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Holy Artwork, Batman!

June 22, 2022

The original artwork for the comic book Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 just dashed across the auction block. Frank Miller wrote the four-issue series featuring Batman as the Dark Knight, published by DC comics in 1986. The comic books were illustrated by Miller along with Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley.

Batman on a blue background with a lightning bolt


The story pulls Bruce Wayne out of retirement to battle crime when he was 55 years old. Batman faces opposition from the police force and the United States government as he encounters villains like Two-Face, the Joker, and even Superman, who he believes is a pawn of the government. This version of Batman introduces a more mature version of the character and is considered one of the most important Batman stories written.

Miller and Varley did the original artwork for the cover depicting Batman in silhouette with a lightning bolt erupting in the sky. The 12 x 18-inch artwork was created by Miller using ink over graphite on Bristol board, and then airbrushed with color by Varley. It was expected to bring more than $2M and just hit the mark as it sold for $2M ($2.4M w/p).