The cover for The Dark Knight Returns #2 -- the second part of Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley's masterpiece  -- is one of the definitive images both from that story, and of Batman. Aging, bloodied but defiant, the cover encompasses nearly everything about the 1986 miniseries that continues to attract so many readers. And now that image is available at auction, meaning one of the most recognizable pieces of art from the most celebrated Batman story of all time can now be yours, if you've $500,000 lying around.

Heritage Auctions, who'll be selling the cover next month in Dallas, TX, have sold other pieces of art from The Dark Knight Returns in the past, but this is the first cover that they've auctioned from the series. Todd Hignite, vice president of Heritage Auctions, expects the cover to go for around $500,000. This is a figure based in part on the $450,000 that the cover for issue #2 fetched when it was auctioned off by another company two years ago. Of the four covers, this is the only one done completely in pen and ink, “with no significant painted elements or overlays," according to Heritage. The company also characterizes it as "artistically the best of the four."

For sale at the same auction will be a 9.2 graded copy of Batman #1, the 1940 issue that features the first appearance of both Catwoman and The Joker.

Frank Miller


[Via NPR]