Following as harrowing a recovery as can be expected for a lost comic book, the copy of Action Comics #1 that was stolen more than ten years ago from actor Nicolas Cage has been sold for the record-setting amount of $2.16 million. The first appearance of Superman, Action Comics #1 was published in 1938 with a cover price of ten cents.Although the copy of Action is unusually pristine (it's graded as a 9 by the Comics Guaranty Corporation), what no doubt compounded its value was the dramatic journey the book has taken since rolling off the presses all the way back in 1938. According to The Associated Press, this copy set records twice before, selling for $86,000 in 1992 and to Nicolas Cage for $150,000 in 1997. The comic was stolen in 2000 and remained missing until it was discovered in April -- under incredibly dubious circumstances -- in a storage locker in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California.

Comic Connect, the auction house who sold the issue (and who will also sell the check DC issued to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for the rights to Superman), has not confirmed this issue of Action Comics #1 is the same copy stolen from Cage. Indeed, there was even at the time uncertainty as to who actually owned the stolen comic. Cage indicated he wanted the comic back, saying in a statement, "It is divine providence that the comic was found and I am hopeful that the heirloom will be returned to my family." However, the actor had filed the appropriate insurance claims after the theft, which was thought to complicate matters significantly.

The Hollywood Reporter's Andy Lewis correctly pointed out earlier this month that the history of the record-setting collectible aligns exactly with the comic purchased by Cage, and reports that the actor was believed to be the owner at the time of Wednesday's sale. Bleeding Cool spoke with Lewis this week and he reaffirmed his report.

Apparently, "divine providence" also encompasses an impressive 1,340% profit for the famously wasteful actor.

Only 100 copies of Action Comics #1 are thought to have survived the great oh-s**t-mom-threw-all-my-comics-away culls of the 1940s.

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