I’m almost embarrassed to admit that this Copper Age comic only became part of my collection recently, 23 years after it hit stands.
Batman 400 I think sometimes get overlooked; when collectors think of key Batman issues of the ’80s, they usually rattle off Dark Knight, The Killing Joke, Year One (Batman issues 404 – 407), and A Death in the Family (Batman issues 426 – 429). We’ll cover all of those in future blogs.
A phenomenal anniversary issue, Batman 400 features 68 pages of the Batman rogue gallery escaping Arkham Asylum…courtesy of writer Doug Moench, and a who’s who of A-list artists including Brian Bolland, Art Adams, George Perez, and Jo Kubert. Also included is Stephen King’s essay, “Why I Chose Batman.”
Killer cover by Bill Sienkiewicz; the cover image was so striking, that DC showcased it on the back cover as well, sans trade dress.
For whatever reason, I never snagged Batman 400 off the rack in ’86. I do remember having a copy in my hands from a back issue bin maybe a year later, but ended up passing. Maybe I didn’t have the $8 to $15 it was going for at the time…
…and then 23 years go by! So, in the past month I was fortunate enough to pick-up two copies on eBay, at very decent prices; a reader copy in F / VF condition, and then a CGC 9.6 copy…my first CGC book. For me personally, Batman 400 epitomizes a book I’d want to own slabbed; a Copper Age key from a very important time in the Batman mythos, and Sienkiewicz’s brilliant painted cover front and back.
More info / resources:
Click here for the Batman fansite Legions of Gotham.
Batman 400 on the Grand Comic Book Database.