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How many ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ variants are there (and what do they look like)?

asm1-variants

Marvel welcomed back Peter Parker this week in a relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man that brought with it an avalanche of variant covers that undoubtedly triggered ’90s flashbacks with some readers (that may explain why you suddenly began worrying about Ross and Rachel and the whereabouts of your Rollerblades). But just how many covers are there?

The publisher hasn’t released an official figure, but best counts put the number close to 50, most of which are retailer custom covers purchased exclusively by stores and conventions. To get their hands on one of those exclusives, a retailer (or a convention, or a trade group like the Comic Book Retailers Alliance) had to order a minimum of 3,000 copies of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 for a standard edition; for a sketch version, the number dropped to 1,500 (both are the standard numbers for Marvel’s custom variants).

Other variants, like those by Alex Ross, Marcos Martin, Skottie Young and J. Scott Campbell, are more widely available (even if some of them are incentive covers, requiring a retailer to purchase a specific number of copies to receive just one variant).

If you’re curious about what those scores of variants look like, you could either scour eBay or (much easier) visit SpiderManFan, a fan site that’s assembled most — if not all — of them, with assistance from its own commenters and from posters at the ComicBookRealm forum.

Obviously there’s a demand for this kind of thing, otherwise Marvel and other publishers wouldn’t continue to offer these variants. A quick eBay search reveals a current top bid of $153.50 for the GameStop-exclusive cover, and $325.35 for the Ross sketch variant.

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Comments

5 Comments

Rollo Tomassi

May 1, 2014 at 11:16 am

I sprung for the Mhan variant and paid $10 instead of $6 because the regular cover is so damn ugly.

I’m looking for the Stan Lee variant in the UK but can’t find it anywhere :(

I preordered two copies of the GameStop cover when they announced it. Cost me 12,000 PowerUp Reward points that were just gathering dust in my account. I sold one of the issues on eBay this afternoon after seeing how much it was going for.

I picked up the regular cover, the Mhan cover, the Campbell cover, the Young cover, the blank cover, and the Diamond Retailer variant from my LCS. I’m hoping to get one of the 1:50 covers during FCBD.

Holy crap that is a lot of covers. Unfortunately, it seems more apparent that Marvel’s constant relaunches is nothing more than an excuse to produce more variant covers.

Marvel didn’t make those retailers buy those variants. They offered and stores bought them.

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