Look, up on eBay! It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s Superman! (Action Comics #1)

This copy of Action Comics #1 in 9.0 condition is about to go up for sale on eBay as part of a 10-day auction beginning Aug. 14. It is owned by collectibles dealer Darren Adams, who will be donating a portion of the expected $2-million-plus  proceeds to the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation.

This copy of Action Comics #1 in 9.0 condition is about to go up for sale on eBay as part of a 10-day auction beginning Aug. 14. It is owned by collectibles dealer Darren Adams, who will be donating a portion of the expected $2-million-plus proceeds to the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation.

Three years ago, Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage decided to part with his now-infamous CGC-graded 9.0 copy of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman printed in 1938. Cage’s copy is one of only 100 surviving copies of the comic and one of only two listed in the CGC Census in 9.0 condition. When the dust settled, Cage’s copy had sold for $2.16 million and most collectors assumed that price would hold the record for highest amount paid for a comic book for quite some time.

Now, it seems, we may have a contender to knock the champ off its throne.

The only other copy of Action Comics #1 in 9.0 condition is about to go up for sale on eBay as part of a 10-day auction beginning Aug. 14. The issue hitting the block is owned by collectibles dealer Darren Adams, who will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation.

In a video posted on eBay (it’s about a third of the way down the page), Adams provides the history of Action Comics #1 in general and how this specific comic had remained in pristine condition.

Adams says that it was originally purchased in 1938 off the newsstand by a gentleman who lived in a fairly high altitude area of West Virginia. He then stored the comic in a cedar chest until it was discovered by a dealer who had run an ad in the newspapers in the late 1970s/early ’80s about wanting to buy old comic books. A few years later that dealer sold the issue to another prominent dealer, who sat on it for 30 years before selling it to Adams.

According to the CGC census, there are only seven copies of Action Comics #1 in 6.0 or better condition, with only two copies in 9.0 and this particular copy being the only one with “perfect white pages,” according to CGC. When the eBay auction is completed, this could very well be the most expensive comic on the planet.

Instead of going with one of the major comic book auction houses, Adams chose eBay for its “world-wide reach” and said the sale of this comic “deserves as much publicity as possible because of what it is.”

Action Comics #1 introduced Superman—along with Lois Lane and his alter ego, Clark Kent—to America in a 13-page story. The rest of the book includes a six-page black-and-white Western story starring a cowboy named Chuck Dawson, a 12-page color tale titled “Zatara the Magician” and a few other “action” stories, including comics sagas about boxers, reporters, other cowboys, Marco Polo and a small-time thief named Sticky-Mitt Simpson.

The entire issue of Action Comics #1 can be read here.

This is the first time this copy of Action Comics #1 has been offered for sale to the public and, according to Adams, there’s no limit to how much it could go for.


Matt Baum is WorthPoint’s comic book Worthologist. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact Matt or post your question below in the comments section below. If you need more comic-nerd in your life, you can follow Matt on Twitter, where he’s always screaming about something nerd-related. Thanks to all Matt’s new followers and keep the comments coming!

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