The Walmart Report: Part 1, A December DC Dumpster Fire With Jim Lee

As we entered March, there were no new DC comic packs at Walmart.  After starting an exclusive Giant line just for Walmart, that had 12 pages of exclusive to Walmart content, DC had continued to morph their Walmart "exclusive content."  DC originally put together sets of three comics. The top comic was a re-titled/variant of an already released comic, with two more random comics behind it; DC started the Giant Line as a Walmart exclusive line. The Giant line morphed into something available to the Direct Market but creating exclusive Walmart variant covers.  However, DC canceled that line in print to then release four-pack sets at Walmart that contain DC comics released through the Direct Market from two months ago, now with exclusive poster/backing boards.  However, even though the line is Walmart exclusives, they can not be ordered or found online through Walmart, with the comics only being stocked at their collectibles area at the front of the store with collectible cards.  An area that is stocked by vendors associated with Walmart. Then after a huge gap, people wondered if even those were going away too.

Five New DC Packs Were Last Released In December

So like the last time, five packs were released at Walmarts throughout the country in the middle of December, right before Christmas.  Each of the five packs contained four comics, one backing board with a "poster," and retailed at Walmart for about $9.  Every pack again also contained the same mix of comics, so if one buys pack #1, the pack with the Batman #95 Cover on top, it will have the same three comics behind it.  Same for the other four packs.  One difference from the last packs, though, is that the "poster" on the backing boards this time was five different posters, each being a cover or art done by Jim Lee from previous DC work.

Pack #1, Batman #95 Main Cover

DC Pack #1 had Batman #96 Main Cover on top, with Justice League Odyssey #15 Main Cover, Batman Superman #8 Main Cover, and Batman #83 Main Cover. Beginning here, the clear pattern for all these packs was that the contents are just leftovers for DC.  None of the books are even slightly wanted on the back issue market, as even Batman #95, which sold well, but still has a ton of available copies at stores. Batman Superman #8 is a recent release, but Justice League Odyssey #15 and Batman #83 are over a year old.

Pack #2, Action Comics #1023 Variant Cover

DC Pack 2 has Action Comics #1023 Variant Cover on top, followed by Harley Quinn #72 Main Cover, Batman Superman #1 Cover A, and Batgirl #48 Main Cover.  Again all the books are at best cover price books, but at least all of them are recent issues. The Jim Lee poster for this pack is the cover for Superman (Volume 2) #205. the second issue of his Superman run.

Pack #3, Justice League #51 Variant Cover

DC Pack 3 starts with another book with a variant cover, with Justice League #51 Variant Cover starting off the pack. Batman #77 Main Cover, Superman #14 Main Cover, and Action Comics #1017 Main Cover rounding out the set.  Again, another set with comics at best cover price, and this set having all the books, except the top one, having been released over a year ago. The Jim Lee poster for this set came from the cover of the first edition of Icons: the DC Comics Art of Jim Lee.

Pack #4, Batman The Adventure Continues #5 Variant Cover

The third pack has another variant cover with Batman the Adventures Continues #5 on top. Batman #91 Main Cover is next, but then more copies of Batman #77 Main Cover and Superman #14 Main Cover finishing off the set. More leftovers with the Jim Lee poster being the Variant Cover for Justice League #10.

Pack #5, The Flash #764 Main Cover

The final DC set starts with The Flash #764 Main Cover, followed by Catwoman Main Cover #17, Justice League Dark Main Cover #17, and Batman #70 Main Cover. A final set topped with a current issue and three comics from over a year ago.  The Jim Lee poster from The Flash #3 Main Cover finishes the set.

Nothing but DC Shelf Warmers for Walmart

The middle of December was not the time to put out new DC 4 packs, and putting out sets that have nothing to draw in anybody with just seems to suggest that these sets were released only to fulfill a contractual obligation.  There are no "hot" comics to draw in comic fans. There are no new or introductory comics to draw in everyday customers. Nothing is exclusive about the line to generate interest anymore.  The sets went from being something that people wanted, and sellers flipped for a profit to being at best sold for half price online.  The value is there in terms of each issue roughly costing $2.25 a pop, but the comics are all easy to find, and unless you want to buy knowledge unknown about what's inside and just want random comics, most are not going to buy.  Most Walmarts have ended up with their stock just being scattered about.

However, a weird thing began happening two weeks ago as many Walmarts began restocking their December sets.

December Walmart Books Restocked
December Walmart Books Restocked

One theory was that maybe vendors were simply offloading the December stock, indicating the line may not be sending any more books.  Then a few days later, a fresh wave of books for March started showing up.

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About Ian Melton

Japanese Teacher, Comic Book, Manga, & Anime collector, LCBS worker, father of 2, fan of far too many things for far too long...
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