The comic book that gave Batman his wings is up for auction.
Goldin just listed an original copy from 1939 Detective comics nope. 27 in which the vigilante who lurks in the shadows made his debut. Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s six-page story “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” introduces readers to billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman. The superhero has become a cultural touchstone worth millions. The same goes for his early comics.
As one of 36 originally printed, this literary grail received a 6.5 rating from Certified Guaranty Company, a Florida-based comic book rating service. It’s one of six copies to earn this service rating, and only eight copies have been rated higher. Considering Golden Age comics were printed on cheap paper, the 83-year-old brochure has held up remarkably well and is presented in good condition, according to the online market.
Interestingly, this hallowed issue featured other stories, like “Speed Saunders: Killers of Kurdistan” and “Buck Marshall: Bullet Bluff,” but few resonated as much as the decidedly pulpy Batman panels. It’s easy to see why, too. The Dark Knight is depicted in grimy Gotham struggling for justice with Commissioner Gordon. The comic had a sense of realism that its contemporaries lacked and, of course, a healthy dose of villain satisfaction.
Although the Caped Crusader has been refined over time, it continues to be incredibly popular with the public. The Batman by Matt Reeves, which was released last March and marks the tenth superhero-focused film, has grossed over $700 million worldwide. Detective comics going strong too. In fact, it’s the longest continuously published comic book series in the United States and it still features dedicated strips for the Bat.
It’s the book that started it all, though. And, as you’d expect, it’s likely to bring home the big Bat Bucks. Heritage Auctions sold a 7.0 copy of the book for $1.5 million in 2020, the highest price ever for a Batman comic book. The auction house also sold an 8.0 grade copy for $1.1 million in 2010. This example, meanwhile, sits at $950,000 at the time of this writing, with 12 days remaining on the sale.