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Young Daniel Bradman was a fan of the Man of Steel, and so for his bar mitzvah in 1988, his father Godfrey did what any real estate magnate would do: He commissioned DC Comics to create a custom Superman comic to serve as a party favor for guests.
But this wasn’t just any comic book. No, “This Island Bradman” was penciled by the legendary Curt Swan and inked by Angelo Torres, and followed Daniel, his half-brother Andrew Hunt and the rest of the family as they’re transported with their home — and Superman, naturally — to an alien world, where they’re to serve as entertainment. Superman is rendered powerless by kryptonite rays, leaving it up to the boys to rescue the superhero and return them home.
The issue, which Recalled Comics contends cost Bradman $18,000, is what Mark Waid has called “probably the rarest Superman comic in my lifetime,” as the print run was no more than 200; that figure comes from Paul Levitz’s 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, though other sources put it much lower. Needless to say, seldom does one crop up for sale. (Waid, who sold his own copy last year, talks about it in the video below.)
But Patch.com reports Blastoff Comics in North Hollywood, California, was contacted by Godfrey Bradman offering to sell a copy of “This Island Bradman.” Owner Jud Meyers purchased the comic, and then recently sold it to a French collector for $5,000. According to Recalled Comics, five were sold in 2011, with a CGC 9.6 copy fetching $2,600.
“It’s stuff like that that is fun and different,” Meyers told Patch. “Sure you can have an X-Men #1 or an Avengers #1, but there are other people who have it. I don’t know of any store I’ve seen [the Bradman issue] in.”
David Levin, who wrote the issue, has shared some of the pages (and his memories) on his blog.