July 23, 2014
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s…a very expensive eBay listing. The debut issue of Action Comics, which just also happens to be the first appearances of Superman and Lois Lane, is headed to auction. The issue originally came out in April 1938 and had a cover price of 10 cents but, as The New York Times reports, a copy sold for $2,161,000 in 2011. That copy allegedly once belonged to Nicolas Cage, who is said to have purchased it for $150,000 in 1997 (incidentally, a year before he was supposed to star in the abandoned movie Superman Lives).
Bidding on the issue in question will begin on August 14th and end on August 24th with one percent of the proceeds benefiting the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to improve the lives of people living with paralysis.
Only 50 to 100 copies of the comic’s original 200,000-copy run are believed to exist. The copy going to auction is reportedly the only known copy with “perfect white” pages and its condition was graded 9.0 out of 10 on CGC Universal Grade scale. Its current owner is Darren Adams of Federal Way, Washington. In a video on eBay, he explains that he bought it from a collector who had been storing the comic in a bank vault. “I’m hoping that the next person can enjoy it as much as I do,” he said. “I’d love it if a museum purchased this book for all to see.”
To put the issue’s legacy in context, eBay has created an impressive infographic dedicated to Action Comics, Number One. In addition to offering prequalification to would-be bidders (because only a super-villain would claim to have a couple mil without proof), it features an interactive “saga continues” timeline, detailing important issues in Superman’s history (and corresponding eBay bid links), including the first appearances of Lex Luthor and Supergirl, as well as Spider-Man and Spawn covers with art that cops Action Comics, Number One.
In other Superman news, the highly anticipated movie Superman V Batman: Dawn of Justice, in which Henry Cavill will reprise his role as the Man of Steel and Ben Affleck will take on Batman, is slated to hit theaters on May 6th, 2016. Plot details for the movie are still unknown.