The $412 check that DC Comics wrote to acquire Superman and other creative works by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster has sold for $160,000 in an online auction.
Stephen Fishler, chief executive of ComicConnect.com and Metropolis Collectibles in New York, said Tuesday that the 1938 check was auctioned online to an unnamed buyer.
"Two people were battling it out over the check," he said of the furious last minute bidding that lifted the price from its start of $1 last month to the final bid Monday night.
The check was made out to Siegel and Shuster and deposited. It includes a line item for $130 showing DC paid for full ownership and rights to Superman.
Siegel and Shuster created Superman together while teenagers in Cleveland, Ohio, in the early 1930s. His first appearance was in "Action Comics" No. 1 in April 1938.
And even though the check changed hands, a legal dispute over creator's rights to Superman has raged since then and is far from settled.
The canceled check was saved by a DC Comics staffer in the 1970s and sat undisturbed in a desk drawer for 38 years.
"It's one of the most important pieces of pop culture history," said Vincent Zurzolo, who co-owns ComicConnect with Fishler.