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quintessential and flagship title for Batman began in 1940
which is still published today.
It is one of the most significant and
most impressive comic book series ever produced.
When you look at all of the comic books that have been made,
this title has almost no equal.
Most of the best artists and writers in the comic book
industry have worked on this title at some time in their
careers with many more upcoming artisans clamoring for an
opportunity to provide their mark on this book.
There are so many important characters and events that made
its debut and flourished in this book that are immediately
recognizable to not only comic book fans and collectors, but
also non-collectors in general.
Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman and introduced him
and Commissioner Gordon in the pages of Detective Comics in
Detective, Batman shared the spotlight so to speak with other
characters as it was a multi-character book at the time.
His stories would appear in a relatively short format of
around 8 to 10 pages with other characters having their
stories filling up the remaining pages to round out the
Superman had gained his own title the same year as Batmanís
debut and became the first superhero character to have a book
completely devoted to one character.
year of success in Detective, DC Comics knew they had a hit
on their hands and decided to give Batman his own title
where they could capitalize on him even further.
would now become the second superhero character to have his
In the Spring of 1940 Batman #1 debuted and would feature
his origin again for the second time - reprinted/retold.
Robin his famous sidekick would make his second appearance
ever in the issue which came out at the same time as
Detective Comics #39.
would be one story in the issue where Batman
appeared by himself without Robin
that would mark his last solo appearance for a number of
years to follow.
Two of Batmanís greatest and most well known villains made
their debut as well in the first issue.
The Joker and Catwoman made this issue even more monumental
with their first appearances anywhere.
Never has their been so many milestones made in one issue in the history of comics.
Catwoman was initially called the Cat and in Batman #3 would
appear for the first time in costume. She became the
first villainess in comics.
She and the Joker
would continue to make some of their earliest appearances in
this title. It would not take long for the Penguin to
venture over and make a couple of his very earliest
One of the most important and recognizable characters in the
Batman mythos debuted in Batman #16 who was not a villain or
Alfred the butler made his world debut in this
issue and would go on and become a fixture in Batmanís world
for decades to come. He is easily one of the top supporting
characters in comic book history and has been featured not
only in comics, but in movies and television repeatedly.
In issue #25 the first villain team-up in comic books was
established with the Joker and Penguin forming an alliance
Batmanís trademarks would debut in the series. The Batmobile
made its breakthrough debut in issue #5 and would first
appear on a comic book cover in issue #20. The Batcave
would have a feature story in issue #48 showing in depth
details of Batmanís headquarters for the first time.
Batmanís origin would get a more comprehensive account
in issue #47 that had not been seen before.
Hatter and Vicki Vale, both significant to the Batman lore
made their first appearances in issue #49. Killer Moth
another of Batmanís long-time villains debuted in issue
Some interesting characters during the 1950s would make
their first appearances. Bat-Hound first
appeared in issue #92 and Batwoman first appeared in issue
#105 and Fatman in issue #113 respectively.
Freeze's first appearance came in issue #121 and would become
a major villain and gain high visibility in other venues
such as movies and TV. That issue is one of the toughest to
track down in any shape as most did not anticipate his
As a lot
of movies and TV shows during the 1950s and early 60s
focused on science fiction, Batman too was caught up in the
craze and often times Batman issues would have him and Robin
taking on all sorts of weird characters and aliens from
different planets and different time periods.
A lot of
these issues get passed up by many collectors, but itís a major
part in Batman history that allowed him to survive during
those tough years for comic books.
Many characters were dropped
and decommissioned for a couple of decades as comic books were battling through lean times with
comic books coming under heavy fire by various social and
activists groups. Those parties determined that comic
books had a negative influence on all of the young children
and young people in the country and sales were heavily hit
by the pressure and news.
These issues during the 50s and early 60s are very hard to find and
especially in top shape as collectors often did not save
them for future generations or did not handle them all that
well. Not many characters would continue from the Golden
Age through the Silver Age, but Batman was one of them that did.
Penguin, the Riddler and Scarecrow would make their first
Silver Age appearances in issues #155, #171 and #189.
Having some of Batman's key villains appearing during this
time period continued to provide relevance for the character
As the Batman craze began to grow due in part to the Batman TV show
in the mid to late 60s, Batman the comic would transfer some
of the camp humor from the show into the comics which made
Batman look humorous at times.
This too was
a natural progression for the character in order to survive
during evolving times in our country.
The Batman comics simply adjusted to what the public wanted
and expected although Marvel Comics certainly was changing
things drastically for their ever increasing fan base.
As the 1970s rolled
around, Batman was in for a major re-haul and revitalization.
One of the most significant Batman artist ever would team-up
with a writer extraordinaire during this time.
Artist Neal Adams and writer Denny OíNeil would help
re-establish Batman. They would bring back the dark,
ominous creature of the night that striked terror in the
hearts of many criminals as Batman was during his heyday in
the Golden Age just as Kane and Finger had created and intended.
Batman issues in the #200s that appeared in the 1970s with
Adams and OíNeil have had such an incredible impact on
Batman comic books and comic book fandom in general. They
are some of the most highly collected and sough-after books
as that of his Golden Age issues.
Some of the standout issues include Adamsí first Batman work
on the title with the cover of issue #200. It offered a
nice collage of past Batman covers with Batman and Robin
adorning the center.
#219 became Adams and OíNeilís first issue together on the
title. It was a beginning of a collaboration that they
could not have foreseen.
The cover of issue #227 is one of the most sought after issues and
toughest to find in any grade. It has a foreshadowing large
image of Batman overlooking a mountain top hideout with a
damsel in distress being chased below as a homage to the Golden
Age cover of Detective Comics #31. It is definitely one of Adams
Their most famous creation to date came in issue #232 with
the first appearance of mega-villain Ras Al Ghul. Ras Al Ghul has gone on to be one of
Batmanís most celebrated and most significant villains of
Heís had an incredible impact on Batman stories
in comics, movies and TV and is one of the most sought-after
collected villains. His daughter Talia having made her
debut over in Detective Comics has been a major character in
the Batman world and continues from time to time to appear
in all Batman titles.
The issues featuring both father and daughter are truly some
of the best Batman issues.
Two-Face would make his first modern age appearance since
the 1940s with Adams supplying the cover and artwork in
Adams would provide the cover art for many of the Batman
issues in the #220s through the #250s with issue #237
displaying an incredible cover of the Reaper with interior
featuring the first Rutland Vermont Halloween costume ball
story in comics displaying some of Adams' stellar art.
Issues #242 through #244 expanded on Ras Al Ghulís debut and
had Batman pitted against the eternal villain in a great
three part story. Here Adams was allowed to really
flesh out Ras Al
Ghul's persona bringing the character to eventual
cult-like levels among collectors.
#251 provided one of Adamsí most recognizable covers and art
with the return of the Joker. Collectors have eagerly tried
to attain a copy of this issue for their collections and
often times settle for an image of the cover on a trading
card as an alternative.
#255 continued to show Adams depth on Batman which also
included a story on Bruce Wayneís father who fought crime
and had his own Batman like costume previously.
The Adams and OíNeil issues set the tone for many Batman
issues to come in the next several years and gave Batman his
solo identity back for an extended period of time.
Artists followed this trend set by the two artisans and
would slowly bring in some of Batmanís supporting cast back
into the fold, but still allowing him his solo identity.
Robin would return in not only as Dick Grayson, but as
newcomer Jason Todd who appeared in a couple of issues -
#357, #366 before donning the costume officially in #368.
Batgirl would also find herself in the mix too.
Writer/artist Frank Miller would create a senses-shattering
storyline in issues #404 to #407 with Year One. Here Bruce
Wayneís first year on the job as Batman is told in a way
that had never been seen before. It was a commercial
and critical success.
The dawning of the 3 to 4 issue storylines started to appear
more and more regularly in the title after the Year One
story. We would see the Ten Nights of the Beast story in
issues #417 to #420 drawn by painter/artist Mike Zeck.
Then came the most talked about and
most controversial and initially misunderstood story of all with Death in the Family
storyline in issues #426 to #429 resulting in
Robinís (Jason Todd) death.
At first people thought that Dick Grayson had died and it
sent almost all major news outlets into a frenzy.
Although it was finally clarified that it was Jason not Dick
who was Robin at the time had died. DC Comics had
requested fans to vote in on whether to kill off Jason or
not before issue #428 was released.
Only a few years previously had we seen some major
superheroes killed. The Flash (Barry Allen) and
Supergirl were written off in the Crisis series, but Robin
was a major, major character that non-comic book fans
Batman comics was
never the same afterwards.
Artist/writer John Byrne would step in and pen three issues
and contribute to the covers of issues #433 to #435 for the
Many Deaths of Batman story which was followed up by the Year Three
storyline in issues #436 to #439.
Things started to
get even more interesting by way of the introduction of the
third Robin (Tim Drake) in issue #442 coming on the heels of
the Lonely Place of Dying stories in issues #440 and #441.
the most anticipated Batman stories came in issues in the
#490s to the #500s as Batman would face off with
one of his most difficult villains ever in Bane.
Knightfall, Knightquest and KnightsEnd stories would be featured in
these issues They were some of
the most anticipated Batman stories.
During these issues it changed Batmanís life forever.
Defeated and battered a new Batman would take up the mantle
in the form of Azrael for a period of time as Bruce Wayne
rehabilitated from his encounters with Bane.
Collectors have continued to seek out these issues and are
reluctant to part with them despite their low value. These
are definitely a good set of issues to build your Batman
The books beyond these issues into the early #600s
would be somewhat an experimentation of sorts and are good
issues nonetheless, but DC Comics felt something was missing
for a bit and brought in artist/writer Jim Lee and writer Jeph Loeb to once again revitalize the character like Adams
and OíNeil had done back in the 70s.
The two would create stories that re-connect some of
Batmanís key villains like Catwoman, Killer Croc, Poison
Ivy, Ras Al Ghul, Scarecrow, Riddler and even pitted Superman against Batman for an issue.
The stories still resonate even in todayís Batman comics in
The Annual issues that began in 1961 with a great Curt Swan cover
and consistently continued since Annual #8 in 1982 are a great set of
books that a lot of collectors have really missed out on. These are
independent of the regular ongoing title and have some
unique features that can only be found in these issues.
As mentioned earlier some of comicsí best talent have worked
on this book including the aforementioned Bob Kane, Bill
Finger, Neal Adams, John Byrne, Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb.
Robinson and Dick Sprangís work can be found in the title in
the Golden Age with some incredible eye-popping covers while artists like Gene Colan, Carmine
Infantino, Dick Giordano, Jim Aparo, Alan Grant, Mike Zeck,
Mike Mignola, Alex Ross, Mike Kaluta, Berni Wrightson and
many, many more have all worked on this great book with
Aparo and Colan leaving a lasting indelible mark.
Aparo in my opinion has drawn the definitive Batman as a
sleek figure of the night. I just love the way Aparo
draws Batman's mask and cowl with thin pointy ears and
trim head with a lean and tall physique. It's not bulky
and overdrawn and his lines are cleaner than almost all
other Batman artists. He's done a lot of Batman issues
not only in this title, but in other titles like Brave and
continues to get the attention he truly deserves year in and
year out and there are no shortage of issues in this series
that any collector can get into.
One does not always have to go after the most expensive and
toughest to find 1940s and 1950s issues. The run that Neal
Adams and Denny OíNeil is still relatively inexpensive and
could be a nice Batman collection to build upon.
There are some wonderful 100 page issues in the #250s to
early #260s that a lot of collectors have gone after.
Due to the construction are tough to find in good
shape as the pages were glued to the spine on the inside
cover which often are bubbled up and almost
always found not to be smooth without deformities.
The issues in the #300s through the #500s are very, very
affordable. Some of those early #300s are getting tougher
and tougher to find in any shape and often many sellersí asking
price on these are a bit outrageous.
The Knightfall, Knightquest and KnightsEnd issues in the
late #400s to early #500s as noted earlier are a great
starting point for Batman comic collecting.
You really canít go wrong with collecting any of the Batman
issues in this title.
Pick specific issues that
interest you. Whether itís a specific character that
appears, specific artist issues, specific storylines or
specific key issues like first appearances, origins, death
issues, anniversary issues that are number
related for example #100, #200, #300 and so on or the 30th, 40th, 50th
60th year anniversary issues are all great ways to collect
this title and other titles.
Purchasing Batman Comics
When reviewing sources to acquire Batman
issues, I like to check
out local comic book shops and conventions. I get to see
the comics in person and can examine more issues at one time than I could online.
Eventually local sources go only so far since they rely on
collectors and other sellers in the area to bring them in.
Sources on the internet tend to travel and pick up
collections and will buy a lot of books online to add to
their inventory. They also have a lot of people from
all over the world who will contact them since they are not
tied to a local area to sell to them. These sellers
also tend to advertise on a more global scale than the local
comic book shop since their marketplace is the entire world
is a great place to find Batman issues. They're a
national online seller and have been selling comic books
through the mail since the 1960s. They try to stock every issue of every
title that has ever been published.
see a large amount of Batman covers of key books in the run
as well as general issues in the title on this page that I
think will interest any Batman collection which will take
you directly to mycomicshop's inventory of that issue.
will see every condition of that issue they currently have
in stock so you can choose the right condition of the book
that you're looking for.
worried if you do not see an issue in stock when you click
on any of the links. Often times they will receive an
issue into their inventory on a fairly regular basis as they
purchase books and collections daily. Just go ahead
and bookmark the link after you've clicked on the issue here
or check back here and click on the link to see if the issue
has come into stock. The links will stay permanently
purchased books from mycomicshop before and will continue to use them.
Their grading is accurate and they are a reliable source.
They have great customer service in providing you books in a
Amazon.com is another great choice. There is a
large amount of sellers who have their own eStores there and
offer a variety of issues from this long-running title. Amazon themselves stock various reprint books which are a
great way to purchase some of these issues are a very
I have provided direct links to some Batman trade paperbacks
and hardcovers that are on sale at Amazon on this page which will
have additional details, reviews and purchasing information.
Simply click on any of the image links and you'll be able to
find more information on those publications.
Ebay is another option as thereís a lot of
collectors/sellers/dealers always looking to move in
and out of product and use Ebay as their avenue.
You may find some good deals on Ebay, but be careful to check out
the auctions and or Buy it Now listings carefully. Some
sellersí terms are not right for everyone and sometimes the
items are not what you expect.
If condition is important to you, then be sure to ask a lot
of questions. If you donít get the right kinds of answers
youíre looking for, then move on and try another listing.
Always check out the sellerís profile to see how their past
selling has been. If theyíre new to selling and have only
been buying, ask questions.
You always want to be comfortable with the person youíre
potentially going to be buying from and you really need to
know what it is youíre getting.
If you're looking for CGC Batmans, then ComicLink is
your best choice. They focus primarily on CGC books
and you can find some of the top notch Batmans available on
their site. Expect to see from time to time CGC Batman
#1s and others of that era as well as CGC Batmans from the
Silver and Bronze age.
this page has been informative to you regarding the world of
Batman comic books.