Never before has a photo of a man in his underpants cost so much: $3.2 million.
It was, in reality, a full-color image of the exact moment in which a Volkswagen Beetle crashed and it was, in reality, more than a man: it was Action Comic N°1, one of the only 100 comics auctioned on the Internet, a name that would make no sense —nor would it have marked one generation, and another— if it weren’t for the fact that it was the first appearance of Supermanthe Man of Steel.
Say, the birth certificate of an alien.
According to the New York Post, the third oldest newspaper in the United States, who reported the note, it took the buyer two hours to win the auction on eBay, and although the name was not known until later, he could be called a billionaire, extravagant or, simply, an unsurpassed collector. It was August 2014, Sunday. Like three years before the actor Nicolás Cage, who also paid a record amount, this time Action Comic No. 1 set a new record: 3,207,852 million dollars for that cover of the first Superman, with his shoes and red underpants. Ten pages of plain paper that cost 10 cents on a dollar and that, 76 years later, cost that impossible figure.
Only striker Jefferson Farfán could afford that luxury, with his savings.
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THIS IS THE COMIC WITH THE FIRST SUPERMAN:
Some details about the appearance of Superman in Action Comic 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. He was created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian artist Joe Shuster in 1933. They sold him to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1938 for $130 at the time. Bargain. Save all the drawings of him.
—In 2012, the company ComicConnect.comdedicated to the auction of comics on the Internet, reported on a historic online sale: the check with which DC paid the Superman story to the 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, 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, he has appeared in two episodes of The Simpsons, he made a cameo in Marvel, he tilted the Tower of Pisa again and he 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 maybe he has a superpower that is like no other: he can turn back time.
But perhaps his greatest value, since the distant 1938 when he appeared in comics, is that without him there would be no Batman.
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Ángel Hugo Pilares is a journalist, curious, traveler and head of Digital Management of 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 a crisis at work. Only when he runs out of cigarettes.
I think that’s why, because of that combo of temperance and intelligence, he’s one of the fans of Superman I always go to when it comes to describing why, after eight decades, we still love the man who has three names but only one name (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 it’s because they have what we dream of or they save what we don’t, they have the life we want. Superman is ideal to explain it: he saves his girl, he saves the planet, for a train. For American life he 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.
Eighty-three years later, Superman It’s 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, concept art was leaked that could belong to the Superman game that Rocksteady Studios, a video game development company based in London, England, intended 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 shoplifter dressed —not disguised— of Superman national version. According to information from Peru21, Chávez Martínez suffered from glaucoma and in April of last year he died.
But perhaps the answer to this fidelity for The Man of Steel has to do with the most 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 his mission is to save the world.
Someone should have that great superpower right now.
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WATCH THE EVOLUTION OF SUPERMAN IN COMIC:
CHRISTOPHER REEVE, IN MEMORIAL:
We would like to say thanks to the writer of this short article for this amazing content
Superman: the story behind the first comic that only cost 10 cents and today is worth more than 3 million dollars
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