Heritage Auction’s just closed on what The Hollywood Reporter describes as “a near mint issue” of Batman #1 from 1940, which sold earlier today for over $2.2 million and became the record holder for most expensive Batman comic sold at auction. The eighty year old comic is certified 9.4 from CGC, a rare feat for such an old and key issue. Though not the first appearance of Batman, Batman #1 does include the first appearances of both The Joker and Catwoman. According to the trade this specific issue was previously owned by a collector named Billy T. Gates, who bought it in 1979 for the price of $3,000.
The official description of this copy of Batman #1 revealed that its sale was “the first time in the CGC era that a Near Mint copy of one of the top five Golden Age key issues has been sold at public auction.” It also details the question of “how legit is the grade?” by saying: “Well, few key issues are as easy to judge as a Batman #1, because the cover design ruthlessly exposes any flaw. The front cover “kills” most copies right away, being predominantly yellow and thus prone to smudging or dust shadows, while the back cover is the same with large white areas in addition to the yellow ones. Is it even possible to have a copy with no such smudges or dirt on the front or the back? We think our photos here show that it is, and it’s a test even some pretty darn nice copies have failed.”
The sale of this specific issue eclipses the copy of Detective Comics #27 (the first appearance of the dark knight) which went for $1.5 million just two months ago. The two million dollar copy of Batman joins Action Comics #1 as one of the most expensive comics ever sold at auction (one of which was famously purchased by actor and noted Superman fan Nicolas Cage for over $2 million a decade ago).
Certified Guaranty Company, known to comic fans the world over as simply CGC, is the third-party grading company which fans can use to slap a number on their books that guarantees their quality should they be eager to sell them. In a previously released video, CGC went through the process of how they grade comics, using a few different techniques to look at the books themselves. You can find that video by clicking here.
Other key issues sold in this latest auction include Amazing Fantasy #15 Signed by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee which sold for $72,000; Daredevil #1 for $102,000, and Captain America Comics #1 for $384,000.