Batman / Detective Comics

I first want to thank everyone for the kind words to my 1st column last week. This is a great website and I am humbled to have any part of it. A big thanks to those that conceived, constructed and contribute daily to the website. If you have suggestions for content on this topic, please let me know, your feedback is much appreciated!

This week we are going to sort through some print runs/population reports and current values for Batman/Detective Comics.


DC variants are generally an odd breed. Most of them don’t sell for a wide range and they seem to use the same artists/concepts issue after issue. Since that is the case, let’s look at some 2nd print variants that are pretty rare. (As an aside, 2nd prints of key issues are an undervalued market as a whole!)

All 3 of these 2nd prints did not land on the Diamond Top 300 list, so each one would presumably have a print run between 1000-2500. Because there are no official print runs available, we will explore how prevalent they are in the graded market and the open auction market for reference.

1) Batman #608. Sells for $60-80. There are 522 CGC graded copies. There are 8 active auctions and 36 sold in the past 3 months. Everyone is aware of this very rare Key that introduced the Hush storyline. This book will be on Buy lists for a long time.

Batman #608 2nd Printing

Recommendationbuy and then hold

2) Batman #612. Sells for $25-50. There are 547 CGC graded copies. There are 12 active auctions and 16 sold in the past 3 months. Another book from the Hush storyline, this one with a classic Jim Lee sketch cover.

Batman #612 2nd Printing

Recommendationbuy and then hold

3) Detective Comics #871. Sells for $12-20. There is a single CGC graded copy. There are 2 active auctions (in sets) and 10 sold in the past 3 months. Very rare Key issue that started Scott Snyder’s historic run of Batman scripts.

Detective Comics #871

Recommendationbuy buy

There are some slight differences here. Bats #608 and #612 have been around for 9 more years than DC #871 giving them more time to appreciate in value. Bats #608 is a completely different cover as well. What is the same is that they are all in very short supply, are drawn by crazy sought after artists and their 1st print brothers are modern keys to the most read superhero out there. Bonus word of advice, if you have not read either of these storylines, go get the trades for both, incredible reads!

CGC Graded

1) Batman #155 1st Silver Age Penguin. 210 Universal Graded, 30 graded 9.0 or better. Sells for around $900 in 9.0.

Batman #155

Recommendationbuy if you can find it in this high grade

2) Batman #171 1st Silver Age Riddler. 324 Universal Graded, 41 graded 9.0 or better. Sells for around $1050 in 9.0.

Batman #171


Both are 1st S.A. appearances by classic Batman villains. #155 is clearly harder to find and harder to find in high grade. As was the case last week with ASM, this appears to be the time to pick up an undervalued issue before the market corrects itself.

Lowest Print Run

The lowest print runs for any non-variant, 1st printing, Batman and Detective Comics (1996-present) are, respectively:

Batman Vol. 1 #588. Print run 42,896. This can be had for about $2-5.
Detective Comics Vol. 1 #795. Print run 34,650. This can be had for $1-3.

Batman #588 Detective Comics #795

The Batman issue is the opening part of the Brian K. Vaughn 3 issue run (#589 & #590 are the other parts to this story and both have very similar low print numbers). Picking up the lowest print run of an iconic character out of the dollar bin is always suggested.

Recommendationbuy and then hold


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