DC Comics - UK Price Variants
Here is a summary of the DC UK Price Variants that I have found hiding between the dates of July/August 1971 and February 1978 to September 1981.
UK Price Variants were printed in the USA at the same time as their cents priced headliners. They are not reprints. If you would like to know more about them, please click the picture below and you'll be magically transported to the discussion thread in which we talk about them:
Notes and Observations
- DC UK Price Variants have been found to exist between the cover dates of July/August 1971 and February 1978 to September 1981 inclusive. Across those cover dates, a total of 1,227 cents priced comics exist spanning 85 titles. At the time of writing, 840 of them have a matching single printed price UKPV confirmed spanning 54 of the 85 overall titles.
- The first known pence printed DC comics are Action Comics #402, Adventure Comics #408, Detective comics #413 and Jimmy Olsen #139 all cover dated July 1971 and priced at 5p. The Flash #208 follows on its own with an August 1971 cover date and, uniquely, priced at 7 ½ pence. No pence printed issues have been found to exist dated prior to these dates, nor after (until we hit February 1978). July 1971 is, incidentally, the final US 15c regular cover price date, which may have a bearing on why it was chosen. I have found no explanation for why only 5 of the many available titles cover dated July/August 1971 were chosen, or indeed why those particular 5 titles were chosen.
- We have to jump forward 8 years before pence copies recommence for what would be a 3 year period from the cover date February 1978. I have found no copies dated prior to this date other than the five July/August 1971 books. Not all titles commence at February 1978 however – many commence on March 1978 holding out the possibility that some February 1978 copies may yet still exist / be found for those titles.
- The last pence printed DC comics are cover dated September 1981. From October 1981, DC introduced dual cents / pence pricing for all their titles. Marvel did the same 3 months later (December 1981).
- 85 DC titles exist with cover dates that cross the July/August 1971 and February 1978 through to September 1981 periods. Of those 85, 31 titles appear to have no pence copies (listed below).
- For monthly titles only, no pence copies have been found for comics cover dated September 1978 to November 1978 inclusive. All monthly titles which cross these dates have a 3 issue gap. This gap coincides with, and is likely explained by, the increase and subsequent decrease in the US cover prices (35c to 50c September 1978 / 50c to 40c December 1978). For bi-monthly titles, September 1978 dated issues exist, but no pence issues exist for the following two months.
- Only four prices exist for DC pence comics – 5p (July 1971), 7 ½ p (August 1971), 12p (February 1978 to August 1979) and 15p (September 1979 to September 1981). Unlike Marvel, who would raise the cover price where applicable, DC would not produce a pence copy if the issue was double sized / the US price increased. As an example, Detective Comics #500 was a double sized issue. Rather than increase the price from 15p DC simply omitted the issue from pence production. This pattern is absolute – there are no double sized DC pence issues (with the exception of The Flash #208), and any one-off deviation in the US price would mean no pence copy (hard on UK collectors!).
- No annuals have been found as pence only printed copies, presumably for the same reason that double sized / non-standard priced copies have been. A small number of Treasury Sized books are know to exist.
- Unlike Marvel, DC pence copies are distinguished by the pence price alone. No other changes are made (e.g. removing the cover date, additional indicia distribution data, different cover banners). The only known exception to this is The Flash #208 which, as well as being the only known 7 ½p priced issue, has the distinction of being the only pence book with an additional cosmetic cover difference (the necessary omission of the 25c spine price).
- The working assumption is that DC pence copies were requested by, and distributed by Thorpe & Porter. Whilst no copies exist with Thorpe & Porter Indicias (as is the case with some early Marvels), their price stamps can be found all over DC books in the UK from 1959 onwards.
Happy hunting, if you decide to build a set!
By Stephen Cranch based on v1.6 of the ‘DC Comics – UK Price Variants Summary’
|Confirmed UK Price Variant Titles / Issues|
|Title||Confirmed UKPV Issues||Total|
|Action Comics||402, 480-486, 490-499, 501-523||41|
|Adventure Comics||408, 456-458, 473-485||17|
|All Star Comics||71-73||3|
|All Star Squadron||1||1|
|Arak Son of Thunder||1||1|
|Batman||297-299, 301-302, 306-339||39|
|Brave and The Bold||140-142, 145-178||37|
|Challengers of The Unknown||85-87||3|
|Claw the Unconquered||10-12||3|
|DC Comics Presents||1, 4-37||35|
|Detective Comics||413, 475-478, 496-499, 501-506||15|
|Doorway to Nightmare||2-4||3|
|Firestorm the Nuclear Man||1-4||4|
|Flash||208, 259-264, 268-299, 301||40|
|Green Lantern||101-107, 111-144||41|
|House of Mystery||263-296||34|
|House of Secrets||151-153||3|
|Justice League of America||161-194||34|
|Legion of Super Heroes||259-279||21|
|Men of War||11-26||16|
|Mystery in Space||111-117||7|
|New Adventures of Superboy||1-21||21|
|New Teen Titans||1-11||11|
|Secret Society of Super-Villains||13-15||3|
|Secrets of Haunted House||11-13, 17-40||27|
|Secrets of The Legion of Super Heroes||1-3||3|
|Shade the Changing Man||6-8||3|
|Steel the Indestructible Man||1-4||4|
|Super Friends||10-13, 15-47||37|
|Superboy and The Legion of Super Heroes||246-258||13|
|Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen||139||1|
|Tales of The Green Lantern Corps||1-3||3|
|Untold Legends of The Batman||1-3||3|
|Weird War Tales||70-103||34|
|Weird Western Tales||45-47, 50-70||24|
|Wonder Woman||240-246, 250-283||41|
|Confirmed UKPV Total:||840|
|Titles With No UK Price Variant Issues Produced / Confirmed|
|All-Out War ($1.00 Title)||1|
|All-Star Western (#6 July 1971)||1|
|Army At War (One Shot Crosses Sep/Nov 78 Price Increase)||1|
|Batman Family ($1.00 Title)||1|
|Battle Classics (One Shot Crosses Sep/Nov 78 Price Increase)||1|
|Binky (July 1971 #79 Double Size Issue)||1|
|DC Super Stars (#18 Jan/Feb 1978 Final Issue (Cover Dated 'Winter') Double Size Issue)||1|
|Dynamic Classics (One Shot Crosses Sep/Nov 78 Price Increase)||1|
|Falling In Love (#124 July 1971)||1|
|The Forever People (#3 July 1971)||1|
|From Beyond The Unknown (#11 July 1971)||1|
|G.I. Combat (#148 Double Size Issue / $1.00 Title)||1|
|Girls' Love Stories (#160 July 1971)||1|
|Girls' Romances (#158 July 1971)||1|
|Heart Throbs (#132 July 1971)||1|
|Madame Xanadu ($1.00 One Shot)||1|
|Metal Men (#56 March 1978 Final Issue)||1|
|Secret Hearts (#153 July 1971)||1|
|Star Spangled War Stories (#157 July 1971)||1|
|Sugar And Spike (#96 July 1971)||1|
|Superboy Spectacular (1980 $1.00 One Shot)||1|
|Superman Family ($1.00 Title)||1|
|Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane (#111 July 1971)||1|
|Swing With Scooter (#34 July 1971)||1|
|Teen Titans (#53 Feb 1978 Final Issue)||1|
|Time Warp ($1.00 Title)||1|
|Warlord (Probable Clash With UK Warlord Title)||1|
|Welcome Back Kotter (#10 US Only TV Show)||1|
|World's Finest ($1.00 Title)||1|
|World of Krypton (1-3 Regular Priced Limited Series)||1|
|Young Romance (#172 July 1971)||1|
Here are the five July / August 1971 books