Amazing Spider-Man Vol.1 #569B 1:10 variant
Hi everyone and welcome again to Finding the Pattern!
This week, we’ll move on from DC to explore something new to this column: MARVEL. I am really more of a Batman guy so it was hard for me to find a comic to talk about, but I think I managed to pick something really interesting for you guys. What if I say Venom, or Anti-Venom, or again Agent Venom? Does it ring a bell?
This first book we’ll talk about is one that I’m sure every modern collector or variant fan already knows about. It is a variant that introduce us to a new villain with cover art that stands out on its own: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol.1 #569B 1:10 variant.
This book was released August 27, 2008 with a total print run of 77,909. Being a 1:10 variant, there are about 7,790 copies of this cover out there. The art was done by the very talented Adi Granov and shows us what a real Venom cover should look like. There is something about that book that just makes you want to start to collect every Venom cover. The cool thing is, because it’s “only” a portrait, Granov took the time to give attention to every little detail on his work. The shading, lighting, the lines, the colors, the black & white balance; all of these details have been greatly exploited to finally create a cover that is, in my opinion, perfectly balanced. Everything about this cover says Venom and I think that’s where the artist really succeeded.
Another thing that makes this book desirable is that it contains a first appearance. In fact, this issue introduces us to a new villain: Anti-Venom. There are a lot of different listings and sold copies of this comic, but I think it’s safe to say that it has a value going from $30 to $60 depending on the condition of the book. Finding a NM copy is obviously very hard because of the black cover. It is one of those books where the gap between a 9.6 and a 9.8 is really noticeable.
One factor that makes it hard for the market to determine the value of this comic is that it has a second print variant (cover C), where Anti-Venom is featured on the cover. This one was done by John Romita JR. and has a print run of about 8,481. This cover commands a little more money right now but I think that they will both eventually find their own audience. One for the art (Granov), and the other for the first appearance / cover appearance combo (Romita JR.). If you see these covers, buy them and hold. Venom and anything related will always find a way to sell and unless you bought the titles for a ridiculous price (which you should not), it will always be easy to make a little profit out of them.
The next book we will explore (and that I think has a chance to follow the same pattern) is not a variant, meaning that it has a much bigger print run. Nonetheless, I think the cover is amazing in its simplicity and is one of the best works of the artist who made it I’m aware of. Let me show you Venom Vol.2 #9 (2011):
Now that’s a cover! Released on November 16, 2011, this one has a print run of 35,102. It’s high, but not THAT high, and again, good luck finding one in high-grade (due to the black cover). The art was done by John Tyler Christopher (JTC), who is getting more and more recognition from the comic community, notably for his action figure variants.
Like the Granov variant, this one focuses on Venom and has been having recent sales around $10-$15,with current listings around $35. This comic is even harder to find online than the ASM #659B (at the moment), but I think you have more chances of pulling it from your LCS’s long boxes.
JTC really did a great job on the art – the cover is simple but manages to make the viewers really feel what Venom is, and I think that it’s something purely remarkable. Don’t get me wrong; the details and the textures are really well done, but a black on black cover with no background and little color that can captivate your eyes that much is not something you see everyday. I even prefer this representation of Venom to the one made by Granov. It looks less like “just” an alien creature, even if it kind of is, and more like a human under the influence of a symbiote, which is what it really is.
What makes this cover even more interesting is that it offers us two sides of Venom. On the right side, we have the authentic Venom, and on the left side, we can see Agent-Venom. What amazes me the most is how both sides fit perfectly but deliver different emotions. One is calm and looks totally under control while the other screams insanity and craziness. It’s a simple, yet very effective cover that reflects perfectly the original McFarlane Venom. I mean, that evil smile is pure gold. Let me just show you what it would look like mirrored and compared to ASM #299 (now revealed to be the base for the new Venom #1 1:1000 variant):
Good luck finding the Granov variant in the wild, or its second printing, but I assure you it is possible (I found both in dollar bins) so don’t lose hope. It is not one of those variants that everyone is seeking right now so take your chances and hunt! As for the JTC cover, I suggest that every time you see Venom written on a short box, you dig into it and try to find that awesome cover. Hold on to it, or sell if you want, but please at least keep one in your PC, it deserves it. And remember that Venom will always sell!
As a goodbye, I leave you with a couple of sketches by Granov so you can see what his version of Venom looks like (with a body). See you next week on another pattern!