Comic books have long been a popular purchase for children and adults of all ages. Whether it is for reading and enjoyment or for collecting, comic books range in price depending on several factors. One of the significant factors giving a comic book its value is its edition number. A first edition comic book is usually considered more valuable than a second, third, or fourth edition. The best way to identify if a comic is first edition is to read the indicia. Some first edition comics sell for thousands, and even millions, of dollars.
Indicia to Identify First Edition Comics
The best way to identify first edition comics is to look at what is called the indicia. The indicia is the term used in publishing, given to a piece of text that is printed somewhere in either the front or back of the comic book. Usually printed in small text, the indicia contains official information, like the comic's title, its publishing date, as well as editorial governance information. A first edition comic may not necessarily state it is a first edition in the indicia. However, it will state if it is not a first edition. Any printing at the end of the indicia relating to a second printing or second or third edition identifies what edition the comic book is. The indicia is usually found on the inside front cover or the inside back cover of a comic. With Marvel comics and DC comics, the indicia is found on the first or last page at the bottom of the page. Other comic brands may have their indicia in different places than this. A general rule is for older comics the indicia is at the front of the comic book, while for newer comics, the indicia is often at the rear of the comic book.
Standard and Variant First Edition Comic Covers
Standard first edition comics are often quite sought after. But sometimes, publishers release variant editions. Variant comic editions often have a different cover from the first edition. In the indicia, a variant may be considered a first edition. This means it is a first edition of the variant comic cover release. It does not mean it is a first edition of the standard comic edition.
Highly Collectible First Edition Comics
The 1938 Action Comics first edition comic is one of the most valuable and rare comics available as it is one of the first original comic stories written. Sold for several million dollars, this Actions Comics first edition introduced Superman and Lois Lane. The first comic to introduce Batman, Detective Comics, released in 1939 is another highly collectible first edition comic.