Variant comic books are my passion. There are many kinds of variants – ratio, newsstand, convention, store, and late printings just to name a few. This article will discuss seven very intriguing variants that I think are underappreciated by the market.
No character is hotter than Miles Morales as I wrote about here. This is one of the more underappreciated Miles Morales covers but that is starting to change. I expect to see this book dry up in the secondary market as collectors snatch these up. For a #1, this book did not have a huge print run at just under 100,000. While it is impossible to know, I suspect that this variant was less than 10% of the total as there were other variants. Marvel’s ordering process for their hip-hop variants was controversial. It required retailers to satisfy a minimum order on the main cover before they could buy the variants. Stay tuned for a future piece on this topic. Adi Granov’s art here is haunting.
This variant does not seem to get the love that it deserves. For the longest time collectors were chasing the San Diego Comic-Con variant, a cover that never did anything for me. The retro-style art of this cover hearkens back to the character’s forgotten history. It is unclear whether Marvel has plans for the Sentry going forward but it seems possible for them to introduce the character into the MCU in a very unique fashion.
Riri Williams has only begun to heat up. I suspect we have a long, long way to go with this character. This is Riri’s first solo title and the juxtaposition of her and Tony on the cover is particularly powerful. However, the Adi Granov hip-hop variant comes in at a very close second here. I love, love love this cover. I have a LOT more to say on these hip-hop variants.
Esad Ribic is the quintessential modern Thor artist in my humble opinion. We are going to see Jane Foster as Thor in Thor Love and Thunder. If you want to play that movie then this is the book to get. Thor #1 had a print run of about 150,000 meaning that there are no more than 3,000 of these out there are probably far fewer than that. Did I mention how stunning this cover is?
The coolness factor of this cover is off the charts. Marvel is invested in the Champions and continues to push the team as evident by Outlawed #1. Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, and Sam Alexander are rising stars in the Marvel Comic Universe and very likely in the cinematic universe as well. I love the attitude they are channeling here. Alex Ross is on top of his game as well.
Negative sentiment around store exclusive variants spells huge opportunity (see my piece on this here). This is the first cover appearance of Donny Cates’s new villain, Virus. Feel free to debate it all you want but it is a fact. I have no idea where Donny is going with this character but there is a good chance it is going to be super hot. Greg Horn’s art is stunning.
This is only a small subset of the variant covers that I would like to discuss. There has been a massive influx of variants into the market over the last decade which is both a blessing and a curse. Many collectors became fatigued and started ignoring variants. This behavior is what created the opportunity to find hidden gems. Most variants will be worth nothing but I think there are many just waiting to be rediscovered. Thanks for reading.