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Lee Roberts's picture
By Lee Roberts

Have Money Get Variant Have No Money Get Nothing and JR JR

As the day gets nearer for the Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #1 to be released, I grow more excited about it. Getting back the character that got me hooked on comics should be a joyous moment and up until the other night it was. With the return of Peter Parker and the Amazing Spider-Man, I've been keeping an eye out for variant covers. I knew there where going to be a lot of them, so far there's 14 variant covers just for Amazing Spider-Man and being both a huge fan of Spider-Man and a comic collector I of course want them all.

Until I saw the prices of them.
Right now I can order them online, there's even a discount price on them, but even with that discount the price tag for getting 6 of them is $658.75, that's not counting tax and shipping.
Just think about that for a minute.
For 6 comics.
With discount.
How much would they be at a comic shop?

These are the variants that will require the shops to order up to 200 of the regular covers just to get 1 of a certain variant. It works this way, if they order 25 copies of the regular they will get 1 copy of variant A, if they order 50 copies of regular they will get 2 copies of variant A and 1 copy of variant B, and so on until they have ordered how every many to get at least 1 copy of all variants.

However, by them doing this the shop might order 200 regular covers to get that 1 copy of the variant but that will make that have a price tag of upwards to $200 or more. Which in this case for the Amazing Spider-Man there is one particular variant, the Alex Ross 75th anniversary sketch variant that is $255 with a regular price of $300.
So I ask, exactly who is this for?
I can't afford this kind of price, even though I would love to have them, but even though I know that I could sell them and make a profit off them, what's the point when I want to keep them? I'm a collector, not a seller, I want to have them because the covers are really cool art and I want to have the whole collection. Wanting and getting are two different things and in this case they are not possible or practical. Is it worth a common collector to spend nearly $1,000 on 6-8 comics when they will stay in the collection? I suppose you could make the argument that by buying them I could spend $1,000, sell them, and maybe make an extra $500. Which would be a good deal of money and that is why I am talking about it.

Are comics for collectors/readers or is it for people that are for people that only want to buy it to sell it to the collector that gets some extra cash to spend $400 on one variant? I do love variants, mainly because they usually have really cool art for the covers, but it seems like the collecting part of the comics seems to be for the rich now. Not only that but for the people that can't afford the variants getting a comic that might one day be a comic worth some money is very unlikely. With there being so many of the regular covers put into the market so that the shops and other vendors can get the variants, anyone that can only get the regular cover or even one of the lower priced variants only ends up getting a comic that if they are lucky raises a few dollars above cover price. Though that is still unlikely and I can't tell you how many times I've seen those regular covers in the $1-$2 boxes at conventions and their regular cover price upon release was $2.99-$7.99.
What was once a fun thing to do because everyone had the same or near same chance of getting a comic that might turn out to become one that's rare or worth money, but today the ones that will be worth money or collectors are the ones that already cost a lot of money. If you have the cash to buy those variants that are expensive then you will have one with money, but if you don't, well I really hope that you liked reading the comic because that's about all you will get out of it.

Maybe those letters mean something to you or maybe that don't but it does mean a big deal. Those are the initials for John Romita, Jr., he's a very well known and well liked artist. He's worked on Amazing Spider-Man as well as many other titles while only growing more talented as well liked. He's known for his Marvel works but with the release of issue #33 of Superman this Summer, JR,JR will be the one drawing those title. Along with Romita at the art work there will be Geoff Johns as writer. This is a big deal considering this is Romitas first time at DC Comics and it's on the biggest character they have. The story will start a new chapter called, “Man of Tomorrow” and no that is not Superman they are talking about, it's a new character named Ulysses. I had stopped reading Superman but with Romita being the artist on the book I will be reading it again. Oh by the way, there will be variants for this book and it will be very tough to get them and if Romita does a variant oh boy that price tag won't be low.