Two CGC-certified Batman Grails Each Sell for More than $1 Million in a Single Heritage Sale

Posted on 31/03/2023

A Detective Comics #27 tied the price record for this grail, while crushing the previous record for a copy graded CGC 6.0.

The Caped Crusader soared, as two Batman grails graded by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®) each realized more than $1 million in Heritage Auctions’ Comics and Comic Art Signature Auction on March 30, 2023. A dozen other collectibles certified by CGC realized prices over $100,000 in the sale.

Topping the auction was a Detective Comics #27 graded CGC 6.0 (lot 91029) that realized $1,740,000. Batman made his first appearance in the 1939 issue of Detective Comics #27, while sidekick Robin debuted in issue #38. Soon after, the Dynamic Duo were featured together on the cover of Batman #1, which also introduced the Joker and Catwoman in 1940. This sale more than doubled the previous record for a CGC 6.0 copy that sold for $732,000 in 2018 and is tied for the most expensive copy of Detective Comics #27, with a CGC 6.5 copy that was sold in May 2022.

Click images to enlarge.

Batman took the second position in this auction as well: a Batman #1 graded CGC 8.0 with a FANTAST Collection pedigree label (lot 91026) realized $1,110,000. This book originated in a collection of more than 300,000 comic books that were collected by Michigan attorney Dale Watts. The FANTAST Collection is the focus of an upcoming documentary film, “Selling Superman,” by filmmaker Adam Schomer. This is the first time CGC has issued a special custom label for a single collection, and it is only available with books from this collection. The front of the label commemorates the “Selling Superman'' film, while the back features images that tell the story of Dale Watts’ life and collection.

Also setting a new record was a Marvel Comics #1 graded CGC 7.5 (lot 91037) that realized $675,000. Published by Timely Comics (a predecessor of Marvel Entertainment), Marvel Comics #1 includes the first appearance of the Human Torch (which is different than the character of the same name from the Fantastic Four), Ka-Zar, Angel, Jungle Terror and Masked Raider, and the origin of Namor the Sub-Mariner. This is the highest sale of Marvel Comics #1 in grade CGC 7.5, shattering the previous record for a copy that was sold for $113,525 in 2012.

Click images to enlarge.

Another copy of Batman #1 — this one graded CGC 7.0 — was also in the auction (lot 91027) and realized a record-setting $660,000. This is the highest price realized for Batman #1 in grade CGC 7.0, nearly doubling the previous record for a 7.0 copy that was sold for $334,600 in 2018.

Other CGC-graded highlights in this auction included:

  • a Detective Comics #140 from the Promise Collection graded CGC 9.6 (lot 91032) that realized $360,000
  • a Detective Comics #33 graded CGC 6.5 (lot 91030) that realized $288,000
  • a More Fun Comics #55 with a Mile High pedigree graded CGC 9.6 (lot 91039) that realized $264,000
  • a Superman #1 graded CGC 8.0 Restored (lot 91041) that realized $168,000
  • an Action Comics #7 graded CGC 5.0 (lot 91021) that realized $156,000
  • a Mask Comics #1 from the Promise Collection graded CGC 8.5 (lot 91038) that realized $144,000
  • a Batman #1 graded CGC 1.8 (lot 92013) that realized $144,000
  • a Playboy #1 graded CGC 9.4 (lot 92173) that realized $120,000
  • an Amazing Fantasy #15 graded CGC 7.5 (lot 91023) that realized $117,000
  • an Eerie Comics #1 from the Promise Collection graded CGC 9.2 (lot 91033) that realized $108,000

Prices realized include buyer’s premium.

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