The graded copy of Daniel Bardman’s original 8-page Superman story.
photo: CGC

Do you know which one is the rarest comic book ever made? Well, the answer is a bit tricky — there are plenty of rare comic books that have been produced over the years by different publishing companies.

One of these so-called rare comics was published by DC Comics. In 1988, English real estate businessman, Godfrey Bradman, commissioned an original comic book. The purpose? A gift for his son, Daniel, as part of his Bar Mitzvah. Bradman was aware of his son’s affinity for comic books and superheroes and wanted to do something unique for his son.

The story goes that Bradman met with DC execs in regards to publishing a comic for his son. For an $18,000 price tag, DC had writer David Levin and artist Curt Swan produce an original story titled “This Island Bradman”, with artist Angelo Torres assigned as inker. The premise featured Superman and The Bradman family being transported to an alien world. Godfrey’s son Daniel, served as protagonist and joining him in the adventure was his half-brother, Andrew Hunt, who served as his sidekick. Daniel and Andrew “would have to work together to free Superman from some Kryptonite beams holding him prisoner so that Superman can free the rest of the family”. Approximately 100-200 copies on the eight-page comic were printed, with copies being given away to Daniel’s friends and guest attendees at the Bar Mitzvah. A few copies were handed out as well to DC employees.

The CGC (Certified Guaranty Company), one of the leading comic book grading service company, confirmed the existence of the comic book not too long ago when a copy came their way. The comic was very well preserved and in excellent condition. However, CGC heavily inspected and evaluated the book thoroughly and verified its authenticity. As a result, the comic was sealed and given a certifiable high grading of “9.6”!

While the book itself doesn’t feature a first appearance, a shocking death/return or a shake-up in Superman”s mythology, it is considered rare just by origin standards alone: an original story featuring a living protagonist, produced by one of DC Comics’ extraordinary creative team and an aforementioned very low print run, in this case, for a coming-of-age event.

As of this writing, it’s the only existing copy that’s been made publicly available and certified for grading. Not sure how many other copies are still out there.


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