Tomorrow at 12 PM EST, 1940 ‘D.C. Comics Batman #1’ is set to IPO on Rally. The financials:
• First solo issue… It’s hard to believe that a household name like ‘Batman’, with a media franchise that has generated over $28 billion, was once a struggling vigilante trying to get a solo comic to call his own. Enter 1940’s ‘D.C. Comics Batman #1’ with his backstory and the introduction of his archenemies, and the rest is superhero history. Since you asked: Batman’s first appearance came in a monthly issue of Detective Comics (yep, that’s what the “D.C.” stands for) May 1939 issue.
• First Appearances… This is what comic book value is all about, and this issue does not disappoint. It’s the first appearance of both Joker and Catwoman. Joker is up to his old tricks of killing famous people and leaving “a smile” on their face. Catwoman is up to her old tricks of stealing necklaces from rich people on yachts. It’s fair to call these old tricks given how famous these characters have both become. Both have had spin-off films. While Halle Berry’s 2004 Catwoman was a huge bust (it’s impressively bad to get a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes), Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Joker‘ made over $1 billion at the box office this year and there’s a sequel in the works. That’s Bruce Wayne money.
• The Golden Age… of comic books, which lasted from 1938 to 1956, is the era in which the archetype of a superhero was created. Often displayed in patriotic red, white and blue colors, superheroes served as a metaphor for the United States and were often shown battling Axis powers prior to and throughout WWII. In addition to Batman, Superman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and the Flash were introduced during this era. ‘Batman #1’ is widely considered a top 10 comic book of the Golden Age.
• Old Paper = New Money… First, let’s consider the condition of the comic book. The version that Rally has acquired is 1 out of 11 copies with a Comics Guaranty Company grade of 1.5/10 . You may be thinking to yourself, “whenever I got a 15% in the past I got an ‘F'”. Well, this comic book is from 1940, and that’s 80 years ago for our 15%’ers. A 1.5 on the CGC scale is considered “Fair+/Good” condition. There are only 121 copies of ‘Batman #1’ in existence, 26 of which grade better than a 5.0. The highest rated version is a 9.2 and there is only one copy. It sold for $830,000 through Heritage Auctions in 2012.
• Comic Book Sector… 4 other comic books have been listed on Rally to date. 2 have entered the trading window, 2 are in lockup pre-trading. 1963’s ‘Amazing Spider-Man #1’ is trading up +22.73%, with a current Market Cap of $27,000, up from its $22,000 IPO value. 1940’s ‘D.C. Comics Batman #3’ just entered the trading window this week on 6/9, and traded up a modest gain of +2.56% to $80,000 from it’s IPO Market Cap value of $78,000. With a similar Market Cap, it’s reasonable to expect ‘Batman #1’ to perform similarly to Batman #3, but slightly better given ‘Batman #1’ is a more sought after issue. Comic books are not trading elsewhere in the industry just yet, but 4 are awaiting the secondary market on Otis, and ‘Amazing Fantasy #15’ is pre-IPO on Mythic Markets.
• Bat-Time, Bat-Channel… The appetite for comic books based on IPO sell-out time has been very strong across the industry. This IPO won’t be any different, so if you want shares make sure you’re logged into Rally at 12 PM EST tomorrow.
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