The cheque that bought Detective Comics the rights to publish Superman has sold for $160,000 at an online auction.
The cheque, thought lost forever, had in fact been in the possession of an employee of the comic book publisher for four decades.
The March 1, 1938 cheque, which offered the character's creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster just $130, has been at the centre of decades of legal battles.
The tussles continue to this day, as the heirs of the writer-artist team try to reclaim the rights to the Man of Steel, who remains among the world's most recognisable cultural icons.
In addition to the $130 paid for the rights to Superman, the cheque also provides $210 for the June 1938 edition of Detective Comics, as well as payments of $36 each for Adventure Comics and More Fun.
"Without this check being written out by DC Comics, there would be no Superman, and thereby no Batman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, X-Men, and all the characters that came into existence after the concept of 'the superhero' was born with Superman," said the auctioneer.
Just three months after the cheque was made out, Superman appeared in print for the first time, in Detective Comics' Action Comics #1. An Action Comics #1, graded 9.0, sold for $2.16m last year, becoming the world's most expensive comic book in the process.
Historically important cheques are in great demand among collectors.
We have a wonderful bank cheque signed by Marilyn Monroe currently available for £4,950 (approx. $7,770).