The Dark Knight Returns artwork for sale

Get saving Batman fans.

Drawn by writer and artist Frank Miller, one of the covers for The Dark Knight Returns is set to be sold next month auction in Dallas by Heritage Auctions.

Created in 1986, the cover is for part two of the four part story – ‘The Dark Knight Triumphant’. Containing his fight with the leader of a mutant gang and the arrival of an impressively unique Batmobile, it’s the first cover from DC Comics’ miniseries to be sold and is expected to go for more than $500,000.

Miller’s story “radically altered the direction of comics,” said Todd Hignite, Heritage’s vice president. “For fans of modern comics, this drawing is where everything really begins,” he said. “This moment defines Miller’s Dark Knight, and the modern day perception of Batman, like no other drawing.”

“It represents not only one of the most memorable images from the 1980’s, but from Batman’s entire illustrious history,” Hignite said. “Miller’s revolutionary Dark Knight radically altered the direction of comics with its prestige miniseries format, combined with the fact that it was one of the first modern mainstream features to put a gritty noir patina on the squeaky-clean Silver Age hero mythos previously exemplified by DC.”

Also up for sale is a 9.2-graded copy of Batman No. 1 from 1940, showing Batman and Robin swinging in front of a Gotham city skyline. It’s being auctioned on behalf of Tadano America Corp. A similar copy sold for $850,000 in 2012.

“By any measure this is one of the most desirable comic books in existence,” said Barry Sandoval, director of operations for comics and comic art category at Heritage. “There are just a few comics ahead of this on the ultimate comics list, but it’s close when you see just how fantastic the shape of this book is.”

A 9.2 graded comic is near mint, generally unheard of in comics before the 1980s.

Back in 2011, a copy of Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1 sold for a record $2.16 million.

Around the Internet…