Paducah, Kentucky -

A man's comic book collection with first issues of Superman, Batman and the Flash fetched $1.5 million in an online auction this week.

John Wise had collected the valuable super hero comics over three decades.

A comic from 1940 with the first appearance of Flash claimed the top individual price of $182 000.

First issues of Superman and Batman from the same era sold for $172 000 and $137 000 in the offerings that ended on Tuesday.

His issue of the first-ever comic from Marvel sold for $95 000.

Wise says the exploding popularity of super heroes in movies and TV made it a good time to sell.

He plans to buy a house and send his grandchildren to college with the profits.

The comic books were sold on Comicconnect.com, an online auction house. - Sapa-AP