So if you’re a multi-millionaire comic book fan with a few million in disposable cash, you might want to jump on this Ebay auction going on right now for Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, don’t ya know. This issue from 1938 is one of less than 50 unrestored copies believed to still exist, and It’s being sold by the Pristine Comics in Federal Way, Washington, with proceeds from the sale going toward the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. According to the Ebay seller notes, this is “the finest known copy of the most sought after comic book in the world. A 1938 museum piece with PERFECT WHITE pristine pages.” The auction is currently at $1,750,200.00, but with a little over a week left to go, this copy has a shot to go for more than the $2,161,000.00 that Nicolas Cage’s once infamously stolen copy ended up going for a few years back.
So just how did the seller come across such an incredibly rare pristine copy of the most sought after book in all of comic collecting? According to a video posted on YouTube (via the Hollywood Reporter) Pristine Comics owner Darren Adams explained how the auction copy remained in such good edition. “There was a gentleman in 1938, buys a copy … off the newsstand. And he lived in a fairly high altitude area of West Virginia and kept the book in a cedar chest. The quality of the issue — the pages of which, thanks to being kept in a dark, dry space for decades, haven’t yellowed with time — makes the copy not just a copy of Action Comics No. 1 but the copy of Action Comics No. 1.”
Action Comics #1, of course, is almost certainly the most important comic book ever published. It’s the first appearance of Superman (and Lois Lane, thank you very much.) And although Batman might have knocked Superman down a peg as the world’s most popular superhero some time ago, without Superman, Batman would have never existed, and neither would the entire superhero genre that fuels all of Hollywood at the moment. The geek golden age we live in at the moment can trace its roots back to that book, that 76 years ago went for all of ten cents.