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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.