Batman first appeared in Detective Comics issue number 27. The writer Bill Finger, and artist Bob Kane, saw that he was one of the more popular comic characters, and together they decided to bring him back for more adventures. DC comics now publish hundreds of Batman comics, each with a slightly different take on the Dark Knight's story. The story tends to follow the billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne, as he runs his business empire by day, and puts on his superhero suit by night to rid Gotham City of crime. His butler, Alfred, offers him sage advice, while Bruce struggles to come to terms with morality and the death of his parents at the hands of a Gotham criminal.
With the recent Batman movies made by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale as the caped crusader, Batman has seen a huge resurgence in popularity. Plush toys can now be bought for children (although these usually relate to the animated series more than Nolan's gritty dramas), replica figurines and toys can be bought, including a scaled down batmobile and bat pod motorbike.
There are countless Batman spin-offs, toys, DVDs, adult-figurines, comic books, cartoons and novelisations. As Batman has been around now for quite a few years, there are some older comic books and collectables that can be sold for quite a high price. Many avid collectors will try and track down complete collections of Batman merchandise, as well as other DC comic spin-off series in which Batman regularly featured, such as the Justice League.