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Death Dealer painting outshines Superman comic at auction

Death Dealer 6 by Frank Frazetta in 1990

"Death Dealer 6" by Frank Frazetta sold for $1,792,500 — a record for one of his paintings and three times the $600,000 it was expected to get. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Superman may be the Man of Steel, but he’s no Death Dealer.

Comic books featuring the debuts of Superman, the Joker and Catwoman fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars at a Chicago auction Thursday, but the star was undoubtedly a painting by science fiction and fantasy artist Frank Frazetta.

Heritage Auctions says Frazetta’s “Death Dealer 6” painting sold for a whopping $1,792,500 — a record for one of his paintings and three times the $600,000 it was expected to get.

A 1938 Action Comics #1 in which Superman debuted sold for $573,600 — not the $650,000 the auction house thought it might go for but still a nice payday for the collector who bought it for $50,000 15 years ago.

A Batman comic book from 1940 in which both the Joker and Catwoman debuted sold for $227,050.