First Batman Comic Sells for Record $1.5 Million

Detective Comics 27 - Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctions
A copy of 1939's 'Detective Comics' No. 27 has become the most expensive comic starring The Dark Knight.

A copy of the very first appearance of Batman has sold at auction for $1.5 million, becoming the most expensive comic book starring The Dark Knight ever sold. Prior to the Thursday sale, the highest price ever achieved by 1939’s Detective Comics No. 27 was $1,075,000 ten years ago, in another auction from Heritage Auctions.

The copy of Detective No. 27 sold was unrestored, but nonetheless graded “fine/very fine 7.0” in terms of quality by Certified Guaranty Company, becoming one of only two 7.0 copies in the world; only five other unrestored comics have ever graded higher in CGC’s history, making the issue particularly noteworthy even before its record-breaking sale.

"I'm not at all surprised at the result," Barry Sandoval, Heritage Auctions vice president said of the sale. "After all, this is one of the best copies you will ever see of one of the most important comic books ever published."

Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger's story "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate," published in Detective Comics No. 27, introduced the world to The Dark Knight.

The Detective Comics sale came during the first session of Heritage Auction’s four-day Comics & Comic Art event, which runs through Nov. 22 and features the so-called “Alfred Pennyworth Collection”, a Batman-centric collection from Randy Lawrence; his Batman No. 2, from 1940, sold for $63,000 during the same session.

While this was the most expensive comic ever sold by Heritage, the record holder for most expensive comic ever was set in 2014, when a 9.0 copy of Action Comics No. 1 — the first appearance of Superman — sold for $3.2 million via eBay.