High-grade Superman Comic Smashes
Stolen 11 years ago and recently recovered,
legendary comic book sells for $2,161,000 million
The world's most valuable comic books sold this week for $2,161,000, the highest price ever paid for a comic book. And that’s only half the story.
More than 11 years ago, the book seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth when it was stolen out of the home of a West Coast comic book collector. The theft of the high-grade copy of Action Comics #1, the book where Superman first appeared in 1938, rocked the collectibles world.
After an intense, decade-long police investigation, the book was finally recovered last April. Listed for auction earlier this month on ComicConnect.com, the online auction division of Metropolis Collectibles, the world’s largest vintage comic dealer, the legendary comic book will shortly be safe and sound in the hands of its new owner.
The sale of the book, which has been certified as the world's highest graded copy at CGC 9.0, smashed the previous world record set in 2010 when ComicConnect.com sold a CGC 8.5 Action Comics for $1.5 million.
Stephen Fishler, co-owner of ComicConnect.com and Metropolis Collectibles, sold the book to the previous collector in 1997 for $150,000 and tried to help the police track it down by offering rewards, writing letters and following up on leads. “The theft of this book really bothered me over the years,” said Fishler. “It’s such an important book and it meant a lot to me. I kept asking myself where it could be and how a book of this magnitude could just disappear.”
In April, Fishler was contacted by a California entrepreneur hoping to make a few bucks buying the contents of auctioned-off storage units who had stumbled across a once-in-a-lifetime find—a high-grade copy of Action Comics #1. Unfortunately for the California man, it was THE Action Comics #1—the same one that was stolen in 2000.
When Fishler saw a picture of the book, he was shocked, but immediately knew it was the missing comic. “After spending so many years looking for the book, I was blown away when it appeared,” he said. “I’m so happy it was found and was still in nearly perfect condition. The book’s new owner and the whole collectibles community are lucky this amazing book was recovered.”