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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Batman Copper Age Key Issues

Alright, I've decided to extend this Batman key issue list with some important copper age issues that are gaining quite a bit of steam in the collecting world. If you missed the bronze age Batman key issues, you can click the blue link to go back and read.

Most of these are not investment comic worthy unless they're at high grade 9.6 or 9.8. Just saying, but some might not even care for high grade. So here are some Batman copper age key issues to consider.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1
  • First issue to comic story
No doubt that the gritty writing of Frank Miller in comics has influenced many comic characters during the copper age. Batman is just one of them, and this 4 part limited series is extremely loved by Batman fans.

High grade copies of this first issue is already in demand and you may have to dig into your wallet a bit. You can get full runs that are fairly affordable, but the chances of them all being in higher NM is pretty slim. Lower to very fine copies are not investment worthy for this key issue.

eBay - As expected, no shortage of copies for all the issues to this limited series here. Quite a few complete run auctions toting NM. Also a few CGC options. Highest I saw is an 9.8.

mycomicshop - CGC 9.6 is the highest copy here. Rest are unslabbed and highest raw copy is a VF+.

Batman #404
  • Part 1 to Year One story line
Mentioned by R.T. White in his guest post on Total Comic Mayhem a few weeks ago, this key issue and retelling of Batman's origin written by Frank Miller has recently begun to drop over the $100 mark for CGC 9.8 copies. This first issue to the landmark Batman origin retelling is highly collectible, but as a comic to invest in, 9.8 is preferred since this popular copper age key issue debuted in February 1987.

eBay - No problem finding this key issue on the mighty eBay as well. A pretty good selection. There are complete runs and loads of unslabbed copies toting NM. Also there are CGC options. Quite a few 9.6s, only one 9.8 I saw there at the time of this writing.

mycomicshop - One CGC 9.6 here. Rest all unslabbed copies. Highest raw copies are solid VF 8.0s.

NewKadia - If you're not a high grade collector and don't care much for slabbed copies, then NewKadia brings the goodness with a pretty decent selection for this Batman key issue. Highest is a low near mint.

Batman #408
  •  New Origin of Jason Todd
  • First Post Crisis Jason Todd
Here's where things get interesting concerning the character of Jason Todd. The first appearance of Jason Todd in Batman #357 was pre crisis Jason Todd. After the popular Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, Jason Todd was revamped for the new Post Crisis DCU. 

The Pre Crisis Jason Todd was too similar to Dick Grayson, the original Robin. He was also from a family of circus performers, had a similar origin, and was generally upbeat. Post Crisis Jason Todd was revamped to be a hoodlum, in which they first meet when Todd is trying to jack the Batmobile's wheels. They also wrote him to be reckless and angry. 

Batman #408 is Jason Todd's first appearance chronologically Post Crisis. This copper age Batman comic has become a sought out key issue concerning the character since his version of The Red Hood has become increasingly popular over the years.

eBay - A lot of options to choose from, but I surprisingly did not see any CGC copies. Could change, however. You can check out the eBay search results for this issue by clicking the link. 

NewKadia - Only one copy left here. VF+ grade it's being advertised as. You will need to scroll a bit after clicking the blue NewKadia link up there.

Batman #410
  • Post Crisis Jason Todd becomes Robin
It's in this copper age key issue here that the Post Crisis Jason Todd is asked by Bruce Wayne to become the new Robin. The Post Crisis dynamic duo also shares their first adventure together and when Todd first dons the Robin costume in this issue as well. 

eBay - A few copies on eBay. Mostly raw copies, but I did see a CGC 9.8 for under a hundred bucks. Pretty awesome. If you're on a tighter budget or your collection's value is second fiddle in your preferences, you may chance an unslabbed copy for this copper age issue. There are reprints to this issue just to warn you and a seller may of priced a comic at first printing value when it's unknowingly a reprint.

mycomicshop - Three copies. One a solid NM, the other a VF and the last and surely least is a FN.

NewKadia - Two copies left here. One's a solid NM, and the other a VF+. Issue is at the bottom of the NewKadia product page. 

Batman #426
  • A Death in the Family story begins
Probably one of the most infamous story lines in comics during the late 80s. This marks the first issue to the story in which fans would ultimately decide the fate of the new Robin. Fans did not take to the new revamp of Jason Todd and had a hate-on for the character as Robin. A Death in the Family had a 900 number in which fans could fan and influence the story through voting. This issue brings back a lot of great memories and was probably the first Batman story line I fully collected as a kid.

This issue is starting to see a rise in demand in recent years.

eBay - No problem finding complete runs for this story arc, but they are pricey. Near a hundred for a complete run, and that's all unslabbed copies. Saw a CGC 9.8 just slightly above a hundred but with a best offer option. You can probably get it for under a hundred. Doesn't hurt to try. 

mycomicshop - In my humble opinion, there are none here worth looking at, nor are they investment worthy. However, you may have different feelings on that. The highest here is a low VF, but there is a selection of various grades available for sale for this issue here. No CGC.

NewKadia - Once again, if you're not worried about having the max potential investment grade, there is a VF+ copy here for this Batman key copper age issue.

Batman #428
  • Death of Jason Todd 2nd Robin
I remember calling the 900 number and casting the vote for Jason Todd to die back in the day. It seems I wasn't the only one, and this issue gave what the fans wanted then. 

Because of the recent popularity of The Red Hood, this issue has seen a great resurgence in demand. It is a great story by comic legend Jim Starlin and art by Mike Mignola. High grade copies are definitely on the rise. 

eBay - Loads of unslabbed copies and quite a few CGC 9.6s. No 9.8s at the time of this writing, except for a 9.8 CGC Signature Series for this issue. It's signed by Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy.

mycomicshop - Three 9.6 CGC copies. One of them is a Signature Series signed by Mike Mignola. A few unslabbed options here as well.

NewKadia - One VF+ and another solid VF. Only two copies left. Pretty affordable if you're on a tighter budget. 

You ready for more Batman key issues? Just click the NEXT Link below.


  1. No Killing Joke? I think this book is always going to be in demand, and unlike DKR is within the Batman continuity.

    1. You're right the Killing Joke is a classic. There are a few more Batman key issues I'm going to add to concerning this list in the next part.

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