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Cage's rare Superman comic found

A valuable comic featuring the debut of Superman, which police say appears to be the same one stolen from actor Nicolas Cage more than a decade ago, has resurfaced in a storage locker.

The mint copy of Action Comics No 1 is in police custody after being found last week in a San Fernando Valley storage locker.

An investigation into its theft and recovery is under way.

The comic was authenticated and appeared to be the one stolen from Cage in 2000, said Detective Don Hrycyk of the Los Angeles Police Department's Art Theft Detail.

It is unclear whether the 1938 comic will be returned to the Oscar-winning actor. Mr Hrycyk said Cage accepted an insurance payout after its theft and would have to work out the details with the company.

But the actor made it clear in a statement that he would like it back. "It is divine providence that the comic was found and I am hopeful that the heirloom will be returned to my family," Cage said in a statement released by his publicist.

Cage is an avid comic collector and the Action Comics issue is one of the highest-coveted books in superhero history. A copy of the issue was sold in March 2010 for 1.5 million dollars (£920,000). It was originally sold for 10 cents (6p).

The recovery of Cage's comic was first reported by the Ventura County Star. The paper said it was found in a storage locker in the San Fernando Valley last week and that a comic collector who originally sold the book to Cage verified its authenticity.

Mr Hrycyk said his investigation was in its early stages and he was checking the stories about how the comic was found.

The detective said a number of false leads on the comic were generated over the years, including a tip in 2002 that the issue was in a safe deposit box in Tennessee. Police searched the box, but found a replica of the comic's cover, which depicts Superman hoisting a car over his head, wrapped around a woman's lingerie catalogue.

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