On March 19, a 6.5 graded copy of Detective Comics #27 sold in a ComicConnect auction for $1,825,088. That’s the highest price paid for Batman’s first appearance in any grade. What does this tell us about trends for this book and do we see those trends in other early Batman keys?

Detective Comics #27 Trends

Detective Comics #27 is one of only 11 comics to sell for more than $1 million, and the $1.8 million sale of a 6.5 graded copy shouldn’t have come as a surprise if you’ve been tracking sales of this book. A 6.0 sold a year ago in an April 2023 Heritage auction for $1,740,000, the same price paid for a 6.5 graded copy in a May 2022 Goldin auction. So, it was just a matter of time before another mid-grade copy came up for sale and went for a higher price.

High and Low Grades

Of course, there are copies graded higher than 6.5 in the CGC census. Eight copies come in at 7.0 or higher – 21.6% of the census – with the highest being a 9.2, which has never sold; nor has the one 8.5 graded copy. A 7.0 sold at the start of the recent comic boom in a November 2020 Heritage auction for $1.5 million. Neither of the two 8.0 graded copies has sold since 2010, and the same can be said for the two 7.5 copies. Regarding the lower grades, those 4.0 and below, it’s been more than a decade since any copies have sold.

Other Early Batman Keys

The January 14 Heritage auction was a big one for early key Batman issues and represents the other significant sales of these books this calendar year. A 1.0 graded copy of Detective Comics #33 sold for $20,400, a 19% increase over the November 2019 sale for $17,210, not a tremendous return over the course of more than four years, but not bad either. The issue features Batman’s origin and the first appearance of Joe Chill.

A 1.8 graded copy of Detective Comics #38 – Robin’s first appearance – sold in the same auction for #33,600. The nearest comparable in terms of grade and timing is a 1.5 that sold for $27,600 in a June 2022 Heritage auction. Yes, the more recent sale is 22% higher, but it’s also a higher grade and nearly two years removed from the latter sale. So, it’s likely an increase over the likely value but not by much.

The January 14 Heritage auction also saw the sales of two copies of Batman #1. A 7.0 graded copy sold for $630,000, down 5% from the $660,000 it saw in an April 2023 Heritage auction. A 2.0 graded copy sold for a disappointing $102,000, likely due to the brittle pages noted in the grade. The peak price in this grade is $240,000 paid in a November 2021 Heritage auction for a pedigree copy from the Promise Collection.


For early Batman keys, it comes down to scarcity. With only 37 universal graded copies for Detective Comics #27, finding one is exceptionally hard to do. Compare that to 146 universal graded copies for Batman #1, and copies of this book showing up numerous times in auctions each year, it’s not hard to see why Detective Comics #27 has been more resistant to the downward market pressures of the last couple years. Plus, it is Detective Comics #27 after all.