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Superman: the story behind the first comic that only cost 10 cents and is worth more than 3 million dollars today

Never before has a photo of a man in his boxer shorts cost so much – $ 3.2 million.

It was actually a full-color image of the exact moment a volkswagen beetle crashed, and it was actually more than a man: it was Action Comic No. 1, one of only 100 comic books up for auction on the Internet, a name that wouldn’t make any sense nor would it have marked a generation, and another if not because it was the first appearance of Superman, the Man of Steel.

Say, the birth certificate of an alien.

According to the New York Post, the third oldest newspaper in the United States, What did the note report?, it took two hours for the buyer to win the auction on eBay, and although the name was not known until later, he could be called a billionaire, flamboyant, or simply an unbeatable collector. It was August 2014, Sunday. Like three years before the actor Nicolás Cage, who also paid a record amount, this time the Action Comic N ° 1 established a new mark: 3’207.852 million dollars for that cover of the first Superman, with his shoes and red underwear. Ten pages on plain paper that cost 10 cents on the dollar and that, 76 years later, cost that impossible figure.

Only forward Jefferson Farfán could afford that luxury, with his savings.

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Some details about the appearance of Superman in Comic Act N ° 1 that make it unique in the world:

All the versions collected for this report agree that he is the first superhero in history. It was created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian artist Joe Shuster in 1933. They sold it to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1938 for $ 130 at the time. Bargain. Save all your drawings.

In 2012, the company ComicConnect.com, dedicated to the auction of comics on the Internet, reported on a historic online sale: the check with which DC paid the story of Superman to young Siegel and Shuster. Stephen Fishler, one of the owners of this company, said in a statement: “This check has become the symbol of a questionable deal, comparable to the sale for 24 dollars, in 1626, of the island that would later become Manhattan, or that of baseball player Babe Ruth for $ 100,000 in 1919 ”. In 1978, the first film of Superman perhaps the most beloved, with Christopher Reeve, who should have turned 69 today, generated profits of more than 300 million dollars.

Despite his old age 83 years already, Superman He is the most versioned superhero in history. He has “fought” against Ali, has appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons, made a cameo in Marvel, once again tilted the Tower of Pisa and has powers that are, in short, all powers: he flies above the atmosphere of the Earth, heat rays come out of their eyes and with their breath they can freeze and / or put out fires. But perhaps he has a superpower that is like none other: he can turn back time.

But perhaps its greatest value, since the distant 1938 when it appeared in comic is that without it there would be no Batman.

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Ángel Hugo Pilares is a journalist, curious, traveler and head of Digital Management for the El Comercio website. He has the patience of an owl and the kindness of Mother Teresa: I have never seen him angry, overwhelmed or exhausted by some crisis at work. Only when you run out of cigarettes.

I think that’s why, because of that combo of temperance and intelligence, he is one of the fans of Superman The ones I always go to when it comes to describing why, after eight decades, we still love the man who has three names but is only one (Kal-El, Clark Kent and Superman): “I have a very human theory: throughout history, we have explained humanity from the mythological gods, then the heroes of wars. Not now; the world is told, many times, from the fictional lives of superheroes. Whether they have what we dream of or save what we don’t, they have the life we ​​want. Superman is ideal to explain: save his girl, save the planet, for a train. For American life it is even more so: he was born in a small town and from that boy scout spirit, it is good news for the world ”.

That man, Pilares, gave the first book of his life to Mateo, my son. Obviously a Superman comic that we flip through every night.

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Eighty-three years later Superman it is still news: according to US media, actor Henry Cavill would have met with Warner for his return in a new film. Adapted to the times of video games, in the first days of the world quarantine a concept art was leaked that could belong to the Superman game that Rocksteady Studios, a video game development company based in London, England wanted to make. In Lima, in recent years, it was too. Universal like no other, Superman had a Peruvian version that walked every day through the most Peruvian street of all, the Jirón de la Unión. His name was Esteban Chávez Martínez and he worked as a shopkeeper dressed not disguised Superman national version. According to information from Peru21, Chávez Martínez suffered from glaucoma and died in April of last year.

But perhaps the answer to this loyalty to The Man of Steel has to do with the more human side of someone who, in the scripts, never fails: he knows how to wear glasses, he knows how to work from Monday to Friday, he knows how to fall in love. And in that trance, do not forget that your mission is to save the world.

Someone should have that great super power right now.

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Superman, de Christopher Reeve. Foto: Dovemead.
Margot Kidder and her participation in the Superman movie with Christopher Reeve.  Photos: Warner Bros.
Margot Kidder played Lois Lane alongside Christopher Reeve
On May 27, 1995, the actor's life changed forever.  In a horse riding contest, he suffered a fracture of two cervical vertebrae and the accident severed his spinal cord.  Photos: AFP / Warner Bros.

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