Batman Comic Book Values
by Christopher Tanis and Ashley Cotter-Cairns
This Batman comics price guide will help you to identify and value the Batman comics in your collection.
Remember that there is also the original Detective Comics series, as well as other comic books featuring Batman. If you have found some Detective Comics, then we have now published a separate guide to Detective Comics values here.
Have Your Issues of Batman Valued!
If you've got some old Golden and Silver Age issues of Batman (especially #1, #2, #3, #5, #16, or #232), then click here to have them valued FREE by Sell My Comic Books!
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It's hard to know what to say about a Golden Age comic that features the first appearances of The Joker and Catwoman (then simply called, "The Cat"), and which is also a first issue.
The value for Batman comic book #1? Well, as the saying goes, "if you have to ask..."
But that's not such a silly question, really. Batman #1 can easily pass the $50,000 mark, even in higher grade but restored condition, and the highest-known to date (CGC 9.2) recently sold for over half a million Dollars!
Record sale: $567,000
Minimum value (poor but complete): $10,000
Sure, Batman #2 isn't worth what Batman #1 is, but it's still quite valuable to collectors, primarily for the development of the Catwoman character.
In #2, Selina Kyle is still not in costume, but still beautiful and beguiling, and still exerting an influence over our man Bruce. In the lead story, "The Joker Meets the Cat-Woman," Batman and Robin are foiled in their attempt to change The Joker into a model citizen through an operation by a "famous brain specialist."
Just let that sink in for a minute, all right?
So, things don't work out, and the Joker gets kidnapped by some other thugs (who want his help in stealing some gems) before he can be lobotomized, and Cat-Woman gets involved, helping to save Robin after the Boy Wonder goes and gets himself captured by The Joker. We begin to see that she can't be all bad at this point, and that along with the sex appeal, there is someone worth Bruce's attention.
The Joker tries to kill Cat-Woman and Robin just as Batman arrives to save the day. Cat-Woman leaps from the tower in which they'd all been fighting (her recurring MO), evading capture by Batman (or is it delaying the inevitable romance?).
Bill Finger and Bob Kane do their usual things, for which Bill Finger didn't get much money or credit. Bob Kane got all the glory, and probably didn't really handle all the pencils on his own. It doesn't matter much, really. There were three other stories involving nondescript thugs and undistinguished super-villains who would not appear again.
If you have one, get it appraised for free today.
Record sale: $43,000
Minimum value (poor but complete): $700
Batman #5, from the Spring of 1941, is the final issue of the title as a quarterly. Henceforth, it would be a bimonthly comic book, and would remain so for 12 years.
Mostly, this issue is notable for the first appearance of the original Batmobile, which would, of course, undergo much evolution over time, but which here has a very dark, almost Gothic appearance.
The Joker appears, along with a number of other undistinguished villains, but it is not his presence that makes this issue valuable. It's all about the car, baby.
Record sale: $33,000
Minimum value (poor but complete): $200
One of many goofy covers in the Batman series.
Everyone loves Batman. Don't they?
They should, if they don't. "But wait," you say, "maybe they just don't know the good Batman, the stuff that really makes Batman Batman." And what would that be? Oh yeah, well, then the dark stuff. You know, the early stuff.
Truth to tell, by the time that the Caped Crusader got a series named for him, he wasn't so dark any more, and wouldn't be until the 1970s.
Three Decades of Frivolous
So, from 1940, when the Batman comic first appeared, until 1970, you say? 30 years of silly? Three decades of frivolous? Well, yes.
Even so, Batman was just one of the titles that Bruce Wayne strolled through each month. Of course, Batman was not the first title to star that character.
Batman was first introduced in Detective Comics #27, published in May 1939, the Bat-Man was an instant hit, and would occupy the pages of Detective for the next 70+ years.
The title we know as Batman Comic book began as a quarterly spin-off of Detective Comics in the Spring of 1940, eventually becoming a bi-monthly with #5, in September of 1941, but not a monthly until #80, in December of 1953.
The idea that Detective is the "real" Batman comic while the title that bears his name is just another revenue stream for DC is difficult for some to grasp, especially those who don't know the history.
Whatever your relationship with Batman, there are a number of important Golden and Silver Age key issues, although fewer than Detective Comics key issues.
Somehow, the most important events in Batman's timeline always seem to happen in the pages of the comic that gave him his first appearance.
More About Batman Comic #1
Whatever sort of introduction a comic like Batman #1 requires, it is most certainly valuable. True, it is not in the same league as Detective #27, but then again, neither is Detective #28.
With five stories written by Bill Finger (who was not credited at the time, and whose authorship was something of a bone of contention for many years) and penciled by creator Bob Kane, Batman #1 is a Bat-Bonanza, beginning with the first of many retellings of the character's origin.
The Joker features in two stories in this issue, "The Joker," and "The Joker Returns," although neither reveals anything about his origins. That would have to wait until Detective #168. Either way, the Joker is revealed as a homicidal menace, willing to kill without hesitation if need be, or to stab himself without a care. He is already leaving his victims dead with a Joker-style grin (at least some of the time) and is in almost every way the fully-formed Joker we know and love.
As for Selina Kyle, in her appearance here, she is known only as "The Cat," and does not appear in costume. Rather, she is a cat burglar and ingenue, the first femme fatale of Batman's superhero career. She is beautiful and intelligent, and tries to seduce Bruce, asking him to become The King of Crime and be her partner, full of promise and suggestion. He refuses, but when she jumps over the side of the yacht which Batman is using to bring her to justice, he allows her to escape, opting not to pursue her. Hmmm...
There is also a Hugo Strange story in this issue, which on the whole is full of killing and guns, both on the parts of the villains and Batman. Batman #1, notably, would be the last time that Batman would be seen to kill a villain willingly, or to use a gun, given the new, more youth-friendly direction both the new and established Batman titles were taking.
Condition is very, very important to collectors of Batman comic books. See our comic book grading article for help on identifying the grade of your comics.
The easiest way to find out what your comic books are worth is to send quality images to us using our free comic book appraisal page. We'll be happy to help you find out what they're worth, and to realize the most money possible for them.
Quick Links to Other Batman Comic Prices:
Batman Comic Book and DC Comics Characters
Justice League of America Comic Values
Batman in Superman Comic Books
Detective Comics Price Guide
Scarecrow Batman Comics Price Guide
Joker Comic Book Price Guide
Batman vs Penguin Comic Price Guide