Top 10 Batman Contributions To Pop Culture


Is there a character more popular than the Dark Knight? Probably not, and his impact on the broader popular culture beyond comic books is undeniable. Here’s our look at the Top 10 things Batman has contributed to pop culture.

Batman T-Shirts, Hats and Merchandise

10. Batman T-Shirts, Hats and Merchandise

Second only to Superman’s ‘S’ symbol, pretty much everyone at some point or another has owned a Batman logo t-shirt, hat, belt buckle or wallet. From the classic yellow oval to the more modern all-black version, Batman’s logo is among the most recognized symbols in the world.

Utility Belt

9. Utility Belt

Synonymous for everything you’d ever need (can you imagine if MacGyver had one of these?), Batman’s gadget belt really caught on with the public imagination after Adam West popularized it in the 1960’s TV series.

The Batcave

8. The Batcave

Where do you think the term Man Cave came from?


7. Catwoman

Batman has a seriously deep bench of characters in his mythology, but Catwoman has always been one of the most interesting. Love interest? Villain? Sidekick? Wife? Depends on the era and who’s telling the story, but Halle Berry aside, she’s always the cat’s pajamas.

The Super Friends Cartoon

6. The Super Friends Cartoon

There was a time before Netflix, DVDs and the Internet when the only way to see superheroes on your TV was early Saturday morning. Hanna Barbara’s “Super Friends” featured a nice gallery of DC Comics characters, but it was Batman (and Robin) that stole the show for us.


5. Robin

Holy sidekick Batman! From the corny catchphrases to the cornier costumes, Batman and Robin have gone together like peanut butter and jelly for decades.

The Joker

4. The Joker

Probably THE most famous villain in the world, The Joker has figured into every media incarnation of the Caped Crusader, sometimes even getting higher billing than the hero himself (see Jack Nicholson’s turn in Tim Burton’s film).

The Batman TV Show

3. The Batman TV Show

Hard to imagine this is the same character that Frank Miller wrote about in The Dark Knight Returns or Christopher Nolan brought to the big screen, but there was a time when the adventures of Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) were broadcast as a live-action primetime network show, one that’s still popular with fans to this day.

The Batmobile

2. The Batmobile

Usually ranking among the very top character cars ever, the Batmobile is every kid’s dream car. Gadgets, sleek lines, over-the-top fins … And the best part? It’s constantly upgraded and made even cooler.

Batman Movies

1. Batman Movies

Whether you’re a fan of the original Tim Burton series or think Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is the greatest thing since sliced bread, Batman on film has always been an event. George Clooney’s Bat Nipples aside, these films have kept the Caped Crusader in the forefront of pop culture for three decades and counting.

Expect the Unex”SPEC”ted: The Supernaturals

Marvel Supernaturals
By AJ Diesel

Welcome back to my second installment of The Unex”SPEC”ted! I would like to give you all two articles a month, and hopefully as my schedule clears, one per week! My sole objective in writing these articles is to educate, inform, and perhaps introduce you to some comics that you’re not familiar with! As always, I am open to comments and feedback from the wonderful community of Zap-Kapow Comics!

In the game of speculation, we need to be ahead of the curve! We don’t want to be the person reading about a book catching heat on one of the many comic platforms out there. We want to be the person making the prediction before anyone else, thus enjoying the highest reward. Buy low, sell high! 

As fall nears, I like to enjoy my horror comics that much more. Horror has always been a cult type interest, but in the past several years, horror is becoming much more acclaimed in popular culture. The book(s) that I’ve been picking up everywhere I see them are Marvels 1998 four-part series The Supernaturals!

The Supernaturals

This is an awesome mini-series that Marvel put out, which involved tertiary characters at the time, but those characters have seen significant gains since! As Marvel continues to go a bit of a horror route in the MCU, several if not all of these characters could begin making appearances! 

The team consisting of Brother Voodoo, Ghost Rider, Satana, Black Cat, Gargoyle, and Werewolf By Night, is every ounce of macabre that you’ve been looking to get ahold of before October. I truly feel these are solid investment books if bought in high grade and at the right price, BUT…only if they contain the masks inside! The cool thing about these books is that they contain one of five cardboard Halloween masks in the centerfold of the book. I have come across many copies that do not contain the masks or the masks are already loose. When searching, attempt to find the cleanest copy, with a fully intact mask in the middle. The five masks include Satana, Gargoyle, Brother Voodoo, Werewolf by Night, and the rarest in Ghost Rider! 

There is a good chance these books are still hidden in $1 bins at your LCS, and I strongly encourage you pick up any and all copies that you find! This is the perfect example of a book that is just waiting to appear on hot 10 lists, and you’re going to be kicking yourself if you don’t buy now! With Halloween approaching, these books will see gains just because of the season, but expect these books to hold value, as more people become aware that they are out there! 

Good luck and happy hunting! I already have an article prepared for next week, so you’ll be hearing from me then. Until then my friends, I bid you adieu.

Top 10 Most Valuable Comic Books From The 60’s

Fantastic Four No. 1

Containing the bulk of what’s known as the Silver Age, the 1960’s was THE decade for collectors, featuring more lasting, impactful comic book characters’ first appearances than any other decade—and almost all from one publisher (and pretty much two creators, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby). This is our list of the Top 10 Most Valuable Comic Books From The 1960’s.

10. Daredevil (1964) No. 1 ($16,000)

“The Mighty Marvel Tradition” continued with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s blind superhero, Daredevil. Always a fan favorite, he (and this first appearance) have enjoyed renewed interest in the past decade.

9. Strange Tales (1951) No. 110 ($17,000)

Dr. Stephen Strange, The Ancient One, Nightmare and Wong all made their first appearances in this decade-old series. The good doctor would get his own self-titled series, Doctor Strange (1968), before the decade was over.

8. The Brave and The Bold (1955) No. 28 ($20,000)

DC Comics beat Marvel to the “mega-super-hero team” game by a few years with this first appearance of the JLA. Oh, and of course it also has the first appearance of Starro to boot.

7. The Avengers (1963) No. 1 ($39,000)

It wasn’t the first time a group of super-heroes had formed a team (not even a first for Marvel), but in modern times it has certainly proved to be one of the most popular. With an ever-changing roster, “Earth’s Mightiest Super-Heroes” kicked off decades of adventure with this first issue.

6. Journey Into Mystery (1952) No. 83 ($81,000)

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were on fire in the Sixties, and bringing the God of Thunder into the Marvel Universe was more gas on that fire. The first appearance of Thor (Dr. Don Blake) commands top dollar among collectors.

5. The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) No. 1 ($82,000)

Not Spidey’s first appearance, but it was the first time his name was in the title. The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 does feature the first appearances of J. Jonah Jameson, John Jameson, and the Chameleon (Dmitri Smerdyakov).

4. The X-Men (1963) No. 1 ($90,000)

This is a big one, and one with almost unlimited potential for increased value as Disney brings their version of Marvel’s Mutants to the MCU. Even if that weren’t the case, the first appearances of Professor X (Charles Xavier), Cyclops (Scott Summers), Iceman (Bobby Drake), Angel (Warren Worthington III), Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), and Magneto (Erik Lehnsherr) are obviously highly desirable and an important part of comic book history.

3. The Incredible Hulk (1962) No. 1 ($110,000)

Sure, he started out grey here. Sure, this series only lasted six issues before The Big Guy would return in his own title later in the decade. But it’s hard to argue that the first appearance of Hulk (Dr. Bruce Banner), Rick Jones, General “Thunderbolt” Ross, and Betty Ross isn’t one of the very top comic books from the 1960’s.

2. Fantastic Four (1961) No. 1 ($175,000)

Much like the classic X-Men featured above, the Fantastic Four has long been considered comic book royalty and their impending explosion into the MCU will only be gas on that fire. Marvel’s First Family changed super-hero team books forever with this issue and the first appearances of Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Invisible Girl (Susan Storm), Human Torch, (Johnny Storm), The Thing (Ben Grimm), and Mole Man (Harvey Elder).

1. Amazing Fantasy (1961) No. 15 ($355,000)

THE comic book character that defined the era (and pretty much every era since), the first appearance of Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Aunt May, Uncle Ben, and even Flash Thompson is the king of the 60s and the king of the Silver Age.

Expect the Unex”SPEC”ted: AJ Diesel

Comic Book Speculation
By AJ Diesel

Zap-Kapow Comics enthusiasts, AJ Diesel here! You may have read some of my work on other comic book platforms, and now I’ll be dropping inklets of knowledge here on one of my favorite comic book sites, Zap-Kapow Comics!

The current comic book climate and market is absolutely bonkers. Dollar bin fodder is shooting from long box obscurity to hundreds of dollars on the secondary market. If you’ve been keeping your eyes peeled, there are patterns beginning to form. Remember, once you’ve read about it on one site, so has everyone else, so you need to start speculating before the books starts disappearing from the $1 bins. If you heard that a character is going to appear in a new Disney+ show, or that a new independent has been optioned, everyone else has heard it too. Instead of gambling on a book that is already experiencing its rise, distribute that money on several copies of one issue, or several different issues.

First appearances, cool covers, and now classic artwork (see Jim Lee on X-Men (1991) No. 11), are all going bananas. It’s frightening that the 1990’s are being considered “classic”, but I digress. Understand that these tertiary characters first appearances are more than likely going to be flash in the pan and fast burn books. At this point in the game, people are just reaching for whatever could make them a quick buck, especially since all of the vintage gold, silver, and bronze age classics are hitting heights unimaginable. But there is fun money to be made in these flavor-of-the-week books. You get rich, but suddenly those 1990’s collections that people couldn’t giveaway a few years ago, are becoming something of a hot commodity. Not only are there a bevy of first appearances in those comics, but the kids from those days now have money to spend adult money to reclaim their childhood.

Begin by making your own educated guesses, rather than following the masses, and battling with people in $1 bins looking for the same book. Be a trailblazer and get books you believe have potential, before anyone else does. For my first article on Zap-Kapow Comics, I’ll be bestowing upon you all some of the books that I have been snatching in the shadows, while others are fighting over Agatha Harkness.

X-Men 2099

X-Men 2099 (1993) No. 1

Hitting shelves in 1993, this futuristic X-Men book has seven first appearances. It only takes one first appearance being announced to make a book go nuclear, so why not gamble on seven? With the Disney/Marvel tandem getting back the rights to the X-Men, I’m sure they’ll be spitting movies, streaming shows, and cartoons out ad nauseam. At that rate they’ll run out of characters in what, three years? They’ll start reaching and dipping their hands into the lesser knowns and alternate timelines. Massive print run? Sure. But these copies have just been sitting, bending, and being tossed in the trash. Mark my words, this is a can’t miss book. Get it now, while it still is flooding the dollar bins.

Grifter 1 Image Comics

Grifter (1995) No.1

The only cool thing to come out of Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.S, the first solo Grifter series dropped in 1995. Grifter has already made transitions from Image to Wildstorm to the DC Universe, and could become a character along the lines of Angela in the Marvel Universe. If Grifter is done right, he could really make a name for himself in the DCU. Also, this book came with a trading card in the centerfold, which if not stored properly, warped the spine.

Lastly, start speculating on any first appearance of a Moon Knight villain. Let’s call a spade a spade, his villains are trash. But that doesn’t mean that one or two of them won’t heat up as the Disney+ show draws closer. Make the gamble, and you’ll be happy that you did.

That’s all for my first issue of Expect the Unex”SPEC”ted, drop me a line if you have questions or comments, I welcome the feedback!

Top 10 Most Valuable Comic Books From The 70’s

Top 10 Most Valuable Comics From The 70s

Also known as the Bronze Age, the 70’s were a huge decade for collectors, featuring key issues and first appearances from some of the comic book industry’s hottest characters. So lace up on your roller skates and fire up that disco record, because this is our list of the Top 10 Most Valuable Comic Books From The 1970’s.

Also See: The Top 10 Most Valuable Comic Books From The 60’s

10. House of Secrets (1956) No. 92 ($2,100)

The first appearance of DC Comics’ Swamp Thing, with art from the legendary Bernie Wrightson, has been a desired key of comic book fans for decades.

Amazing Spider-Man 129 The Punisher Frank Castle

9. The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) No. 129 ($2,400)

Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, first blasted his way onto the scene this classic 1974 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, but his tough guy ways and iconic skull logo would go on to launch dozens of solo series.

Marvel Spotlight (1971) No. 5 Ghost Rider

8 Marvel Spotlight (1971) No. 5 ($2,800)

“A legend is born” indeed! Marvel’s flame-skulled biker from hell hit all the right notes with fans, making this first appearance of Ghost Rider a must-have for any collector of Bronze Age comic books.

The Tomb Of Dracula (1972) No. 10 Blade

7. The Tomb Of Dracula (1972) No. 10 ($2,900)

In case you couldn’t tell, monsters and monster hunters were kinda a big deal in the 70’s. They still are. This first appearance of Blade The Vampire-Slayer goes for top dollar these days.

6. Cerebus The Aardvark (1977) No. 1 ($3,500)

Dave Sim’s indie comic has been a fan favorite for years. Back in the 70’s, this wasn’t an easy issue to get your hands on. Add four decades to the equation and you do the math.

Werewolf By Night (1972) No. 32 Moon Knight

5. Werewolf By Night (1972) No. 32 ($3,800)

Another Marvel monster book, but this time the real star was the first appearance of fan favorite Moon Knight. Long seen as a key from the era, it has really begun to heat up in a big way in recent years.

Iron Fist (1975) No. 14 (Price Variant) Sabertooth

4. Iron Fist (1975) No. 14 (Price Variant) ($4,200)

The first appearance of Sabertooth goes for a pretty penny anyhow, but this 35-cent price variant for the debut of Wolverine’s oldest foe is super rare and super valuable.

Giant-Size X-Men (1975) No. 1

3. Giant-Size X-Men (1975) No. 1 ($7,300)

Pound for pound the single issue with the most major first appearances on this list, Giant-Size X-Men was not only the second full appearance of Wolverine, it featured the first for Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Illyana Rasputin. Honestly, feels like it should be worth more.

Star Wars (1977) No. 1 (Price Variant)

2. Star Wars (1977) No. 1 (Price Variant) ($9,500)

Once again a rare, 35-cent price variant hits the list. This time, for one of science fiction’s all-time greatest properties—Star Wars. Featuring first comic book appearances for Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2, this classic has only gotten hotter as the years have gone by.

The Incredible Hulk (1968) No. 181 Wolverine

1. The Incredible Hulk (1968) No. 181 ($12,000)

The first full appearance of Wolverine (see No. 180 for his “other” first appearance) is King Of The 70’s and has been for quite awhile. Today, Len Wein and Herb Trimpe’s Canadian super-hero is one of the world’s most recognized characters.