The origins of Batman really go back to the origins of Superman, who debuted in the June 1938 issue of National’s “Action Comics”—the cover depicted the man from Krypton lifting a car over his head. Demand for Superman was so great that the call went out to National’s artists and writers to come up with more superheroes. From this crucible of commerce, Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman.

The first appearance of The Bat-Man, as he was known, was in issue 27 of “Detective Comics” in May of 1939. In that story, readers met Bat-Man and Commissioner Gordon, and learned of the Dark Knight’s secret identity as millionaire Bruce Wayne. Naturally issue 27 of “Detective Comics” is incredibly collectible, but so is issue 29, in which readers met Batman’s first named villain, Dr. Death, and issue 31, in which gadgets such as the Batarang and Batgyro first appeared.

Less collectible than issue 27, but probably more collectible than issues 29 and 31, are issues 33 and 38. In the former, the origins of Batman are told (when the youth witnessed the murder of his parents, he vowed to avenge their death by fighting criminals). In the latter, readers met Batman’s young sidekick, Robin, who lived by day with Bruce Wayne in the Caped Crusader’s mansion. Also prized by collectors is issue 40, which featured the first Joker cover.

By the time the Joker appeared, National had become DC and Batman had his own comic—issue one of “Batman” was published as a quarterly in spring of 1940. The Joker, Penguin, and Catwoman littered the next dozen issues of “Batman,” and Bruce Wayne’s portly butler, Alfred, lost weight and got his own cover in issue 21.

Not the most collectible, but perhaps the most fun, is the so-called infinity cover of issue eight, which depicts Batman and Robin reading a copy of issue eight of “Batman.”


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Cover Browser

Cover Browser

Philipp Lenssen's incredible archive of over 94,000 comic book covers - Wow! Wham! Yikes! Browse by title from the … [read review or visit site]

TheComicBooks.com

TheComicBooks.com

Jamie Coville's in-progress ode to the history of 20th century comic books. Start with his Newsstand Period Part 1 … [read review or visit site]

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Bruce Shults takes us on a comprehensive Popeye fan tour, from the early comic strips to cartoons and collectible m… [read review or visit site]

Barnacle Press

Barnacle Press

This collection of obscure newspaper comic strips provides scans browsable by title, year and date. Showcases comic… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Batman #121 Vol 1 Pgx 2.0 Unrestored Very Rare 1st Appearance Of Mr. FreezeThe Batman Batgirl Adventures #12 Sept 1993 1st Appearance Of Harley QuinnBatman Harley Quinn # Nn - 1st Appearance In Continuity Cgc 9.8 White Pgs. Ed Benes Batman Dark Knight 8 P 8 Original ArtThe Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc), Batgirl, Harley Quinn Newsstand Batman Adventures No.12 1st Harley Quinn - Suicide Squad Joker Dc Comics 19931947 * Batman #40 * Dc Comics * Cgc Graded 4.5 Vg+ * Rare White Pages * Joker !!Key Issue Silver Age Batman Dc Comics Vol.1 121 Mr. Zero 1st Appearance Feb 1959Batman #181 Silver Age 1st Poison Ivy Huge Key Wow RobinBatman #251 Bronze Age Joker Key Wow Neal Adams Smoking Hot Book!Batman Adventures #12-1st Appearance Of Harley QuinnBatman #404 - #407 Complete Year One Run (feb 1987, Dc) - Cgc GradedBatman 232 First Ras Al Ghul Talia Neal AdamsBatman #251Batman: The Dark Knight #1 - 4 (1986, Dc) Cgc Graded First PrintsBatman The Killing Joke # Nn Cgc 9.8 White Pgs. The Batman Adventures #12 Higher Grade 1st App HarleyBatman New 52 #1, 2, 3 First PrintsBatman Christian Bale Sideshow Life Size Bust ~jla/dark Knight Movie Dc ComicsBatman #234 1st Modern Harvey Dent Two Face Huge Neal Adams Key Wow Fvf Gem WowBatman The Killing Joke 1st Printing Near Mint Alan Moore Brian Bolland Joker NmBatman Adventures 12 Cgc 9.8Batman 31(dc Comics 10-11-1945) Cgc 7.0 F/vf Ow PagesBatman #139 Fn- 5.5 Off-white Pages 1st App. Original Bat-girl Dc 1961Batman #227 1970 Neil Adams Iconic Gothic Cover - Incredible Shape, Starts @ .01Batman #244 -near Mint- 9.2 Nm- Dc 1972 - Neal Adams Art - Check Out Our Comics!Bob Brown Detective Comics #422 P8 Original Comic Art Dick Giordano Batman 1971Batman #251Mike Mignola Hellboy / Batman Pencil Illustration - Hellboy In HellBatman Adventures Mad Love (dc, 1994) Origin Harley Quinn 1st Print Nm-mintRare Dc Batman With Robin No #232 1st App Ra's Al Ghul Comic Neal Adams ArtThe Batman Adventures #12 Cgc 6.5 Detective Comics #23.2 Cgc 9.8Detective Comics #48 Golden Age Featuring Batman February 1941 EditionDetective Comics 400 Fn+ 6.5 1st Man-bat Adams Art Batman Large ScansBatman Cgc 9.8 1 New 52Detective Comics # 27 Oreo Cookie Reprint - 1st Batman Cgc 9.8 White Pgs. Batman #108 - Unrestored Higher Grade - Two Face! - Scarce 1957Detective Comics #411 Dc 1971 - Batman - 1st App Of Talia - Check Out Our ComicsSideshow The Killing Joke 12" The Joker Sixth Scale Figure Dc Comics BatmanThe Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc), Batgirl, Harley Quinn Newsstand Batman Arkham City Hot Toys/sideshow 12" Figure~jla/justice League Dc ComicsBatman #1 1:25 Ethan Van Sciver Variant Cgc 9.8 Ss X2 Snyder & Capullo Dc New 52Harley Quinn #1 Cgc 9.8 Ss Signed By Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti ~batman/dc Batman #227 (dec 1970, Dc)The Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc, Harley Quinn 1st Appearance)Batman The Killing Joke / Cgc 9.8 / White Pages / First Print / 1988 / JokerBatman #49 (oct-nov 1948, Dc) 1st Appearance Of Mad Hatter And Vicky ValeBatman #1 Vf/nm First Print New 52Dc Comics New 52 Batman #1 Ethan Van Sciver Variant Cover First PrintBatman 19 Cgc 3.5 Graded 1st Dick Sprang Art Dc Comics 1943 Classic Batman #1 The New 52 First Print - Mint [finest On Ebay] See Photos New/un-readBatman #106 - Unrestored Higher Grade - Early Silver Age Batman! - Scarce 1957Legends Of The Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Vol.1 Hc Rare Oop Batman $1 No ReserveBatman 40 Cgc 9.8 Ss Scott Snyder Death Of Batman And The Joker Mint Sold OutBatman: The Killing Joke 1st Print! Joker! Check Out Our Other Stuff!Detective Comics #500 (1981 Dc) Batman App Signed Bob Kane Cbcs 8.0 No ReserveIncredible Hulk Vs Batman #1 Cgc 9.6 Ss Signed Stan Lee~1995 Variant Dc/marvelBatman #143 - Unrestored High Grade - Science Fiction Issue! - Scarce 1961Golden Age 1949 Star Spangled Comics 88 Robin Batman Tomahawk Captain Compass Harley Quinn #1-38 + Extras Complete Series! Nm Dc 2000-2004 Batman Comics Set