Batman is the best! 'The Dark Knight' is DC bright spot with record sales

'Detective Comics #1,000' with the Caped Crusader sold twice as many copies as the No. 2 comic in 2019

DC Comics’ “Detective Comics #1,000” was the top-selling comic of 2019, moving twice as many copies as the next best-selling comic issue, according to new data from Diamond Comic Distributors.

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The $9.99 oversized issue, which celebrated Batman’s 80th anniversary, sold more than 574,000 copies for Diamond, according to comics information website Comichron. The second-place comic, “Spawn #300,” sold 275,000 copies via Diamond, the website estimated.

Detective Comics #1,000 variant cover by Dan Jurgens and Kevin Nowlan. (Credit: DC Comics)

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The issue “is stacked with an unbelievable lineup of talent that will take you on a journey through Batman’s past, present and future,” according to DC. And while the issue is still available from some retailers or DC itself, some copies featuring rare variant covers or artists’ signatures and are listed for as much as 50 times more than the original cover price online.

The anniversary edition was released in Mach and proved so popular that by the end of April, according to Diamond, had passed all but "Star Wars #1" to become the second bestselling comic book of the 21st Century.

While DC -- which is owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia --  had the single best-selling issue, Marvel -- a division of Disney -- held onto the largest market share, according to Diamond, which is the world’s largest English-language comic distributor. Marvel accounted for more than 40 percent of the retail market, while DC had just under 30 percent. DC only had one other issue in the top 10 best-sellers, “DCeased #1,” while Marvel had seven issues in the top 10.

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Overall, Diamond saw $528.1 million come in from comic shops for comic books, graphic novels and magazines in 2019, according to Comichron. Dollar sales of periodical comics increased close to 4 percent for the year.

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Batman and related characters have historically been big moneymakers for DC, even beyond the comic book page. Batman toys were also among Diamond’s top-selling toys for 2019. Warner Bros.’ movie “Joker,” about Batman’s repeated nemesis, grossed more than $1 billion worldwide last year.

The success of the historic comic book, as well as the "Joker" film, bodes well for yet another reboot of "Batman" on the big screen. Michael Keaton first brought "The Dark Knight" to movie audiences in 1989 with "Batman" blazing the trail for all comic book movies since then after pulling in more than $400 million worldwide. Six more "Batman" movies followed -- three of which had Oscar-winning director Christoper Nolan behind the cameras and Oscar-nominated actor Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader.

Now Robert Pattinson of the "Twilight" films is taking on the cowl with "The Batman" due in theaters June of 2021. According to Daily Record, Glasgow, Scotland will serve as the new Gotham City and various sites have reported that the cast will include Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Jeffrey Wright as Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon, Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/ The Riddler, Andy Serkis as Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin and John Turturro as gangster Carmine Falcone.

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