There are two characters recognized the world over, everywhere you go in the world, and surprisingly neither of them are religious figures. Mickey Mouse is one of them. Superman is the other one.
Celebrating 75 years since the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics #1, the Royal Canadian Mint has released a new line of commemorative currency. They’re made from a variety of semi-precious and precious metals (gold, silver, and cupronickel, an alloy of copper and nickel), and they’ll sell for about $30-750 depending on what they’re made from. You can actually spend these, they’re legal currency – but we can’t think of anybody crazy enough to do that, considering that the materials the coins are made from and the fact that they’re limited edition currency to start with would make them far more valuable than the value printed on their faces.
Jerry Siegel was the American half of the pair who created the iconic here. Joe Shuster, though, was Canadian-American, so Canada has a proud part to play in the history of the Man of Steel.
Each coin carries inscriptions in Kryptonian script (it appears to be the same message on all of them), and most are hand painted. One is actually decorated holographically, and is the first coin in the world ever to be made this way. Another (which hasn’t been minted yet, they’re waiting on materials) has a lenticular face, which carries two images of the Man of Steel which change as you tilt the coin. All of them are packaged in special Superman-styled display cases.
Ironically, some of the coins are worth more than the total Siegal and Schuster received from Detective Comics, in what could be described as the most tragic transaction in the history of comic books.
If you want to buy the coins, you can, but only if you live in Canada or the United States. The obverse of each coin carries the image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Superman is more than a character. He’s an ideal, an iconic hero to inspire generation after generation. Will he make it to a hundred? Ordinarily, we don’t take bets, but our money’s on Superman.