Comic books have hardly been immune from theft and involvement in criminal schemes over the years, but one case stands out: the Nicolas Cage Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 theft in 2000.
Cage, at that time the owner of an extremely impressive collection, realised that three comics had gone missing from high security frames on a wall. Only the details of two of these were released publicly: high-grade copies of Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27.
As any comic book fan will know, those issues are the beginning of, and most coveted issues from, the Golden Age, introducing superheroes as we know them, in the shape of Superman and Batman respectively.
The status of most expensive comic book has been traded between high-grade issues of the two with the record currently set at $1.5m for an issue of Action Comics #1 sold by private treaty with the assistance of ComicConnect.
How does that relate to Cage's comics? Well, the Action Comics #1 belonging to the star turned up in early 2011 as the result of the auction of a locker's contents. It wasn't straightforwardly discovered as part of an arrest, and indeed the case remains open, but as the comic matched the missing copy, Cage began moves to get it back.
The issue will not simply slot back into his collection however. Cage was so devastated by the loss of the three comics that he sold the rest in a huge sale at Heritage.
Now, an Action Comics #1 has been officially graded at 9.0 (unrestored) has been slated for sale at ComicConnect. The owner has not been specified, but given the timing and the extreme scarcity of copies graded 8.0 and above, it seems extremely likely that this is the Cage copy.
A grading of 9.0 will be making a lot of people sit bolt upright in their chairs right now, as they will be remembering that it was an 8.0 copy of the issue which became the world's first $1m comic, and the current world record holder is only graded 8.5.
So there is every chance that it will set a new world record price. In fact, it's extremely likely to become the first $2m comic.
It is not necessarily the highest grade copy in existence. That honour is probably the 'Edgar Church' copy, now owned by a private collector who shows no interest in selling. It sits ungraded, but is reported to be as close to perfect condition as painstakingly careful storage can achieve.
Check back soon for more news on Nicolas Cage's Action Comics #1. Its sale date is yet to be announced.