The Mystery Behind Nicolas Cage’s Comic Book Heist

By John Popham

November 23, 2022

2022 Toronto International Film Festival - "Butcher's Crossing" Premiere
Photo: Getty Images

It was the rarest comic book in the world, owned by the world’s most eccentric actor, but despite multiple layers of security someone managed to swipe it from the Bel Air mansion of Nicolas Cage.

Some may be familiar with Cage’s appreciation for superheroes, but they might not be familiar with the Oscar winner’s collection of rare comic books that once included Action Comics #1, the first appearance of "Superman". The first edition was sold for 10 cents in 1938 but now it's worth millions.

Stealing Superman, a brand-new podcast from iHeartMedia, is dedicated to unraveling this mystery of how the comic, along with others in Cage’s collection, vanished without a trace. Host Dana Schwartz takes listeners back to the fateful New Year's party of 1999 when the comic books were last seen.

“Nic called me, very upset, and said to me someone stole some of his comic books,” said Stephen Fishler, global expert in collectibles valuation and Cage’s comic broker. “He gave me an account of what went on, as best he could.”

It was days after Cage and guests rang in a new millennium that the books were noticed to be missing by a housekeeper. The "Superman" comic, along with "Batman’s" first appearance in Detective Comics #27, were missing from their frames in the star's mansion.

“Something else that was curious,” said Schartz. “The lockable frames hadn't been forcibly opened.”

It’s believed that whoever stole the comics knew all the security measures in place protecting the books. From locks to alarms, everything was deactivated and the comic books, along with their protective casings, were gone.

What happens next? Every episode of Stealing Superman walks listeners through what happened to the comics, where they ended up, and which ones are still out there. Find the show on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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