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Unexpected barcodes Options
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 5:35:04 PM
Rank: Watcher
Groups: Member, Newsstand Edition Host

Joined: 7/28/2012
Posts: 536
Points: 2,196
I was re-reading some old comics today. One of them was Legion of Super-Heroes #42 (Jan. 1988). When I was done, I closed it, looked at the back cover—and saw a barcode.

That surprised me. I had thought the entire 1984–87 Deluxe format LSH series was direct-only, and on a 1988 comic, a barcode implies a newsstand comic. With a little digging, I found that my copies of issues 40–43 each had a barcode, but that no other issue in my collection does. A little more digging revealed that Mile High is selling newsstand versions of the same four issues, but of no other issues.

I'm pretty sure I was buying LSH at a direct-sales shop by that time (I had dropped the title early in its Deluxe-format run, and it seems like I started picking it up again around #32), so that would imply that my barcoded copies came through the direct-sales system.

Now I'm wondering if a version of any of these issues withOUT a barcode exists (from past experience, I know that Mile High's separate listings of newsstand versions do not constitute proof of distinguishable direct-sales copies). If anyone has evidence of a barcode-less LSH 40–43 (1987–88), I hope they will share that information.

As I try to understand why DC would have slapped barcodes on these four issues, I find that DC's newsstand Legion title, Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, ended with the December 1987 issue. Perhaps DC wanted a continued newsstand presence for the characters, and experimented with distributing the Deluxe-format title to newsstands. If so, then it seems the market wasn't ready yet for that.
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