Published: March 2, 2010
The Caped Crusader pounds the Man of Steel †and the recession †in a comic book auction on February 25 at Heritage Auctions. An anonymous superheroes fan paid a record $1,075,500, including the buyer’s premium, for a 1939 comic book with Batman’s first appearance.
“This is a world’s record price for any comic book. There was applause in the room when the gavel pounded for the final price of $1,075,500,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions.
“This is one of the finest known surviving copies of Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman. Two weeks before the live auction session, online bidding already surpassed the previous comic book auction record of $317,000 set last year for a copy of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman,” said Lon Allen, a director of the comics department at Heritage.
“It was owned for decades and kept in excellent condition by a comic book collector who purchased it for $100 more than 40 years ago. In the 1960s and 1970s many people considered that an outrageous amount of money to spend for a 1930s-era comic book,” said Allen.
“The Bat-Man,” as he was originally called, appeared for the first time in a six-page story in Detective Comics #27 with a cover date of May 1939. Superman appeared a year earlier in Action Comics #1 with a cover date of June 1938.
The comic was certified at VF 8.0 by CGC (Certified Guaranty Company). It is one of two known Detective #27 comics certified at that grade, with none higher.
On February 22 it was reported that a copy of the first appearance of Superman sold for $1 million in a private treaty transaction, brokered by a New York City firm, not at an open, public auction.
A complete review of the auction will appear in a future issue.
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