The Six Variants of Batman 457

Today we get a CBSI first: an article sent spontaneously from one of you guys, and it's absolutely great. We all know how huge the world of comic collecting is, so if you have an area you specialize on and want to share a piece of with all of us, please let us know.

In this article, Chris Adams talks to us about the supposedly nonexistent 6th Batman #457 variant …

Batman #457

Batman #457 Second Print Newsstand Copy

The Six Variants of Batman 457 (First Tim Drake as Robin):

  • Direct Sales Copy – 457 Indicia
  • Direct Sales Copy – Indicia Error with 000
  • Newsstand Copy – 457 Indicia
  • Direct Sales Copy – Indicia Error with 000
  • Second Print Direct Sales
  • Second Print Newsstand Copy – Only 4 Known Copies

I have been unable to determine what percent of the direct and newsstand editions have the Indicia Error with 000. The best estimate is that other sellers have been able to come up with is 25%.

However for the person who collects every variant of Batman, the Second Print Newsstand Edition is a collector’s Moby Dick. For years there was a great debate if the book existed in the first place. One collector put it this way: “This one haunts me, I have been looking for it for years.

There are several factors that make the Second Print Newsstand Edition so rare: First is the rarity of Newsstand Editions overall in 1990. Only 15% of all books were Newsstand Editions at the time due to a shift in distribution to direct sales. That 15% gets smaller when you consider that unsold books would have the first cover ripped off and returned to the publisher.

Year % Newsstand % Direct Market
1979 94% 6%
1982 80% 20%
1986 50% 50%
1990 15% 85%
1995 10% 90%
2000 5% 95%

A second consideration is that most books at the time did not get a second printing. Direct sales stores may have ordered the Second Print Edition, however a retail store was very unlikely to order a second printing. Sales of the Second Print Edition of Batman 457 are higher than the first print on average. The rarities of the First Print Newsstand Edition are also shown by current sales prices.

Current Mile High Comic Prices in NM Condition*

  • Batman 457 Direct – 15.00
  • Batman 457 Second Print – 22.50
  • Batman 457 Newsstand – 45.00

*There was no breakdown of prices for the various indicia. I believe this is because most people do not know of these variations.

Currently there are only 4 known copies of the Second Print Newsstand edition. Two of the copies were found in the wild, while two were sold on Ebay, one around 2008 and one last month.

The video below by collector and Batman variant expert Kirk Ticknor shows each of the variants including his copy of the Second Print Newsstand edition. Kirk believes that this variant might be the rarest Batman one ever:

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