Meet Rodney Shiflett: Inside the collection
Holy Basement Batcave, Batman!
Aug. 9, 2020
Rodney Shiflett is the ultimate Batman fan, with a massive collection of more than 2,000 Dark Knight–related items, all proudly displayed in his basement "Batcave."
His collection includes everything from comic books to lithographs signed by the co-creator of Batman, Bob Kane. An ordained minister, Rodney's fascination with the Caped Crusader inspired him to create his own masked hero: Pastor Batman.
As Pastor Batman, Rodney speaks at youth camps, makes hospital visits, and engages in random acts of kindness.
We brought in toy expert Mark Huckabone to appraise Rodney's collection.
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1. 'The Dark Knight Returns' Comics
We start with the items that ignited Rodney's Bat-passion — and that you are most likely to find yourself — the landmark four-issue comic series The Dark Knight Returns. Frank Miller's brilliant 1986 vision of the character recast Batman in an adult, dark light that continues to this day. These copies in particular would fetch about $100
2. 'Dark Knight Returns' Collectible Figures
Rodney's love for the comic series sparked his entire collection, which includes these Mezco Toyz figures modeled after the Frank Miller Dark Knight. Rodney bought them for about $80 a pop. Today, they add up to $850.
3. Alex Ross Painting
Legendary comic book artist Alex Ross painted this image of Batman — which once hung on the bedroom wall of Rodney and his wife, Diana. She has relegated the signed artwork to the basement. It's worth about $1,200.
4. Custom-made Batcave Model
Following a resolution to simply "create," Rodney crafted this detailed Batcave display for his figures. "They are called action figures," he stresses. People have offered him $2,000 for the diorama.
5. Batcave Diorama Detail
Here we see Barbara Gordon on another level of Rodney's handmade Batcave.
6. Unboxed Action Figures
These figures based on the cinematic Batmen (including Clooney!) originally retailed for about $229. Rodney unboxed and modeled them for our show. There is about "$6,000 of Batness" in this image, according to our appraiser.
7. Custom Batsuits
It cost Rodney about $3,000 a piece for these cosplay suits.
8. 'Batman Begins' Suit
Take a closer look at the detail in this impressive costume, modeled after one seen in Batman Begins. Rubber and leather material make it an awesome — and burdensome — piece of apparal.
9. 1976 Mego Batman Figure
Meet the latest addition to Rodney's collection, a 12-inch Mego figure from '76. It comes in the "Canadian Box," which was the first.
10. 'Batman Returns' Subway Poster
Rodney also now has to find a place to hang this massive subway banner used to promote 1992's Batman Returns. The bedroom?
11. Batman Guestroom
Rodney's Batcave basement also houses a "Bat-guestoom," "Bat-office" and "Bat-gym."
12. To the Batcouch!
Phew, that's a lot of Batman! Time to relax on — what else — a Batman sofa.