Marvel Transformers #80 cover variant question


Active member
This sorta thing seems like it might be up Nevermore's alley but it's about a comic and not a toy/packaging so not sure it belonged in his variant thread.

I've noticed there seem to be two different variations of Transformers #80 floating around: one that has a normal bar code in the lower left, and one that has a B&W pic of Optimus' face with "FIN." in it.

Here's an example. Interestingly, this pic was shown to show the difference between the US and AUS printings (notice the differing prices in the top left). But I've seen US versions with both the bar code and the Optimus drawing, so it's not just a US/Australia difference. The wiki shows the US issue with the bar code, for example, while the pic linked above the US copy has the face and the Australian one has the bar code. Looking on eBay I see both variations too.

So why the difference? What's the origin of the two variations?

EDIT: I may have answered my own question... I see discussion here (in reference to #3) about the difference being that the barcode covers were newstand copies, while the ones with artwork were the ones directly sent to comic stores. I'm guessing the same held true until #80.
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Salt-Man Z

that is not dead which can eternal lie
My Marvel TF subscription kicked in at #72, and my copies of 72-80 all have barcodes, while the previous few issues (purchased at the comic store) have artwork instead. My #57 was purchased at a Menards or something, and also has a barcode.

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