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Fans with a little extra cash in their pockets — OK, a lot of cash — have a chance to acquire pieces of Dark Knight history, as ComicConnect and Metropolis Collectibles are auctioning Batman co-creator Bob Kane’s own file copies of the character’s earliest appearances.
Those searching for pristine editions of Detective Comics #27 or Batman #1 will have to look elsewhere. These are copies of Detective Comics #27-45 and Batman #1-3 that were bound by DC Comics for editorial reference — as you can see, there’s a row of holes down the left — and later given to Kane. Still, the colors remain vibrant.
“Treasures like this only surface once in a blue moon,” ComicConnect/Metropolis Collectibles CEO Stephen Fishler said in a statement. “I was lucky enough to know Bob Kane. He told me, along with others, that he was just 17 when he sold the Batman character to an unwitting DC. Once the franchise took off, he leveraged that to renegotiate his contract with DC, and the file copies were part of the deal.”
We know now that Kane’s claim was false, as he was born in 1915, making him 22 or 23 when he sold Batman to the publisher. Nevertheless, he got what he wanted, including sole creator credit … and these file file copies, which come from the collection of screenwriter Bob Underwood. Fishler said they’re particularly important, because most Kane’s personal collection was destroyed.
ComicConnect had the issues on display last week at Comic-Con International. The auction begins Aug. 4 and continues through Aug. 25.