ELBOW LAKE, Minn. (KMSP) –
The movie featuring the man of steel soared to the top of the box office this weekend, and one Minnesota man is flying high himself after cashing in on some rare comics he found in a fixer-upper.
By now, comic book collectors across the world are aware that a rare Superman comic popped up in a pretty unexpected place — Elbow Lake, Minn., population 1,170. The story of how it was found, however, is even stranger.
The book, which features the very first appearance of Superman, is a crown jewel in the world of comics — but it lay hidden for nearly 80 years inside a beat-up house that could hold even more treasures.
Last December, the home on northwest 1st Street was nearly sold to the owner of Hans House restaurant, which is right next door. He hoped to tear it down and build a parking lot, but David Gonzalez swooped in with one extra Benjamin for the bank and bought it for $10,100.
When he did, he had no idea that the home contained a small fortune inside the insulation and drywall. Hidden between old newspapers lay Action Comics No. 1, which was sold through an online auction last Wednesday for $175,000 — but it could have gone for more if it hadn’t been damaged during a family argument.
But the story of the super find doesn’t stop there. While Gonzalez and his wife, Deanna, were unloading more drywall in the backyard, they also uncovered Superman No. 4, the 1940 comic that features the return of Lex Luthor.
The condition is far from mint — it’s in two pieces, but it’s still worth a pretty penny. Gonzalez told FOX 9 News its value is estimated to be somewhere between $500 and $5,000.
Gonzalez believes there could be more rare comics to ferret out as he continues to work on the house — but he said he won’t let the money become like kryptonite for his family.