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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Detective Comics #168 Values

Warner Bros. recent confirmation of a Joker origin movie has the internet in a rage. Some fans have taken to the world wide web to either voice their concerns for or against such a notion.

Some have even claimed that the Joker "should not have an origin", but the truth is that the Joker does somewhat have an origin story. Yes, there's never been a definitive or conclusive origin story established for the most iconic comic book villain of all time.

Also, the Joker is definitely unreliable at best, and there's no telling if he truly even remembers who he was before or even how he became Batman's nemesis.  With that said, this story is still so classic that it has been used by later writers to further add to the credibility or to the confusion of the Joker and his origins.

Now, I'm not saying whether this story or an entirely fresh and made up origin for the Clown Prince of Crime should be or shouldn't be told on the big screen, but this issue is not just one of the more important Batman key issues but it is an important Joker key issue also.

Maybe even one of the best Golden Age key comics to have as a comic investment over the most recent years. We shall put that to the test soon enough.

Those from my generation may prefer the modernized version of the Joker origin in Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, and the flick may heavily borrow from that very comic. However, Moore's story is without a doubt rooted in this very tale.

Not the last time either that a later writer used the elements of the Red Hood in a later retelling of the Joker origin. Some writers deviated much from this story, but still kept an element or two from this story in their twisted version.

For instance, Paul Dini had the man who would become the Joker as a ruthless gangster who created the Red Hood identity to further his sadistic exploits. So, Red Hood identity still borrowed from the story contained in Detective Comics #168 as well as Batman being involved in the disfigurement of the man who would become Joker.

To make a long story short, this tale influenced and inspired many a later writers one way or the other when it came to the origin tale of the Joker. The man responsible for the greatness of this tale and for much of the creation of the Batman mythos is Bill Finger!

Alright, this is a widely known key issue and always a sought-out comic for obvious reasons, so let's stop wankin' around and get to the values of this bad boy from the Golden Age.

Overstreet Guide 1982-83 12 Edition

Mint: $140
Fine: $70
Good: $24

Overstreet Guide 1990-91 20th Edition

Near Mint: $950
Fine: $395
Good: $158

Overstreet Guide 2002-03 33rd Edition

Near Mint: $4,200
Very Fine/Near Mint: $3,150
Very Fine: $2,100
Fine: $1,008
Very Good: $672
Good: $336

Overstreet Guide 2014-15 44th Edition

Near Mint (low): $11,000
Very Fine/Near Mint: $7,675
Very Fine: $4,350
Fine: $1,785
Very Good: $1,190
Good: $595

Overstreet Guide 2015-16 45th Edition

Near Mint (low): $15,000
Very Fine/Near Mint: $10,460
Very Fine: $5,920
Fine: $2,433
Very Good: $1,622
Good: $811

Overstreet Guide 2016-17 46th Edition

Near Mint (low): $19,000
Very Fine/Near Mint: $14,000
Very Fine: $9,000
Fine: $4,200
Very Good: $2,800
Good: $1,400

Overstreet Guide 2017-18 47th Edition

Near Mint (low): $34,000
Very Fine/Near Mint: $24,000
Very Fine: $14,000
Fine: $6,600
Very Good: $4,400
Good: $2,200

Holy smokes? Are those typos for VF/NM and NM- values in the most recent OPG? Yowza!

And some say Golden Age key comics are over-looked? Well, actually, quite a lot are in the current market but this one isn't obviously. Blue chip Batman key issue for sure and has proven to still be one of the better comics to invest in from the Golden Age.

Impressive growth in the OPG, but I wonder how well this has done online? Time to hit up some Heritage Auctions' sales for this issue. No 2017 sales so far so here's the most recent sales. The Restos are interesting when it comes to their disparity (slight/moderate or old resto standards vs. new).

GoCollect? We can try but I doubt there will be a lot of sales for this issue during 2017 so far. I may be surprised.

Then again, maybe not. So, I put this to the "All Time" option which probably covers about 4 years. As I already thought prior, there are not that many over-all sales of this Golden Age goodie, and most likely because it's already so sought-out and up there in price and value.

Just a teeny guess there. I could be wrong.

Only three 2017 slabbed eBay sales of Detective Comics #168  within a span of about 4 years that GoCollect has recorded as of this writing. They are as follows:


January 2017 CGC 1.0 - $3,650
March 2017 CGC 4.0 - $9,000
April 2017 CGC 1.8 -  $3,500

I suppose I'll group 2016 together as well. What the hell, right?


April 2016 CGC 5.0 - $7,655
April 2016 CGC 5.5 - $9,100
April 2016 CGC 7.5 - $14,544

Some interesting numbers and not really because of the recent confirmation or the earlier rumors of Batman: The Killing Joke being the comic book story that was to be adapted for live action. Personally, this is a great and significant key for a great and significant comic villain.

Yes, I know most grades are expensive for Detective Comics #168, but some comic villains and their keys have been great comic investments over the years. Aside from that, R.I.P. Cesar Romero and Heath Ledger.

In the poll I had recently in the Ramblings of A Comic Geek: The Killing Joke post, most said they'd like to see a Joker origin play out live-action in the DCEU. 54% thought it would be cool to see, 33% said they don't wanna see that, and 13% could care less.

An entire movie though? Word is that Todd Phillips and Scott Silver will co-scribe the flick with Phillips also directing. Also legendary Martin Scorsese is on board as a producer, and this Joker will star a younger actor and not Jared Leto.



  1. I was wondering if you where going to do a write up on this. Even though Overstreet has raised the value quit a bit in there guide. They still can't keep up with the actual sales for Detective 168. I already have a NM+ copy of the Killing Joke. So I'm good there. I also was able to get a VF/NM copy of Joker #1 for $25 the other day before the news hit.


  2. I needed to thank you for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of
    it. I have you saved as a favorite to look at new things you

  3. I saw the Keaton/Nicholson Batman as a kid so I always thought Joker's origin was Batman dropped him in a vat of Acme chemicals. I guess I need to read more GA books!

    1. That's the one most of us where introduced to in the film but wasn't from the comics. The Killing Joke is the closest rendition of the original origin from DET 168. There is also an origin story in Batman Confidential #7-#12 and Batman #38 New 52.


  4. Hey serious comic addicts,

    got some good stuff for ya: rumor has it
    that Sin-Eater is coming to screen in the
    next Spidey flick. Could be the main villain!
    Get your Peter Parker Spectacular Spiderman
    107 asap. Plus, Mayhem, sir, roll up a Sin-Eater
    special! Sin-eater special - I think I' m gonna get
    the rights on that. Sounds like something from
    a restaurant... ;-)


    1. I thought Sin-Eater was rumored for Daredevil season 3 Ace.
      Really Ace... A Sin-Eater special. LOL
      I'm sure Mayhem might figure something out. Your gonna really pick his brain on this one.