There are plenty of pulped comic books over the years, for one reason or another. An anti-Semitic slur here, a rude word there, the wrong UPC box here, a reference to "Marvel douches" there, it's become a rare but expected part of the comic book industry, with people collecting copies that make it out, sometimes gaining high prices.
But Bleeding Cool is aware of there comic books published over the last year, which were all pulped by the publishers, but yet no copies have escaped onto the open market – yet. I am not even aware of any private sales of these three – though I look forward to being corrected. And for the first one, I actually have a photo of a printed copy.
This is a copy of the Free Comic Book Day: Generation Zero comic printed by DC Comics back in February/March with the intention that it would be given out for Free Comic Book Day in May. As a result, there were many hundreds of thousands of copies printed.
The book told a longer version of the Flash Forward story that appeared in Flash #750 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort, that laid out the new DC Multiverse and included the planned DC Comics Timeline for the first four generations that would then lead into the Generation Five relaunch – of 5G. This was abandoned when DC publisher Dan DiDio was fired and the book was now so at odds that it was pulped. The story was then rewritten so it no longer referred to one Timeline but a Multiverse of different timelines and realities instead, and appeared, unadvertised, in the back of the Flash Forward trade paperback. That so many copies were printed, means that it is impossible all were destroyed, but so far none have come onto the open market. It is likely as more DC Comics staffers lose their jobs and come out of contract that copies will be made available. But if so, we may be looking at four figures a copy.
The other two books are Punisher: Barricuda #1 and Children Of The Atom #1. When the pandemic hit, a number of printed comic books were held back, to be distributed at a later date when the distribution system had settled down, more comic shops were open and it was more likely subsequent issues could be published and printed in a timely manner. When they did come out, they notably had advertising for comics and comic conventions dated months before – or that never existed.
This did not happen with these two books. Both were printed by Marvel Comics – but then pulped. The delay to Children Of The Atom #1 meant the book no longer sat with X-Men continuity and so had to be rewritten and redrawn before being republished for April 2021. Anyone who can find a story will get a different comic. But there are no recorded public sales and no word of any private sales.
The final book is Punisher Vs Barracuda #1, which would have been part of a mini-series. At the time, the Punisher was becoming a hot topic of conversation, considering how the character was being used by police and military as a symbol of justifying their actions whatever the word of law says. for whatever reason, and despite four issue of the five issue mini-series being written and drawn, Marvel decided they weren't going to publish the rest of it and so rather than release the first printed issue, they pulped it. Again, no copies escaped onto the public market and I have no records of any private sales. And for both, again, you could be talking hundreds of dollars if they do so.
If you have any knowledge or these – or other comics in similar circumstances – do let us know.