Copper books with ONLY a UPC edition (before UPCs became the norm)
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Figured I'd start a new thread to try to build a somewhat definitive list of Copper Age books that only had a UPC, even if the title was direct-only, so there's a handy resource for those trying to figure if a Direct and Newsstand edition exists for a book they're looking to complete a full run of with every variant. 

The UPC-only books start in December 1988, and end, from what I've been able to tell so far, in October 1991 for comics and May 1992 for Prestige/Bookshelf format titles.

 

     MARVEL COMICS                                                                                 

     COMIC BOOKS         

Alpha Flight #65–76, 78, 81–84, 86, 88

Black Knight #1–4

(The Mutant Misadventures of) Cloak & Dagger #2–11

Destroyer: The Adventures of Remo and Chiun #3 (4-issue mini)

Destroyer: The Adventures of Remo and Chiun #1 (1-shot)

Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #2–3, 5, 7–9, 11–34

Foolkiller (1990) #1, 3–7

Hero (Warrior of the Mystic Realms) #1, 3

Marc Spector: Moon Knight #4–6, 8–28 

Marvel Fanfare #42–43, 46–47, 49–52

The 'Nam #25–31, 33–36, 38–51, 53–55

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD Vol.3 #1–12

Power Pack #42–46, 50–51, 53–56, 58

Saga of the Original Human Torch #1–2, 4

Saga of the Sub-Mariner #3–7, 9–10, 12

Sensation She-Hulk #1, 15–16

Strikeforce Morituri #24–29

X-Factor #71(2nd print)

NEW UNIVERSE

D.P. 7 (New Universe) #26–32

Justice (New Universe) #26–32

Psi-Force (New Universe) #26–32

Star Brand (New Universe) #17–18

 

     BOOKSHELF/PRESTIGE TITLES:     

Since most Prestige/Bookshelf format titles and Trade Paperbacks seem to be barcode-only, it might be easier to list the books that *do* have multiple versions. I'm leaving the list below that I've only found with barcodes, but note that isn't necessarily a complete list. Instead, here are the books that I've verified *do* have multiple versions:

Adventures of Captain America #4

Excalibur Special #nn

Excalibur: Mojo Mayhem

Wolverine Saga #3–4

 

And books with barcode-only:

Open Space #1-3

Deathlok (1990) #1–4

Classic Punisher

Punisher Movie Special

Punisher: No Escape

Shadowmasters #1–4

She-Hulk: Ceremony #1–2

Strikeforce Morituri Electric Undertow #1-5

The War (New Universe) #1–4

Wolverine: Jungle Adventure

Wolverine Saga #1–2

X-Men: Spotlight on...Starjammers #1–2

Yuppies from Hell

Son of Yuppies from Hell

 

    MARVEL UK                                

Cyberspace 3000 #1 (Note that this is outside the date range of the other books listed here, and seems to be an aberration in that the barcode looks to be a typical Direct Edition barcode without saying “Direct Edition” in the box, like the rest of the books in this series.)

    EPIC                                             

     COMIC BOOKS         

Interface #1–4, 6, 8?

     BOOKSHELF/PRESTIGE TITLES:     

Akira #1–33

 

I wonder if Mile High had ever sold a single copy of these books, since they have them all listed as Newsstand editions at their newsstand prices.

Edited by GeeksAreMyPeeps
List update

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No need for AF and Doc Strange to be suspected...same with Moon Knight. Power Pack is almost certainly in the same boat. Those books had no "Direct" UPC edition, and I got several of them directly from multiple comic shops, and wondered why they were getting "newsstand" editions. 

Any "Direct Only" title from Marvel from 1988-1993-ish would likely have the issues.

A good resource for finding out which titles were "Direct Only" is a Previews catalog, or a Capital City catalog, or Marvel Age, or Comic Shop News...those should be able to tell you, if there's any question, what titles were "Direct Only" and when they were, since several newsstand books went to Direct Only at the time (AF, for example.)

 

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Certain issues of The 'Nam seem to fit the profile - I can't find a picture UPC copy of #53 for example and it has the newsstand barcode / DE price box scenario:

https://www.comics.org/series/3197/covers/?page=2

1199353946_53nam.thumb.jpg.c7dc2d13ca44cbcc353e48c32281f2db.jpg

 

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19 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

No need for AF and Doc Strange to be suspected...same with Moon Knight. Power Pack is almost certainly in the same boat. Those books had no "Direct" UPC edition, and I got several of them directly from multiple comic shops, and wondered why they were getting "newsstand" editions. 

Any "Direct Only" title from Marvel from 1988-1993-ish would likely have the issues.

A good resource for finding out which titles were "Direct Only" is a Previews catalog, or a Capital City catalog, or Marvel Age, or Comic Shop News...those should be able to tell you, if there's any question, what titles were "Direct Only" and when they were, since several newsstand books went to Direct Only at the time (AF, for example.)

 

As mentioned in the other thread, since many of these "Direct Only" titles seem to have barcodes coincide with crossover events, I wonder if there was limited distribution of those books to newsstand, even if they were not normally distributed there.

As I recently was sorting through some books to post on ebay, I realized that I have some "Newsstand" editions of books (e.g. Hulk 397) that I doubt I got from a Newsstand, as I was in college at the time and not really doing any hunting for comics. I was picking up my pull lists from my usual comic store, and that's about it. There are Direct editions for some books that I only have the Newsstand Edition of, and I'm almost certain I got them at a comic shop. There's a chance there could be some aberrations in those Direct books.

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44 minutes ago, GeeksAreMyPeeps said:

As mentioned in the other thread, since many of these "Direct Only" titles seem to have barcodes coincide with crossover events, I wonder if there was limited distribution of those books to newsstand, even if they were not normally distributed there.

There was not. Those were special events, produced for the reasons I gave in the other thread.

There is no "Direct Market" version of Alpha Flight #88, for example. You will never find one, because they weren't made. It does not exist (though, of course, watch someone be funny and make a mockup.) I was buying AF brand new at this point, and wondered why the copies the store got were newsstand. The answer: because that's the only way they printed them.

Look at a typical "offset" (as this was what was affected) book from the time period: Punisher War Journal, which was distributed to the newsstand at the time. If you look at PWJ #6, you'll find Direct and newsstand copies for sale. But if you look at Alpha Flight #88...or #86, or Sensational She-Hulk #1...all you will see are "UPC" copies, which is a statistical impossibility when you're dealing with dozens or hundreds of individual copies.

As for your experience with Hulk #397, I suspect you are misremembering. The distribution channels for the newsstand and the Direct market were completely different...starting at World Color and Quebecor from the moment they were finished with the printing process...and never the 'twain did meet. Stores wouldn't "accidentally" receive newsstand copies, and vice versa, because that's not how they were distributed, and the distribution process was multi-layered at the time. IF a store had newsstand copies, it's almost certainly because they went to the newsstand to pick up copies that they sold out of for one reason or another, or a customer brought them in and sold/traded them to the store. I don't doubt you probably got it from a comic store...but it didn't get distributed to that store...

...UNLESS, the store ALSO maintained a magazine distribution account, which, from what I can gather, was still true even into the early 90s for some retailers. If that was the case, they'd be getting newsstand copies, too...just a couple to three weeks later, which most stores I imagine didn't want to deal with.

But no, accidentally sending the wrong versions out into the distribution streams...? Ehh, sure, anything's *possible*, but I seriously doubt it ever happened, again, because of the way the books were handled at the printers, from the moment the books were finished, AND because it was in the publsher's interests to keep close watch on what was returnable and what was not.

And, of course, there was no longer any such thing as a "newsstand only" title, at least insofar as Marvel, DC, and the other mainstream publishers were concerned. Marvel in went so far as to print Direct versions of their "Newsstand specials" specifically for dopey completists that were distributed to stores, even though they already HAD a Direct version of the regular book!

s-l1600.png

s-l1600.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

 

A "Direct" version of a book that already had a Direct version....but, even then Marvel knew how to deal with their addicts...er, I mean, "zombies."

:screwy:

(Yes, I bought all three. I am weak.)

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2 hours ago, Get Marwood & I said:

Certain issues of The 'Nam seem to fit the profile - I can't find a picture UPC copy of #53 for example and it has the newsstand barcode / DE price box scenario:

https://www.comics.org/series/3197/covers/?page=2

Good call. This scenario appears to be exclusive to books on Baxter paper. Especially with books that initially were on newsprint, but switched (Power Pack, Alpha Flight, 'Nam). Since it fit the profile, I checked on Strikeforce Morituri and found a few potential issues as well. Basically I've been starting by going through the covers on the Marvel wiki and then checking Mile High's website to see if they only have Newsstand issues available. I started checking eBay as well for some issues. Any other titles fit this profile?

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1 hour ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

As for your experience with Hulk #397, I suspect you are misremembering. The distribution channels for the newsstand and the Direct market were completely different...starting at World Color and Quebecor from the moment they were finished with the printing process...and never the 'twain did meet. Stores wouldn't "accidentally" receive newsstand copies, and vice versa, because that's not how they were distributed, and the distribution process was multi-layered at the time. IF a store had newsstand copies, it's almost certainly because they went to the newsstand to pick up copies that they sold out of for one reason or another, or a customer brought them in and sold/traded them to the store. I don't doubt you probably got it from a comic store...but it didn't get distributed to that store...

...UNLESS, the store ALSO maintained a magazine distribution account, which, from what I can gather, was still true even into the early 90s for some retailers. If that was the case, they'd be getting newsstand copies, too...just a couple to three weeks later, which most stores I imagine didn't want to deal with.

But no, accidentally sending the wrong versions out into the distribution streams...? Ehh, sure, anything's *possible*, but I seriously doubt it ever happened, again, because of the way the books were handled at the printers, from the moment the books were finished, AND because it was in the publsher's interests to keep close watch on what was returnable and what was not.

I don't doubt your reasoning on this, but I know that I was only regularly going to newsstands (stationery stores and 7-11s, mostly) in my neighborhood for the first few years I was collecting comics. After that, and once I was driving, I didn't really bother, as I could drive to the various comic stores in my area. Occasionally I might buy a book from a "newsstand" on a whim, but that would usually be an additional book in my collection. As it is, I have a few copies of each Hulk book in that time period, all of them Direct copies, except 397, for which I *only* have Newsstand copies. There's nothing particularly special about that book that would have resulted in a sellout at my comic shop that I had to hunt down elsewhere. And they're all in great condition too, which probably would not have been the case if grabbed from a newsstand.

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4 hours ago, GeeksAreMyPeeps said:

Good call. This scenario appears to be exclusive to books on Baxter paper. Especially with books that initially were on newsprint, but switched (Power Pack, Alpha Flight, 'Nam). Since it fit the profile, I checked on Strikeforce Morituri and found a few potential issues as well. Basically I've been starting by going through the covers on the Marvel wiki and then checking Mile High's website to see if they only have Newsstand issues available. I started checking eBay as well for some issues. Any other titles fit this profile?

I'm researching Australian price variants and spotted the Moon Knight,  Alpha Flight and Nam copies that way. If I spot anymore, I'll let you know. 

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11 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Any "Direct Only" title from Marvel from 1988-1993-ish would likely have the issues.

Is there a good resource for what titles were direct-only during this time period?

I updated the list with more titles. The UPC-only books start in December 1988, and end, from what I've been able to tell so far, in October 1991 for comics and May 1992 for Prestige/Bookshelf format titles.

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11 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

A good resource for finding out which titles were "Direct Only" is a Previews catalog, or a Capital City catalog, or Marvel Age, or Comic Shop News...those should be able to tell you, if there's any question, what titles were "Direct Only" and when they were, since several newsstand books went to Direct Only at the time (AF, for example.)

 

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The Saga of the Human Torch 4 issue mini-series fit's the bill:

sotht.thumb.jpg.6a66e9a2631860f2f4472598720b74ed.jpg

Every #3 I can see online is a Spidey head UPC, and every 1, 2 and 4 are newsstand UPC's with 'DE' price boxes

 

 

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While interesting to some degree, this isn't blowing my skirt up. meh

 

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7 hours ago, Get Marwood & I said:

The Saga of the Human Torch 4 issue mini-series fit's the bill:

 

Every #3 I can see online is a Spidey head UPC, and every 1, 2 and 4 are newsstand UPC's with 'DE' price boxes

 

 

Good catch. I'm working my way through Marvel's monthly releases from 12/88 on, looking for books that seem to fit the profile, but haven't gotten to this one yet.

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Most bookshelf/prestige format books fall into this category, but there are a few books (e.g. Excalibur specials, Wolverine Saga 3-4, Havok/Wolverine: Meltdown) that have both UPC and non-UPC versions.

Edited by GeeksAreMyPeeps

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Found a few more whilst looking for AUS copies:

I can only find one version of this one shot:

s-l1600.jpg

 

And the #3 of the 1-4 mini-series always seems to be newsstand UPC / the others picture:

 s-l1600.jpg

Edited by Get Marwood & I

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5 hours ago, divad said:

While interesting to some degree, this isn't blowing my skirt up. meh

 

Good. Nobody wants to see that. :baiting:

And not everything is about value and what to market to suckers.

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8 hours ago, Lazyboy said:

Good. Nobody wants to see that. :baiting:

I can have an opinion though . . . right? :whistle:

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I added a bunch more books, and realized there are a good number of titles to check in the Epic imprint and other Marvel imprints. I know that a lot of Epic titles were Direct-only, so I assume there will be a good number of books in there, but not all Epic titles were Direct-only. 

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39 minutes ago, divad said:

I can have an opinion though . . . right? :whistle:

Sure, but this is simply a factual thread about books that look different than they should. I don't know what opinion is relevant here. (shrug)

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2 hours ago, Lazyboy said:
3 hours ago, divad said:

I can have an opinion though . . . right? :whistle:

Sure, but this is simply a factual thread about books that look different than they should. I don't know what opinion is relevant here. (shrug)

divad, I read your contribution as "so what guys, get a life". That's fair enough, you are indeed entitled to your opinion as you said. I'd question the wisdom of sharing it though. Unless you have some ongoing relationship with the authors, and it's seen as humour, it can come across as pretty rude. 

I like your new avatar by the way, and said as such in my avatar thread. 

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