The best grouping of Frank Miller Dark Knight artwork ever to be offered in a single auction, led by one of the most evocative images from the famed series, The Dark Knight Returns #2 Batman and Robin Splash Page 36 Original Art (DC, 1986), estimated at $75,000+, depicting a seriously wounded and determined Bruce Wayne in a fatherly embrace with his protégé Robin (Carrie Kelly), will cross the block on May 17 in Dallas as the highlight lot in Heritage Auctions
' Comics and Original Comic Art Signature® Auction.
"This drawing encompasses everything that the relationship between Batman and Robin represented as Miller re-imagined and re-energized the franchise," said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. "This is the story many fans consider the greatest Batman story ever told and this is one of the greatest, most evocative moments in the entire story. It's a truly transcendent image from one of the great comic sagas of all time."
The Dark Knight splash page is complemented in the auction by two more Miller interior masterpieces The Dark Knight #3 Clark Kent/Bruce Wayne Page 14 Original Art (DC, 1986), estimated at $40,000+, and The Dark Knight Returns #2 Batman and Robin Ride the Batcycle Page 38 Original Art (DC, 1986), estimated at $30,000+. The latter is a study in contrast between DC's twin icons, Superman and Batman, in their secret identities as Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, while the former stars Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and an appearance of the Batcycle.
A truly high-grade copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of Spider-Man, and what is easily the most sought after Silver Age comic book of all, is the top comic book in the auction, and is expected to bring more than $85,000. The event also marks the 50th Signature® Auction assembled and staged by Heritage's Comics and Original Comic Art Department.
"What better way to celebrate our 50th auction than with a remarkable copy of one of the top comic books on the planet?" said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for the Comics Department at Heritage Auctions. "Advanced collectors are all over this copy, and rightly so. Two years ago a copy in the same grade brought more than $80,000 when it came up for auction. Since then, values have continued to soar. This could certainly go several ticks higher."
From Marvel's Bronze Age comes three pivotal pages of original art 27, 30 and 31 in Dave Cockrum's masterpiece X-Men #100 "Death of Jean Grey," (Marvel, 1976), one of the most memorable X-Men sagas of all, while from the Modern Age of Marvel comes Todd McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man #324 Sabretooth Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1989), "The Assassin Revealed: Sabretooth." Both pieces are estimated at $75,000+.
Whenever original George Herriman hand-colored Krazy Kat Sunday comic strip art surfaces at auction the collecting world takes notice, as it has for a Herriman original dated 6-25-22 (King Features Syndicate, 1922), a masterpiece estimated at $50,000+. This wonderful strip spotlights four of the major Krazy Kat characters Ignatz Mouse, Bum Bill Bee, Offisa Bull Pupp, and Krazy Kat herself as they deal with Ignatz's mischievous meddling in a meet-up between Bum Bill Bee and Krazy Kat.
Further highlights include, but are certainly not limited to:
Dave Gibbons Watchmen #6 "Rorschach Inkblot" Cover Original Art (DC, 1987): The psychologically charged image for the sixth Watchmen chapter, "The Abyss Gazes Also," is from the Shamus Modern Masterworks Collection. The image of the Rorschach inkblot test ties in with the anti-hero Rorschach, the most memorable character of this classic series. Estimate: $50,000+.
George Perez Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 Cover Original Art (DC, 1986): Only an artist of George Perez's caliber could pull off such a successfully clear rendering, with so much going on. The Anti-Monitor mounts an all-out attack on the last remaining Earth, the only bastion of light standing in his way of total victory. While the heroes and villains of the DCU wage a war against an army of the villain's Shadow Demons, a contingent of the most powerful beings in the universe take the fight to the Anti-Matter Universe itself. In this landmark climax, heroes will rise, heroes will fall -- and in the end, things will never be the same again. This cover hails from the most important issue from the historic series, which rebooted the entire DC Universe. Estimate: $50,000+.
John Romita Sr. The Amazing Spider-Man #85 Kingpin and the Schemer Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1970): The Amazing Spider-Man is stuck between an irresistible evil mastermind and an immovable crime boss, the Schemer and the Kingpin, in this classic cover by one of Marvel's Mightiest artists. Estimate: $40,000+.
Daredevil #1 (Marvel, 1964) CGC NM+ 9.6: The origin and first appearance of Daredevil (and his alter ego, crusading attorney Matt Murdock) and the first appearances of Karen Page and Foggy Nelson are right here. By this point in Marvel's formative Silver Age years, it was becoming evident that readers liked flawed heroes, and Stan Lee took that notion and ran with it by introducing a blind superhero who is still a fan favorite five decades later. The memorable cover is by Jack Kirby and Bill Everett, the latter of whom provided the interior artJust the fourth 9.6 copy that Heritage has ever offered. Estimate: $30,000+.
Batman #3 (DC, 1940) CGC NM- 9.2: The issue is notable for its classic cover art (usually credited to Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson), as well as for having the first time Catwoman appeared in costume, which makes this the first appearance of a costumed villainess in all of comics. Estimate: $25,000+.