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Press Release - November 14, 2002

Heritage to Offer Earliest Known Superman Comics from Actor Nicolas Cage

Dallas, TX - Heritage Comics Auctions is offering in its multi-million-dollar December 6-7 auction two of the earliest known examples of Superman comic publications, both of which predate even Action Comics #1. One highlight in the auction is a set of early Superman fanzines from the collection of actor Nicolas Cage. This is one of several lots from the Academy Award winning actor's incredible collection that were not part of Heritage's high-profile October Signature auction. These incredibly rare fanzines are important early works by Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and should draw significant attention (and spirited bidding) at Heritage's upcoming December 6-7 Signature Auction to be held in Dallas, TX. The fanzines have been described as follows:

Science Fiction (Fanzine) Group Lot of #2-5 (Siegel and Shuster, 1933).
Everyone knows that Superman was created in 1938 for Action Comics #1, right? Well, if that's true, then what's up with the story "The Reign of the Superman" from 1933? Set the wayback machine, Sherman, we're going to visit Cleveland circa 1933. Two teenage fans of science fiction, Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster, put together a set of science fiction fanzines featuring their stories and art. In issue #3, they wrote and drew the story "The Reign of the Superman" that is considered a precursor to their eventual creation of Superman. This lot consists of the last four issues of their fanzine, including issue #4 containing the first printed image of King Kong, and issue #5 featuring bios and pictures of Siegel and Shuster. Only one other set is known to exist, issues #1-5 from the collection of Forrest Ackerman, which was restored with whitened pages and was sold by Sotheby's in 1991 for $10,000. This set is unrestored except for the corner of one page that has been amateurishly glued back on. The page color ranges from off-white to tan, but they are all still supple enough to be handled gently. If you don't bid on this set, it may be at least another decade before you have the chance again. From the collection of Nicolas Cage. Est. 10,000-up.

Heritage is also selling an extremely rare "prototype" of the book that first introduced Superman. Considered to be the Holy Grail of comic book collectors, Action Comics #1 has held up to be the most significant book ever published. The copy currently being offered by Heritage is one of only three of the preliminary ashcan editions used by National Periodical to secure the rights to the title Action Comics. The interior of this extremely important edition contains pages from Detective Comics #1, the very book from which DC Comics took its name.

Action Comics #1 (Ashcan) (DC, 1938).
This gruesome Craig Flessel cover graces the comic that was used to register the trademark and logo for Action Comics, where, only a few months later, Superman had his historic world premiere. The source for this and most other DC ashcans, was Sol Harrison, who worked for DC for 35 years. Very few ashcans were created to begin with and, of these, only a tiny fraction remain. Even more unusual is that this is the only ashcan whose cover art was not recycled from published art. Despite extensive searching over the past 15 years, only three copies (including this one) of the Action ashcan are known to exist, and one of those is in the permanent archives of DC comics, and the other is in the hands of a long-time ashcan collector. One of the two known Superman ashcans sold last year for more than $20,000. This truly rare and important ashcan is an opportunity that should not be missed. Est. 10,000-up.

Heritage also has several outstanding Superman comics and pieces of original art that have a broad appeal and high value. Listed below are some of the great lots that anchor Heritage's current Signature auction.

Action Comics #25 Mile High pedigree (DC, 1940) CGC NM+ 9.6 White pages.
Superman, American icon for more than 60 years, is the star of this early issue of Action Comics. As cool as that is, the condition is even more remarkable. Many comics from the collection of Edgar Church are in unimprovable condition, but, to paraphrase Orwell, some are more unimprovable than others. This is one of those truly amazing copies that looks like it was lifted from the magazine rack of 1940 and teleported across time to the home of Heritage Comics. All personnel who handle this book are required by our insurer to wear protective sunglasses to prevent blindness from the blazing colors and gut-wrenching white pages of this copy. You might have guessed that, according to the latest CGC census, it is by far the highest-graded copy of this issue, but did you know that no issue of Action below #30 has graded higher than 9.2? Given that nearly all of the other Mile High copies of early Actions have been locked away in collections for years, you will need to act decisively if you want to acquire this jewel. Overstreet 2002 NM 9.4 value = $3,000. Est. 25,000-up.

Superboy #1 (DC, 1949) CGC NM- 9.2 Off-white pages.
This excellent copy has received the highest grade yet given by CGC! This milestone issue is a nice, bright copy that features an iconic image on a vivid yellow background that really pops the red and blue of Superman's costume right off the cover! This tight copy with square corners will be hard to improve upon and may be the nicest one to ever surface. Overstreet 2002 NM 9.4 value = $9,200. Est. 11,000-up.

Superman #1 (DC, 1939) CGC Apparent FN+ 6.5 Moderate (P) Cream to off-white pages.
Arguably the second most important comic book. The first comic book devoted to one character, and one of the coolest covers ever. Superman is the most recognizable superhero in history, and now one lucky bidder will get to add this book to his collection. With restoration that includes color touchups, pieces added, reinforcement, and tear seals, this is a copy that is affordable to almost any fan of the "Man of Steel." Overstreet 2002 FN 6.0 value = $45,000. Est. 17,000-up.

Superman Bound Volume Issues #1-7 (DC, 1939-1940) Overall Condition: GD.
This unique bound collection contains copies of Superman numbers 1 through 7! That's right... here is a super opportunity to pick up that copy of Superman #1 that has been avoiding you for so long. Not to mention, the stories from issues #2-7 are thrown in for good measure, as well as several of the Superman stories from early Action Comics. This single bound volume could fill several holes in your collection all at once! All seven issues plus Action stories are sandwiched between a cover to #1, so essentially what you have here is six complete but coverless copies, several extra stories, and a copy of #1 that has had the cover separated in two parts. Number One is the only issue with a cover. This is a nice presentable piece, with only minor wear on the outer cover. There are a few small pieces of tape inside of issue #1, while the rest of book is almost entirely tape-free. Some minor flaking off the extreme lower right corners of some pages early on in the book, and a few tiny water spots on the outermost right page edges. One panel from an interior story has been replaced (taped in) with a neatly hand-colored copy. This bound volume contains the following 40 Superman stories in the exact order listed below. Superman #1 (all 4 stories), the Superman stories from Action Comics #14, 15, 16 and 17. Superman #2 (all four stories), and the Superman stories from Action Comics #18, 20, 24 and 26. Superman #3 (all four stories), and the Superman story from Action Comics #28. Superman #4 (all four stories), Superman #5 (all four stories), Superman #6 (all four stories), and the Superman story from Action Comics #29. Superman #7 (all four stories), and the Superman stories from Action Comics #30 and #31. Like most bound copies of this nature, the page edges have been trimmed. This is the perfect piece for the Superman fan that has everything. Well, make that almost everything... at least until this lot is purchased; there simply can't be another one like this out there. The Overstreet 2002 GD 2.0 value for a copy of Superman #1 alone is $15,000., while the FN 6.0 value for a copy of #1 alone is $45,000. Est. 10,000-up.

But, you don't have to be as rich as Lex Luthor to take home a prize Superman piece from this auction either, as Heritage is also offering several significant pieces that will sell in the neighborhood of a few thousand dollars apiece. Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 is an incredibly scarce book that seldom turns up for sale. Also for sale is a copy of World's Finest #71, the scarce first book in a popular series that features Superman and Batman team-ups. A solid copy of Superman #100 from the collection of Bobby Harmon, the original Curt Swan cover art to Amazing World of Superman, and movie posters such as "Atom Man vs. Superman" Six Sheet and "Superman In Exile" are just some of the many spectacular Superman collectibles in this, Heritage's fifth Signature Comic and Movie Poster Auction.

Prospective consignors and sellers of top-end comics material and original art are invited to call Ed Jaster at 214-252-4288 or Fred McSurley at 214-252-4293 to discuss their rare comics and original illustration and comic art. Or visit and click on the “consign” tab. Or simply email or

Movie poster consignors, please call Grey Smith at 214-668-6928 or email

To order the next three sale catalogs, visit Heritage’s website to pay by credit card, or send a check or money order payable to Heritage Comics in the amount of $100 (a fraction of Heritage’s actual cost-to-produce the catalogs, and your $100 is fully refundable with any purchase if you type “coupon” in the Promo line) to: Norma Pedrero, c/o Heritage Comics, 100 Highland Park Village, 2nd Floor, Dallas, TX 75205.

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