Of all the superheroes, Batman is perhaps about iconography and visual mood more than any other major character. This is a big part of why so many Batman and Detective Comics covers are so memorable. The Dark Knight's emotionally dark iconography stands the test of time, it seems. For example, the 1939 Bob Kane cover for Detective Comics #31 is often cited as one of the high points of the series for its moody atmosphere, and even Neal Adams' 1970 classic homage of that cover for Detective Comics #227 has become sought after by collectors. As Heritage notes in that Detective Comics #227 listing, "Recent auction results have shown that collectors have this on the shortlist of the most desirable Bronze Age books." And for the copper age DC Comics, that shortlist would include Batman #423 with that iconic and moody Todd McFarlane cover from the formative period of his career. There's a Batman #423 CGC 9.8 white pages copy up for bid in today's session of the Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation & Art Weekly Online Auction #122110 from Heritage Auctions.
When Heritage auctioned the original art for this cover in 2012, they noted, "Todd McFarlane's only cover for this series came in 1988, the year when he was busy setting Marvel on its ear with his stint on Amazing Spider-Man. Not much DC art by McFarlane exists, and much of that is from the early years as he was still developing his signature style on features like Infinity Inc." It's that notion of one of the most important artists of that era on a Batman cover that has driven the market for this comic in recent years. The market for Batman #423 in CGC 9.8 has risen by a factor of four in recent years from the $400-range in 2019 to the $1600 range in the early going in 2021. There are currently 143 copies of this comic in CGC 9.8 out of a total population of 1449.
The combination of formative-era Todd McFarlane work and the seminal Batman title has driven the desire for high-grade copies of this comic on the current market. There's a Batman #423 CGC 9.8 white pages copy up for bid in today's session of the Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation & Art Weekly Online Auction #122110 from Heritage Auctions.
Batman #423 (DC, 1988) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages. Todd McFarlane cover. Dave Cockrum art. Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $45. CGC census 2/21: 142 in 9.8, none higher.