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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Marvel Canadian Newsstand Key Comics, Debuts & Origins Part B & C

Welcome to Part B and C to this Marvel Canadian Price Variant or Newsstand Edition series, and I have to apologize up front because the intro and outro to this is going to be long. There will quite a bit of information of why and how the Canadian price variants started up.

Like in Part A to this beast, this will cover Marvel titles beginning with letters B and C that have 80s Canadian newsstand price variant comics. Yep, this is alphabetical order, and since there's not too many titles that have these price variants beginning with B, I'll have to combine it with C. 

No biggie. Like Part A, these aren't exactly full lists. I'll try to drop as many as I know of. 

Unlike Part A, I'll feature a few issues from some limited comic series that I could find covers to, despite whether they have a 1st appearance, origin or anything important that's minor or major.

Before kicking this off, some back ground about newsstand and direct market. The ones I'm addressing are mostly from the 80s, and this is around the time that the direct market started to take off.

In short, direct market means comics distributed to comic shops or comic retailers. I know, most comic shops sell a whole bunch of stuff now, but the very first comic shop in my area sold comics only.

Okay, so here's a bit of the skinny: There was some major shiesty shit happening with Independent distributors (newsstand) back during this time.

Comics that didn't sell off the racks were allowed to be returned and most likely were pulped or sold to different markets. Shipping was a big problem, see? In order to return the comics and get a refund, the entire comic had to be shipped back.

Then, after a whole bunch of complaining, ID's were allowed to tear off the covers and send them back for a refund. Even after more complaining, they were allowed to tear off only a small strip of the cover to send back.

I have no idea how this next step happened, but according to Jim Shooter's site, it did happen. Eventually, ID's were allowed to send back absolutely nada, zero, zip, and still get friggin' refunded!

I figure the comic industry must've been in dire straights for that arrangement to happen, and that kind of arrangement gave ID's the ability to totally rip off comic publishers.

Shops primarily comic book related began to spring up in both the U.S. and Canada at this time, and comic publishers were looking at them as possible venues to go around the scam that dominated newsstand distribution. Instead of offering comic dealers the option to return comics, comic shop owners were given a considerable discount but had sole responsibility of extra stock.

Enter back issue bins. That's the basic jist of the comic newsstand and direct market origin of the time. 

Canada did have these newsstand and direct market distribution as well and for a reason too. I will discuss that more in the outro of this post as well as some really great sources to read up on if interested. Click this PART A if you missed the previous post, but if you're ready to go, let's get to these other Canadian newsstand price variant comics.


Balder the Brave #1
1st solo self-titled series
Balder the Brave #2

Balder the Brave #3 

Balder the Brave #4


Beauty & the Beast #1
1st issue to series
1st Gladiators
Beauty & the Beast #2
1st Link & Lucy
1st Horns and Snaketongue
Beauty & the Beast #3 
1st Shockman

Beauty & the Beast #4


Captain America #275
1st Baron Zemo II (cameo)

Captain America #277
1st full Baron Zemo II
Identity revealed
Captain America #281
Return of Jack Monroe (1950s Bucky)

Captain America #282
Monroe becomes Nomad
Captain America #285
Death Patriot (Jeffery Mace)
Captain America #290
1st Sinthea Shmidt

Captain America #298
Red Skull origin (Schmidt)
Captain America #307
1st Madcap
Captain America #310
1st Serpent Society

Captain America #312
1st appearance/intro of 
Flag Smasher
Captain America Annual #7

Cosmic Cube revealed to be sentient

In Captain America Annual #7, we see this issue reveal that the Cosmic Cube is an evolving sentient being and this personality would later transform into Kubik in Avengers #289. Also the annual does reveal that the Skrulls invented a version of the Cosmic Cube.

Canadian newsstand price variants for Captain America volume 1 are from issues #274-320 and this includes annuals #6-8.


Cloak & Dagger #1
1st headlining comic series
1st Brigid O'Reilly
1st Francis Delgado
Cloak & Dagger #2

Cloak & Dagger #3

Cloak & Dagger #4
1st Melissa Bowen (mom)
1st Philip Carlisle
1st Otis & Mrs. Johnson

When it comes to Brigid O'Reilly and Francis Delgado, they are supporting characters for Cloak & Dagger that do carry over into the volume 2 or on-going series for the duo. In terms of Cloak & Dagger #4 of the limited series, the notation are debuts of Cloak & Daggers parents. Mr. (Otis) and Mrs. Johnson are Tyrone's folks and Philip and Melissa are Tandy's folks, of course.


Conan the Barbarian #155
1st Bertrallo
1st Layla
1st Rayshella
Conan the Barbarian #172
1st Tetra
1st Kawagne & Zacharus
Conan the Barbarian #173
1st Keiv & Nostume
1st Captain Delmurio

Conan the Barbarian #179

1st Imhotep

Conan the Barbarian #181

1st Shapur & Swan
1st Randor & Zadht
1st King Maddoc II & Maddoc I
Conan the Barbarian #182
1st Anneka
1st Jahli
1st Kollos

Conan the Barbarian Annual #7 Conan the Barbarian Annual #9 Conan the Barbarian Annual #10

Conan the Destroyer #1 Conan the Destroyer #2

Alright, as far as I know so far, the Canadian newsstand price variants for Conan the Barbarian are from issues #139-185 and this includes annuals #7-11. Annual #11 supposedly has a $2 cover.

The Conan the Destroyer comics are reprints and reprints the story originally told in Marvel Comics Super Special #35. If you'd like the cover to the original issue, I'll gladly plop it down here for gawking. I am not sure if the original Marvel Comics Super Special #35 have any Canadian price variants for 'em.

No biggie, and come to think about it: The Conan the Barbarian Movie Special comics supposedly have Canadian price variants and both issues reprint the story contained in Marvel Comics Super Special #21. Sorry, I could not find Canadian newsstand cover examples for the Conan the Barbarian Movie Special reprints.


First off, I'm gonna shout out a few websites that were my sources. Rare Comics has a pretty insightful article about Canadian Newsstands and why they came about.

If you want to know more about the origin of the direct market, Jim has a few very insightful articles about it. Okay, here's my freeze-dried version of Canadian Newsstand Editions and why it came about.

So according to Rare Comics, Canada had a ridiculously small population during the 80s. The entire population was comparable to the state of California.

No joke here. I know it sounds crazy but the state of California alone had a larger population than Canada during 1984.

This means that newsstand distribution must have been considerably less in Canada. It is logical to assume that a greatly smaller population would mean a greatly smaller comic market as well.

But the smaller population over-all may have had something to do with the birth of these price variants. They are indeed price variants, but there was also a disparity in the dollar exchange rate between the U.S. and Canada.

Needless to say that it dramatically spiked during the time. Long story short, comic publishers had to up the price for comics being sold in Canada due to the disparity in currency exchanges.

At the time, Canada did have direct market editions and newsstand editions as well. The direct market comics distributed to Canada at the time are the same as the U.S. direct market comics.

Canadians are pretty much the same as regular U.S. newsstand editions except the price. Therefore, there is a reason for the different price concerning these Canadian newsstands during the 80s.

According to Rare Comics, these Canadian newsstand price variants were published from 1982 to 1986. So Part D will be coming up soon, but until then, have a good hunt or maybe you might have one of these in your collection already and not know it. See ya soon!


  1. I've read some of the articles about these are Rare Comics as well. Some good info including the possible rarity percentages of them over those years. There is also an article about them in the Overstreet 40th edition on how low the survival rate could be on them too. It's pretty damn low. This to me is a good reason to hunt for them when the opportunity arises. I do pick and choose which ones though. Keep up the good work Mayhem.


    1. Heya Nate, I admit that I like the Canadian Newsstand Price Variants and look for them here and there. I'm not super hardcore hunting them down, unless they're Spider-Man keys from that era. Might even start snagging some Uncanny X-Men Canadian Newsstand Editions or Price Variants also.

      They are fun to look for. Thanks for reading and commenting, Nate. What ones you got so far?

    2. I have 5 Canadian Variants so far.
      2 MARVEL - ASM #261 & ASM #265
      2 DC - Swamp Thing #38 & Wonder Woman #329
      1 ARCHIE - Betty & Veronica #320

      My issue in getting more of them is that I own most all of the major US priced keys within this time frame and I'm limited on what's left that I don't already own, but there are a few that I'm still looking to snag.


    3. Oh, nice, I love all those you got! Thanks for sharing that Betty & Veronica #320 too. AWESOME!

  2. I don't find it ridiculous that California has the same poulation as Canada -- I am Canadian so it is normal to me. Our largest city is about 6 million people, and a huge city in Canada is 1million people. So seeing Los Angeles (20 million sprawled) from an airplane the first time a few years back was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen! Love the U.S., keep up the great posts! Wiebes

    1. Heya Wiebes, how ya been, man. Been a while. I meant no offense and don't know much about the population of Canada (product of public education here), so I was quite shocked when I read that about the California and Canadian population comparison (I did verify it from other sources as well). La La Land is pretty crazy (I try to stay away unless I'm hitting up Disney Land and Universal Studios). I have been to Canada and LOVED IT when visiting family there, was in British Columbia province.

      I have pondered moving there several times.

  3. Hey team,

    crazy comics anyone? Just found out that
    there is a Lobo / Road Runner Special...
    The guy that came up with that team up
    must surely take strange things for break-


    1. Lobo in the Coyote role? LOL....strange things for breakfast, indeed.

  4. I've been reading your articles for a few years now and the Canadian price variant pieces are by far my favorite!!! I'm Canadian and I've been collecting these variants for years and have a few myself. I put out a want list this week on the CGC boards (COMICS MARKET- WANT TO BUY)looking for certain books to purchase or trade for but no one Doug Sulipa is the pioneer and expert in this area. He's the one who brought this to the world stage about 15 years ago and he's still at it.

    You are doing some fine work here with these articles.It's great that you have pictures for people to see. There are a few holy grails missing from section A-C. Would you be open to add the pictures and expand each section after your articles are posted?

    With the utmost respect,

    1. Absolutely, which holy grails have I missed from the Marvel A-C Canadian newsstand price email is

  5. Hey Mayhem.
    I was going send you pics of my latest snags on your Facebook page but it only lets me upload one pic per post. I know you where wanting to check them out. I would do it if I can put all the pics in one or two posts. If there is not a way to do that then I can keep you posted on my latest buys here on the message board.


    1. Not entirely sure if posting multiple photos on the facebook page is allowable. I know that you can do it in facebook groups - Total Comic Mayhem. The facebook group should allow you to post directly to the timeline and multiple pics (just click the + icon)...but I also have a G+ group that does the same.

  6. OK man. Thanks for responding. I think I can thru messaging as well, but here are my latest ones and a few I forgot to mention last time.

    Batman #97 2nd Ace the Bat Hound VG-
    Eerie Adventures #1 Painted Bondage cover & Used in SOTI GD/VG
    Spellbound #7 CGC 4.5
    Avengers #28 1st Collector FN/VF
    Fantastic Four #110 Color Printing Error VG+
    Green Lantern #87 1st John Stewart VG/FN
    Marvel Team-Up #48 30 cent price variant VF
    Tomb of Dracula #1 1st Dracula CGC 7.5
    Batman & Robin Adventures #21 Newsstand Edition NM
    Captain America #22 1:75 Alex Ross Variant signed NM-
    Carnage #2 1:25 Clayton Crain Variant NM
    Daredevil #3 1:50 Jerome Opena Variant NM
    Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #7 1st Lady Deadpool NM
    Superior Spider-Man #24 1:50 Stefano Caselli Venom Variant CGC 9.8
    Uncanny X-Men #525 1:25 David Finch Variant CGC 9.6


  7. 2nd Ace the Bat Hound? Is that collectible? That' s like
    2nd Porcupine man or 2nd Armadillo (he' s no laughing

    Max Rebo

    1. Why not? Later golden oldie Batman right on the cusp of the Silver Age, and Joker as a villain in the story, also an issue before #100. 2nd Bathound? Sure, add a bit of bite for any Batman fan who wants some older Bat issues within #1 through #100.

    2. I agree. Just about any Golden Age Batman is a good investment. Just like PCH, GGA, and superhero books or classic covers from the Golden Age. You can't go wrong on snagging any of them.


    3. No offense, mate! I got 17 short boxes full
      of comics, so I' m a little bit picky when it
      comes to collectin'. Don' t fret, I guess the
      comic is cool.

      Max Rebo

    4. Brutha Rebo, it's all good. I take no offense and nothing wrong with being picky either. After all, we only have so much space for comics, right? Just saying some possibilities why the issue could be desirable for some. Nothing wrong with disagreeing either.