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BATMAN, THE GOLD STANDARD
By Ed Sanchez

Beginning as a quarterly in the Spring of 1940, Batman is one of the longest running and possibly most famous of Golden Age comic book titles. Due to its popularity, Batman became a monthly title at issue 6, and remains so even today. Through the first one hundred issues, most everything considered to be part of the Batman mythos is introduced for the first time, from his greatest villains to his faithful servant, Alfred.

As one of Metropolis' best-selling titles, Batman features some of the most important events in comic book history, including the introduction of (arguably) the most famous comic book villain of all time, the Joker. The insane clown made his first appearance in Batman # 1, along with the famous female comic book villain, Catwoman. She first appeared in costume in issue 3, and was given a new look in issue 10. The Mad Hatter first appeared a few years later in issue 59. These three, along with Batman's other major villains (such as the Penguin and Two-Face), have numerous appearances in the stories and covers. Some of the most collected covers in the series depict the Joker playing deadly games with Batman and Robin, as in issues 11 and 23. Issue 25 is also of great interest, because it features the first major super-villain team-up in comic book history: an evil alliance between the Joker and the Penguin.

The first one hundred issues of Batman slowly created the definitive history of Bruce Wayne's alter-ego that the world has come to know and love. The first appearance of Bruce Wayne's butler and father figure, Alfred, takes place in issue 16. In the classic origin issue 47, Batman tracks down his parent's killer and reveals his true identity to him. This book is also the first Bat Signal cover in Batman. In issue 48 that followed, the Batcave is explored and diagrammed in the story "1,000 Secrets of the Batcave."

After the key books, the covers grab the attention of most collectors. From the classic Hitler, Hirohito, and Mussolini cover of issue 18 to the Bat-Hound cover of issue 92, some of the best Golden Age comic book art can be found in the comics spanning this run. On the cover of issue 24, Batman rides a chariot drawn by white horses on a bright yellow background (very reminiscent of the Wonder Woman # 1 cover), and issue 67 features what is considered by aficionados to be a classic "noose" cover.

These books, with their excellent stories and great art, are a cornerstone of any collection. Batman is one of the most recognizable titles around the world, and is both highly desirable and highly collectible due to its constant demand. Metropolis is pleased to present our full selection of Golden Age Batman issues and hope that each and every collector reading this will find something he or she likes for their own collection.

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