2nd Print/Newsstand Variants from the 1990s (DC/Marvel)

What are everyone’s take on market pricing for 90’s 2nd Printing/Newsstand Variants?
Spider-man #1 Barcode Variant, Batman 457 2nd/Newsstand and Robin #1 2nd/Newsstand have been asking for high numbers on graded copies.

It looks like the sales data hasn’t provided enough to price of off (although that auction ending next week will be telling), but most have set the mark at the $2000-$3000 price tag.

It’s my understanding is that the rarity stems from that these books were printed and sold to stores (assumed to be Wal-marts) but were returnable, thus making them scarce in availability and especially in high grade.

I’ll disclose that I do have skin in this game. I’ve priced my book among the trend, but I’m also aware that it may be pie-in-the-sky thinking for these kind of variants.

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I could care less about second prints but at those prices I’ll be digging out my Batman #457 to check sheesh.

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Asking is one thing. Getting is another.

Yes, their price is because they are perceived to be rare variants (perceived because no actual print runs are available and they don’t show up often for sale). Some people like to have something no one else has. There’s nothing special about these books otherwise their first prints and direct reprints would be worth more than $10…which they are not raw.

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But you could say that about something like the Star Wars #1 35 cent Variant. What makes that worth so much more if not scarcity?

Scarcity and the first print is already in demand and a key book from the Bronze Age.

Scarcity (supply) + Demand to be exact. Scarcity alone does not create value, just for those not aware. There are still a lot people who think otherwise. One could have the only item in existence making it rare and scarce but if no one wants it, then it’s worthless. :slight_smile:


In actuality, Newsstand editions were, initially, more common than Direct Market editions back in the early days … until Direct Market distribution began, only Newsstand editions were available … the DM was created in the 1970s by Phil Seuling and only began to gain more prominence as actual Comic shops began to spring up … prior to the boom of the 1990’s, Newsstand editions actually out numbered Direct Market …

Yes, Newsstand books were returnable … using the same model as actual books, magazines, etc … generally, strip the top 1/3rd of the cover off and give them to your Delivery Driver for credit on the next shipment …

Mom and Pop shops, Drugstores, etc, were the main folks that carried Newsstand … and, no, nothing much as far as info remains as to how many were printed or destroyed …

Many years ago, besides my Capital City account, I was on a Newsstand delivery route … these distributors usually maintained their own delivery trucks and I would get a weekly drop off … you really could not order any fixed amount of books, they would give you what they thought you could sell …

Credited as the first real Comic Shop :: Gary Arlington’s San Francisco Comic Book Company which was established in April 1968 … the Direct Market, although much more of a gamble for a retailer, allowed the beginnings of the Underground Comic movement as more Adult style material could be offered, which would never have been displayed in a Drug Store, Woolworths or other …

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Here is a basic graph showing direct vs newsstand distribution proportions.

This is a great article on direct vs newsstand.


Don’t even get me and @jcLu started on canadian newstand variants… YES, we’re at ground zero. YES, we’ve been hauling them for nothing for years. YES, they’re going to be worth a fortune, already are… All I ever dig for is BARCODES, rarity for the win. Amazing how many people STILL don’t understand what we’re even talking about right now… Be well everyone… :maple_leaf:


My flipping through long-boxes has extended to pulling the book out to check for a barcode. I’m always trying to find those nuances that are missed (75cent variants, pence, etc.) now that I’m aware.



I known the (perceived)scarcity is a big factor. But to me the barcode version is ugly compared to the version with Cap or Spideys head in place of it.

I actually prefer barcodes over the direct edition spidey heads and such… maybe I’m just weird.

Hey to each their own. That’s part of the fun of collecting.

What a terrible decision to have Someone that had nothing to do with that issue draw on the cover of such a rare book…in high grade!!

Stupid. And someone paid $3000!!