Rare 1939 Detective Comics issue that introduced Batman nears record $1.5 million as auction ends

(CNN)- A rare copy of Detective Comics #27 – the issue that introduced Batman to the world in 1939 – is expected to fetch more than $1 million at auction this weekend and could flirt with a record for this edition.

The copy, auctioned for more than two weeks in the United States Goldin Auctions, had a bid of $1.2 million early Saturday afternoon, with bidding set to end at 10 p.m. ET. The record public sale of a copy of the same issue is $1.5 million, made in 2020, according to the auction house. Goldin Auctions says the copy it’s selling has a 6.5 rating from Certified Guaranty Co., which ranks the condition of collectibles on a scale of 0.5 (poor) to 10 (gem mint). Only six other copies in this issue share this rating, and only eight others are ranked higher, says Goldin Auctions. Fewer than 40 original copies of this issue are known, according to the auction house. Batman’s very first appearance was made in artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger’s story, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate”, one of many tales hidden within the pages of Detective Comics# 27. The superhero can also be seen swinging on the cover of the issue, which displays a price tag of 10 cents.

“This item is considered one of the holy grails of comic books, and it was the issue that started Batman and really helped start the superhero craze,” said the executive chairman and founder of Goldin Auctions. Ken Goldin told CNN. “Since that comic came out, Batman has become more than just a character. He has truly become a symbol that people look up to, which is why any serious collector would love to own this piece.

The copy that holds the public sale record for this issue had a CGC rating of 7. It was sold by Heritage auctions. Goldin said he thought the copy his house was auctioning off might beat that sale. “Given the huge amount of interest in The Dark Knight following the release of the incredibly popular new Batman movie, there’s still a chance this copy will eclipse the all-time record,” Goldin said. The sale is part of a larger auction which includes a 1996 Hummer owned by Tupaca outfit worn by Prince and 1966 California driver’s license signed by Jim Morrison.

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