Superheroes will be at the centre of a battle tomorrow on Tyneside between classic comic collectors.
Around 4,000 comics will be put up for grabs by Newcastle auctioneers Anderson & Garland in a sale which is expected to bring in an estimated £30,000.
Some comics, such as the No 1 issue of Spider-Man from the early 1960s, are rated at around £1,000 each.
The sale features the first 234 issues of Spider-Man, the first 160 of X-Men, and the first copies of Daredevil and Green Lantern.
There is also a complete set of the first seven years of the 1950s Eagle comic, featuring Dan Dare, and the first five issues of Viz.
Anderson & Garland hold the world record for the sale of a Viz No 1 at £950.
Half of the comics on sale come from the estate of a collector who lived in Darlington. They were stacked in a bedroom.
The rest are made up of collections from Northumberland and Newcastle.
Comics are rated as Golden Age, from the 1920s-40s with the emergence of Superman and Batman, and the Silver Age from 1960, when companies like Marvel shook up the industry with a new style with characters such as Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four.
“We will be selling some of the rarest comics in the world from the Silver Age,” said auctioneer John Anderson.
“If you are a comic collector, which I used to be, it’s an extraordinary sale.
“This sale is the richest and most interesting collection of comics we have ever sold.
“There are lots and lots of really rare Marvel comics - and Marvel are the ones that comic collectors mostly want, and Spider-Man in particular.
“Companies like marvel re-invented comics. The Silver Age changed the way Americans thought about comics and we’ve got Spider-Man No 1 – one of the most desirable editions in the world. “Unfortunately, the Spider-man and X-Men No 1s are not in mint condition, which is where the real money is. A mint condition Spider-Man No 1 and X-Men No 1 can command £20,000 but we hope to achieve £1,000 for this edition, which is well-read.”
Anderson & Garland was the first auction house to hold a dedicated comic book sale, followed by Sotheby’s in New York which started the modern trend for comic auctions.
John said: “I have spent the last three weeks counting them all. It’s well worth the time and effort because of this amazing discovery in Darlington.”
The sale will also include DC National Silver Age Superman and batman examples, plus underground comics such as Oz.
“The appeal of comics is principally one of nostalgia. They are an escape from the pressures of life into an alternative reality,” said Mr Anderson.
The sale comes after the Newcastle Film and Comic Con event held at the weekend at the Metro Radio Arena, which featured its own Comic Zone.