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 Adventures #12 1st Appearance Of Harley Quinn Suicide Squad Nm Batgirl DcOriginal Art Batman 550 Kelley Jones J H Williams Iii Mick Gray John Beatty 1998Batman 232 1st Appearance Of Ras Al Ghul Neal Adams Detective Comics 359 Gd/vg 3.0 1st Batgirl Batman Large ScansBatman #251 (sep 1973, Dc)Detective Comics #359 Silver Age Batman 1st New Batgirl Huge Key Wow Solid Vg/fBatman # 251 High Grade Classic Joker Cover Neal Adams! Hot Key Issue!!l@@k!!Batman And Batgirl By Gardenio Lima - Ed Benes StudioThe Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc)Batman #189 (cgc 9.4 Ow/w Pages) 1st Scarecrow Appearance!!Batman New 52 #1 1st Print Cgc Ss 9.8 Signed By Greg Capullo Scott SnyderBatman #244 Nm- Ras Al Ghul Lives Again! Nice High Grade Bronze Age ComicBatman #232 Cgc 7.0 1st Full Appearance Of Ra's Al Ghul Vf! Arrow!Detective Comics #28 (1st Page Only) Rare 2nd App. Batman Dc 1939Detective Comics #29 (1st Page Only) Rare 3rd App. Batman Dc 1939Vintage Comic Book Magazine Collection 289 Mags Batman Dracula Monsters MarvelBatman: The Killing Joke #nn * Cgc 9.6 * 1st Print!! * No Reserve!Detective Comics 400 Fn+ 6.5 1st Man-bat Adams Art Batman Large ScansBatman #357 Cgc 9.4 Dc Comics 1983 1st Full App. Of Killer CrocThe New 52 Batman #1 (2011) Cgc 9.0 Snyder & Capullo [1st Printing]Batman 121 1st Appearance Of Mr. Freeze (mr. Zero)Batman #426 Cgc 9.8 Ss White Signed By Mike Mignola Death In The Family Part 1Harley Quinn 1st Appearance Batman Adventures 12 Nt Deadpool Batman Joker Batman The Killing Joke 1st Print Joker Hot Key Nm- Gem WowBatman #357 Cbcs 9.6 1st App. Jason Todd & Killer Croc Dc 1983 Nm+Justice League Of America #188, Pg 13. 1981. Original Comic Book Art. Batman!Detective Comics 142 Batman 2nd Riddler AppearanceThe Batman Adventures #12 - Cgc Certified 9.2 (sep 1993, Dc) - 1st Harley QuinnBatman Detective Comics #359 Cgc 5.0 Dc Comics 1967 Origin & 1st App. Of BatgirlBatman: The Dark Knight Returns 1 Cgc 9.6 W Pgs 1st Print! 1st Carrie Kelly!!!!!Batman # 227 Classic Cover Swipe Neal Adams!!! Hot Key Issue!!l@@k!Neal Adams Batman #227 Rare Production Art CoverDetective Comics 405 Fn/vf 7.0 1st League Of Assasins Adams Cvr Batman Lg ScansBatman # 404 Cgc 9.8 White Pages. Unrestored Batman #608 Second Printing Cgc 9.6 White Pages Dc Comics Poison Ivy App Jim LeeBatman #251 (sep 1973, Dc)New 52 Batman #1 1st Print 2011 NmThe Batman Adventures #12/fn+/batgirl/1st Harley Quinn/sep 1993/dcBatman #183 Cgc 9.0 Dc Comics 1966 2nd Appearance Of Poison IvyDetective Comics #28 (3rd Page Only) Rare 2nd App. Batman Dc 1939Batman, The Killing Joke, 1988, 1st Print, Green Lettering, Alan Moore, MintDetective Comics 474 Vf 8.0 1st Appearance Deadshot Copy A Batman Large ScansBatman Dark Knight Rises John Blake W/ Bat-signal 1/6 Scale Figure Hot ToysBatman #1 Cgc 9.8 White Pages Dc Comics 2011 Greg Capullo CoverBatman Lithograph "da Vinci" Signed By Batman Creator Bob Kane - Special Price!Batman: Harley Quinn Comic 1st Printing (oct 1999, Dc) Nm - Dcu OriginBatman #59 Vol 1 Pgx 1.5 Unrestored Rare 1st Appearance Of Deadshot 1947Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 4 Cgc 9.8 W 1st Print! Vs. Superman! Alfred DiesRare Dc Batman No # 251 Sept 1973 The Joker's Back In Town Comic Book Neil AdamsBatman #171 Silver Age 1st Silver Age Riddler Nice Huge Key WowBatman #1 1:25 Ethan Van Sciver Variant Cgc 9.8 Ss X2 Snyder & Capullo Dc New 52Batman The Killing Joke (1988) - 1st Edition, 1st Print Embossed Green Ink Ver.Detective Comics 474 Vf 8.0 1st Appearance Deadshot Copy B Batman Large ScansBatman & Robin "secrets Of The Batcave"full Color Lithograph By Dick Sprang 1995Batman: The Dark Knight #2 (1986, Dc) - 9.8 Graded Pgx Like Cgc! No Reserve!!Dc Comic Batman Arkham Asylum Action Figure 4-pack Joker,harley Quinn,scarecrow+Batman #656 Cgc 9.8 White Pages Dc Comics 2006 1st Full App. Of DamianWorld's Finest Comics 40 Superman Batman And Robin Golden AgeBatman: Harley Quinn *first Print* (1999/dc) Signed Original Batman Art Sketch ~dick Giordano