One of the highlights of the Heritage Auction Galleries' Comics and Comic Art auction that has just opened for bidding is this CGC graded 5.5 copy of Batman #1, from 1940.
With 20 days of bidding left, the comic's value has already risen to $15,000 (at the time of writing) - yet was originally bought by owner Mike Wheat of Fairbanks, US for just $500.
The story of Batman #1 begins in 1974. A private individual who was buying used furniture at garage sales around town bought an antique dresser, with the intention of refurbishing it.
During the subsequent work to the dresser, he found that the glide bar for the bottom drawer had been replaced with a sheet of plywood...
Lifting the plywood, to the man's amazement he found three comic books - apparently used as spacers so that the drawer would open and close properly.
Although, since then, it's also been speculated that the drawer was meant to be a false bottom, to safely hide the rare and valuable comics inside...
Whatever the real reason, the owner of the antique dresser placed an ad for the Batman #1 comic, offering it for sale priced $500.
"A month after seeing the classified I went down and met the guy," said Mr Wheat. "He had three comics: the Batman #1, a Superman #17 with a damaged cover and a Red Ryder.
"I had to wait a month because I had to wait until my next pay check."
Fortunately, Mr Wheat didn't miss out. Sure enough, the comic was still available the following month priced just $500.
"You gotta buy comics like this when you find them," said Wheat. "You only get one chance for a comic like this, and I took it."
Needless to say, he bought the coveted comic and it has since remained in Alaska - until now.
"What really sets this copy apart is that it has the whitest pages of any copy we've ever sold," said Barry Sandoval of Heritage.
"Fairbanks is only about 150 miles from the Arctic Circle - and those are ideal storage conditions for comics."
This won't be the first time this year that Batman has come out fighting at auction. Back in March,
Watch this space for breaking news on Heritage's sale.
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