The Dark Knight Returns Cover Sells for Over $2 Million at Auction


The legendary protect to The Darkish Knight Returns #1, by artist Frank Miller and colorist Lynn Varley, marketed at auction for in excess of $2 million above the weekend, marking the most revenue ever paid out for a piece of Batman first artwork. In point, it bulldozed the preceding record of $600,000 pretty carefully, and additional than quadrupled the optimum amount any individual experienced formerly paid for a piece of Miller’s art. In 2011, Heritage Auctions — the identical enterprise that oversaw the Dim Knight Returns sale this month — offered a web site of unique art from The Dark Knight Returns for just about $450,000.

The Darkish Knight Returns is the standout work from Miller’s storied vocation. The tale, which was not element of DC’s present continuity, took location in a near-upcoming dystopia the place an getting old, bitter Bruce Wayne is forced out of retirement to be Batman once more. The collection has come to be a single of the most influential items of superhero fiction ever produced, and the go over by itself is generally imitated, homaged, and parodied.

“We’re thrilled to see Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s influential do the job reach a level frequently connected with basic American artwork,” reported Heritage Auctions Vice President Todd Hignite in a assertion (through Bleeding Amazing). “It warrants that, as this is conveniently one of the most well known comedian-reserve covers from any period, and it described the superhero style from the 1980s to this extremely second. I won’t be able to think of a extra important piece of comic art to have at any time come to auction.”


Heritage Auctions’ 4-day celebration showcased a range of big-ticket unique comics art gross sales, which includes Jim Lee’s triple gatefold go over for Batman #619, which marketed for $504,000. As with Miller, that variety marked the most ever compensated for Jim Lee initial art, whilst presented the explosive condition of the original artwork sector for comics, it would seem not likely that file will maintain for very long.

This is how Heritage described the art: “With the at any time-growing level of popularity and critical and well known acclaim for the prosperous and varied comic stories epitomized by The Dark Knight – as effectively as the commensurate viability in the realm of high-quality art and freshly growing current market values for the finest of the best – this artwork is poised to both achieve the optimum value of all time for an American comic reserve include, and redefine the knowing of an total history of art.

“Ink above graphite on Bristol board with airbrush colour perform, image dimension 12″ x 18″. Signed by both of those artists as ‘FM/LV’ in the lower middle. A few obvious area scuffs and finger bends otherwise, in Fantastic affliction.”


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