The Bat-Wedding Keys

by Matt Tuck

705071_batman-24-195x300 The Bat-Wedding KeysIt’s wedding season in the comic book world this summer.

Since last year’s Batman #24, the Batman/Catwoman engagement has been dominating the comic news feeds on social media. The bigger picture for the Batman wedding is that it is propelling sales and boosting the market for the key issues leading to Batman #50.  Personally, I am a bit surprised it’s made it this far. I was predicting a last second change of plans that would keep the perpetual bachelor, Bruce Wayne, single. Since 1939, part of Batman’s appeal is that he is the consummate loner. Seriously, the plot of The Lego Batman Movie was about him being isolated. At this point, however, it looks like Batman #50 will see the couple tie the proverbial knot.

When Batman proposed to Catwoman in Batman #24, it sent shock waves throughout the DC Universe. The issue sold out across the country prompting a second printing. So where’s that investment now? Initially, this issue took off at a meteoric pace. A CGC-graded 9.8 brought $123 in July and $128 by the first of August. It steadily maintained prices near the $100 mark throughout the summer of 2017 until mid-November when it dipped into the $50-$60 range.  With the wedding on the horizon, it’s been slowly climbing despite the 90-day average dropping to $58; the last sale posted was for $70.

The Tim Sale variant cover looked like it was going to take off earlier this year. Back in January, a CGC 9.8 sold for an eye-opening $100 after averaging $57 in 2017. However, it’s seen a stark drop since that triple-digit sale; three of the past four sales have been for no more than $34.

Where collectors are truly getting the most out of their money is Batman Annual #2 This issue featured two stories, “Date Nights” and “Last Rites,” which showcased the couple’s unique relationship. When it hit shelves in December, it took the market by surprise when it sold out virtually everywhere. Since then, and with the wedding fast approaching, a near-mint 9.8 is bringing a solid return. The current fair market value stands at $75. On January 22, one sold for $140.50 while another brought $115 on February 2. It’s cooled slightly since then, but the last sale on April 30 was for a respectable $89.

The problem here is that only that pristine 9.8 is bringing the high values. From a 9.6 and down, there is a significant decline. That 9.6 is averaging just $28. Meanwhile, a 9.4 has a fair market value of $16, and a 9.2 drops all the way to just $10. However, there is a silver lining. If you were to buy a 9.6 for $28 or less, it could be worth the investment to get it pressed and regraded by CGC in order to push it to that 9.6 as long as there are no color breaks.

Since you’re in the market for the Batman wedding keys, you’ll also want to look at Batman #44  The standard cover is averaging $32 at a CGC 9.8, which isn’t much of a profit if you consider that grading fees run about $30. The money is in the gold foil exclusive. Although these were being sold at conventions for close to $50, two 9.8s have already sold for an average of $183 after sales of $252 and $114 just last month. If you can still grab one for near that $50 price, buy it.

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