Someone's gonna need The Batcave or Fortress of Solitude after this.
Over 40,000 DC Comics are going under the hammer as Sotheby's has announced plans to auction off one of the few comprehensive collections of DC's entire canon in existence.
The epic sale of the Ian Levine Collection, which will be sold privately as a single lot, kicked off today at Sothebys.com. The Collection contains every comic book DC ever published, dating from the company's humble start in1935 with New Fun #1, all the way to 2014.
There's ultra-rare treats like the debut issues of Superman (Action Comics #1), Batman (Detective Comics #27), and Wonder Woman (Sensation Comics #1), along with the first appearances of other DC faves. Among them: Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, the Flash, Aquaman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, the Justice League of America, and Teen Titans. And let's not forget a who's-who of supervillains like Lex Luthor, General Zod, Bizarro, Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, and more.
This rare offering essentially tracks the evolution of the comic book as a short-lived dime store amusement for children into the art form and entertainment juggernaut it's become today, encompassing countless cartoons, TV shows, movies, cinematic universes, and even fashion that have literally spawned a global pop culture mythology.
"The Ian Levine Collection is the holy grail for comics collectors. Amassed over decades of hunting, Levine’s collection embodies the passion and fandom that has defined comics culture for generations, which today is best encapsulated not through printed issues but popular superhero films that regularly break box office records. Featuring some of the most valuable individual books as well as extremely rare promotional issues, the Levine Collection includes all the DC heroes that are among the most recognizable and versatile pop culture touchstones in the world," said Richard Austin, Head of Sotheby's Books & Manuscripts Department in New York.
Per the catalogue, the U.K.-based Levine was first introduced to DC when he read The Justice League of America at age 8 in 1960, during the early years of the Silver Age (1955-1970). From then on, his collection quickly grew, especially after he stumbled, 12 years later, on a London comic shop named after a Ray Bradbury short story, Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed. There, he was able to buy hard-to-find strips that had long been out of print or even discontinued.
After making a name for himself as a celebrated songwriter, DJ, and producer helping popularize the Northern Soul music and dance movement and Hi-NRG disco, Levine had the money and wherewithal to hunt down those rarest of DC gems (not to mention develop one heck of a collection of the BBC's Doctor Who). In doing so, he was able to fill out his unprecedented collection, which ultimately spans eight decades of DC's fabled history.
And now it can be yours – if you're the highest bidder.