With the release of The Dark Knight Rises just a couple of months away, it makes sense that comic collectors with a Bruce Wayne budget might crave issues the Caped Crusader's initial print run. Despite this line of logic, it's still remarkable to consider that a high-quality copy of Batman #1 has recently sold for $850,000 at auction.According to Heritage Auctions, which sold the 1940 classic on behalf of a private collector, the issue was in "Near Mint minus" condition (CGC-Grade 9.2, for those who know what that means) with "off-white pages." Off-white wasn't enough to deter the buyer, apparently an investor partnership, from paying $850,000 for the comic, a new record for something that had already been named the sixth most valuable comic in existence (Action Comics #1 remains the most valuable comic in the world, for those curious). Batman #1 is especially unique in that, in addition to being a #1 issue, it also features the first appearance of the Joker.

"It's amazing that three years ago, no comic book had ever sold for even half that amount," said Ed Jaster, Vice President of Heritage Auctions in a statement about the sale. No comment has been released by the buyers, but that may be because they're too busy plotting out ways to destroy the five more valuable comics in order to maximize their investment (in one completely imaginary scenario).

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