Nicolas Cage has a serious comic book collection. Sometimes.
Nicolas Cage is many different things to many different people.
To some, Nicolas Cage is a respected Hollywood actor, known for his work in classic movies like Face/Off and Moonstruck. To others, Nicolas Cage is the meme incarnate who makes for great reaction gifs and likes to scream about bees. And to others still, he’s that guy from National Treasure. Yet regardless of which of these categories you fall into, there is one universal truth about Nicolas Cage that none can disagree with: he’s a serious comic book collector with an unusually complicated history.
This is Celebrity Inventory, and Nicolas Cage is certainly a celebrity whose inventory has gone on an adventure far beyond what any of us could imagine.
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: Nicolas Cage’s comic book obsession is evidenced right in his name. As many familiar with Nicolas Cage trivia may know, he’s actually the nephew of critically acclaimed film director Francis Ford Coppola. To make a long story short, Nic didn’t want his family to be accused of nepotism when he got into acting, which prompted him to change his name from “Nicolas Coppola” to “Nicolas Cage.” So, where did he get the inspiration for the surname of Cage? None other than Marvel’s very own Luke Cage.
So yeah, Nicolas Cage’s love of comics goes waaaay back, and his love of collecting comics persisted well into his acting career. Now, you might be thinking to yourself “surely a collector with money like Nicolas Cage must have a pretty fantastic comic book collection.” In fact, you might even think Nicolas Cage could that guy. You know, the guy who owns Action Comics #1 in pristine collection. Well, truth be told… you’d be right, because Nicolas Cage is, in fact, that guy. Or perhaps more accurately, was that guy.
Yes, Nicolas Cage was in fact an owner of Action Comics #1. In fact, his copy was one of the best kept issues Action Comics #1 on record! Unfortunately, this comic, along with Detective Comics #14 and Detective Comics #27 (AKA the debut appearance of Batman), were stolen from Cage in 2000. This was allegedly the catalyst that led to Nicolas Cage famously auctioning his collection off in 2002 for $1.6 million.
From here, information gets a bit sketchy. Some say that the theft killed Cage’s spark for collecting, while others say Cage sold his collection to appease his now ex-wife. Heck, sources even conflict over how much the 2002 auction even sold for! Regardless, Nic certainly didn’t lose his passion for comics. In 2005, he even named his Son “Kal-El” after Superman’s birth name from the planet Krypton. That said, we wouldn’t hear more about his collection until an unbelievably miraculous event happened in 2011.
During a storage locker auction in Southern California, one anonymous buyer was amazed to find none other than a exquisite copy of Action Comics #1 in his unit. After the buyer contacted a Californian collectibles expert by the name of Mark Balelo, it was eventually determined that the comic was, in fact, the same comic stolen from Cage in 2000. Even more amazing was, despite 11 years passing since the theft, the comic still held a condition grade of 9.0 by the CGC. Cage called the discovery an act of “divine providence,” and the detectives investigating the case were finally able to close it after over a decade of research.
Funny enough, Nicolas Cage went on to auction off his newly returned Action Comics #1 later that year. As you might expect, the final bid was an enormously large sum of cash: $2,161,000. This famous Cage comic would go on to become part of a London exhibit detailing the evolution of comics, so at the very least, it’s being put to good use.
While this special copy of Action Comics #1 is easily the most intriguing part of this celebrity collection, it’s sale fortunately did not signal the end of Cage’s collecting days like the original theft almost did. On the contrary, as of 2016, Nicolas Cage has been making his appearance at conventions to continue growing his collection with rare finds. What’s cool about this is that he’s not showing up to these events as a guest, but rather, as a fan. A fan with millions of dollars to spare, but a fan nonetheless.
So there we have it: the long, winding story of Nicolas Cage’s collection that has been built up, sold, and then once again built up and sold to a far lesser extent. That said, though the story of his Action Comics #1 reached a happy ending, there’s still an unresolved loose end: the stolen copies of Detective Comics #14 and #27 have yet to be discovered (or at the very least, identified as Cage’s editions of them). That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the hunt for these two super valuable Cage-owned comics is still technically on! Though we can’t imagine anyone will find new information about these comics after all this time, that won’t stop us from dreaming about being a part of this especially expensive caper.
And just like a dream, this is one Celebrity Inventory that we’ll never stop imagining. Just knowing the comics we do know Cage has, his estate must truly be a sight to behold in full. We may laugh at all the memes Cage has brought into our lives, but when it comes to his passion for comics and collecting, he commands only our utmost respect. So cheers to you, Nicolas Cage. May you never stop being all the things that make you… well, Nicolas Cage.