurface unscathed in an LA storage locker eleven years later. Talk about being Super lucky…

Detective Comics #27

The first appearance of The Batman tails only The Man of Steel in our list and clocks in as the second most valuable comic book currently in existence. However this is no origin tale (that was issue #33), instead we find Bruce Wayne’s shadowy alter ego investigating the mysterious death of a wealthy journalist. As well as chronicling The Dark Knight’s first adventure, Detective Comics No.27 also introduced readers to a range of DC mainstays like Commissioner Gordon, Fu Manchu, The Crimson Avenger and gruff detective Slam Bradley. Holy exposition, Batman!

First published in May 1939, stumble across this book today and like Bruce Wayne, you won’t have to work again. You could even use your newfound fortune to suit up, take to the streets and bring the scum of society to justice at long last. Alternatively, you could use it to buy a fancy house, shiny car, a yacht and whatever else tickles your fancy. The choice is yours…

Superman 1

A year after the release of Action Comics Number 1, Superman had become so popular that he was given his very own comic book. Thus, in summer 1939 Superman No.1 was released, a bumper collection of stories that brought together the first four Kal-El strips direct from Action Comics. In addition, the book included some new material that fleshed out details on Clark’s fateful trip to Earth from the doomed Krypton and his adoptive parents Ma and Pa Kent.

If you found this comic book hiding in the nooks and crannies of your home, then you might be best holding on to it for a few years. While it won’t bring you quite as much as Action Comics No.1 or Detective Comics No.27, its price will increase in worth by 29.5% in the first three years. In fact, the asking price for all rare comic books fluctuate and you can keep an eye on their worth by checking Nostomania’s handy guide.

Detective Comics #1

You won’t find much spandex in this life changing comic book, however it’s the brand name that is the real hero here. With Detective Comics No.1 came the birth of the now epic DC empire, a company that subsequently spawned heroes like The Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and the game changing Watchmen. What started as a silly book for kids is now a billion dollar business. Budding writers, take note.

As you might expect from its title, you’ll find a selection of detective stories drawn on its colourful pages, featuring characters like Bruce Nelson, Bret Lawton, Eagle Eye Jake and Gumshoe Gus. While lacking in caped crusaders, the first comic from the DC powerhouse will increase in price a whopping 56.9% in the first three years. Beats private detective work any day…

Marvel Comics #1Just as Detective Comics #1 spawned a comics empire, across the road rival publishing house Marvel (then called Timely) were gearing up to launch their very own heroic universe. Marvel Comics No.1 arrived in stores in October 1939 and is perhaps most notable for featuring an early rendition of The Human Torch.

‘Early’ and ‘rendition’ are the key words here, as this Torch isn’t Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm or even human for that matter, here he’s a fiery android. However the inspiration for greater things to come is undeniably present, with classic characters like Namor the Sub-Mariner making his comics debut. It wasn’t long after the publication of this book that the Marvel name was giving DC a real run for it’s money and the rest, as they say, is history…