Bronze Age Error Variant: Marvel Spotlight #1

by Norman Robinson III

Bronze-300x157 Bronze Age Error Variant: Marvel Spotlight #1Errors are fantastic for baseball cards and comic books.  They come in all forms, double covers, missing colors, miss-priced,  mistakenly printed in black and white, or even an error variant where the comic book has no issue number.  How do you look that up on GoCollect?

This brings us to the Bronze Age superhero Captain Marvel and his Marvel Spotlight #1 (Error Variant).  This was probably one of the top covers of its day by J. Aclin and Bob McLeod and truly a symbol of the 70s for comic book fans of that era. In fact, Mar-vel dies from cancer and almost closes out the Bronze Age with his passing. It was very much the end of an era. What return trends can we expect for Marvel Spotlight #1? Further, how does it compare to the regular comic book or other price variants?

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This error variant was created by Doug Moench with pencils of Pat Broderick and Bruce Patterson.  Mar-Vell is an alien warrior of the ancient Kree race, one with “powers given him as Protector of the Universe, he seeks to defend Earth,”

Now this story picks up after the events of Captain Marvel #63 (1968-1979 1st Series Marvel) “Mar-Vell, Rick Jones, Gertie, and Drax the Destroyer head to the Saturn moon of Titan and comer under siege.” Back in the day, Captain Mar-Vell was not uber-powerful, but he was a stoic space hero and always a fun read. He had interesting powers like Nega-Bands, superhuman strength, energy absorption, and the Power Cosmic.

Variants have been around a long time, and baseball cards have some interesting variants as do Star Wars cards. This variant is missing the issue number in the left-hand corner see the blank space above July in this Marvel Spotlight #1 (Error Variant).

654 Bronze Age Error Variant: Marvel Spotlight #1Opinion from 2019

Back in good ole 2019, I wrote a similar article for GoCollect.  I feel it applies today even more so…“I think these error variant comics are going to continue to expand in value at a greater rate than your average price variant from the same time period. There is something about an error as opposed to a price variation that is rare, and appealing. Marvel Spotlight #1 is one such issue that is missing the issue number next to the price of $.40 cents. “ You can read the entirety of that older article here *Error Variant: Marvel Spotlight #1.

Title Grade Last Sale Total Sales CGC Census Return
Marvel Spotlight #1 (Error Variant) 9.8 $599 3 4 +26.1%
Captain America #212 (35 cent variant) 8.0 $900 3 3 +143.4% !!

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In this matchup, Captain America #212 conquers Captain Marvel and then some. The price variant is exceedingly rare, I only found half a dozen sales on But overall, Marvel Spotlight #1 (Error Variant) is a nice collectible investment from the Bronze Age that will probably just continue to go up from here.

Back in 2019, it was selling for $346 in grade 9.8 which was shocking then. However, now it is at almost double the price; if you find one hold on it. I don’t need the Power Cosmic to see the profit potential for the most tragic hero of the Bronze Age, the one, the only, Captain Mar-Vell. The only error is in not buying this error variant should the opportunity knock.

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Tune-in-now-footer Bronze Age Error Variant: Marvel Spotlight #1


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algonwolf April 3, 2021 - 9:24 am

Given the last sentence of your opening paragraph, “How do you look that up on GoCollect?” I was really hoping for a way to run a specific search to find all error variants, or something similar. Aside from using “Error” or “Recalled” GoCollect does not seem to have a specific tag to search for these. Using those 2 search parameters only generates a few hits (63 for Error). Wolverine 145 Bone Claws Error, for example, does not even show up on a search of that specific number.

Daniel Genest April 4, 2021 - 6:20 pm

I don’t understand how you could have compared Marvel Spotlight 1 no # variant with Cap America 212 35 cent variant which is a Ghost.Look at census just to get an idea.In fact ANY high grade (And even most low grades) 35 cent variant can’t be compared with that Marvel Spotlight 1 no price # variant as that # number is WAY easier to find.

People will send ANY Cap America 212 35 cent variant for grading as there are only 9 of those while most people won’t send Marvel Spotlight 1 no # to grade unless it’s pretty high grade.Just for fun I went to Ebay this minute to see how many there were of each.5 Marvel Spotlight 1 no #….and 0 Captain America 212 35 cent variant.And THAT issue also have a rarer version which doesn’t have Marvel Comics Group in the yellow band on top of book.Oh I also have 2 of those no # MArvel Spotlight 1…and 0 Cap 212 35 cent variant.

dave stevens April 7, 2021 - 4:09 pm

I don’t understand the comparison of these 2 books. The captain marvel error is quite common as the book was published later and in much higher numbers. Being so easy to find, it cannot compare in any way to a 35 cent variant. The issue you are talking about, should be the blank bar Captain America 212 that has very few copies known. The ONLY comparison to this issue is Doctor Strange 14 30 cent variant orange starburst variant, which has something like 4 known copies. Comics of this rarity have epic value but cannot trend in any reasonable way.


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