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A near-mint copy of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ #1, the first-ever appearance of the four pizza-chugging reptiles, has been sold at auction for a whopping $250,000.

The 1984 book was sold on the comic auction site ComicConnect after receiving a 9.8 grade by the CGC, a comic book grading service, meaning the copy is in near-mint condition. The auction site’s listing noted that the book was one that is ‘notoriously difficult to find in such good condition.’

RT

“Anybody who grew up in the 1980s understands the significance of this comic book,” The description read. “Self-published by scrappy creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, this book contains the origin stories of the Ninja Turtles and Splinter, as well as the introduction of Shredder, and The Foot. 

The moody cover, an homage to Frank Miller's ‘Ronin’ mini-series, features deep blacks and bloody reds with muscular cross-hatched renditions of our heroes standing ready against the forces of evil. Eastman and Laird's characters were soon toned down and made more child-friendly, but in these early books, they pulled no punches on the way to devouring their beloved pizza pies.”

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ #1 was initially created as a parody of popular comics in the ’80s, drawing inspiration from the likes of Marvel’s ‘The New Mutants’ and ‘Daredevil,’ as well as Frank Miller’s ‘Ronin.’ The authors of the comic self-published the first book, and released it in small batches, which resulted in it becoming a valuable collector’s item, especially once the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles turned into a behemoth franchise.

While the overall tone of the franchise was eventually made more family-friendly over the years, the darker nature of the first issue served as the primary inspiration for the 1990 theatrical release, which has since become a cult classic.