From Dakoit at http://comicbookspeculation.blogspot.ca/ his review of back issues worth speculation.
Undervalued: The Batman Adventures #1!
There has been a lot of talk about the recent cancellation of ‘Beware The Batman’, I’ve never watched the first (and only) season, but I thought the previews looked really great. Anyway, the reason I’m discussing this latest series of Batman, is because there have been so many before it: New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, The Batman Strikes, Batman: Brave and The Bold… to me all of the cartoons mentioned could only be possible to the astounding critical and popular success of the original; Batman The Animated Series.
For my brother and myself, Batman The Animated Series was key moment in our love for Batman. Five years prior, we saw Tim Burtons movie masterpiece ‘BATMAN’ and were completely blown away. As ten year olds, we were both hooked into the whole Batman mythos and the movie served as a precipace for us into collecting comics. When Batman The Animated Series came along in 1992, it again blew us away. We finally saw all our characters so accurately we envisioned them in the comics. The moody two-face two part episode was probably the single greatest cartoon I had ever seen at the time. There was nothing ever like it before, and also unprecedently directed at kids. It made us feel somewhat intelligent; a cartoon actually took a chance at showing pathos, grit and emotion without being at all melodramatically cheezy or patronizing to our young but budding sophisticated tastes.
Batman Adventures #1 came out soon after the success of Batman: The Animated Series. It was the first time a Batman comic was ever adapted from a Batman cartoon series. It also ushered in the ever popular Harley Quinn into DC Comics with Batman Adventures #12 (which is by the way selling for upwards of $250 raw NM, slabbed $1000, just incredible!!!). Yet, this seminal and hugely popular comic directed at kids & adults is now completely ignored in the aftermarket. Let’s take a further look:
Batman Adventures #1 (October 1992)
Current Ebay Price: $0.99-$5.00 range regular edition NM
(Polybagged w/card special edtion “Batman: The Animated Series”- Ebay price $4.99 NM)
Bought For Price (Summer 2012): $1.00 regular edition NM
This is just plain baffling to me. How is the emmy award winning, critically acclaimed, and universally adored comic adaptation of a show adored by fans and non-comic fans alike, selling at less than 5 bucks?
With the demand for certain key issues of this series (ie. BA#12, Harley), you would think a natural trend for the first issue to heat up. I don’t think there are expectations of a serious price jump, but an after market ‘nod’ would be nice to see. And yet, it hasn’t happened with Batman Adventures #1. It still continues to sit in the doldrums of dusty bin oblivion. I have decided not to leave it there, afterall this wouldn’t be much of a post if I had, would it? You demand more from the Dakoit! 😉
SO, let’s compare and take a quick look back in time and see other comics that have been adapted from successful cartoons:
The Simpsons Comics #1 (1993): Ebay price $15-25 range NM
Ren & Stimpy #1 (1992): Ebay price $4-$60 range NM
Adventure Time with Finn and Jake#1 (2012): Ebay price (as of Nov 5th 2013) none for sale (my archives, $60 in June 2013)
Futurama #1 (2000): Ebay price $34-$80 range NM
Sponge Bob Square Pants#1 (2011): Ebay $7.77-$20 range NM
Beavis & Butthead #1 (1994): Ebay $1.95-$9.99 range NM
Many of these other comics had come out around the same time as BA#1, and yet retained an after market demand throughout the years as reflected on their current prices on Ebay. Sure there is a huge range, and yes you can get some cheap…but it’s not universal. Some sellers still value the desiribility of many of the comics mentioned, and thus have kept their prices high. However, such is not the case with BA#1 as we can clearly see.
To further analyze, let’s take a look at circulation at the popular CGC website (as of, November 8th 2013):
Batman Adventures #1: Total CGC Graded: 38, Total CGC Graded NM- to NM+: 29
The Simpsons Comics #1:Total CGC Graded: 417, Total CGC Graded NM- to NM+: 398
Ren & Stimpy #1: Total CGC Graded: 43, Total CGC Graded NM- to NM+: 29
Adventure Time with Finn & Jake #1:Total CGC Graded : 38 Total CGC NM- to NM+: 36
Futurama #1: Total CGC Graded: 119, Total CGC NM- to NM+: 113
Sponge Bob Square Pants#1: Total CGC Graded: 30 Total CGC NM- to NM+: 30
Beavis & Butthead #1: Total CGC Graded: 80 Total CGC NM- to NM+: 72
As I write this, I wasn’t expecting the above stats at all. Batman Adventures#1 is not only tied for the lowest in numbers graded (with Adventure Time), but is also tied for the lowest numbers in high grade (Ren & Stimpy). This makes it the lowest in CGC census among the comics I have listed. So there stands another reason for my case of this comic being undervalued, it’s evidently low circulation.
Why Should You Get Batman Adventures #1
1. A Batman #1 issue of an ongoing series ( BA lasted 36 issues, then changed name)
2. First of all Batman cartoons adapted into comic form, has historical comic significance (> 20 years since it was released!)
3. Low relative CGC circulation
4. Insanely inexpensive
Batman Adventures #1 should be part of any Batman comic collection. Although it’s totally overlooked among collectors and fanboys, it has special significance within the vast history of the caped crusader. I really believe this is a comic that will gain more respect as the years add a nostalgic patina and bring back fond memories of the animated masterpiece. And therefore, it’s adapted comic should be looked upon with more interest as well. The Batman Adventures did something unique, it set up all new stories so fans could enjoy beyond the show, it brought in new characters (Harley Quin) into print form, and it had the sophistication to be read by both kids and adults.
Only time will tell if this gains any heat at all, but please do your inner ‘bat-fan’ a huge favor and pick this one up if you see it for a buck (or less). While you’re at it, why not try and get all 36 issues? The higher you go, the print run gets lower and lower with the increasing issues nearly inpossible to find (did I mention two decades has passed since this comic series released? Crap I’m old)! If you can find all of them in bargain bins, you got yourself a deal indeed! Let me know how you all do!
Until next time…keep hunting my pannapictagraphists!