Caped crusader swoops into Heritage's auction

Batman's first-ever comic book appearance is going under the hammer for an estimated six figure sum at Heritage Auction Galleries.

Detective Comics #27 is an issue which needs no introduction for comic book fans.

The cover of the 10 cent issue shows a now-familiar figure lifting a man with one arm, and swinging from a cord with his other hand against a garish yellow background.

This was the world's first view of Batman (or "The Batman" as he is called here). And the name 'Detective Comics' would eventually give its parent company the more familiar name of DC.

Today, the comic is considered second only to Action Comics #1 (Superman's first appearance) in terms of collectibility.

However, Batman was not immediately a big hit following his May 1939 debut, and took a while to become successful.

Despite that, he is the only superhero to have been in constant publication aside from Superman, who was introduced in 1938's in Action Comics #1.

A copy of Action Comics #1 in excellent condition is estimated to be worth as much as a $1m.

But, as anticipation for the sale grows, it can be argued that Batman has risen above Superman in popularity in recent years - and this could be reflected in next month's sale.

The darker character is still regularly the subject of films, from the Michael Keaton-starring cinematic version in 1989 to 2008's The Dark Knight starring Christian Bale.

Meanwhile, the fate of the Superman franchise, particularly in Hollywood, currently hangs in the balance.

Overall, the comics market also appears to be strong, with Incredible Hulk #1 selling for $125,475, also at Heritage.

In other words, expect comic books to be among the new high-performing collectibles in 2010.

Live bidding for this highly sought-after item is currently open. For more information, see the Heritage Auction Galleries website.



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