Jim Lee's Uncanny X-Men #268 cover art sells for $300,000

Uncanny X-Men #268 cover
(Image credit: Jim Lee/Scott Williams (Marvel Comics))

Jim Lee and Scott Williams' original art for the cover to Uncanny X-Men #268 has sold for a whopping $300,000 at auction.

(Image credit: Jim Lee/Scott Williams (Marvel Comics))

Originally released on September 30, 1990, Uncanny X-Men #268 is arguably the issue in which Lee and Williams first defined themselves as one of the top artist duos in the comic industry. The duo originally drew Uncanny X-Men as a fill-in team for r series artist Marc Silvestri, but after he left the series they took over as the main artists with #267. 

This original art, which features hand-lettering paste-up by Chris Eliopoulos, is ink and Zipatone over graphite pencil on a Marvel bristol board, with an image area of 9.75" x 15". Looking closely, you can see it's not pristine - staple holes, adhesive residue, and production registration tape are evident - and there's even a small tear at the bottom right corner. 

For the $300,000 price, there was more than just this original art page; it includes three overlays, including a hand-inked cityscape for the background, and another serving as a color guide.

Lee himself shed some light on the provenance to the page, including what the piece originally sold for.

(Image credit: Jim Lee/Scott Williams (Marvel Comics))

"This cover could have been yours for $650 back in 1990! That's a 46,053% return on investment," Lee tweeted. "To be fair to my inker Scott Williams, who sold it back then, $650 was worth like $1294 in today's dollars. #YOLO"

For his part, Williams tweets that he hasn't had second thoughts about the sale 30 years ago.

"It's funny! No regrets, never look back," Williams writes. "$650 was a huge amount for a brand new cover back then."

If you don't have $300,000 waiting around, you can get the next best thing for a little less, as this cover will be reproduced at full size for the upcoming Jim Lee's X-Men Artist Edition, which goes on sale February 21, 2021 from IDW Publishing. 

Are you a Jim Lee fan? Check out our list of the best Jim Lee creations of all time.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)