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DETECTIVE COMICS (1937-2011; 2016-) #27
CGC FN+: 6.5
(Stock Image)
SOLD ON:  Tuesday, 03/19/2024 9:19 PM
Sold For
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COMMENTS: crm/off white pages
1st app Batman by Bob Kane; one of the top three most important comics ever published! Comic Book Impact rating of 10 (CBI)
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crm/off white pages
1st app Batman by Bob Kane; one of the top three most important comics ever published! Comic Book Impact rating of 10 (CBI)

Detective Comics #27 hit the newsstands in March 1939 with the first appearance of Batman—just 11 months after the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1. Both issues would become major works of pop culture, and still continually set new records at auction.

Investors will immediately recognize the outstanding opportunity that this book presents. A total of 77 copies of Detective #27 are listed in the CGC census; there are only 8 unrestored copies graded higher than 6.5. This stunning edition displays with an unusual beauty, as well, with the colors of the classic cover remaining remarkably sharp.

The book’s contents are just as notable. “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” introduces readers to the Dark Knight and wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne, as co-creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger also establish the crimefighter’s relationship with Commissioner Jim Gordon. The story is notable as a time capsule of Batman’s debt to pulp heroes, with Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego happy to throw thugs from rooftops or grimly approve of a murderer’s demise in an acid bath. The whimsical socialite is also revealed as our hero in the final panels, continuing a tradition going back to Zorro and the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Of course, debut appearances and first issues carry their own impact as investments. Last year saw a copy of Superman #1 7.0 sell at auction for $1.62 million, and Detective Comics #27 and Batman #1 have over a decade of consistent record-breaking sales. With (at least) ten Batman-related film and television projects in production at the start of 2024, copies of Detective Comics #27 are set to maintain their value as a comic collectible and artifact of American history.

The Secret History of Batman and Bob Kane
(As told to Stephen Fishler by Bob Kane)


DC needed a follow-up to Superman, and young Bob Kane was handed the demanding task.

Bob Kane, working with Bill Finger, had his first Batman story published in
Detective Comics #27. The rest is history.

But there is more.

The year is 1940. Batman, for lack of a better phrase, is rocking and rolling.

Young Bob laments to his uncle one night about how well Batman is doing and how little he was getting paid. The uncle, a seasoned veteran in the publishing business, is what we will call the fixer.

A plan in concocted. But will it work?

The next day, Bob Kane and his uncle head to the DC offices. What is set in place is a confrontation between Bob Kane & family and Jack Liebowitz—who basically owns DC.

Lots of niceties. Batman is doing great. Sales are through the roof. Everyone is happy. Or so it would appear.

Then Kane's uncle sends the shot heard round the world. Comic-wise.

The uncle says:

"Did you know my nephew Bob is a minor?"

As a matter of law, a signed contract with a minor is not enforceable. Jack Liebowitz knows what this means. The 1939 agreement between DC and Kane over his work on Batman is null and void.

Panic sets in.

On the spot, DC agrees to a brand-new set of demands including a higher pay rate and full creator credit.

Compare the deal that Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster had with Liebowitz to Kane’s agreement. The difference is night and day.

Now, do you want to know the hidden story behind the hidden story?

Kane was not underage. It was a con, and DC bought it.

...and now you know the rest of the story.

This stunning issue of Detective Comics #27 set an all-grade sales record as an unrestored 6.5 with cream/off-white pages. (There are only 8 unrestored copies graded higher than 6.5 in the CGC Census.).

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