Christopher Reeve's Superman Cape Sold for a Record $193,750

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No superhero costume may be more iconic than the red and blue suit worn by Superman. First seen in the pages of Action Comics #1 in 1938, it's been a frequent presence in a variety of live-action adaptations.

Apparently, you don’t even need the entire ensemble to command a premium price. This week, Julien’s Auctions announced that the cape worn by actor Christopher Reeve in 1978’s Superman: The Movie sold for a staggering $193,750.

The red cape, which features Superman’s distinctive insignia in yellow, was part of the company’s Icons & Idols: Hollywood auction held Monday, December 16. According to Julien’s, the sale price set a world record for the highest amount paid for a superhero cape.

Courtesy of Julien's Auctions

While Reeve went through a variety of costumes for the film and its numerous sequels, this one had an intriguing provenance. It was the grand prize in a fan promotion dubbed the Great Superman Movie Contest organized by DC Comics in 1979. Entrants submitted answers to trivia questions on a postcard, which were then evaluated by editors. Reportedly, only a few dozen fans got all the answers correct. Those entrants were then put into a drawing with the winners pulled from a pile by Reeve. The 10 second-place winners received a page of original comic book art by Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte. The 10 third-place winners received a two-year subscription to a DC Comics title of their choice.

In 2007, a complete costume from the film sold for $115,000. In 2018, Julien’s sold a distressed costume from 1983’s Superman III, where Superman appears to have turned evil, for $200,000.

Presumably, the winner will understand the cape does not grant the gift of flight. Halloween costume manufacturer Ben Cooper did not take this for granted, slapping a warning on their 1950s Superman suit that read: “Remember, this suit will not make you fly. Only Superman can fly.”

Julien’s also auctioned off a screen-used Starfleet uniform worn by Patrick Stewart for Star Trek: The Next Generation ($28,800) and the Ghostbusters jumpsuit worn by Dan Aykroyd for 1989’s Ghostbusters II ($32,000).