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]

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Doug Gilford's great Mad Magazine reference site features cover scans and reference information on every issue of t… [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    

Original Art Batman Legends Of The Dark Knight #34 P.5 Splash Page By Tim SaleBatman Adventures #12 Dc Nm 1st Appearance Harley Quinn Unlmd Ship $3.89Batman #44 Dc 1947 - A Joker Story - Check Our No Reserve Auctions Ending Now!!!Batman #251 -high Grade- Dc 1973 - Batman & Robin - Neal Adams Art - Joker StoryBatman #9 Vg, Classic Cover! Beautiful Shape! Dc Comics 1942 No Reserve!Four Batman Comics Nos. 42, 47, 50 And 53 Golden Age DcThe Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc) First Harley Quinn Cgc Ready Batman #232 Dc 1971 - 1st App Ra's Al Ghul - Origins Batman & Robin - Neal AdamsBatman #28 Dc 1945 - A Joker Story - Check Our No Reserve Auctions Ending Now!!!The Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc)Five Batman Comics Nos. 33, 50, 59, 62 And 66 Golden Age Dc1st Harley Quinn! The Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc) 1 Day Auction No Res.Batman Dark Knight Rises Bane's Camo Tumbler ~hot Toys/sideshow/dc ComicsFour Batman Comics Nos. 49, 55, 61 And 73 Golden Age DcDetective Comics #47 -high Grade- Dc 1941 -restored- Batman & Robin -golden Age!Batman New 52 #1 Cgc 9.8 SignedBatman Adventures #12 Harley Quinn First Appearance (random Scan Of Page)Batman Comics No. 40 Golden Age DcThe Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc)Batman 608 Cbcs 9.8 Nm/mint 2nd Print Variant Rare Jim Lee Dc 2002 Like CgcDetective Comics #411 -near Mint- 9.2 Nm- Dc 1971 - Batman - 1st App Of Talia!!!Batman #232 Vg- The First Appearance Of Ra's Al Ghul! Talia Cameo! Neal Adams!World's Best Comics #1 - Batman, Superman, More! Rare Issue 1941 - No Last PageBatman #232 Comic Book 1971 1st Ras Al Ghul, Neal Adams Cover And Artwork DcBatman #23 1944 Fresh Estate Find ...amazing Color & Shape ...joker CoverDetective Comics #205 Dc 1954 - Batman & Robin - Origin Of The Batcave!!!Batman New 52 0-31 Annual 1-2 + 4 3d Books Dc Comics 38 Issues!Batman Comics No. 34 Golden Age DcGenerations 2 - Byrne - Batman And Batmobile - Issue 3, Page 11 Gotham CityBatman And The Mad Monk # 5 Pg. 9 By Matt Wagner! Batman & Commissioner Gordon! Batman #181 - First Appearance Of Poison Ivy Vg - Vg/fn - Key Issue!!!Batman #27 Fresh Estate Find ..amazing Color & Shape ...christmas Santa CoverBatman Adventures #12 1st Harley QuinnBatman New 52 Cgc 9.8 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20-31dcDetective Comics #359 (jan 1967, Dc) First Batgirl! Batman Cgc 5.5Five Detective Comics Nos. 111, 140, 145, 162 And 165 Golden Age Dc BatmanBatman #1 Dc Comics New 52 1:25 VariantBatman #62 Vg, Origin Catwoman! Dc Comics 1950 No Reserve!Batman 232 1st Ra's Al Ghul Vg 4-4.5 Neal Adams Art 1971 Arrow Tv SeriesDetective Comics # 411 Batman And BatgirlBatman The Killing Joke Cgc 9.8 White Pages Classic Cover Key 1st PrintMontegrappa Batman Fountain Pen Cufflink & Watch Only 500 Made Retail $5695The Batman Adventures #12 (sep 1993, Dc) 1st Harley QuinnBatman New 52 Variant Set Cgc 9.8 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17-32Worlds Finest Comics Nos. 22, 44 And 50 Golden Age Dc Batman Robin SupermanBatman #245 Cgc 9.6!! Neal Adams Cover!! White Pages!! Rare!!Batman: Dark Knight Returns 10th Anniversary Hardcover Slipcase Four Detective Comics Nos. 124, 148, 156 And 164 Golden Age Dc BatmanBatman #222 Dc 1970 - Beatles Take-off Cover - Batman & Robin - Look!Batman #1 New 52 1:25 Van Sciver Variant Cgc Ss 9.4 Signed By Snyder & Capullo Detective Comics #871 Cgc 9.8 Ss Signed By Scott Snyder (1st Snyder On Batman)Batman #39 - Catwoman App.- Golden Age - (feb-mar 1947, Dc) - Poor Batman 31 Golden Age October 1945 GorgeousBatman #1 Rare Sketchnew 52 1st Print Cgc 9.6 Ss Snyder & Capullo Only 1 On EbayBatman Back And White By Mike Mignola 1st Edition Very Rare Dc Direct In BoxFive Detective Comics Nos. 135, 139, 141, 146 And 158 Golden Age Dc BatmanBatman #84 G, Catwoman Cover/story, Dc Comics 1954 No Reserve!Batman Sexy Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy Art Print Signed Nathan Szerdy Detective Comics #407 -near Mint- 9.4 Nm - Dc 1971 - Batman - A Man-bat App!!!Batman #4 1st Gotham City