Today's Article - Action Comics #1

This article is for quizzes on Thursday January 12th...

Action Comics #1 (June 1938) is the first issue of the original run of the comic book series Action Comics. It features the first appearance of several comic book heroes—most notably the Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster creation, Superman. For this reason it is widely considered both the beginning of the superhero genre and the most valuable comic book of all time.

One copy was stolen from American actor Nicolas Cage, an avid comic book collector, in 2000. In March 2011, it was found in a storage locker in the San Fernando Valley and was verified by to be the copy sold to him previously. Cage had previously received an insurance payment for the item. A copy which sold for $2.16 million on November 30, 2011 through is believed to have been this same one, having been noted as stolen in 2000 and recovered in 2011. The Hollywood Reporter mentioned in its March 23, 2012 issue that a movie was in development based on the theft of Cage's copy of the comic book and would be titled Action No. 1.
A CGC 9.0-graded comic, with white pages, was auctioned for sale on eBay in August 2014. The seller Darren Adams, a comic book store owner in Federal Way, Washington, had purchased the issue from the estate of a man who had originally bought the issue from a newsstand on its release in 1938. The original buyer lived in high altitudes in West Virginia and stored the comic in a stack with others, which provided the optimal "cool, dry and dark" conditions that lent well to a comic's age, according to Adams. The comic changed hands twice prior to the auction; first sold as part of an estate sale when the original purchaser died forty years after its publication, and then to a third person who held the comic for about thirty years. Some years prior to the auction, Adams was contacted by this third person, and seeing the pristine condition of the comic, purchased it for a "seven figure sum". He held onto the comic for a few years before deciding to sell it, keeping the existence of it otherwise a secret, even rejecting a $3 million offer to buy the comic outright. On his decision to sell, he opted to use eBay instead of other comic auction houses like Heritage House, believing the auction site would reach a wider audience and was a better fit for the pop culture nature of the piece. After discussions with the site, Adams and eBay also arranged to donate 1% of the sale to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, reflecting on Christopher Reeve's role as Superman in motion pictures. The auction ended on August 24, 2014 and sold for over $3.2 million. This was the highest value ever paid for a single issue of a comic book.


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