The Golden to Modern Age of comic books has produced innumerable titles and issues for fans of everything from superheroes to romance, horror to anime, slice of life to science fiction. Comic book stores, newsstands, and specialty shops are flush with content depicting stories of the popular and beloved. But amid all of these memorable characters there are a select few counted among the most significant in the medium’s history.
Among them is Batman, the Caped Crusader of Gotham City who battles the likes of the Joker, Riddler, and Poison Ivy. His comics are consistently popular and his first appearance ranks among the most coveted comic books of all time. Now, collectors have a chance to purchase that rare issue in the auction at Hake’s Americana & Collectibles.
In lot 1152 of Auction #223, Hake’s is offering Detective Comics #27 CGC 5.0, which presents the debut of Batman (created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger). This May 1939 comic contains stories by Finger, Jerry Siegel, and Jim Chambers, and cover by Kane with art by Kane, Joe Shuster, Jim Chambers, and Fred Guardineer. It also contains the first appearance of Commissioner Gordon and the revelation that Bruce Wayne is Batman’s secret identity.
“When it comes to building the ultimate comic book collection, there are a few key issues that instantly come to mind. One of those is Detective Comics #27,” Hake’s President Alex Winter said. “To have a copy in any grade is the goal of most serious collectors but to be able to obtain a copy as nice as the one we are offering is a rare opportunity indeed.”
For nearly 80 years Batman has fostered a relationship with comics and superhero fans while enticing a wider audience in other entertainment mediums. The Dark Knight has been the hero of many comic titles, newspaper strips, film serials, the beloved ’66 TV show, several blockbuster movies, animated features and TV shows, and video games.
His history and cultural significance have made this comic book one of the top tier issues. The mid-grade copy at Hake’s has cream to off-white pages. The cover’s solid yellow background has minimal smudging and the red Detective Comics logo remains bold and bright, despite being prone to fading or discoloration. There is a 1” spine split at the bottom of the book and there is some mild spine creasing.
It comes from a recently discovered Golden Age comic book collection, in which all issues were obtained off the newsstand in the 1930s and ’40s. This copy was consigned by the original owner.
The rarity of a CGC-certified copy of Detective Comics #27 cannot be overstated. It is 1 of just 32 copies with the CGC Universal label, and 1 of only 67 total copies certified by CGC. In fact, there are actually fewer copies graded by CGC than of Action Comics #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman.
“The number of CGC Universal Grade copies speak for itself,” Winter added. “With less copies in their census than Action Comics #1, need I say more about rarity and desirability?”