Hunting the 6 variants of Batman 457 (1st Tim Drake ROBIN)
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13 hours ago, mysterio said:

Especially if the buyer pool is *really* small, and that $50 book could quickly go back to being a $5 book. 

Just need to build a bigger pool.

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On the same general topic of second print newstands, has anyone looked at the other second print DC comics from around the same time period? I believe Batman 457 and Superman 50 are both from December 1990 and Robin 1 is from January 1991. Flash Vol 2 44 has a second print (Nov 90). Flash 41 and Superman 53 have second prints as well.

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On 8/11/2018 at 2:56 PM, bffnut said:

On the same general topic of second print newstands, has anyone looked at the other second print DC comics from around the same time period? I believe Batman 457 and Superman 50 are both from December 1990 and Robin 1 is from January 1991. Flash Vol 2 44 has a second print (Nov 90). Flash 41 and Superman 53 have second prints as well.

There are a lot of unmarked second prints from that same time frame, but we've only found Batman 457, SM 50 and Robin #1 with a newsstand version of the second printing.

By unmarked 2nd prints, I mean there's nothing on the cover like a Roman numeral II to show it is a 2nd print.   Examples include:

Flash 40, 41, 44

Wonder Woman 47, 48

Green Lantern 1, 2

Superboy 1, 8

Justice League Europe 6, 10

Action 654, 660

Superman 463, 467

Justice League America 36, 37, 45

Batman 397-399, 401-403, 408-416, 421-425, 430-432, 445-447, 467-471, 475-480

Detective 642

Superman 2, 3, 12, 10-21, 23-25, 44, 51, 52

Because they are unmarked on the front cover, some of the ones listed above can be hard to find.  Most came from 3-packs that were sold in places like K-Bee toys and Walgreens.   The Superman 50, BM 457, and Robin 1 2nd printings have not been seen in a 3-pack, so I personally believe these were odd-balls and the origin of their corresponding 2nd print newsstands remains unknown.

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Dang, I didn’t know Flash 40 had a second print! Adding that to my want list!

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For the list of second prints you listed above, have you looked for second prints of the newsstand editions?

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11 minutes ago, bffnut said:

Dang, I didn’t know Flash 40 had a second print! Adding that to my want list!

The second printing has a Lynx ad on the back cover.

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9 minutes ago, bffnut said:

For the list of second prints you listed above, have you looked for second prints of the newsstand editions?

Yes.... and the Batman 457 was the first to be discovered.   

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Here are most of the ones from that list that I have (and are handy).  Sup 12 is a newstand and labeled 'MULTI-PACK REPRINT EDITION COPY RIGHT 1989 DC COMICS, INC.' in the incedecia  with the issue date being 1987.  The rest of what I'm showing here is just stamped '2nd Print'  If memory serves Sup 2 & 3 have a '50 Years' logo in the UPC box, where the 1st print is something else.  Personally the biggest shock on this list to me is the Superboy's.  One trick I'm willing to share is that you can sometimes check the color variations on the edge of the spine on most of these if they are bagged/boarded or just a cover shot on ebay.  That doesn't work with the 'Dark Knight over Metropolis' issues though.

sup-front.jpg

sup-back.jpg

bat-front.jpg

bat-back.jpg

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On 8/11/2018 at 11:56 AM, bffnut said:

On the same general topic of second print newstands, has anyone looked at the other second print DC comics from around the same time period? I believe Batman 457 and Superman 50 are both from December 1990 and Robin 1 is from January 1991. Flash Vol 2 44 has a second print (Nov 90). Flash 41 and Superman 53 have second prints as well.

Yes. That's how I discovered both the Superman #50 and Robin #1 2nd newsstands. I theorized that if such a strange book existed for Bats #457, it might exist for others from the same period.

Superman #53, Robin #2, and Action #662 were the most likely candidates, but I've seen no evidence to suggest they exist. Batman #457, Superman #50, and Robin #1 were all tremendous hits when they came out, selling out rapidly, with second printings rushed out to meet demand (and, in the case of Robin #1, THIRD prints.) 

The others, however, even though sales justified second printings to DC, weren't anywhere near the sales successes that those first three were, so it's unlikely that DC saw the need to print the odd second print newsstand.

That doesn't mean they can't or don't exist...it's just that it's very unlikely.

Flash #41 and #44 weren't sellouts that required a second printing, so are even more unlikely.

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On 8/13/2018 at 9:00 AM, Cpt Kirk said:

There are a lot of unmarked second prints from that same time frame, but we've only found Batman 457, SM 50 and Robin #1 with a newsstand version of the second printing.

By unmarked 2nd prints, I mean there's nothing on the cover like a Roman numeral II to show it is a 2nd print.   Examples include:

Flash 40, 41, 44

Wonder Woman 47, 48

Green Lantern 1, 2

Superboy 1, 8

Justice League Europe 6, 10

Action 654, 660

Superman 463, 467

Justice League America 36, 37, 45

Batman 397-399, 401-403, 408-416, 421-425, 430-432, 445-447, 467-471, 475-480

Detective 642

Superman 2, 3, 12, 10-21, 23-25, 44, 51, 52

Because they are unmarked on the front cover, some of the ones listed above can be hard to find.  Most came from 3-packs that were sold in places like K-Bee toys and Walgreens.   The Superman 50, BM 457, and Robin 1 2nd printings have not been seen in a 3-pack, so I personally believe these were odd-balls and the origin of their corresponding 2nd print newsstands remains unknown.

And it's important to note the distinction. The collector packs of the 80s are certainly reprints, but none of them were made due to demand (which is why they aren't marked in obvious ways...they weren't being sold to "collectors.") 

Up until the early 90s, there were, in the entire history of comics, very, very few "sellouts"...and, after the very early Golden Age (Superman #1, for example), there was almost certainly no reprints of DCs or Marvels in standard comic book forum until Star Wars in 1977. And, by the nature of comic book distribution through the "ID" (Independent Distributor) market of the time, they were almost certainly not necessary. Comics, and all magazines, were printed in very large numbers, with an expected sell-through of 30-60%; unsold copies were "stripped" (either of their entire front cover, or a portion of the front cover containing the title and issue number), or an affidavit was signed, and then the retailer received credit for those unsold copies. 

In other words, there were, with just a handful of exceptions, always enough copies printed, from 1933 to the establishment of the Direct Market, to satisfy demand. Notable exceptions were probably Conan #1 and ASM #121 & #122.

"Demand based reprinting"...that is, the quick second print...was so rare, that not even Thor #337 or ASM #252...both perfect candidates for such a reprinting...were given that treatment.

There are, of course, all sorts of "pack" reprints of various Marvels and DCs from the 80s, and books like Dark Knight and Longbow Hunters were second and third printed due to demand...but there were very few books that were sellouts and prompted publishers to issue second (or later) printings of them.

There's possibly Transformers #1, and possibly Thundercats #1, and probably The 'Nam #1....but all the others, Transformers, GI Joe, Batman, Superman, were just attempts by Marvel and DC to sell copies in non-standard venues, in different formats.

The list above is almost certainly the program that was the direct precursor to the "20 pack" program that evolved and took shape in 1992, and the son of the "carded 2- and 3- pack" program of the late 80s.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Batman #457, Superman #50, and Robin #1 2nd print newsstands are books that should not exist. Their direct market 2nd print counterparts were entirely the result of intense demand for these books when they came out, and these were available for ordering fairly quickly through the Direct Market system. This would have been a rather new and unexpected situation for DC, since they had not had sellouts of single standard format issues like these for a very long time, if ever. Previous sellouts, including Batman #426-429 and Detective #598-600, were easy to package into a quick TPB form, which is what DC did....but single issues? That's when they turned, for the first time since the Golden Age, to individual immediate reprints, but with the bonus that they already had a reprint program in place, so they weren't exploring an entirely new process.

But 2nd print newsstand versions could not be ordered by newsstand vendors, because newsstand vendors, as I understand it, essentially "got what they got", and there was no mechanism...no "Direct Market distributor" go-between to talk to about sellouts. Sellouts just happened; if they sold out, that was it, on to the next issue, whenever it came out. But someone at DC had the bright idea....PERHAPS because of the success of the Spiderman #1 2nd print newsstand (aka "the gold UPC issue")...to simply print these up and send them out to newsstand vendors, because they thought they would sell, OR they were printed for a special type of newsstand vendor on special request, like it is theorized happened with Wal-Mart and Spiderman #1. In fact, it could be that Wal-Mart WAS the vendor who specially requested these anomalies, and may have been the only vendor that received them.

Unfortunately, we may never know, because, unlike Spiderman #1, they were completely ignored for decades, and still remain entirely unknown to 99.9926% of the comic collecting public,

The fact that there are so few of them available is testament to the thought that they probably DID NOT sell well, and certainly not as well as the first printings...the hype would have cooled quite a bit by the time they reached newsstands...which means they would have been subject to the same type of "return for credit" that all other unsold copies would be. 

I suspect, based on experience, that the following is true:

1. These copies (2nd print news) did not sell well.

2. These books were sent to a specific vendor who specially requested them.

3. Most of these books were returned for credit, through the normal channels at the time, and destroyed (or, if not destroyed, separated from their covers as to make them indistinguishable from Direct Market 2nd prints.)

Could there be copies bought by readers still out there? Sure, and there almost certainly is. After all, a LOT of speculators (including myself) haunted local newsstands and sucked up all available first printings, so it's possible readers complained and were satiated when those books showed up on the newsstands. And, clearly, at least a couple of people bought a copy. 

But, it's more likely than not, since the second printings came out after the next issue of each, that these books sat, mostly unsold, and then were quietly destroyed, with only a handful of survivors that, by chance, managed to escape and survive over the decades.

They are quite the fascinating little hidden gem.

Edited by RockMyAmadeus

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