DC Universe Logo UPC Variants

Over the last few years collector’s attitudes towards reprints have changed. Buyers are no longer turned off by these printings, instead they are looking to the print run as a determining factor when it comes to buying. These printings are often manufactured in lesser quantity so when demand rises certain reprinted titles can see significant increases in value. Changes in color or art help denote the difference in printing and are now often seen as unique variants.

In the past many of these comic types were despised by collectors and relegated to the quarter-bin wasteland. As a result there are many reprints which have become significantly hard to find in high grade.

One particularly interesting subset of such reprints are the DC universe UPC printings. These reprints are only discernible by the logo printed in the UPC box. They are rare, often the last printed edition and were limited to distinct retailers in comic packs or multipacks like this:








Or this…

This rare Batman collector’s pack contains 3 DCUs and one regular edition ( LOTDK 50 )

The logo also helps to drive their popularity because it’s freakin’ awesome!

Be careful when buying though, not all packs have them

And try to remember that they came in a multitude of different packs, not all 20 packs have DCU UPC editions. Because the packs were manufactured by month it’s likely that DC included reprints with the UPC logo to fill the packs and even went back to press to print DCUs to fill gaps. 20 packs from Toys R Us were packed by month so the packs have the same books.

Earliest known 20 pack: 12/92

Last known 20 pack: 12/96 ( included DCU Universe comic or comics )

Notable packs:

  • March 1993 contains a direct Wonder Woman 72.
  • September 1993 ( BA 12 )
  • The 12/93 pack contains a MOS 18 2nd print NOT a UPC variant.

Also, not all packs ( if you are lucky enough to find them ) have them same books inside even if it looks like they do! The images below are pics of two packs each with the same comic on the front but different comics on the backside:

Here’s some video on what these packs look like when you open one, courtesy of DCU guru Steve Horn!

Creating a comprehensive list of these comics has proven to be difficult. Over the years their popularity has been limited to diehard comics fans. Go do a search on Ebay for DC Universe UPC and you won’t see many books but you can easily find some of them unlabeled because even sellers do not know what they have! In this article we will try to provide a resource for both long standing fans and the new collector.

Notes

These books can sometimes be mislabeled as DC Universe UPC Walmart variants/printings/packs. While they were available in Walmart packs around the country, they were also available at Costco, Sam’s Club, Kmart and other retailers. What follows is a list which was assembled through various resources including forums from around the internet, Ben S ( who also assembled a detailed checklist ), Trey and Steve Horn. As far as rarity goes it appears that comics with this logo printed prior to 1994 appear to be much more common but still much more rare than their first printings.

Value-wise, each issue must be evaluated on the same criteria as any other comic: demand, condition, rarity and content.

Remember, the logo must be INSIDE the UPC box.

Action Comics 684 3rd print, 686 2nd print SUPER RARE, 695 through 704 700, 700 GOLD RARE, 705 RARE , 706 RARE, 708, 709, 710, 712 through 715, 718, 722 through 726
NOTE: It is believed that Action 686 was exclusive to a 2 pack which is why is it probably the rarest one on the entire list! The 2/93 20 pack should contain an Action 686 but it is most likely a 2nd print not a UPC variant.

Adventures of Superman 498 4th print, 499 3rd print RARE , 508 through 520, 521 RARE, 522, 523 unconfirmed, 524 through 529, 530 RARE, 531, 532, 535 through 540, Annual 8
Animaniacs 1, 2, 4 through 7, 9, 10, 15, 16 ( there are three known cover variants for this book, a direct, newsstand and one with a Bugs Bunny WB logo where the UPC should be. There may be a fourth if a DCU logo exists but it stands as unconfirmed ), 18, Christmas Special RARE ( also the first appearance of show characters )
Aquaman 1, 3, 5 through 9, 21 through 24
Aquaman: Time & Tide 1, 2, 3
Azrael 15, 16, 19, 20, 22 Unconfirmed
Batman 503 through 512, 514, 515a & b, 516 RARE, 517 through 523 (515 a & b), 524 RARE, 526, 527, 529, 531 through 535 (531 a & b), Annual 13, 20
Batman Adventures 17, 18 RARE, 33, 35, 36 RARE
Batman Chronicles 4 Ennis Hitman
Batman & Robin Adventures 1 RARE Harley Quinn on cover, 3, 4, 7, 8 Harley Quinn
Batman Legends Dark Knight 62, 63
Batman Shadow of the Bat 25, 29, 30, 35, 38 ,48, 49, 52 through 57
Catwoman 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 31, 32, 36, Annual 2
Damage 0
DC vs Marvel 1, 4 RARE
Detective Comics 670 through 691 (675 a & b, 682 a & b), 685 RARE, 691 RARE, 694 through 704, Annual 8, 9
Flash 86 through 91, 92 First Impulse, 93, 94 possibly RARE, 95 through 102 (100 regular cover SUPER RARE & b), 104, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116 SUPER RARE, 117
Final Night 1, 2, 3, 4
Green Arrow 110, 111
Green Lantern 36 RARE, 47 through 56, (51 RARE , 51 2nd print SUPER RARE), 58, 59, 61, 63 through 68, 70, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81 a & b
Guy Gardner 15, 16, 17
Impulse 3, 10 Unconfirmed, 14, 15, 16
Justice League International 60 through 63, 67
Justice League of America 69 4th print RARE, 84 through 93, 95, 97, 98, 99, 107, 108, 112
Justice League Task Force 7, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 32
Legionnaires 10, 12, 16, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 29, 33
Looney Tunes 2 through 6, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15 RARE
Nightwing (not the mini) 1, 2 RARE
Parallax Emerald Night 1
Pinky & The Brain 1
Power of Shazam 1 through 4, 12, 16, 17, 19
Robin 3 through 9, 11, 12 SUPER RARE, 13 through 22 (14 a & b), 25, 27, 28, 31 through 35, Annual 4, 5
Showcase 94 1 through 10
Sovereign Seven 1
Steel 1 through 9, 11-15, 17, 23 unconfirmed, 24, 28, 29, 31
Superboy 1 through 8, 9 First King Shark, 11 through 16, 20, 23, 24, 29 Possibly RARE, 30, 32, Annual 3 SUPER RARE ( possibly released in 1997 collector’s set )
Superboy and the Ravers 1, 2
Supergirl (1994) 1 through 4
Supergirl (1996) 2, 3, 4
Superman 74 4th print, 77 3rd print SUPER RARE, 85 through 95, 96 RARE, 97 SUPER RARE, 98 through 106, 108, 109, 114 through 118, Annual 6, 8
Note: Superman 116 does not have the Teen Titans banner or interior preview as it’s Direct Edition counterpart.
Superman Doomsday Hunter-Prey 1, 2, 3
Note: Because these were printed in prestige format you must look on the back for the logo or newsstand variants.
Superman Man of Steel 18 5th print SUPER RARE ( first full Doomsday ), 19 3rd print SUPER RARE, 20 2nd print, 29 through 38, 40, 41, 42 RARE, 43 through 49 unconfirmed, 52, 53, 57 through 60, Annual 3
Superman The Man Of Tomorrow 1, 5
Superman Toyman 1
Superman Wedding 1 a & b
Note: The non embossed cover was only available in the wedding comic pack, the embossed cover was available in the 20 pack.

This Superman collector’s set contains the Wedding Album Embossed DCU logo variant NOT the regular DCU variant. To our knowledge the regular DCU cover was at least available in the QVC wedding set.

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? 1 RARE, 4 RARE
Wonder Woman 82, 84 through 89, 90 RARE, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96 RARE, 97, 98, 99 Unconfirmed, 100 through 101,106

A final word…..

So I want all the readers to understand, this work is our best effort to inform collector’s about these books. At this point the list and information is always changing. It is certainly possible that some of these books on the list do not exist. Getting confirmation on every single issue is a daunting task despite our best efforts. If you have any information to contribute please do so and we will do our best to reflect it through constant updates. We used a wide variety of sources to compile our list and correct errors from those sources including Ebay, online forums etc.

ADDITIONAL KEY CONTRIBUTORS: Trey Kenyon, Ben Stein, Steve Horn, David One

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