The Toronto Star has looked at the case of Nicolas Cage and the stolen Action Comics #1… and talked to the detective in charge of the case. First, Cage's home,
He collected everything from rare cars to dinosaur fossils. "It looked like an adult kid's playground, " Hrycyk says, noting that it included a big robot, two well-groomed dogs fussed over by their handler and a vintage sports car smack in the middle of the room.
"I couldn't figure out how they got it in there, " he says of the 1955 Jaguar D-Type. "It looked like they built the house around it."
And the losses?
Cage was shouting angrily from behind a closed door. The property manager appeared and led the officer to the scene of the crime, a dimly lit smoking room on a lower level of the mansion.
Hanging on the walls in locked, bulletproof display cases were "dozens and dozens" of vintage comic books from Cage's prized collection. It was a shrine to superheroes. There were rare copies of Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, Green Lantern, Hourman, Hawkman, The Hulk and many more.
But three of the display cases were empty.
Gone was Detective Comics No. 1, the series that gave DC Comics, the publishing company now owned by Warner Bros., its name. Far more valuable was the stolen Detective Comics No. 27, the 1940 issue in which Batman first appeared. The real heartbreaker, however, was the disappearance of Action Comics No. 1, the 1938 book that unleashed the Man of Steel, the one and only Superman, upon the world.
Cage wasn't even sure when the comic books were stolen. He learned they were missing in late January. Several big parties at the home, topped by a celebration of the actor's birthday in January, would have given thieves ample opportunity in the previous weeks. Hundreds of people had been in and out of the mansion during that time.
In three decades of police work, Hrycyk had never investigated a comic book caper. He soon realized that to the Academy Award-winning actor, comics meant more than the large sums collectors are willing to pay. Cage was distraught.
Cage was still not sure what was stolen… and what had just been mislaid.
The lax inventory skills of Cage's staff didn't help. A fourth comic reported stolen during the theft turned up in the house. In 2001, Cage reported a second theft of two dozen comics. He then told Hrycyk to forget about it – those too had turned up. The case went cold.
The comic was found, identified and the receivers stung… to read more, go to the site.