Infamous Mistake Covers and Their Market Value

by Ryan Kirksey

020922C-1024x536 Infamous Mistake Covers and Their Market ValueConsidering comic book publishers literally print hundreds of thousands of pages per year, and have for 60+ years, there are bound to be a few mistakes. A quick search online will turn up dozens of references to famous mistakes in comic books, from the mundane to the scandalous. But it’s quite a bit more prominent when the mistake is on the cover and the books actually get shipped out for sale.

Over the years, several high-profile mistakes have been made on comic book covers, and a market for them has understandably evolved. In many cases, these mistake covers were recalled or pulled from store shelves. Collectors who discover them, particularly ones that have them graded, can sit on a goldmine.

Which covers stand out as the biggest mistakes? What are their values in this crazy comic market? Let’s dig in and find some famous mistakes that are still available to collectors.

Daredevil #168

Since it’s impossible for me to make a list without including some Daredevil, perhaps the most famous cover mistake ever should be included. In this first appearance of Elektra, the cover of Daredevil #168 famously misspells her name “Elecktra.”dd168-191x300 Infamous Mistake Covers and Their Market Value Many have assumed over the years that this was the way it was originally intended to be spelled. But that’s not the case. Beginning on the title page, we see “Elektra” and it is used that way throughout the story. This was simply a case of miscommunication between Frank Miller, who wrote the story, and whoever laid out the cover lettering.

As a significant character’s first appearance, the value of this book is obviously skewed somewhat by that fact. Add in the rising popularity of Daredevil over the last couple of years and this book and this book have never been more valuable. A CGC 9.2 copy (the 50th percentile of books on the census) recently sold for $550, tied for the highest recorded price in GoCollect’s database. A 9.8 copy recently made news for selling at $13,200 over at Heritage Auctions. This represented a $9,000 increase over where it sold in the fall and over $10,000 from just one year ago.

On the more affordable side, a CGC 7.5 copy can still be found for under $300 it seems.

Silver Surfer #50s-l1600-6-1-300x282 Infamous Mistake Covers and Their Market Value

Tagging along with the 90’s foil cover craze of the early- to mid-1990s, Silver Surfer #50 tried to ambitiously apply silver foil to the title and main character on this issue’s cover. It did not go well. What resulted was myriad problems ranging from the foil being applied several inches off where it should be to some covers printing with no foil at all.

This story on RecalledComics.com has images of all the covers. Even the second and third printings of the book that tried to remedy the problem were printed with issues.

A CGC 9.8 of this missing foil error sold in 2020 for $1,946.75, an astonishing price considering a CGC 9.8 of the non-error version sells for about 10% of that amount.

Wolverine #145

Often referred to as the “Bone Claw Variant,” Wolverine #145 is another example of foil pressing in the 1990s gone wrong. On an estimated 25-30 copies that made it into stores, the foil simply did not apply to Wolverine’s claws, which left them plain

wolverine-145-silver-foil-error_1_3845a5dcec2fc655d3eab26f1537ebdc-270x300 Infamous Mistake Covers and Their Market Value

Picture from worthpoint.com

white (or bone white) on the cover. This being about eight years after the Silver Surfer incident, Marvel had better quality control measures in place and most of them never made it to stores.

GoCollect does not have a recorded sale of a graded copy of these books, seeing as how they are so rare. But there is a CGC 9.4 copy for sale on eBay right now for $10,000. It has been there for some time, so eventually, that price will have to go down for a sale. But as one of the rarest mistake covers, it certainly has become a holy grail for some collectors.

Fantastic Four #110

Stepping away from the 1990s, we go all the way back to 1971 for the infamous Fantastic Four #110 Green Printing. In this issue – which had legends like Stan Lee, Joe Sinnott and John Buscema work on it – the cover of several hundred of them were printed primarily green. The skin of all our heroes, the background, and the words are all bright green. If you can find one of these that predominantly features a green Thing, a sickly-looking Johnny and Susan Storm, and pink Fantastic Four costumes, they can fetch a hefty amount of money.

FantasticFour110Variants-1-300x222 Infamous Mistake Covers and Their Market Value

Photo from recalledcomics.com

GoCollect’s database lists 129 total on the CGC census. The most recent sale in the database is from just a few weeks ago when a CGC 5.5 sold on January 30th for $1,169. While you can get the standard cover for just a few bucks these days, there are presently two copies of the green printing available on eBay. Both are north of $900.

Venom: Lethal Protector #1

Back to the early 1990s we go. In January of that year, Venom finally got his own magazine with Venom: Lethal Protector #1. The issue was so popular it had multiple printings, but some of the original issues had a major problem. The original cover had a red, glossy background behind Venom. But an unknown number of issues were not printed with the red but instead got a black cover. This, of course, looks amazing with Venom on the cover. They quickly became collector’s items and now sell for big bucks.

Venom-Leathal-Protector-CGC.-Credit-ComicConnect-188x300 Infamous Mistake Covers and Their Market Value

Photo from bleedingcool.com

Earlier in February of this year, a CGC 9.6 was sold at auction on eBay for $7,201.11. A 9.0 copy sold for $5,500 at about the same time. The GoCollect and CGC census lists 267 of these that have been graded. Many more are likely not graded and might be available for less than these high prices. But with Venom’s recent popularity, the value of these isn’t going down anytime soon.

The List is Long

This is just a sampling of all the comic world has to offer for mistake covers. DC has its own issues as well as independent comics. In fact, one of the most popular examples of mistake covers is Spawn #1 which was printed with no black ink on the cover.

Do you own any of these mistake covers? Ever run across any in the wild? Which mistake books do you hunt? Let me know in the comments which are your favorite of the last 60 years.

Check out our Instagram for more cool covers!

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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent investment advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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14 comments

Oak February 14, 2022 - 7:34 am

There was an issue of Hero Illustrated back in the ‘90s that said there was a process for stripping the red foil off of a Venom #1, making it into a black cover. They didn’t detail the process for obvious reasons, but i suppose any buyers should keep an eye on that.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51881335768_5d88d892b2_o_d.jpg

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Kenloi February 14, 2022 - 10:09 am

Here are some cheap Recalls i have found over the years. I like to hunt for them. Mad Millenniumm 1 recalled edition. DC left out the E.C. copyright notice. Only ever seen two raw examples 1 NM+ 1 Fine in shops. Spiderman Reign 1 with Peter’s dangly bits on show. Been after the 145 Bone variant for years. Never seen one in a shop. Star Wars 1 6th print green cover has the 1st print white cover on top. The infamous LOEG 5 Douche advert edition. Phonogram 5 The singles club with wrong barcode. Tangled Web 1 with error cover printed with matt paper. Reprinted in gloss. Awesome Glenn Fabry cover. Marvel Rising Ms Marvel Squirrel Girl page missing. Legion of Superheroes 1 chapter out of order. Always hunting for older Recall comics but are extremely hard to find raw.

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skip melton February 14, 2022 - 11:05 am

ASM #102 cover spells Morbius wrong

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Christopher S joy February 14, 2022 - 12:22 pm

How about ASM 102…when the spelled MORIBUS on the cover?

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Darren storr February 14, 2022 - 12:42 pm

Edge of spider-verse 2 black background!!

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William Edwards February 14, 2022 - 2:11 pm

A few years back, I came across a “pink” batman on the cover of Brave and the Bold #159 due to a lack of cyan during the printing process. It turned his cape, mask, and gloves pink instead of blue. Never saw another one like it, has anyone else come across an error like this?

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Teague Ricks February 15, 2022 - 10:49 am

That might be valuable! Might want to research that one!

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ABaer February 14, 2022 - 4:06 pm

How about A DOUBLE COVER??? Somewhere in one of my 30 boxes I know I have at least one of those!

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Stephen February 14, 2022 - 8:44 pm

I recently became aware of the Wolverine #75 hologram error variant: I just acquired a copy at a local collectibles auction in a comic lot and only figured out I had an error copy after browsing for info on the book. The regular hologram of wolverine jumping forward is reddish-green but my copy is one of the blue/purple ones that has almost no discernible image on it. This seems to be a pretty common error variant however with several copies currently being listed on ebay. (some even appear to be listed without the seller being aware of what they have)

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Jeff Monk February 15, 2022 - 8:53 pm

I’m curious what you guys think about the blue and copper lizard supposed variance of Spider-Man number one. Do you consider them a legitimate variant or just a slight change in color saturation?

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Jeff February 16, 2022 - 7:42 am

Superman# 14 (2020?) had the wrong cover on it.

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Hugh Stribling February 16, 2022 - 2:55 pm

What about a wrong cover? I have an X-Men Annual Vol 1 # 6 from 1982 with a Little Archie cover #178.

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RJ Cross February 17, 2022 - 4:26 pm

The Dr. Strange cover where they used a background image of Amy Grant qualify?

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lyle February 19, 2022 - 3:44 am

i discovered a comic in my collection “marvel super heroes, megazine #4-1995, there’s a 4 inch grey ink scratch across the hulks’ shoulder, chin and collarbone, i haven’t come across any other. double covers i have two comics , the outsiders and a batman and robin, and a few error comics as well

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