The latest media rumor mill has postulated that Ben Affleck is done as Batman. No more Bat-Fleck! Yah! I like Ben Affleck in other roles but not as Batman, it played too close to his Daredevil role in 2003 which tanked with fans. This turn of events is good news for Batman and Detective Comics sales going forward. The Hollywood hype is that Matt Reeves is going to direct the next Bat-movie, as he is about to turn in the initial script to Warner Bros. Now Reeves is supposedly a huge Batman comic book fan. This could be a second wind to this story and character. Which Batman comics should we buy, and even more important which age? Riddle me this: What is green on both sides, has a head but is missing a body and drives everyone nuts? Answer: The dollar. It drives us all insane. Speculator-ville is all about chasing the money any which way you can.
What has a funky green bodysuit and a big question mark on his chest? The Riddler. The Riddler is a great villain for the next Bat-Flick (sorry couldn’t resist). Reeves disclosed in two recent media blogs that he wants a “film noir feel to the movie and hints at showcasing Batman’s detective skills” (Hollywood Reporter). This would be a welcome change, nobody wants to see a weak attempt at Dark Knight #4. Instead, Reeves has a great idea, show Batman and Bruce Wayne as a detective. What better way to do that with a villain that leaves you clues, like The Riddler?
The first appearance of The Ridler was in Detective Comics #140 created by Dick Sprang and Bill Finger. This book is also his first appearance ever in the Golden Age and is a price behemoth to buy. The most recent sale was a (1.0) grade for $2500. The returns on this comic have been astonishing for a fair grade of (1.0) returning positive +45.9%. Holy Jalapeno Batman! This book is hot and expensive. If you can’t figure out how to explain to your significant other how you spent $2500 on a torn up comic book, I sympathize. Perhaps check out option two below, the Silver Age version.
The Golden Age is a little too expensive for most folks. But the smart collector knows to move up an era or two. With Batman, some of the best work ever done on this character happened in Silver and Bronze Age of comics. Specifically, if the Riddler is in the next movie by Matt Reeves; then purchasing the first Silver Age appearance of Batman villains is a great way to profit. The first Silver Age appearance of the Riddler is in Batman #171. This comic was created by Jack Schiff, Gardner Fox (script) and Carmin Infantino, Bernard Baily, and Sheldon Moldoff (art). It also moves very fast in the marketplace in lower grades.
In the high grades, Batman #171 is probably beyond reach. Last known sale was two years ago for $25,000 on Comic Connect. The grade was (9.6) only two recorded sales at this time. The return on a mint condition Batman #171 with grade (9.6) is positive +55%. This price is out of reach but this book offers a great entry-level buying opportunity, with a recent sale of grade (7.0) only costing $540 on eBay 7/3/2018. Good news is the FMV is a little lower at $425 so you might be able to get it for under $500.
The risk here is minimal as there only exists 640 copies in CGC Census inventory, that is really low. The GoCollect Analyzer at 10,000 copies over the last 18 years, in grade (7.0), has this book returning a positive +20%. This is one of my tried and true Silver Age books that I flip constantly, and no blog on the Riddler would be complete without a riddle which pertains to investment:
“When is the top of a mountain like a saving’s account?” –Riddler
Answer: (When it peaks one’s interest.)