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The Most Expensive Batman Piece Of Artwork Ever Sells For $2.4 Million

One month ago, Bleeding Cool asked if the cover of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Book One by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley and used for the main cover of the best-selling collection would crack a million dollars when it went to auction for the first time. Today it went far, far beyond that, selling as part of a massive auction of premium comic books and original artwork at Heritage Auctions for a mighty $2,400,000 or $2.4 million. It is not a record for a comic book page. It is not a record for a comic book cover. But it is a record for Frank Miller – and Batman. This is the highest price any Frank Miller or Batman piece of artwork has ever received. Previously that Batman record was from Miller's mentor, Neal Adams, and his 1973 cover for Batman #251, which sold for $600,000 in November 2019. For Frank Miller with Klaus Janson, a page from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns for $448,125. and with a different cover, also from the same series by Miller and Janson, for $478,000. However, these are all a fraction of what today's sale achieved.

"We're thrilled to see Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's influential work reach a level often associated with classic American art," says Heritage Auctions Vice President Todd Hignite. "It deserves that, as this is easily one of the most famous comic-book covers from any era, and it defined the superhero genre from the 1980s to this very moment. I can't think of a more important piece of comic art to have ever come to auction."

The Most Expensive Batman Piece Of Artwork Ever Sells For $2.4 Million

Originally acquired from Varley by the unnamed seller, this page coame to market at a time when original art is getting prices beyond many creators' wildest dreams and where Frank Miller's Sin City NFT just sold for $840,000. A previous Dark Knight cover, without Batman on it, sold for a quarter of a million. A previous original art splash page by Miller and Janson sold for just shy of half a million. another cover with Batman on it sold for almost half a million back in 2013. This piece has seen Frank Miller break the million-dollar ceiling for the very first time, and how. Other pages highlighted earlier by Bleeding Cool by Frank Miller have also had the hammer fall on them – here are what they sold for. Frank Miller and Klaus Janson The Dark Knight Returns, Chapter Four Page 11 sold for $132,000, Frank Miller Star Wars #43 pinup sold for $108,000, Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Daredevil #183 Page 13 sold for $36,000, and Frank Miller and Klaus Janson Daredevil #167 Pages 2-4 sold for $50,400. A page from Watchmen #1 went for $55,200. A page from Sandman #1 went for $84,000. Pages from Batman: The Killing Joke went for $102,000 and $144,000 each. There are more to come.

The first session of this four-day event saw Jim Lee's triple gatefold variant cover for Batman #619, which wrapped the 12-part Hush epic, sold for $504,000, the highest price paid for a Jim Lee original at auction. Mike Mignola's original cover art for 1988's Batman #438, sold for $228,000. The original artwork for the entire Batman #428 A Death in the Family 22-page story in which the Joker killed Jason Todd's Robin by Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo sold for $288,000. The cover for Detective Comics #59 from 1942, by Batman co-creators Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, sold for $180,000. The almost-full original artwork for Todd McFarlane's final book for Marvel Comics, 1991's Spider-Man #16, saw the cover hit $408,000 and the individual pages adding another $904,800 for a total of $1.31 million. And Don Heck's original art from Tales of Suspense #13, specifically the final page from the first comic book ever to feature Iron Man, sold for $216,000.While Bill Everett's original art for Page 5 from Daredevil #1 sold for $204,000. This appears to just be the beginning…



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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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