The original drawing for the cover of a 1986 Batman comic is going on auction this month, and is expected to fetch more than $500,000.
According to the Associated Press, the auction will feature a pen-and-ink drawing — by writer/artist Frank Miller — of the cover for The Dark Knight Returns #2.
Miller’s Dark Night Returns series, which was published by DC Comics and later gathered into a graphic novel, included four issues: The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Triumphant, Hunt the Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Falls. A cover for Hunt the Dark Knight went for $450,000 at auction in 2011.
Batman originally debuted in 1940, but Miller’s contribution was a turning point in the superhero’s evolution.
“For fans of modern comics, this drawing is where everything really begins,” Todd Hignite, vice president of Dallas’ Heritage Auctions, which is selling the cover, told the AP. “This moment defines Miller’s Dark Knight, and the modern day perception of Batman, like no other drawing.
“It represents not only one of the most memorable images from the 1980s, but from Batman’s entire illustrious history,” he added. “Miller’s revolutionary Dark Knight radically altered the direction of comics with its prestige miniseries format, combined with the fact that it was one of the first modern mainstream features to put a gritty noir patina on the squeaky-clean Silver Age hero mythos previously exemplified by DC.”
Also up for sale is a 9.2-graded copy of Batman #1 from 1940. A similar copy sold for $850,000 in 2012.