Universal Variant Code.

§ May 31st, 2023 § Filed under variant covers § 1 Comment

It’s the stunning return of Variant Cover-age, only because I found one this oddball thing that threw me off for a bit. Now, from the front this copy of the the first issue for 1996’s Kingdom Come looks like your typical first printing of this item:

But when you flip it over to enjoy Alex Ross’s wraparound cover, you notice a strange ommission…no UPC code!

For comparison, here’s what supposed to be in that little white box at the bottom there:

Kingdom Come #1 had a second printing, which this book in question isn’t, as there’s no indication of being as such in the indicia, plus it doesn’t have one of these Roman numeral doodads on the front:

And the second print does have the UPC code, too.

Soooooo…I didn’t know what the deal with this comic was. But I wasn’t the first to be puzzled by this variant, as seen in this message board thread. The thread starts with some business about UPC stickers being plastered on some copies of Kingdom Come, but eventually gets into the blank UPC box thing. One person there says he has the Kingdom Come Collector’s Set in which there was a #3 with no UPC.

I found an eBay auction for the Collector’s Set, from which I liberated this image:

The auction was very thorough in its scanning, giving backs and fronts of all the covers of the included books. No UPC-codeless copies, but it did have two second prints like the message boarder reported with his set.

Thus, if we take the person on the message board at his word, then the collector set was perhaps at least one source for this particular variant. However, seemingly not a consistent one, based on that one eBay listing. (No other open copies seemed to be on eBay, either current or recently ended.) Were the blank UPC copies whipped up to help fill these collector’s sets, which also dipped into the 2nd printing stock? I don’t recall this variation being made available otherwise.

If you’ve seen this version of the Kingdom Come comics, or if you have one of the Collector’s Sets your own self, please report in and let me know. I’d like more data points to nail down the origin of this book.

One Response to “Universal Variant Code.”

  • ScienceGiant says:

    Does Sterling Silver Comics scan UPC codes at the checkout? Or does everything have its own price tag? I ask as an East Coaster who has never been in the shop?