How To Tell If A Comic Is First Print

Have you recently started taking an interest in comic books? 

The world of comic books never stops giving; it hasn’t for decades. Some of the oldest superheroes like Thor, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron man, etc., still rule the world of most teens. However, as these comic books have been in the market for years, various editions have been published. Many fans like to collect the first editions of their comic books. 

Now you must be wondering what a first edition comic is? And how to tell if a comic is the first print?

If you are interested, give our article a read as it will make comic book shopping easier for you!

Now you must be wondering what a first edition comic is? And how to tell if a comic is the first print?

What Is A First Edition Comic?

A first edition comic book is produced during the first print run. 

Authors and salespeople all look into various stores and libraries to identify trends and determine the cover art. A small stock ranging from three thousand to five thousand is then printed and put into the market. Depending on the success, more editions may or may not be printed. 

Collectors often tend to buy first edition comic books at a stunningly high price, given that they are of good quality. Unfortunately, these have to be purchased from old buyers rather than stores for famous comic books like Avengers, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Archie Digest, etc. As a result, many collections are sold at prices equal to or above $10,000. 

How To Tell If A Comic Is First Print

At first, both MARVEL and DC produced comic books without identifying, making it hard for readers to identify different prints. At times, different prints would have different covers, which made it a little easier to identify; however, this was not the case for most. 

Amidst all the confusion, both decided to include indicia in their comic books of roman numerals. This step helps readers identify whether the comic they were purchasing was first, second or third print. For DC, this was usually present on the above, along with their logo. At the same time, MARVEL usually has this as their last piece of item. 

Other comic book manufacturing companies like Image, BOOM! Or Darkhorse usually tends to have barcodes that can be read to identify which edition the comic book is. These barcodes consist of 5 numbers; the first three numbers show the issue number while the fourth shows the cover number. Cover numbers are assigned as some comic books have more than one cover art; these can also indicate the print number. Lastly, the fifth digit will help you identify the edition number. 1 represents the first edition, 2 for the second, and so on. 

On the other hand, some publications do not include any details regarding the printing information. In such cases, you have to depend on the comic book’s cover and the color of comic strips. 

Last Words

How to tell if a comic is the first print?

Now you know the answer! You can now easily shop for the first prints of all your comic books and make a treasured collection that will hopefully be worth millions someday. Not only will it be a source of pride and entertainment, but also a good investment. So have a fun time shopping!