NEWS: DC and Marvel heroes to appear on U.S. stamps

The U.S. Postal Service announced their 2006 U.S. Stamp program yesterday (Thu 08-04-05). According to the Virtual Stamp Club, one of the issues will be:

“A pane of twenty different DC Comic Book Super Heroes, featuring: Superman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Plastic Man, Aquaman, Hawkman and Supergirl”

Superman has appeared on a U.S. stamp once before; as part of the Postal Service’s “Celebrate the Century” series, as one of 15 stamps illustrating events from the 1930s. The Superman stamp was issued in 1998.

In 1995, Canada issued a Superman stamp as part of a set of five saluting Canadian Comic Book Heroes. Canada Post justified the inclusion of Superman by explaining that artist Joe Shuster was born in Toronto. (The other stamps featured Nelvana, Johnny Canuck, Captain Canuck, and Fleur de Lys – sorry, no Cerebus.)

A followup post on the Virtual Stamp Club’s message board revealed the following:

“The Comic Book Super Heroes set will be followed with an issue in 2007 featuring Marvel comics.”

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20 Responses to NEWS: DC and Marvel heroes to appear on U.S. stamps

  1. TheTrades says:

    This makes me very, very happy. I wanted the Superman stamp before, but I didn’t want to buy the rest of the decade’s stamps. With all the magnets, mousepads, and what-have-you that the USPS produced duplicating the Superman stamp, one would think the USPS would have got the hint that a pane of just Superman would have sold like gangbusters.

  2. Gary Dunaier says:

    The November 2005 issue of Scott Stamp Monthly, published by the company that publishes the Scott Stamp Catalogues, has published more details about the DC Comic Superheroes stamps, as part of a larger article about the 2006 U.S. Stamp Program.

    The Scott article reveals some more information on the designs of the stamps. There will be ten heroes featured, with each character getting two stamps: “10 showing individual superhero portraits, and 10 showing complete covers from past DC comic books that picture those same heroes in action.”

    As reported in Scott Stamp Monthly, the heroes and the comic book covers featured are:

    1) Superman – Superman #11, 1941

    2) Green Arrow – Green Arrow (Vol. 2) #15, 2001

    3) Green Lantern – Green Lantern #4, 1961

    4) Wonder Woman – Wonder Woman (second series) #22, 1987

    5) Batman – Batman #1, 1940 (with Robin)

    6) The Flash – Flash #111, 1960

    7) Plastic Man – Plastic Man #4, 1943 (with Woozy Winks)

    8) Aquaman – Aquaman (third series) #5, 1989

    9) Hawkman – The Brave and The Bold #36, 1961

    10) Supergirl – Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1, 1982

    (Images taken from the Grand Comic Book Database)

    The writeup concludes: “David Failor, USPS executive director of Stamp Services, stated that the Comic Superheroes issue is a two-year series, implying that a follow-up in 2007 will feature stars from Marvel Comics, home to Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Incredible Hulk.”

  3. Walter says:

    …Wonder if the current Supergirl might up adopting , then , an early 80s-style costume , for at least a couple of issues , about the time the stamps come out ???????????

  4. Gary Dunaier says:

    My friends, the moment we’ve been waiting for… okay, I’ve been waiting for… is at hand. The U.S. Postal Service has released the image of the stamps… so without further ado, here’s what they look like:

    And here’s a link to the official USPS press release giving background behind not only these stamps, but the entire 2006 U.S. Commemorative Stamp Program.

    Remember, kids… you heard it here first!

  5. J. Wilson says:

    Very cool looking stamps. Love the first Batman one.

    I’ll be looking to get my hands on them. Probably not to make them a collectable, but even sending them out would be a pretty cool way of identifying my mail.

  6. joecab says:

    Remember waaaay back when how we could never even get a Superman stamp under serious consideration? Nice to see how much things have changed in this respect, even though much of it is probably purely commercial.

  7. Gary Dunaier says:

    There are a lot of “serious” stamp collectors who bemoan the fact that many of the stamps the U.S. issues these days honor pop culture topics. The 1993 Elvis Presley stamp was very controversial in this regard, with many old-timers blasting the USPS for honoring a person they described as a drug user.

    Others feel that a “frivolous” subject takes a spot on the program from a more “worthy” potential honoree. Indeed, the 1997 stamp depicting a certain animated character prompted many to complain to the Postal Service, something to the effect of ‘how can you tell us ___________ doesn’t deserve to be on a stamp when you’ve issued one for Bugs Bunny!?’

    However, times have changed… unlike the old Post Office Department, the Postal Service is very concerned about the bottom line, and each stamp saved represents 37¢ (soon to be 39¢) of pure profit, because they’ve been paid for a service they don’t have to provide.

    And the fact of the matter is that people are more likely to buy and keep a Superman stamp, or a Mickey Mantle stamp, then they are a stamp honoring Katherine Anne Porter or Distinguished American Diplomats.

  8. cboldman says:

    I’m happy to have the stamps, but the designs seem to be a haphazard selection of styles and cover choices. The character illustrations are all fine, but few of them work well as stamp designs. The Superman and Green Arrow ones are suitably iconic, but Green Lantern, with a cropped portion of the power battery shattering in his face, is just odd. Likewise with Hawkman doing something indeterminate with that chain, and Wonder Woman, cropped so close you can’t see her costume. Some more care and guidance could have been taken in making those choices, I’m thinking.
    I’ll still buy ’em, though.

  9. Brent Frankenhoff says:

    There’s additional coverage on these stamps, plus two other upcoming U.S. stamps issues for 2006 in CBG #1615, shipping in mid-January!

  10. TheTrades says:

    Anyone have any guesses on what the over/under rate will be for a Jim Lee autographed Batman postage stamp on eBay by the end of 2006?

  11. Michael Tierney says:

    Looking at those pictures… all I can say is:

    Big deal!

    I see stuff like that on my shelves at my stores every day of every week!

  12. mtdtoons says:

    I’ll bet the selection process for which pictures and covers would be used was interesting…

  13. Gary Dunaier says:

    The March 2006 issue of the Scott Stamp Monthly just came out, and the Batman portrait stamp from the series, serving to promote their article showing the 2006 United States stamp program, is the dominant feature on the cover.

    Although it’s more publicity for comics, the cover blurb – “POW! U.S. STAMPS FOR 2006″ – reduces comics to the “slam-bang-pow” stereotype.

    But to end this post on a lighter note, I enjoyed CBG’s feature on the DC stamps in the current issue (#1615, Apr 06). Wayne Youngblood’s article didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know – understandable when you consider that I’m the one who gave you the “scoop” on these stamps back in August. However, this was my first look at the stamps as individual stamps and not as part of a 20-stamp pane. Also, I note that the illustrations used in Youngblood’s article do not have a diagonal line over the denomination (a common practice used by the Postal Service when releasing publicity images of stamps).

    If I have anything to say about it – and I do – a certain New York-based museum of comic and cartoon art will be using these stamps on its outgoing mail as soon as they come out.

  14. mjschryver says:

    Anyone have any idea when these things are releasing? I found the date of July 6th on one site, but nothing official.

    Mark Schryver

  15. Wayne Youngblood says:

    Since these stamps were announced USPS has kept a rather tight-lipped approach in terms of a release date. Not even Paul Levitz knows (from a conversation with him Feb. 27).
    However, from what my undercover spies have told me consistently (keep in mind I have a couple of decades’-worth of professional stamp experience), we can expect to see them released at San Diego (no doubt so Jim Lee can autograph them…heheheheh…)

    Oh, and as for seeing things just like them in comic stores all the time, yeah, that’s true. But just remember: You can’t stick a comic on your gas bill!

  16. Brent Frankenhoff says:

    Now that Wayne and Maggie are back from New York and have downloaded their camera images, we have photos from the trip, including this visit to the DC offices where Paul Levitz showed a framed sheet of the stamps.

  17. Wayne Youngblood says:

    Yep…this was an image of the stamps presented to Paul by USPS. It appears to match the artwork posted earlier in this thread. He’ll get a really nice framed pane of the stamps when they are released (just like the president does!).

  18. Gary Dunaier says:

    I haven’t gone to a First Day ceremony in ages, so forgive my ignorance… do they still promise to send the President’s pane to him by Express Mail?

    (And, do they make sure the envelope is properly addressed… including ZIP+4? )

  19. Wayne Youngblood says:

    They don’t always announce the president and Express Mail thing anymore (a long tradition of dending the president a special item by Express Mail), but they do sometimes…

    Maybe they’ll offf to have The Flash speed-deliver it to him…

  20. Gary Dunaier says:

    According to the latest Postal Bulletin, an official publication of the Postal Service, the DC stamps are scheduled to be issued Thursday, July 20 at the San Diego Comic-Con.

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