Over the past few months, we've talked quite a bit here about how key first comic book appearances of Avengers team members have been going for record prices — less than 2 weeks ago, Bleeding Cool told you about a Tales of Suspense #39 (the first appearance of Iron Man) going for $375,000, for example.
And all the while, I've been wondering just how much one of the year's other comic book blockbusters — The Dark Knight Rises — will be making its presence felt on the vintage back issue scene.
Well, here's the latest bit of evidence that the number of very dedicated Batman fans is on the rise as well: Heritage Auctions has just announced that it has sold a Batman #1 CGC 9.2 — the best copy of this comic graded by the Certified Guaranty Company, the industry's 3rd-party grading service — for $850,000 in a private transaction (this was not an auction, but rather a transaction that Heritage brokered for the seller). This is the sole copy of Batman #1 graded Universal 9.2 by CGC, with none graded higher. There are currently two copies graded CGC 9.0, and three copies graded CGC 8.5.
The Spring 1940 cover-dated comic from DC Comics contains the first appearances of both the Joker and Catwoman in stories by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson. The comic also reprints Batman's first-told origin from Detective Comics #33, and includes another Batman story with Hugo Strange (whose first appearance was in Detective Comics #36) as the villain.
In keeping with the staggering jumps that the world's most valuable comics have been making over the 2 years since the first comic book broke the million dollar barrier, the sale price is far and away the highest price ever paid for a Batman #1 in any grade. There was a 2010 Batman #1 CGC 9.0 sale by Comiclink for $315,000, and just 3 months ago Heritage auctioned the Batman #1 CGC 8.5 Billy Wright copy for $274,850.
The $850,000 Batman #1 CGC 9.2 transaction becomes the 6th highest price ever paid for a comic book, behind these top five:
- Action Comics #1 CGC 9.0 for $2,161,000 in November 2011
- Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 for $1.5 million in March 2010
- Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 9.6 (first appearance of Spider-Man) for $1.1 million in March 2011.
- Detective Comics #27 CGC 8.0 for $1,075,000 in February 2010.
- Action Comics #1 8.0 for $1 million in February 2010
NEW YORK – A high-grade example of the sought-after comic book Batman #1 (1940) has been sold for $850,000 in a private transaction via HA.com's ComicMarket, Heritage Auctions has announced. The copy, certified Near Mint minus 9.2 with off-white pages, was sold on behalf of a private collector and purchased by an investor partnership. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide lists Batman #1 as the 6th most valuable Comic Book in NM- condition.
"It's amazing that three years ago, no comic book had ever sold for even half that amount," said Ed Jaster, Vice President of Heritage Auctions, which brokered the sale. "Heritage is holding a $4+ million comics and comic art auction in Dallas May 10-11. Many collectors and dealers will be watching to see how Golden Age comics perform there."