Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman in 1938, is so rare that copies in good condition have fetched up to $1.5 million at auction. Now another high-quality copy of the comic, famously stolen from Nicolas Cage's home in 2000, might be headed to auction, and it could smash every comic sales record on the books.
Cage, a lifelong comics fan, once owned a massive vintage comics collection that included Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 (the first appearance of Batman in 1939), but in 2000 he lost both of those rare jewels and one other unidentified comic to theft. Back in April, the Action Comics book was recovered in a San Fernando Valley storage locker, and Cage said he'd like to have it back, but insurance claims and other issues have made the ownership of the book unclear.
In the years between the theft and the recovery, Cage sold off the rest of his comics collection, and now it seems that this particular copy of Action #1 might also sold off through vintage comics dealer Comic Connect.
Of course, the value of the book would depend on its condition, which is still officially unknown, but an answer might lie in a recent grading by the Certified Guaranty Company (yes, that's what the CGC stands for on all those comics you see on eBay).
Bleeding Cool is reporting that the CGC recently posted an Action Comics #1 to their public database with a grade of 9.0. For a comic that's now 74 years old, a 9.0 grading is almost unheard of. An Action #1 with a grade of 8.5 was sold at auction for $1.5 million last year, making it the priciest comic book ever sold. It's rumored that there's another copy of Action #1 in a private collection that's in even better shape, but it's never been graded. This newly graded copy is the highest quality Action #1 that's ever been looked at by the CGC.
It's very unlikely that two such high-quality copies of the same very rare comic would show up at the same time, so the logical conclusion is that the new 9.0 Action is the one that belongs (or belonged) to Cage.
The book first appeared at auction in 1992, when it sold for $82,500. Cage bought it later from Comic Connect, and now it could become the next record-breaking comic on the block. So, if you have $2 million that you don't need for something else, keep your eyes peeled.
(via Bleeding Cool)