Detective Comics #27
Detective Comics #27 is the comic book in which the character Batman first appears It remains one of the most valuable and sought-after comic books ever printed. The comic
It was published in May 1939 by National Allied Publications, which would later become DC Comics. Detective Comics has had 871 monthly issues published as of November 2010, and is the longest continuously published comic book in the United States.
The character was created by artists Bob Kane and Bill Finger in response to the success of Superman, who had debuted in Action Comics #1 the previous year. He was introduced in his first story “The Case Of The Chemical Syndicate”, where he is known as the “Bat-Man”.
The story, based closely on the style of the hard-boiled detective fiction popular at the time, sees wealthy industrialist Bruce Wayne investigating the death of a chemical industrialist called Lambert. He later identifies the killer of one of Lambert’s business partners, and ends up toppling the villain into a vat of acid at his own chemical plant.
The character and storyline was far darker in its nature than those of Superman, who was the only other notable superhero appearing in comic books at the time. As comic book artist Jim Steranko noted:
"Superman had given DC its strength, but Batman gave it tone. Of course, Superman was more impressive… but Batman was more fascinating."
Batman later appeared in his own title, Batman #1, published in 1940, and is the one of only two characters (along with Superman) to have remained in constant publication since their creation.
In March 2010 Heritage Auction Galleries sold a copy of Detective Comics #27, graded 8.0 very fine by CGC, for a then World Record price of $1,075,500.
The same comic had sold for just $2,500 in 1985 and for $140,000 in 2000.
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