Newsstand or not?

There is a period of batman between roughly 276 and 300 that is only barcode. So i dont see anything explicitly identified as direct. Are the batman books in this period considered newsstand? Is it like a hybrid period where technically they are both? I know there are other titles that went through a similar period. Trying to understand what these technically categorize as. Ty all

I have a Batman 283, 9.2, and I see what you mean it is only a barcode. I’m curious as well.

Black panther 1 is another example of this. If i had to guess, the batman issues definitely sold at newsstands. So presumably they sold at both. Meaning technically they ARE newsstands. However also direct, so not guaranteed to be exclusively newsstand

Direct market was really geared towards comics for adults…Batman was a mass distribution…Maybe specialty shops still received the newsstand covers even though they were “direct”? Did DC just not differentiate like Marvel did?

I could be completely wrong on this but I thought the newsstand / direct stuff didn’t start until 1979 and all those Batman issues are pre 1979 so they would be the same version everywhere.

I’m sure someone in here will know for sure though.

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@Zeropepp… Direct editions (edit) for the big 2 did start in 1979.

Direct editions weren’t around until ‘79, so until then everything was newsstand.

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That’s right. My mistake. :100::+1:

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And, according to that article, everything after 2013 from Marvel was only direct. Right? Curious why I have books from the middle of that decade that have DIRECT EDITION in the bar code area. Wasn’t the direct edition the only edition?

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Star Wars came out in 1977, yet aren’t there various versions of the first several issues with crossed out bar codes and Diamond shapes around the issue number fallout is? Or was that just the reprints?

Star Wars 7-14 did have newsstand versions but I think the bulk of Marvel and DC didn’t happen until after ‘79

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Yes. They still left the Direct Edition on Post 2013 books for years and years. Not sure of the reasoning. You’ll also see books that had the title of the book instead of direct edition written in the upc area for quite a few years beforehand. It then switched to titles of other books or lines of books. So for example you’d have a Hulk book that instead of saying Hulk would say Wolverine. So many interesting facets to Newsstands.


That’s where the article by Nobel is flawed. There’s a thread over on the CGC forums that called him out on some of his info. There were test books done years before to the direct market I believe the first credited marvel direct was Dazzler #1. If you’re on the forums at CGC the author and one of the very knowledgeable board members got into it.

I believe there may have been ones packaged as combo packs as well. Not 100% sure but I believe so. Like the Whitman variants and such.

I think to be sure, you’ll really need to go title by title to know the exact issue where newsstands start for each respective line. I’ve been doing a bit of “research” on Batman just because there are a lot of barcode covers just before and after the beginning of the start of newsstands. I believe I’ve pinpointed the First Batman (main line) newsstand issue. Again, I’m not an expert so no offense taken if someone corrects me. I’d actually appreciate it.

Ladies & Gentleman, the previously (and mostly still) unremarkable Batman 328:


This is the first Batman that features a non barcode. LMK if anyone has different information

I replaced newsstands with direct because it was wrong as written. Initially when they started Direct Editions they had barcodes. They had to differentiate between the two so they drew a line through the barcode next. I believe they then may have gone with pictures/words instead of the barcode. It’s further complicated by Whitman’s, test books and combo packs.

Yes so what does a whitman indicate? I believe the main batman line did not have the barcodes with the slash through it but i could be wrong. I know this was the case across multiple lines.

I don’t know if it’s allowed to share but I made an instagram account featuring newsstand comics. @90sNewsstandComics

My goal is to continue learning the history of newsstand comics across the different titles and sharing that info. I am not selling books from this account. I will ultimately feature less popular and in my opinion underrated 90s covers

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I’m not super knowledgeable on Whitman’s and their history. I’m sure the forums at CGC have all sorts of info from very knowledgeable people. I think the forums to new here to have the info. You could also always start a topic about Whitman’s and I’m sure others here know.

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