It’s a good thing Nicolas Cage was able to get his rare copy of “Action Comics” No. 1 back in April after it was stolen from his house in 2000. Because in an online auction on Wednesday, the most sought-after comic in history sold for a record $2.1 million, after 50 people bid on the June 1938 book in which Superman makes his debut.
Cage’s copy (though the identity of the owner has not been disclosed, many believe it still belongs to the actor), one of only 100 believed to remain in existence, was graded at 9.0 before the auction, making it the best condition of an Action #1 that has ever been graded by the leading comic book grading company, Certified Guaranty Company. Shattering the previous $1.5 million record for a less-well preserved copy of “Action Comics” No.1 sold last March, Cage’s comic became the most expensive to ever sell at auction , when it went for $2,161,000.
And it almost didn’t happen. Cage’s comic was stolen from his house in 2000 and then recovered by Los Angeles police when an unidentified man bought the contents of an abandoned storage locker in the San Fernando Valley. Cage reported it stolen on January 21, 2000, after noticing that it, along with two other rare comics, had been stolen from security frames mounted on the wall of his Los Angeles home.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, experts believe that only five other No. 1’s with quality near Cage’s exist and all are in private hands. Cage bought his copy at auction in 1997 for around $150,000.