BY MATT TUCK
DC has the comic community reeling after Fandome, and fans can’t get enough of Zoe Kravitz’s take on Catwoman, and her key issues are not as pricey as you might think.
The Tim Burton Bat-verse is stirring up the nostalgia in the heart of Bat-fandom. With Michael Keaton and the 1989 Batcave heavily featured in The Flash trailer, there’s a vocal contingency that wants to see Michele Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito return as Catwoman and Penguin. While Batman Returns fans may be clamoring for Pfeiffer’s return, the latest footage from The Batman will have you wanting more Kravitz.
Matt Reeves’ take on the Dark Knight looks to be fast-paced, brutal, and intense. While it is still too early to say, it appears we will get a much different interpretation of Catwoman than ever before. Who knows? If the character is a hit with audiences, she could follow Colin Farrell’s Penguin and star in her own HBO Max series.
The movie hype should have collectors paying close attention to those Catwoman keys. Of course, that is minus her first appearance in Batman #1, which is a holy grail among holy grails with the price tag to prove it. The good part with Selina Kyle is that she has plenty of options in the way of key issues, so you aren’t missing out by not having her first appearance. Take a look at these five.
DETECTIVE COMICS #122
Normally, when collectors hear the words “Golden Age,” it immediately spells high prices. While this is not a cheap comic, it is more affordable than you might realize. What’s special about DC #122 is that this issue marked the first cover appearance of Catwoman. These days, cover hunting has become a subset of the hobby, and that will help to inflate the prices even further. At the moment, you can nab a copy without breaking the bank, at least as far as Golden Age comics are concerned.
Look at the 2.0, for example. Considering that it is a comic of such significance from 1947, it is surprising that even this low grade sells for below $2k. In fact, the last one to sell online brought $1,692 on October 14.
Here we have a true hidden gem. Had Catwoman been drawn on the cover art, this would be a much more expensive issue. Be that as it may, Batman #35 has two reasons for you to give this issue a second look. First, it is the debut of what would become Catwoman’s signature look. On a lesser note, this issue also features the mechanical tyrannosaurus rex that would become a staple of the Batcave to this day.
Again, collectors might not think about this issue because it’s from the Golden Age, which generally equates to inflated prices. Surprisingly, this issue is easy on the budget, all things considered. On October 17, a graded 7.5 sold for a record $1,740. Just last fall, a 3.5 was bringing just $312.
SUPERMAN’S GIRLFRIEND LOIS LANE #70
The fact that there are long-running series for both Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen is a testament to the popularity of Superman in the Golden and Silver Ages. Both Lois and Jimmy’s series may seem like drivel on the surface, but each has its share of hidden gems. On that note, may I present to you Lois Lane #70.
Thanks to restrictions from the Comics Code Authority, Catwoman took a 12-year sabbatical to cap off the Golden Age. She came roaring back in 1966 and started a fight with Lois to announce her return to comics. This has long been one of the underappreciated Bat-family keys on the market. While Penguin and Riddler’s first Silver Age appearances received plenty of attention, Catwoman’s ‘60s return has often been overlooked. Now that she is set to make a return to movie screens, this issue is finally getting its due.
Despite values skyrocketing, there are still some deals to be found. Take the 7.5. On one hand, it has increased from an average of $370 in 2019 to $850 on October 15. With the increasing values all around, it is surprising that it hasn’t reached $1k, which is likely on the horizon.
A better option may be the 6.0. Like the 7.5, the fair market value has risen exponentially. Just last year, that 6.0 had an FMV of $260. Earlier this month, it sold for $550, which is not a bad price for a key issue with as potential as Lois Lane #70.
For those collectors needing some budget-friendly keys, steer towards Batman #332. After debuting in 1940, Catwoman did not star in her first story until this 1981 comic. These days, Selina has risen to superstar status and vexing love interest of the Caped Crusader, and that wouldn’t have happened without this issue.
There have not been many graded sales in 2021. Last month, a 9.8 sold for $258. During the summer, a 9.6 brought $125, and a 9.4 swapped owners for $58 in April.
CATWOMAN #1 (1989)
With so many possibilities for Catwoman on the heels of The Batman, it is no wonder that collectors and speculators have begun to notice this 1989 issue. Why should you want it? Eight years following her first solo story, DC finally gave Catwoman her own self-titled limited series in 1989. This modern interpretation of Selina could be the basis for Kravitz’s character, and that will add emphasis to Catwoman #1.
Values are on the way up, so don’t hesitate to add this comic to your sets. Over the weekend, a graded 9.6 sold for a record-breaking $100. In March, a 9.8 brought $180.
A FUTURE SPIN OFF?
If Harley Quinn can star in a solo movie, then Catwoman deserves a second chance. We all try to forget the awful Halle Berry movie from 2004, and Zoe Kravitz could prove to WarnerMedia that the character can carry her own franchise or at least a live-action HBO Max series. There also continues to be whispers of Pfeiffer returning to the world of Batman ‘89. Between the two interpretations of the character and the expansive DC Multiverse, we could be seeing much more of Catwoman in the near future.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.