DETECTIVE COMICS (1ST SERIES)

Dates: 1 Mar 1937-272 Oct 1959 (all ND); 273 Nov 1959-881 Oct 2011
Issues: CLICK HERE to view issues, super-size cover images and values in 9 grades

This is the longest-running title in DC's catalogue. It started publication before Action Comics, but has a lower issue count because Action did a short turn as a weekly series. Furthermore, Detective was published bi-monthly for a period in the 1970's, while Action, except for its short weekly run, has always been a monthly comic. Also, the most famous character of this title, Batman, is younger than the most famous character of Action, Superman, because Batman appears in the title more than two years after the title began. Superman, by contrast, is in Action Comics #1.

Detective Comics gave its name fairly quickly to the organization as a whole. In 1940, the company that had been started by Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, then co-funded (and soon wholly owned by) Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz, started to place a circular logo bearing the initials "DC", on all its properties. The series was relaunched in 2011 after issue #881. The series returned to original numbering with issue #934 in 2016.

The first officially distributed in the UK Detective comic was #273 cover-dated Nov 1959 though I am pretty sure I have seen a copy of #272 with a 9d pence stamp. It passed through my hands when I first started a mail-order business in 1980 from my rooms at Warwick University. Wish I'd kept it.

Detective Comics always felt something of a second-string title to Batman. I remember seeking out the Batman title much more urgently than Detective Comics in the 1960s when I first started collecting. I think that Detective Comics were less widely distributed in the UK than Batman, certainly in the early days of distribution though this is based solely on my experience in a small part of the southern county of Surrey.  Today you just don't see Detective #273 to #300 appearing on eBay UK in any quantity for example. Have a look for youself and compare that to early distributed issues of Batman. Thus I think that 1959/1960/1961 UK Variant copies of Detective are generally less common in the UK market.

UK Variant copies of #273-331 have a 9d cover stamp. #332-340 have a 10d cover stamp. From #341-368 UK copies have a smaller more discreet 10d cover stamp. #369-403 have a 1/- (one shilling) cover stamp. From #404-413 UK copies had a 5p cover stamp, the last one being a printed 5p.

Total value for all issues of this title listed:

Condition

PR
1.0
FR
1.5
GD
2.0
VG
4.0
FN
6.0
VF
8.0
VF/NM
9.0
NM-
9.2
NM
9.4
MINT
10.0
Issues 894 896 896 896 896 897 897 896 896
Total £ 95,100 190,240 285,350 574,960 873,480 2,084,700 3,494,440 4,594,010 5,520,990 Total title value in pounds in UK markets
Total $ 119,240 238,520 357,760 720,910 1,096,030 2,613,600 4,382,570 5,760,950 6,923,460 Total title value in dollars in US markets

Note: some PR issues may have no value. Selected issues in FN, VF or VF/NM may not exist in some titles.