DescriptionDetective Comics #27 (DC, 1939) CGC FN+ 6.5 Off-white to white pages. Beautiful appeal and strong page quality characterize this copy of the first appearance of Batman. If you've been following recent years' sales of this prime pop culture collectible, you know that the issue is currently the second most valuable comic in the hobby behind only Superman's debut in Action #1. This book has held down the number one spot before, and it's certainly possible that it could return there, as Batman is a stronger character even than Superman in the minds of many, and has been a bigger box-office hit in recent years.
Heritage famously sold a CGC 8.0 copy for $1,075,500 a couple of years ago, and most recently sold the Billy Wright pedigree copy (also graded 6.5) for $522,000.
This one is notable for the near-complete absence of smudging or staining on the front cover. Of course, the cover image by Bob Kane is one of the most famous in the history of comics.
Our present offering previously changed hands in the June, 1995 Sotheby's auction, at which time the cataloger noted the "very bright colors to the front cover." The sale price of $68,500 seems ultra-modest now but at the time Comic Book Marketplace proclaimed it "surely a record for a mid-grade comic."
When this issue was released with a May, 1939 cover date, Superman was the only other superhero on the stands, save for the now-obscure likes of the Arrow and the Crimson Avenger. Kane and writer Bill Finger (generally credited these days as a co-creator of the character) produced a hero to rival Superman without imitating the earlier character. As Jim Steranko noted, "Superman had given DC its strength, but Batman gave it tone. Of course, Superman was more impressive... but Batman was more fascinating."
"The Bat-Man" appeared in a six-page story that also introduced the character of Commissioner Gordon. The second-to-last panel revealed that this mysterious figure was in fact Bruce Wayne, introduced earlier in the story.
This comic is being sold without reserve, and we expect spirited bidding when this lot comes up at our "Gotham" auction.
Overstreet 2012 FN 6.0 value = $252,000; VF 8.0 value = $630,000. CGC census 2/13: 6 in 6.5, 6 higher.
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