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It’s the crown jewel of Batman comics.
A vintage issue of “Batman #1” was bought for more than $2.2 million, breaking the record for the priciest Batman comic book ever sold.
The high-grade 1940 issue, scripted by Bill Finger and illustrated by Bob Kane, was sold at Heritage Auctions: Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction, which is held from Thursday until Sunday, the Hollywood Reporter reported. It went for a cool $2,220,000, including the buyer’s premium fee.
“Batman #1” isn’t the first comic to feature the Caped Crusader — that honor goes to “Detective Comics #27” from the year prior (which coincidentally held the previous record for most expensive Batman comic ever sold for when it went for $1.5 million in November). However, the superhero story does mark the debut of iconic Batman baddies the Joker and Catwoman.
The high price can be attributed to the landmark story’s 9.4 CGC designation, meaning that it is one of the rare high-quality holdovers — with white pages, no less — from the Golden Age of comics.
Prior to the record sale, the copy was owned by collector Billy T. Gates, who bought the comic in 1979 at a comic store in Houston, Texas for $3,000. When he died in 2019, he passed the exalted item along to his son.
With the purchase, the “Batman #1” issue joins an elite fraternity of graphic novels that have sold for over $2 million. The two other members are the legendary Nicolas Cage-owned Action Comics #1, featuring Superman’s debut, which sold for over $2 million in 2011, and another “Action Comics #1” that reportedly went for an eye-popping $2,052,000 in 2018.
This issue has the distinction of being the most expensive comic book ever sold for when a copy sold for $3.2 million four years prior. Comics of that caliber rarely change hands, according to BleedingCool.com.