When his wife’s aunt grabbed the comic book amid all the excitement of the discovery, he grabbed it back and tore the back cover. Experts downgraded the comic book’s condition to a 1.5 on a 10-point scale. To put that in comic-book context, a 9.0-grade Action 1 fetched more than $2 million recently.

“That was a $75,000 tear,” said Stephen Fishler, co-owner of ComicConnect, a New York City online auction house that is selling Gonzalez’s treasure. He says the comic book would have graded out at 3.0 without the rip.