Rocking eBay - All-Star Batman & Robin #10

DC Responds to All Star Batman & Robin

As reported on earlier, DC Comics sent a request to Direct Market comic book retailers earlier this week, requesting that they destroy copies of All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder #10 by Frank Miller and Jim Lee. The book was due to go on sale this week, and made it to Diamond accounts on the East Coast and Midwest, but reportedly did not make it to West Coast Diamond accounts. Retailers were advised they would be credited for the copies they destroyed.

The reason for the request from DC – the black boxes used in the issue to block out curse words were printed, in many cases, lighter than the text they were meant to shield, resulting in the offending text to be visible, despite the box. Cursing and questionable language were used by both the criminals in the issue as well as Batgirl.

The error with ASB&R #10 was apparently part of one of DC’s worst weeks in recent memory for printing mistakes, as their “Direct Channel” e-mailer reported that Action Comics #869, ASB&R #10 and DCU Decisions #1, all due in stores this week all had printing errors. Replacements of Action and Decisions will be in stores next week, and ASB&R #10 should be in stores on September 24th. The nature of the printing errors of Action and Decisions are unclear.

As with “error” and “recall” issues of titles before (such as Wolverine #131 - the “kike variant” and Elseworlds 80 Page Giant and others), the request to destroy copies had very minor – if any – effect on the book making it into the retail stream. While larger chains, and retailers who have close relationships with DC may have found it politically appropriate to destroy (or “disappear”) their copies – which may explain the large number of personal accounts listed as sellers, nearly 200 copies have made their way to eBay, with low bids starting at $15.00, and currently, showing a high bid of $102.50. So far, there’s no consensus on a nickname for the issue, although “Potty Mouth Variant” is perhaps the cutest. “Buy it Now” action has been showing a lot of activity.

It’s unclear as to what steps DC or Diamond could take to stop sales on eBay and the legality of the request to destroy the copies from Diamond. Also unclear is how many copies, total, did make it to retailers.

Ebay action on the issue will most definitely be short and bright, as demand for such issues quickly falls – especially when replacement copies are issued.

DC declined to comment about the issue.

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