Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Finest Batman #1 Known, Frank Miller’s Dark Knight #2 Cover Art May Each Hit $500,000+ for Heritage Comics & Comic Art Auction

A Dynamic Duo of Dark Knight treasures, led by the highest-graded copy of Batman #1, ever certified in 9.2 grade, and Frank Miller’s original cover art for The Dark Knight Returns #2, 1986, are expected to bring $500,000+ each in Heritage Auctions’ Comic and Comic Art Auction Aug. 1-3.

“Whenever you offer the highest-graded copy of one of the top comics in the hobby you can bank on fierce bidding,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Comics Operations for Heritage Auctions. “This auction is an ideal hunting ground for elite collectors and the 9.2 grade example of Batman #1 represents the quality offered throughout the entire event.”

A landmark edition in the halls of American pop culture, Batman #1 features the first appearances of both the Joker and Catwoman, among the very few comic book villains to have attained true “household name” status. It is expected to reach $500,000+.

A worthy follow up to such an iconic comic book is Frank Miller’s iconic original cover art to The Dark Knight Returns #2, which also is expected to bring $500,000+. The instantly recognizable image of Batman, crippled with rage, is one of several pieces of original art from the groundbreaking Dark Knight series offered by Heritage in the last year.

“For fans of Modern comics, this drawing is where everything really begins,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “This moment defines Miller’s Dark Knight, and the modern day perception of Batman, like no other drawing. The only one that comes close, perhaps, is the iconic Splash page from Dark Knight #3, featuring both Batman and Carrie Kelley (Robin), which we sold two years ago for $448,125.”

Among the high-grade examples of the most coveted comic books ever produced comes a near pristine copy of an increasingly popular comic book, Avengers #1 – in stunning 9.4 grade – is expected to realize $175,000+; a 9.4 grade copy of Tales of Suspense #39, the first appearance of Iron Man, which is expected to bring $100,000+; a rare, 9.0 grade copy of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #1 may fetch $30,000+ as the finest copy in a remarkable run that also includes a 9.4 grade of issue #2 and a 9.2 grade of issue #3 from the series, both of which are the highest-graded copies.

A collector’s pick of high-grade examples continues as the only 9.8 grade copy of Marvel Spotlight #5, the first appearance of Ghost Rider, is expected to realize $25,000+.

In addition to the dramatic cover from Dark Knight #2, the auction’s offering of original art includes a remarkable movie poster painted by Frank Frazetta for The Night They Raided Minsky’s. Frazetta usually worked in much smaller sizes, making this 38-inch by 28-1/2-inch poster from 1968 an extreme rarity expected to bring $150,000+.

Robert Crumb’s complete 1968 original art for a five-page story titled “City of the Future,” initially stolen from Crumb and slated for Zap Comix #1, is expected to reach $100,000+. Fresh-to-market original cover art from titans Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella from The Flash #117, from 1960, is expected to realize $50,000+ in its first appearance at auction.

Perhaps two of the most anticipated lots link to The King of Comics himself, Jack Kirby, to a covert Iranian rescue operation as depicted in the Academy Award-wining film Argo. The film tells the story of how the CIA used a fake movie production crew to conceal a daring rescue mission of six Americans held in Iran. The “movie within a movie” was at one time a genuine project titled “Lord of Light,” based on the novel by Roger Zelazny. Producer Barry Geller commissioned Jack Kirby to create a set of concept drawings for the film, but the project stalled and was mostly forgotten, until the CIA used it in their top-secret mission. Two of Kirby’s original oversized concept scene drawings for the project – “Pavilions of Joy” and “Planetary Control Room (Interior)” – remain testaments to his signature style and are expected to bring $10,000+ each.

Highlights include but are not limited to:

Original art from The Fly #4 by Joe Simon and featuring Neal Adams’ very first comic book work, is expected to bring $5,000-$10,000.

The auction also includes a special treat for all those interested in the beginnings of comics in America, circa 1900. Rudolph Dirks (Katzenjammer Kids), George Herriman (Krazy Kat), R.F. Outcault (Buster Brown), and Winsor McCay (Little Nemo), are each represented with multiple originals in the auction.

The eye-popping title page from the Double Life of Private Strong #1 by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, is expected to cross the block for $7,000-$10,000.