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Comprehensive List of DC Universe Logo UPC Variants
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2,183 posts in this topic

On 8/18/2022 at 12:17 AM, Warlord said:

That's quite a collection!  Congrats!  What's the official max unique count known to collecting-kind?

Thanks! I am definitely guilty of paying a premium, especially in the last year as I traveled less and narrowed my want list down to much harder issues. There's nothing quite so exciting as finding them in the wild at a bargain though!

According to my working list there are at least 542 confirmed DCUs with physical or photographic evidence, which includes at least 5 stickered variants and things like two different versions of Green Lantern #96 (Stridex or Covermall back covers), indicia variations, etc.  I have a further sublist with about a dozen questionable/rumored to exist/ extremely unlikely to exist issues which, if they were to exist, would bring the number up somewhere around 555. This does not count any other multipack UPC variants such as the Zero Hour logo, Bat Signal logo, etc.

I'm always so grateful for the existence of this thread and all the knowledgeable boardies who have shared their photos and info over the years! 

 

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On 8/21/2022 at 9:03 AM, Cpt Kirk said:

You just found a unicorn with that SM MOS 50, my friend.  We only know of 3 copies now.

Thanks, I knew it had to be in single digits but didn't realize there have been that few found. Worth every inch of random dreck that I purchased just to have it, lol.

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On 8/21/2022 at 7:22 PM, L.E. Gill said:

Thanks, I knew it had to be in single digits but didn't realize there have been that few found. Worth every inch of random dreck that I purchased just to have it, lol.

No doubt.  A friend of mine found my copy in Germany... go figure.  It probably cost me $50 have it shipped in some sort insured fashion to make darn sure it wouldn't get lost in the mail.  Those are always nail-biting moments when you are waiting on a super rare comic book to arrive.

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What are your favorite DCU covers and which titles do you wish there were more of? 

Not sure about a favorite, but I am very fond of some of the Power of Shazam covers (gotta love Ordway) and wish we had a few more in that run. I'd especially like a Power of Shazam #14 DCU.

I also find Jeffrey Moy's Legionnaires artwork charming and would not have said no to more of that in a DCU. The Bolland Wonder Woman covers and a lot of the Batman Adventures run (bat signal or otherwise,) are distinctive/ nostalgic as well. I'm still thinking about my favorites in several of the Superman and Batman titles.

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On 8/29/2022 at 7:23 PM, Cpt Kirk said:

I got a good laugh out of this featured listing in Chuck's Mile High Comics newsletter today.   Even with the usual 60% discount code that runs almost continuously, I thought these prices were pretty crazy.

https://www.milehighcomics.com/cgi-bin/backissue.cgi?action=direct&issue=97072763696 88 DCUNIVERS

The prices ARE crazy and try selling those to Mile High and see what they offer you. That site is so… 1997.

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On 8/18/2022 at 9:05 PM, L.E. Gill said:

Thanks! I am definitely guilty of paying a premium, especially in the last year as I traveled less and narrowed my want list down to much harder issues. There's nothing quite so exciting as finding them in the wild at a bargain though!

According to my working list there are at least 542 confirmed DCUs with physical or photographic evidence, which includes at least 5 stickered variants and things like two different versions of Green Lantern #96 (Stridex or Covermall back covers), indicia variations, etc.  I have a further sublist with about a dozen questionable/rumored to exist/ extremely unlikely to exist issues which, if they were to exist, would bring the number up somewhere around 555. This does not count any other multipack UPC variants such as the Zero Hour logo, Bat Signal logo, etc.

I'm always so grateful for the existence of this thread and all the knowledgeable boardies who have shared their photos and info over the years! 

 

I would love to see your "questionable/rumored" list as a stand-alone list.   That might help you bring out some more of these rare examples.

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On 9/1/2022 at 6:35 PM, Qalyar said:

MH's prices have lost any connection to reality. I occasionally check them as a sort of database for weird variants, newsstands, etc. although as this demonstrates, that's hardly reliable either.

I think what makes the prices worse is that they've absolutely got the worst grading of what is consider the "major" internet comic retailers. NM and VF aren't supposed to mean "Not Mint" and "Various Flaws"...

There are times when I shake my head at Mile High, and other times that I think Chuck is a marketing genius.  His insane prices on newsstand issues was one of the reasons why I got hooked on collecting DC Universe variants and newsstand issues (I found a bunch of them in a local shop that was going out of business, and I thought to myself "Wow... I just found a comic book for 2 bucks that is shown on Mile High's website with an asking price of 20 bucks".   Only later (after buying a load of DCU variants and newsstand issues from Mile High to fill in holes) did I realize that most of those issues would be easy enough to find on ebay and other shops for much less than Mile High's price even after the usual 50 to 60% discounts.   I would be shocked if I could ever sell a comic book back to Mile High comics for more than what I paid, even 30 years after the fact.

God only knows how many people read his email newsletters and take everything he says about back issues as gospel.

Edited by Cpt Kirk
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On 8/28/2022 at 12:50 AM, L.E. Gill said:

What are your favorite DCU covers and which titles do you wish there were more of? 

Not sure about a favorite, but I am very fond of some of the Power of Shazam covers (gotta love Ordway) and wish we had a few more in that run. I'd especially like a Power of Shazam #14 DCU.

I also find Jeffrey Moy's Legionnaires artwork charming and would not have said no to more of that in a DCU. The Bolland Wonder Woman covers and a lot of the Batman Adventures run (bat signal or otherwise,) are distinctive/ nostalgic as well. I'm still thinking about my favorites in several of the Superman and Batman titles.

1.  Those "Funeral for a Friend" DCU issues with the black covers are favorites of mine (and tend to be among the most rare).

2. I think some of the more obscure titles such as "Superman Man of Tomorrow" might have more DCU's, but they might not be coming out of the closet because ....... "Who in the heck tries to collect Superman MOT?"   Issues #1 thru 7 could possiblly have DCU variants, but only two are known to exist (namely, #1 and #5).

3. Justice League (1987) series also has a large gap of DCU's.   A DCU variant of any issue between #83 and #113 could exist, but we've never seen DCU variants of #96, #100 thru 106, #109 thru #111, and #113.  All those issues have interesting covers in my opinion.

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On 9/6/2022 at 8:54 PM, Cpt Kirk said:

I would love to see your "questionable/rumored" list as a stand-alone list.   That might help you bring out some more of these rare examples.

Will do, I don't think there will be any surprises on it but would love to get any info such as the previous discussion on Steel #23.

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On 9/6/2022 at 9:16 PM, Cpt Kirk said:

2. I think some of the more obscure titles such as "Superman Man of Tomorrow" might have more DCU's, but they might not be coming out of the closet because ....... "Who in the heck tries to collect Superman MOT?"   Issues #1 thru 7 could possiblly have DCU variants, but only two are known to exist (namely, #1 and #5).

3. Justice League (1987) series also has a large gap of DCU's.   A DCU variant of any issue between #83 and #113 could exist, but we've never seen DCU variants of #96, #100 thru 106, #109 thru #111, and #113.  All those issues have interesting covers in my opinion.

An excellent point regarding the Man of Tomorrow and Justice League titles. In the case of Man of Tomorrow, #5 is more an outlier, as #1 was released in two different box sets. Presumably #5 came in a 2 pack or one of those odd unmarked 3 packs/ a super value pack. Anyone have a sealed example?

I have a lot of thoughts about issues which might exist in some of these runs and some notes on which of the 'missing' issues in a run are unlikely. I'll try to compile and post a bit about it this weekend. 

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On 9/9/2022 at 1:33 AM, L.E. Gill said:

An excellent point regarding the Man of Tomorrow and Justice League titles. In the case of Man of Tomorrow, #5 is more an outlier, as #1 was released in two different box sets. Presumably #5 came in a 2 pack or one of those odd unmarked 3 packs/ a super value pack. Anyone have a sealed example?

I have a lot of thoughts about issues which might exist in some of these runs and some notes on which of the 'missing' issues in a run are unlikely. I'll try to compile and post a bit about it this weekend. 

I pulled my SM MOT #5 DCU out of a rare 50-pack that contained a mix of DC and Marvel comic books.  I've rarely seen those come up for sale.  It was probably one of those special packs made for Sears or Toys-R-Us for Christmas.  

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For the purposes of discussion, I’ll be splitting up my notes regarding potential (if unlikely) DCUs into parts by time frame.  Here I’ll be focusing on the latter half of 1996, the undiscovered country.  Fair warning, it gets long behind the cut and is an alarming mix of obsessive research and wishful thinking.

From July 1996 to December 1996, the number of known DCUs drops sharply.  The bulk of identified DCUs from this time period are found in the boxed DC Comic Collector’s Sets, with a handful available in the sealed 2-packs.  At some point, it seems that DC began to slowly shift their efforts towards collecting storylines via TPBs and I theorize that some of the non-box set DCUs from this time may have been intended for box sets that got scrapped.  There was also a lot of crazy going on in the comics market in general in the mid-90s, such as Marvel acquiring Heroes World which led to DC signing with Diamond.   Additionally, market pressures and various events involving Toys-R-Us likely impacted how much that particular chain was ordering multipacks around this time.  At some point, whatever contract the box stores had for the 20 pack bricks must have run out and not been renewed, much like the Marvel 18 pack bricks that came before the DC ones. That leaves us with the unmarked 3-pack polybags and the mixed DC/Marvel Comic Super Value Packs of 50/ other speciality sets in clamshells previously discussed and posted about here and there on this thread.  Several DCUs I found from later in 1996 not in a box set came from one of those; I’ve been told they were sold at Wegman’s.  

The following is a list of potentially undiscovered DCUs based on speculation and several assumptions, namely, I have eliminated any titles published by DC in which there has not already been a DCU (e.g. no Teen Titans, min-series titles, etc.).  I have also eliminated any established DCU series in which the only occurrence(s) of a DCU was specific to a box set storyline (e.g. things like Sovereign Seven #1, Green Arrow, or Batman Chronicles #4 in the Contagion Storyline). I included non-DCU UPC variants such as the WB Reading and other miscellaneous multipack logos in my monthly counts.  Dates are based upon cover date, not release date.

Because I don’t know the provenance of some of the Legends/Dead Earth Annuals (e.g. Impulse Annual #1, Robin Annual #5) versus ones that came in a box set (such as Superboy Annual #2) I have opted to include every Legends/Dead Earth  Annual from the timeframe, though I suspect most are highly unlikely.  Does anyone have confirmation on how those annuals were released (also, I need those Impulse and Robin annuals if anyone has a spare; please PM me :wishluck:).

Spoiler

Potential DCU (or other multipack UPC variants) by Month

Potential July 1996 DCU/UPC Variants 
(25 Known DCUs, 10 of which confirmed from a box set)

Catwoman #35: Unlikely (All Catwoman DCUs post #19 were released as part of a box set, e.g. #31, 32, and 36)
Catwoman Annual #3: Legends/Dead Earth title
Green Lantern #75: Extremely Unlikely (Direct Sales Edition included in GL Box Set)
Guy Gardner: Warrior #44: Unlikely; last regular issue of series probably had flagging sales
Guy Gardner: Warrior Annual #2: Unlikely, for same reason as GG:W #24
Justice League Task Force #36: Last known DCU is #32
Legionnaires #38: Last known DCU is #33
Wonder Woman #111: Last known DCU is #106

Though I don’t deny the possibility, I believe any other DCUs from July 1996 are unlikely.

Potential August 1996 DCU/UPC Variants 
(20 Known DCUs + 2 other UPC Variants, 9 of which confirmed from a box set )

Azrael Annual #2: Legends/Dead Earth title
Justice League America #113: Final issue of series; last known DCU is #112
Justice League Task Force #37: Final issue of series; last known DCU is #32
Legionnaires #39: Last known DCU is #33
Looney Tunes #24: Last known DCU is #15
Pinky and the Brain #2: Last known DCU is #1 (typically packaged with Animaniacs #16 or 18)
Wonder Woman #112: Last known DCU is #106

Of these, I consider Justice League #113 or Pinky & the Brain most believable as possible DCUs.  If either exist, they almost certainly would have been released in a 2 pack.  

Potential September 1996 DCU/UPC Variants 
(12 Known DCUs + 1 other UPC Variants, 9 of which confirmed from a box set )

Action Comics Annual #8: Legends/Dead Earth title
Animaniacs #17: Would fill gap between #16 WBR and #18 DCU
Aquaman Annual #2: Legends/Dead Earth title
Azrael #21: Would fill gap between #20 DCU & rumored to exist #22
The Batman and Robin Adventures #10: Last known DCU is #8 (#9 Bat Silhouette) until #17
Catwoman #37: Unlikely (All Catwoman DCUs post #19 were released as part of a box set, e.g. #31, 32, and 36)
The Flash Annual #9: Legends/Dead Earth title
Green Lantern #78: Not included in GL Box Set which includes GL#75-77, 79)
Impulse #17: Last known DCU is #16
Legionnaires #40: Last known DCU is #33
Pinky and the Brain #3: Last known DCU is #1, #4-5 confirmed as WB Reading variants
The Power of Shazam! #18: Would fill gap between #17 & #19 DCU
Steel #30: Would fill gap between #29 & #31 DCU
Superboy #31: Would fill gap between #30 & #32 DCU
Supergirl #1: #2-4 confirmed as DCUs; there are 2nd and 3rd print direct sales editions
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #6: Last known DCU is #5
Wonder Woman #113: Last known DCU is #106

September ‘96 is full of exciting possibilities, despite the likelihood that DC was making less DCUs as the months went on.  I think there is strong potential for at least a couple other DCUs to exist from September 1996.

If Azrael #22 exists, I think Azrael #21 is more likely to exist.  More on that later.  Of the rest, I think Power of Shazam #18, Steel #30, Superboy #31 have good potential.

I doubt that S: MOT#6 exists because this was a quarterly title that I am pretty sure also filled in for ‘fifth weeks’ during that time when there was a weekly Superman title.  S:MOT#5 at least makes sense from a planned event/ storyline run with the return of Lex Luthor/ ‘Wedding of Lex Luthor’.  Maybe it was originally planned for inclusion in a Wedding box set and got vetoed?  That being said, I agree with Kirk’s assertion that these obscure titles may have undiscovered DCUs.

Potential October 1996 DCU/UPC Variants
(15 Known DCUs + 2 other UPC Variants + 1 rumored DCU, 6 of which confirmed from a box set )
 
Aquaman #25: Last known DCU is #24
The Batman and Robin Adventures #11: Last known DCU is #8 (#9 Bat Silhouette) until #17   Bat Silhouette Logo Variant FOUND!
Catwoman #38: Unlikely (All Catwoman DCUs post #19 were released as part of a box set, e.g. #31, 32, and 36)
The Flash #118: Last known DCU is #117
Impulse #18: Last known DCU is #16
Justice League America Annual #10: Legends/Dead Earth title
Legionnaires #41: Last known DCU is #33
Looney Tunes #25: Last known DCU is #15
The Power of Shazam! Annual #1: Legends/Dead Earth 
Superman: The Man of Steel #61: Last known DCU is #60
Wonder Woman #114: Last known DCU is #106

I don’t believe That Azrael #17 or 18 are as likely to exist at Azrael #21-22.  The first known Azrael DCUs (chronologically) are #15-16 (part of the Contagion storyline/ box set) so a gap makes sense between these issues and the known issues of #19 & 20.  I found my #19 in one of those mixed Marvel/DC 50 pack clamshells and I suspect the bulk of these later 1996 DCUs might crop up in these sets.  The only other unboxing I’ve seen from one of these 50 packs had 12 DCUs inside, but most were neither rare nor exciting.

As an aside, I had forgotten that I knew that Azrael #15 DCU cover art corrects the mis-numbering for the Contagion storyline that the first printing had (#4 instead of #5) and remembered while writing this and think it is very cool.    

I’ve seen conflicting accounts as to whether or not Azrael #22 exists and I have it on my ‘rumored’ list.  A cover scan was submitted to Comic Book Realm circa April 2021; I don’t find this to be compelling evidence as it appears those entries and images may have been generated after discussion on this forum.  However, an article published December 2017 on Comic Book Invest claims a copy of Azrael #22 DCU “turned up at an auction lot a few months ago”. The article has an image uploaded in December 2017.  A google image search did not turn up any visually similar images or sources.  For whatever it is worth, a very simple look at the metadata suggests the image was processed by eBay at some point.  This is the only and best proof I have been able to find that Azrael #22 DCU exists. I wish there had been a little more detail in the article. Please weigh in with any info, including how trustworthy this source might be for this issue?  But assuming this is legit, then I think Azarael #22 DCU exists and supports my theory that #21 has potential as well.

Aside from Azrael, it’s probably worth keeping an eye out for Aquaman, Flash, Impulse, and S: MoS for this month just in case?  

Of possible interest, a handful of the comics for this month such as Eradicator #3, S: MOS #61, Batman & Robin Adventures #11, etc. were released in polybags with an ‘On the Edge’ magazine included.  All of the examples I’ve seen have been Direct Sales versions, even in the case of issues with a known DCU or other variant (e.g. Pinky & the Brain #4).

Potential November 1996 DCU/UPC Variants
(13 Known DCUs + 2 other UPC Variants, 11 of which confirmed from a box set ) 

Action Comics #727: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #726
Animaniacs #19: Last known DCU is #18
Aquaman #26: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #24
Azrael #23: Part 3 of 3 of ‘Angel in Hiding’ storyline (would include Azrael #21-22)
Batman #536: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #535
The Batman and Robin Adventures #12: Last known DCU is #8 (#9 Bat Silhouette) until #17
The Batman and Robin Adventures Annual #1: Seems like this would have turned up already if it was going to
Catwoman #39: Last known DCU is #36
The Flash #119: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #117
Impulse #19: Last known DCU is #16
Legionnaires #42: Last known DCU is #33
Looney Tunes #26: Last known DCU is #15
The Power of Shazam! #20: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #19
Steel #32: Last known DCU is #31
Superboy #33: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #32
Superboy and the Ravers #3: Last known DCU is #2
Superman: The Man of Steel #62: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #60
Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #5: Legends/Dead Earth title
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? #3: Last known UPC Variant is #2
Wonder Woman #115: Last known DCU is #106

This month was the Final NIght event and saw a Final Night storyline box set that accounts for 5 of the known DCUs for the month.  Additionally, Robin #35 and TEC #703 are Final Night tie-in issues from character driven box sets.  There are four other known Final Night tie-in DCUs: Adventures of Superman #540, GL #80, Supergirl #3, and Superman #117. That’s certainly enough for some 2-packs but I do wonder why some of the titles didn’t rate a DCU when up until this month there was a (semi) unbroken run, such as Action Comics #727 (great cover!), Steel #32, Superboy #33, and Power of Shazam #20.  So I would say it is possible there might be one or two other FInal Night tie-ins out there.  Batman #536 seems less likely since they included the TEC#703 DCU in a Batman box set but not the Batman #536?  

Azrael #23 is a longshot that I predicate on the potential existence of #21 and #22 as it is part 3 of the storyline (the summary of which makes my head hurt).  If you assume that there could have been an Azrael character box set planned that got scrapped, a run from #19-23 would give you a 5 issue set (though in this case, #17-18 also being included would make better sense since #19 is Part 2 of a 4 part storyline).  Several of these issues have pretty eye-catching covers and I could see them being ideal for planned box set.  But my hypothetical box set could have gotten scrapped before #23 even went to print.

Potential December 1996 DCU/UPC Variants
(8 Known DCUs, 5 of which confirmed from a box set ) 

Action Comics #728: Extremely Unlikely, Direct Edition included in Box Set
Adventures of Superman #541: Extremely Unlikely, Direct Edition included in Box Set
Animaniacs #20: Last known DCU is #18
Aquaman #27: Last known DCU is #24
Azrael #24: Unlikely, started a new storyline.
Batman #537: Last known DCU is #535
The Batman and Robin Adventures #13: Last known DCU is #8 (#9 Bat Silhouette) until #17
Catwoman #40: Last known DCU is #36
The Flash #120: Last known DCU is #117
Impulse #20: Last known DCU is #16
Legionnaires #43: Last known DCU is #33
Legionnaires Annual #3: Legends/Dead Earth title
Nightwing #3: Last known DCU is #2
Pinky and the Brain #6: Last known DCU is #1, #4-5 confirmed as WB Reading variants
The Power of Shazam! #21: Last known DCU is #19
Robin #36: Last known DCU is #35
Steel #33: Last known DCU is #31
Superboy #34: Last known DCU is #32
Superboy and the Ravers #4: Last known DCU is #2
Superman Adventures #2: Last known UPC Variant is #1 (whoops, broke my rule about one-offs)
Superman: The Man of Steel #63: Last known DCU is #60
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #7: Last known DCU is #5; unlikely for reasons stated above
Wonder Woman #116: Last known DCU is #106
Wonder Woman Annual #5: Legends/Dead Earth title

Here the number of confirmed DCUs has dwindled significantly.  However, since at least a few of them are not known to have originated in a box set, there’s at least a slight possibility there could be a few more.  However, we also know at a certain point the 2 packs were getting a mix of direct sales and DCUs, at least in the instance of Superman #118 paired with Superman #123 direct sales (Note that Superman #123 was a second printing in the 2 pack.  It would have likely been released sometime between March and May of 1997).  This month also saw two different versions of the DCUs in GL#81 and Superman: The Wedding Album. 

Another hypothetical but scrapped box set could have involved planning a Best of ‘96 set similar to the 1994 and 1995 sets.  I’m not sure what issues would have made the cut, but I could see it being an opportunity for Nightwing #1 if not #2 to fit in somewhere. 

Looking at the remaining December 1996 titles, I think it’s pretty unlikely for there to be more than potentially one or two more DCUs.  I haven’t written much regarding Batman & Robin Adventures here, but of all the titles, I find it easier to believe there may be some undiscovered DCUs in this run, simply by virtue of Onlyweaknesskryptonite‘s recent discovery of #17. Despite being an April 1997 cover date, the issue itself would have been released in late February.  I just think Batman & Robin Adventures has a lot of potential in the latter half of 1996 and early 1997.

In summary, despite fewer and fewer identified DCUs in 1996 as compared to earlier years with consistent 20 pack bricks, there are definitely a few issues with potential.  In particular it may be worth checking bins for short runs from Azrael, and Batman & Robin Adventures, as well as missing links in Power of Shazam, Steel, and Superboy.
 

Edited by L.E. Gill
Added Update on Batman & Robin Adventures #11, Clarity on Superman #123 2nd printing
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On 9/11/2022 at 5:25 PM, L.E. Gill said:

For the purposes of discussion, I’ll be splitting up my notes regarding potential (if unlikely) DCUs into parts by time frame.  Here I’ll be focusing on the latter half of 1996, the undiscovered country.  Fair warning, it gets long behind the cut and is an alarming mix of obsessive research and wishful thinking.

From July 1996 to December 1996, the number of known DCUs drops sharply.  The bulk of identified DCUs from this time period are found in the boxed DC Comic Collector’s Sets, with a handful available in the sealed 2-packs.  At some point, it seems that DC began to slowly shift their efforts towards collecting storylines via TPBs and I theorize that some of the non-box set DCUs from this time may have been intended for box sets that got scrapped.  There was also a lot of crazy going on in the comics market in general in the mid-90s, such as Marvel acquiring Heroes World which led to DC signing with Diamond.   Additionally, market pressures and various events involving Toys-R-Us likely impacted how much that particular chain was ordering multipacks around this time.  At some point, whatever contract the box stores had for the 20 pack bricks must have run out and not been renewed, much like the Marvel 18 pack bricks that came before the DC ones. That leaves us with the unmarked 3-pack polybags and the mixed DC/Marvel Comic Super Value Packs of 50/ other speciality sets in clamshells previously discussed and posted about here and there on this thread.  Several DCUs I found from later in 1996 not in a box set came from one of those; I’ve been told they were sold at Wegman’s.  

The following is a list of potentially undiscovered DCUs based on speculation and several assumptions, namely, I have eliminated any titles published by DC in which there has not already been a DCU (e.g. no Teen Titans, min-series titles, etc.).  I have also eliminated any established DCU series in which the only occurrence(s) of a DCU was specific to a box set storyline (e.g. things like Sovereign Seven #1, Green Arrow, or Batman Chronicles #4 in the Contagion Storyline). I included non-DCU UPC variants such as the WB Reading and other miscellaneous multipack logos in my monthly counts.  Dates are based upon cover date, not release date.

Because I don’t know the provenance of some of the Legends/Dead Earth Annuals (e.g. Impulse Annual #1, Robin Annual #5) versus ones that came in a box set (such as Superboy Annual #2) I have opted to include every Legends/Dead Earth  Annual from the timeframe, though I suspect most are highly unlikely.  Does anyone have confirmation on how those annuals were released (also, I need those Impulse and Robin annuals if anyone has a spare; please PM me :wishluck:).

  Reveal hidden contents

Potential DCU (or other multipack UPC variants) by Month

Potential July 1996 DCU/UPC Variants 
(25 Known DCUs, 10 of which confirmed from a box set)

Catwoman #35: Unlikely (All Catwoman DCUs post #19 were released as part of a box set, e.g. #31, 32, and 36)
Catwoman Annual #3: Legends/Dead Earth title
Green Lantern #75: Extremely Unlikely (Direct Sales Edition included in GL Box Set)
Guy Gardner: Warrior #44: Unlikely; last regular issue of series probably had flagging sales
Guy Gardner: Warrior Annual #2: Unlikely, for same reason as GG:W #24
Justice League Task Force #36: Last known DCU is #32
Legionnaires #38: Last known DCU is #33
Wonder Woman #111: Last known DCU is #106

Though I don’t deny the possibility, I believe any other DCUs from July 1996 are unlikely.

Potential August 1996 DCU/UPC Variants 
(20 Known DCUs + 2 other UPC Variants, 9 of which confirmed from a box set )

Azrael Annual #2: Legends/Dead Earth title
Justice League America #113: Final issue of series; last known DCU is #112
Justice League Task Force #37: Final issue of series; last known DCU is #32
Legionnaires #39: Last known DCU is #33
Looney Tunes #24: Last known DCU is #15
Pinky and the Brain #2: Last known DCU is #1 (typically packaged with Animaniacs #16 or 18)
Wonder Woman #112: Last known DCU is #106

Of these, I consider Justice League #113 or Pinky & the Brain most believable as possible DCUs.  If either exist, they almost certainly would have been released in a 2 pack.  

Potential September 1996 DCU/UPC Variants 
(12 Known DCUs + 1 other UPC Variants, 9 of which confirmed from a box set )

Action Comics Annual #8: Legends/Dead Earth title
Animaniacs #17: Would fill gap between #16 WBR and #18 DCU
Aquaman Annual #2: Legends/Dead Earth title
Azrael #21: Would fill gap between #20 DCU & rumored to exist #22
The Batman and Robin Adventures #10: Last known DCU is #8 (#9 Bat Silhouette) until #17
Catwoman #37: Unlikely (All Catwoman DCUs post #19 were released as part of a box set, e.g. #31, 32, and 36)
The Flash Annual #9: Legends/Dead Earth title
Green Lantern #78: Not included in GL Box Set which includes GL#75-77, 79)
Impulse #17: Last known DCU is #16
Legionnaires #40: Last known DCU is #33
Pinky and the Brain #3: Last known DCU is #1, #4-5 confirmed as WB Reading variants
The Power of Shazam! #18: Would fill gap between #17 & #19 DCU
Steel #30: Would fill gap between #29 & #31 DCU
Superboy #31: Would fill gap between #30 & #32 DCU
Supergirl #1: #2-4 confirmed as DCUs; there are 2nd and 3rd print direct sales editions
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #6: Last known DCU is #5
Wonder Woman #113: Last known DCU is #106

September ‘96 is full of exciting possibilities, despite the likelihood that DC was making less DCUs as the months went on.  I think there is strong potential for at least a couple other DCUs to exist from September 1996.

If Azrael #22 exists, I think Azrael #21 is more likely to exist.  More on that later.  Of the rest, I think Power of Shazam #18, Steel #30, Superboy #31 have good potential.

I doubt that S: MOT#6 exists because this was a quarterly title that I am pretty sure also filled in for ‘fifth weeks’ during that time when there was a weekly Superman title.  S:MOT#5 at least makes sense from a planned event/ storyline run with the return of Lex Luthor/ ‘Wedding of Lex Luthor’.  Maybe it was originally planned for inclusion in a Wedding box set and got vetoed?  That being said, I agree with Kirk’s assertion that these obscure titles may have undiscovered DCUs.

Potential October 1996 DCU/UPC Variants
(15 Known DCUs + 1 other UPC Variants + 1 rumored DCU, 6 of which confirmed from a box set )
 
Aquaman #25: Last known DCU is #24
The Batman and Robin Adventures #11: Last known DCU is #8 (#9 Bat Silhouette) until #17
Catwoman #38: Unlikely (All Catwoman DCUs post #19 were released as part of a box set, e.g. #31, 32, and 36)
The Flash #118: Last known DCU is #117
Impulse #18: Last known DCU is #16
Justice League America Annual #10: Legends/Dead Earth title
Legionnaires #41: Last known DCU is #33
Looney Tunes #25: Last known DCU is #15
The Power of Shazam! Annual #1: Legends/Dead Earth 
Superman: The Man of Steel #61: Last known DCU is #60
Wonder Woman #114: Last known DCU is #106

I don’t believe That Azrael #17 or 18 are as likely to exist at Azrael #21-22.  The first known Azrael DCUs (chronologically) are #15-16 (part of the Contagion storyline/ box set) so a gap makes sense between these issues and the known issues of #19 & 20.  I found my #19 in one of those mixed Marvel/DC 50 pack clamshells and I suspect the bulk of these later 1996 DCUs might crop up in these sets.  The only other unboxing I’ve seen from one of these 50 packs had 12 DCUs inside, but most were neither rare nor exciting.

As an aside, I had forgotten that I knew that Azrael #15 DCU cover art corrects the mis-numbering for the Contagion storyline that the first printing had (#4 instead of #5) and remembered while writing this and think it is very cool.    

I’ve seen conflicting accounts as to whether or not Azrael #22 exists and I have it on my ‘rumored’ list.  A cover scan was submitted to Comic Book Realm circa April 2021; I don’t find this to be compelling evidence as it appears those entries and images may have been generated after discussion on this forum.  However, an article published December 2017 on Comic Book Invest claims a copy of Azrael #22 DCU “turned up at an auction lot a few months ago”. The article has an image uploaded in December 2017.  A google image search did not turn up any visually similar images or sources.  For whatever it is worth, a very simple look at the metadata suggests the image was processed by eBay at some point.  This is the only and best proof I have been able to find that Azrael #22 DCU exists. I wish there had been a little more detail in the article. Please weigh in with any info, including how trustworthy this source might be for this issue?  But assuming this is legit, then I think Azarael #22 DCU exists and supports my theory that #21 has potential as well.

Aside from Azrael, it’s probably worth keeping an eye out for Aquaman, Flash, Impulse, and S: MoS for this month just in case?  

Of possible interest, a handful of the comics for this month such as Eradicator #3, S: MOS #61, Batman & Robin Adventures #11, etc. were released in polybags with an ‘On the Edge’ magazine included.  All of the examples I’ve seen have been Direct Sales versions, even in the case of issues with a known DCU or other variant (e.g. Pinky & the Brain #4).

Potential November 1996 DCU/UPC Variants
(13 Known DCUs + 2 other UPC Variants, 11 of which confirmed from a box set ) 

Action Comics #727: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #726
Animaniacs #19: Last known DCU is #18
Aquaman #26: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #24
Azrael #23: Part 3 of 3 of ‘Angel in Hiding’ storyline (would include Azrael #21-22)
Batman #536: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #535
The Batman and Robin Adventures #12: Last known DCU is #8 (#9 Bat Silhouette) until #17
The Batman and Robin Adventures Annual #1: Seems like this would have turned up already if it was going to
Catwoman #39: Last known DCU is #36
The Flash #119: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #117
Impulse #19: Last known DCU is #16
Legionnaires #42: Last known DCU is #33
Looney Tunes #26: Last known DCU is #15
The Power of Shazam! #20: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #19
Steel #32: Last known DCU is #31
Superboy #33: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #32
Superboy and the Ravers #3: Last known DCU is #2
Superman: The Man of Steel #62: Final Night Tie-In; last known DCU is #60
Superman: The Man of Steel Annual #5: Legends/Dead Earth title
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? #3: Last known UPC Variant is #2
Wonder Woman #115: Last known DCU is #106

This month was the Final NIght event and saw a Final Night storyline box set that accounts for 5 of the known DCUs for the month.  Additionally, Robin #35 and TEC #703 are Final Night tie-in issues from character driven box sets.  There are four other known Final Night tie-in DCUs: Adventures of Superman #540, GL #80, Supergirl #3, and Superman #117. That’s certainly enough for some 2-packs but I do wonder why some of the titles didn’t rate a DCU when up until this month there was a (semi) unbroken run, such as Action Comics #727 (great cover!), Steel #32, Superboy #33, and Power of Shazam #20.  So I would say it is possible there might be one or two other FInal Night tie-ins out there.  Batman #536 seems less likely since they included the TEC#703 DCU in a Batman box set but not the Batman #536?  

Azrael #23 is a longshot that I predicate on the potential existence of #21 and #22 as it is part 3 of the storyline (the summary of which makes my head hurt).  If you assume that there could have been an Azrael character box set planned that got scrapped, a run from #19-23 would give you a 5 issue set (though in this case, #17-18 also being included would make better sense since #19 is Part 2 of a 4 part storyline).  Several of these issues have pretty eye-catching covers and I could see them being ideal for planned box set.  But my hypothetical box set could have gotten scrapped before #23 even went to print.

Potential December 1996 DCU/UPC Variants
(8 Known DCUs, 5 of which confirmed from a box set ) 

Action Comics #728: Extremely Unlikely, Direct Edition included in Box Set
Adventures of Superman #541: Extremely Unlikely, Direct Edition included in Box Set
Animaniacs #20: Last known DCU is #18
Aquaman #27: Last known DCU is #24
Azrael #24: Unlikely, started a new storyline.
Batman #537: Last known DCU is #535
The Batman and Robin Adventures #13: Last known DCU is #8 (#9 Bat Silhouette) until #17
Catwoman #40: Last known DCU is #36
The Flash #120: Last known DCU is #117
Impulse #20: Last known DCU is #16
Legionnaires #43: Last known DCU is #33
Legionnaires Annual #3: Legends/Dead Earth title
Nightwing #3: Last known DCU is #2
Pinky and the Brain #6: Last known DCU is #1, #4-5 confirmed as WB Reading variants
The Power of Shazam! #21: Last known DCU is #19
Robin #36: Last known DCU is #35
Steel #33: Last known DCU is #31
Superboy #34: Last known DCU is #32
Superboy and the Ravers #4: Last known DCU is #2
Superman Adventures #2: Last known UPC Variant is #1 (whoops, broke my rule about one-offs)
Superman: The Man of Steel #63: Last known DCU is #60
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #7: Last known DCU is #5; unlikely for reasons stated above
Wonder Woman #116: Last known DCU is #106
Wonder Woman Annual #5: Legends/Dead Earth title

Here the number of confirmed DCUs has dwindled significantly.  However, since at least a few of them are not known to have originated in a box set, there’s at least a slight possibility there could be a few more.  However, we also know at a certain point the 2 packs were getting a mix of direct sales and DCUs, at least in the instance of Superman #118 paired with Superman #123 direct sales (Note that Superman #123 was a second printing in the 2 pack.  It would have likely been released sometime between March and May of 1997).  This month also saw two different versions of the DCUs in GL#81 and Superman: The Wedding Album. 

Another hypothetical but scrapped box set could have involved planning a Best of ‘96 set similar to the 1994 and 1995 sets.  I’m not sure what issues would have made the cut, but I could see it being an opportunity for Nightwing #1 if not #2 to fit in somewhere. 

Looking at the remaining December 1996 titles, I think it’s pretty unlikely for there to be more than potentially one or two more DCUs.  I haven’t written much regarding Batman & Robin Adventures here, but of all the titles, I find it easier to believe there may be some undiscovered DCUs in this run, simply by virtue of Onlyweaknesskryptonite‘s recent discovery of #17. Despite being an April 1997 cover date, the issue itself would have been released in late February.  I just think Batman & Robin Adventures has a lot of potential in the latter half of 1996 and early 1997.

In summary, despite fewer and fewer identified DCUs in 1996 as compared to earlier years with consistent 20 pack bricks, there are definitely a few issues with potential.  In particular it may be worth checking bins for short runs from Azrael, and Batman & Robin Adventures, as well as missing links in Power of Shazam, Steel, and Superboy.
 

Great run down, and thanks.  Here's some additional input.

1.  Azrael 22:   We've been looking for 15+ years and haven not seen it. Jerome Wenker thought it existed even though he didn't have a copy.  And there was an image of #22 on the web, but we couldn't tell if it was photoshopped and we could not find the owner to verify.  This one reminds me of Batman 457 2nd print newsstand or DCCP 22 Whitman (for years they were only rumored to exist, and then they came out of the woodwork when crazy prices were realized) 

2.  Here's a few others that "should" exist, but we've never seen.  Superman 95 (Dec '94), Justice League 96 (Feb '95), Action Comics 711 (July '95), Superman Man of Steel 49 (Oct '95).   If anyone can produce one of those DCU variants, I would love (and also hate) to see it.

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