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Detective Comics

Comic Books

Publisher: DC

Detective Comics was first published in 1937 as an anthology full of various hardboiled detectives. As rare and valuable as was that premiere issue, the crown jewel of the series is issue #27 from May, 1939. It is generally considered the second most valuable comic book of all time, second only to Action Comics #1. The issue marked the first appearance of Batman, who, along with Superman is the most enduring and popular superhero in comic annals. Co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Fingers, Batman, like Superman before him, proved so popular that his own self-title was spun off within a year, the two titles running concurrently for over 70 years! This first Batman story sets up all of the key aspects of the character. Within “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” Batman clears the name of a young man who is unjustly accused of killing his father, and then he stops the corrupt businessman responsible for the murders. This story is a classic that establishes Batman as a vigilante who seeks justice for the downtrodden and stops corruption when the police are unable to do anything. At the end of the story, Batman is revealed to be Bruce Wayne, who seemed to be an idle and lazy millionaire playboy. Detective Comics #27 is also where Commissioner Gordon first appears, a key character in the Batman comics, as part of the Gotham City Police Department, who in the early days of the series regularly tries to capture Batman for operating outside of the city’s laws. Both Wayne Manor and Gotham City are shown for the first time within this story. Other key issues in the series include #38 (first appearance of Robin, the Boy Wonder), #40 (first appearance of Clayface), #58 (first Penguin), #66 (first Two-Face), #140 (first Riddler), #225 (first Martian Manhunter, often considered the beginning of the Silver Age of Comics), #233 (first Batwoman), #359 (first Bat-Girl), and #400 (first Man-Bat). The value of the issue has risen incessantly over the years, and virtually month to month. In 2015 a coverless copy went for over $35,000, a VG 4.0 brought for $475,000, and a FN+ 6.5 realized for an astounding $792,000! Way back in 2010, a copy in VF 8.0 fetched only a bit over $1,075,000 and might bring double that today! There’s only one known nicer CGC-certified copy at NM- 9.2, and estimating the value of that one requires some New Math!

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