LOS ANGELES (AP) — A rare and valuable comic featuring the debut of Superman that re-surfaced in a storage locker last week appears to be the same one stolen from Nicolas Cage more than a decade ago, police said.
The mint copy of Action Comics No. 1 is now in police custody and an investigation into its theft and recovery is under way. Detective Don Hrycyk with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Art Theft Detail said Monday the comic has been authenticated and appears to be the one stolen from Cage in 2000.
It is unclear whether the 1938 comic will be returned to the Oscar-winning actor. Hrycyk said Cage accepted an insurance payout after its theft and will have to work out the details with the company.
Cage is an avid comic collector, and the Action Comics issue is one of the highest-coveted books in superhero history. A copy of the issue was sold in March 2010 for $1.5 million. It was originally sold for 10 cents.
The recovery of Cage’s comic was first reported Sunday by the Ventura County Star. The paper said it was found in a storage locker in the San Fernando Valley last week and that a comic collector who originally sold the book to Cage verified its authenticity.
Hrycyk said his investigation is in its early stages and he is checking out all the stories about how the comic was found.
The detective said a number of false leads on the comic have been generated over the years, including a tip in 2002 that the issue was in a safe deposit box in Tennessee. Police searched the box, but found a replica of the comic’s cover, which depicts Superman hoisting a car over his head, wrapped around a woman’s lingerie catalog.
An e-mail message sent to Cage’s publicist, Annett Wolf, was not immediately returned Monday.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)