By Benjamin Nobel, June 20, 2017
At the start of the year, I embarked on a project to put together and share lists of key comic books by year, and in the process I also separated out a few lists of variants confirmed to exist at CGC, including cases where CGC recognizes newsstand comics with census entries that are separate and distinct variants of the issue number (only in certain “variant-worthy” special situations will CGC “break out” a newsstand comic as distinct from the direct edition, versus the vast majority of comic book issues where CGC simply lumps together the newsstand and direct edition types by issue number).
Looking at the most recent census data and comparing it to that year-end snapshot, I see that across Marvel, DC, and Image Comics, that there are 30 more newsstand issues (beyond the 66 new Canadian Price Variants already reported on which were also newsstand exclusives for Marvel and DC), that are now recognized with their own distinct census entries, that weren’t there at year-end. New census entries for newsstand comics are interesting to review because there’s usually a “reason why” behind any given submission — I think of this list as a good “hunting grounds” for interesting comics to collect… because it is always interesting to see what other people are submitting!
Here’s the list, and then I’ll comment further on a few:
|1.||4||Uncanny X-Men #509 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||6/09||Marvel Comics|
|2.||3||Daredevil #21 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||2/13||Marvel Comics|
|3.||3||Batman #457 Newsstand Edition/Second Print||12/90||D.C. Comics|
|4.||3||Superman #10 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||1/17||D.C. Comics|
|5.||3||Superman #1 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||8/16||D.C. Comics|
|6.||2||Batman #1 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||8/16||D.C. Comics|
|7.||2||Detective Comics #934 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||8/16||D.C. Comics|
|8.||2||New Avengers #35 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||12/07||Marvel Comics|
|9.||2||Nova: Origin of Richard Rider #nn Newsstand Edition||2009||Marvel Comics|
|10.||1||Action Comics #958 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||8/16||D.C. Comics|
|11.||1||Age of the Sentry #1 Newsstand Edition||11/08||Marvel Comics|
|12.||1||Amazing Spider-Man #513 $2.99 Newsstand Edition||12/04||Marvel Comics|
|13.||1||Hulk #9 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||2/09||Marvel Comics|
|14.||1||Savage Dragon vs. Savage Megaton Man #1 Newsstand Edition||3/93||Image Comics|
|15.||1||Spawn #29 Newsstand Edition||3/95||Image Comics|
|16.||1||Spawn #62 Newsstand Edition||6/97||Image Comics|
|17.||1||Batman/Superman #32 $4.99 Newsstand Edition||7/16||D.C. Comics|
|18.||1||Batman #2 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||9/16||D.C. Comics|
|19.||1||Justice League #1 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||9/16||D.C. Comics|
|20.||1||Batman #39 $4.99 Newsstand Edition||4/15||D.C. Comics|
|21.||1||Uncanny X-Men #442 $2.99 Newsstand Edition||6/04||Marvel Comics|
|22.||1||Uncanny X-Men #451 $2.99 Newsstand Edition||12/04||Marvel Comics|
|23.||1||Uncanny X-Men #456 $2.99 Newsstand Edition||5/05||Marvel Comics|
|24.||1||Deathblow #1 Newsstand Edition||5/93||Image Comics|
|25.||1||Venom/Deadpool: What If? #1 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||4/11||Marvel Comics|
|26.||1||Wolverine v3 #67 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||9/08||Marvel Comics|
|27.||1||Wonder Woman #1 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||8/16||D.C. Comics|
|28.||1||Amazing Spider-Man #583 Newsstand Edition/Second Print||3/09||Marvel Comics|
|29.||1||X-Men: Legacy #234 $3.99 Newsstand Edition||5/10||Marvel Comics|
|30.||1||Amazing Spider-Man #529 $2.99 Newsstand Edition||4/06||Marvel Comics|
I’ve written separate posts about some of these already, such as the DC Rebirth $3.99 Newsstand Editions; the newly-recognized “class” of $2.99 Newsstand Editions from Marvel (including key issue Amazing Spider-Man #529); Venom/Deadpool: What If; New Avengers #35 (What If Venom Possessed Wolverine?); Daredevil #21 (Superior Spider-Man cameo appearance); Wolverine v3 #67 is an interesting key to collect in the “Old Man Logan” story-line and features the first appearances of Tonya Parker and Ashley Barton.
Some others on the list of new census entries that caught my eye: Batman #457… it seems that there must be some “variant-worthy” difference between direct edition and newsstand edition second print copies, because CGC is breaking out second print newsstand copies (I haven’t examined them myself to see what difference might have caused CGC to break them out, but apparently there’s something!). Second print copies have the “New Robin Issue” banner along the top. At right is a picture of a newsstand second print copy. This issue features the 1st appearance of Tim Drake as Robin.
Great to see this early Image newsstand book broken out! Tremendous cover artwork by the talented Jim Lee on this one; the artwork being a “regular-paper-adaptation” of the embossed direct edition version… meaning the newsstand version has completely distinct cover artwork (different artwork being a known “variant-worthy attribute” at CGC where they’ll break out the newsstand edition as a distinct variant on census).
Also on the list from Image: I noticed Savage Dragon vs. Savage Megaton Man (1st “spin-off” from Savage Dragon), as well as Spawn #29 and #62 (appearance by Angela) on the list, presumably all broken out because of different paper (newsprint) used for the interior pages (manufacturing differences being a known “variant-worthy attribute” at CGC where they’ll break out the newsstand edition as a distinct variant on census).
The famous Obama cover that made headlines … including The Wall Street Journal (It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s… Obama)! So popular it went to several additional printings… and apparently there were also newsstand copies produced with the 2nd printing cover, in addition to second print direct editions (a yellow background was used for the second print instead of blue, and the artwork was flipped horizontally).
What’s the “variant-worthy attribute” causing CGC to “break out” these newsstand copies of the 2nd print cover? Take a close look at the UPC code:
That’s not the “Amazing Spider-Man” code you’re seeing. Note that the second set of numbers along the bottom reads 03503… as opposed to the expected 02457 that ASM newsstand comics are supposed to carry… What we’re seeing here is the code for Sensational Spider-Man (you can also see that title named at the left side of the code box). So by its UPC code, this comic is the February issue of Sensational Spider-Man! This is one of the interesting cases where CGC will “break out” a newsstand comic because its UPC code identifies it as a different title than it actually is!
Age of the Sentry #1
Here’s yet another case of an unexpected UPC code on the newsstand edition. Let me present it this way… take a look at the following three codes (chronologically from left to right), all from Marvel comics published in 2008:
The top-right-hand numbers of the newsstand UPC code structure refer to the month — 10 is October, 11 is November, etc. So, seeing the above picture, you might conclude by the three UPC codes side by side that you’re looking at the October, November, and then December issues of Fantastic Four (the title “Fantastic Four” is shown at the left of all three codes, and all three carry the numbers “02462” along the bottom which is the Fantastic Four newsstand code). But now let me zoom out on each code to show you more of the actual comic each code above is on:
So if the first was Fantastic Four #559, and the last was Fantastic Four #560, what on Earth is in the middle, #559-and-a-half?! Why, it isn’t Fantastic Four at all… it is Age of the Sentry #1 you’re looking at! Here is its full cover:
Uncanny X-Men #509
Wow, what a stunner of a Psylocke cover by the talented Greg Land! This one is broken out on account of being a cover price variant of the issue number, at $3.99 versus the standard $2.99.
p.s. Here’s the prior list of CGC-recognized newsstand census variants from back in January.