Cover Gallery: Whitman Reprints
(Editor’s Note: Thumbnails are currently being updated for increased size. Please pardon the inconsistency.)
In the late 1970s/early 1980s, Whitman had a deal with DC Comics to reprint their comics and package them for sale in retail outlets like Woolworth’s, Sears, K-Mart, etc. They were packaged in plastic as a 2 pack or 3 pack, usually of the same title. The appearance of the packaging would vary. Whitman also apparently reprinted Marvel comics in a similar fashion, but their cover designs were not so significantly altered, which is why this gallery is focusing on the DC Whitmans.
These comics could be differentiated by the DC Bullet being altered to include the Whitman logo in pace of the letters in the bullet and the Whitman logo being placed in the stead of the issue number and cover date., among other variations. This did make for some unattractive designs at times, and odd replacements, such as the comic sometimes being titled on the cover as “Whitman Comics Presents.”
Whitman also reprinted two, larger Treasury Editions, one being Superman vs. Muhammad Ali and Famous First Editions: Action Comics #1. So far, I have no information on how these were packaged, if at all, or displayed or what outlets they were sold at. They do remain a neat addition to this list.
Sgt. Rock #330 is a possible variant according to my first source, The Comic Book Hunter & Gatherer, but I can find no cover image of the Whitman variant, so its existence cannot be verified. The Sgt. Rock #329 variant seems to be more rare among the Whitman variants. To make collecting individual issues a little more challenging, some collectors even go the extra step of collecting unopened bags. Values for comics from opened bags are comparable to regular newsstand editions, with perhaps a few dollars more being asked for Whitman variants.
For those of you needing a written checklist, here it is:
Brave and the Bold- 145,146,147,150,151,152,153,154,155,156,157,158,159,165
DC Comics Presents- 1,2,3,4,9,10,11,12,14,15,16,19,21
Green Lantern/Green Arrow- 116,117,118,119,121
Justice League of America- 158,160,161,162,166,167,168,169,171,172,173,176,179,181
Legion of Super-Heroes- 261,263,264,266
New Adventures of Superboy- 1,2,5,6,8
Sgt. Rock- 329
Super Friends- 13,14,15,16,20,21,22,23,25,32
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes- 244,245,246,247,248,251,252,253,254,255,256,257,258
Wonder Woman- 250,251,252,255,256,257,258,259