San Diego Comic-Con is a one of the biggest celebrations of fandom worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of people coming to Southern California to celebrate the nerdy things they lovingly obsess over. And among all the news about films, TV shows, and video games, it might be easy to forget that the show began as a way for comic book fans and professionals to meet up. But don’t worry, graphic novels haven’t been forgotten at this year’s show, which is obvious when you see all the comic book Comic-Con exclusives to be found on the show floor in 2016.
As 2016’s Comic-Con International approaches, Fandom is highlighting some of the best exclusives SDCC retailers have to offer. After covering the best exclusive toys at Comic-Con and the best video game exclusives, it’s time to showcase the best comic book exclusives out there.
Diamond’s DC Animated Universe Busts
Not content with simply being the biggest comic book distributor in North America, Diamond also sells its own licensed merch under its Diamond Select Toys banner. 2016 sees Diamond bring multiple busts and statues that’ll appeal to anyone who grew up in the 1990s watching the DC Animated Universe. You’ll find busts of Clark Kent changing into Superman and the animated take on Frank Miller’s Dark Knight, as well as some snazzy figures of The Joker and Harley Quinn. These are some classy looking mini-statues, and most cost a relatively affordable $60.
Yesterdays’ Image Comics Pins
Image Comics will have its own share of exclusive comic books at Comic-Con, but my favorite items associated with the publisher are from pin maker Yesterdays at the Munky King Booth. These striking badges feature some of the most popular characters and images from books like Saga or The Walking Dead. You’ll also find pins featuring Henry Rollins, Invincible, and Dick Tracy, and most sets will cost you about $10.
LEGO Marvel and DC BrickHeadz
When it comes to toys, LEGO pretty much rules the world, with just about every intellectual property getting the brick treatment these days. So you can bet LEGO is bringing some special super-exclusives to Comic-Con 2016. Chief among them is the debut of the BrickHeadz line. These cute building blocks won’t be officially on sale until 2017, but the first time you can buy them is exclusively at SDCC. The early release sets for sale include Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Superman, Wonder Woman, and much more.
Stan Lee’s New Funko Pop
Stan Lee has gone from writer to executive to living cartoon character over the decades, and Mr. Lee is still going strong into his early 90s. He’s a fixture of Comic-Con, so much so that he’s selling his own stuff at the Stan Lee Collectibles booth. He’ll be there in-person, but more interestingly, he’ll be selling an exclusive Funko Pop figure of himself, and it’s one of the most bizarre mashups ever seen — Stan Lee dressed as ancient Chinese historical figure General Guan Yu. Perhaps he’s just of big fan of Dynasty Warriors?
Justice League Meets Watchmen Shirts
We’re in a post-DC Rebirth world, where the DC Comics Universes is in disarray and it’s all the fault of characters from Watchmen invading their reality. It’s a clever bit of symbolism to explain why DC books have gotten darker over the years, and Rebirth is just the start of Watchmen taking over DC’s greatest heroes, as these DC Entertainment exclusives prove. These unique tees take the classic emblems of Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, and add the telltale streak of blood to them seen on Watchmen‘s iconic smiley face pin. You’ll definitely turn heads at comic shops wearing these.