The Holy Grail of comic books is now even holier. A stellar copy of Action Comics #1 from 1938, once owned by Nic Cage, shattered auction records this evening in New York when the smoke cleared and a final bid of $2,161,000 was announced.
Looks like somebody's holiday just got a whole lot brighter.
Within its fabled pages, Superman was first introduced to the planet, ushering in the Golden Age of superheroes. Stolen from actor Nicolas Cage in 2000, the comic was recovered in April of 2011, found inside a storage locker in the San Fernando Valley by the Los Angeles Police Department's Art Theft Detail. Fewer than 10 copies of the precious book exist in this condition. The famed specimen is the highest officially graded edition in the census, weighing in at 9.0 Very Fine/Near Mint, inspected by Certified Guaranty Company in New Jersey, the gold standard of comic book grading services.
Back in 2010, a lesser, 8.5-rated CGC copy sold for $1.5 million, smashing the record for most expensive comic at the time. This auction was predicted to obliterate the previous record and didn't disappoint. Fifty bids were recorded before the gavel fell.
Cage purchased the storied comic in 1997 for a then-astounding $150,000, solidifying his rank as a self-described comic book geek. He eventually settled for his lost "national treasure" and was paid off by the insurance company 10 years ago when it was first stolen.
ComicConnect Corporation in New York City hosted the auction and will take a 10 percent commission on the final sale.
Owner and COO Vincent Zurzolo was thrilled to have the opportunity to sell this once-in-a-lifetime piece of history.
"This copy of Action Comics #1 is the Holy Grail of all comics, and we're proud to be auctioning it off here at ComicConnect," he said. "We were fortunate enough to sell the former world-record holder, Action Comics #1 in 8.5 back in March of 2010, and this current copy is unequaled. This is a historic day, and we're very excited to see where this lands."
What do you think? Is the Man of Steel's comic origin worth the colossal coin, or is the super-hype unjustified?