With the popularity of comic book movies reaching a fever pitch, it will come as no surprise that sales of comic books featuring the first and classic appearances of some of these characters is also at a high point.
Five months ago, a copy of ‘Action Comics’ #1 featuring the first appearance of Superman (and once owned by actor Nicholas Cage) was sold for an astounding $2.1 million. Since then, Marvel comics have been the hot item on the auction block. With Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ attracting attention at the box office, the first appearances of Iron Man in ‘Tales of Suspense’ #39 sold for $375,000 and Thor’s first appearance (‘Journey Into Mystery’ #83) pulled in a respectable $222,200. Not to be outdone by his Avengers teammates, Spider-Man’s first appearance in ‘Amazing Fantasy’ #15 made the charts, selling for $1.1 million.
Now DC Comics is getting back in the game with a 9.2 graded copy of ‘Batman’ #1 selling for $850,000. If that sounds low compared to some of the other books that have sold, it’s because ‘Batman’ #1 isn’t the first appearance of the Caped Crusader (that honor goes to ‘Detective Comics’ #27). It is, however, the first appearance of the Joker and Catwoman, and one of the earlier appearance of Hugo Strange. ‘Batman’ #1 was published in 1940 and written by Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger.
Of interesting note is that the sale of this copy of ‘Batman’ #1 wasn’t done at auction as is usually the case. Instead it was a private sale between collectors brokered by Heritage Auctions. At 9.2, this is also the highest graded copy of this particular issue in existence. There are other copies graded at 9.0 and 8.5 but this is the only one at this particular grade.
Now if ‘Dark Knight Rises’ would push that copy of ‘Vengeance of Bane’ #1 that I picked up in the ‘90s into the thousands, I’d be set.