Top 5 Smallest Print Run Venom

hot5newWith a new Venom series coming up this month, I decided to make a list of Venom issues that might be underrated, by looking at the sales numbers. I wanted it to be just a list, but something quickly became apparent: Venom has not sold very well for a while … which is funny, considering that he seems to be a fan-favorite character. And Marvel know this, which is why they keep giving him chances in the form of new twists, no matter how misguided, on the character.

So the following list has the 5 least selling issues, but it's limited to one issue per series (or it would be all Space Knight) and after the list I will try to give some more information for each series. Let's go!!!


Venom: Space Knight #13


Print run: 14,577

This comic now has the official title for the least selling original Venom book ever (yes, even less than the Venom / Deadpool What If reprint, which I decided not to include on this list as we have mentioned it time and time again) … Granted, few people thought Venom Space Knight sounded like a good idea, but the performance of this book has been abysmal.


Venom (2011) #42

Venom (2011) #42

Print run: 19,561

Last issue of the previous series, which ended on a very impressive 42 issues, which for an anti-hero / villain is not bad at all. I personally jumped off after Remender left the book, but I think now Bunn probably had a lot of fun with the character and I wouldn't mind giving it a read.


Amazing Spider-Man Presents Anti Venom #3

Anti-Venom #3

Print run: 20,364

I know, not specifically a Venom book, but close enough and more proof that Space Knight did horribly compared to this distant cousin that had no reason to do better.


Venom: Dark Origin #5


Print run: 23,065

Awesome cover and last issue of the mini-series retelling the origin, barely over 23K and I can only imagine it's only going to get harder to find. Jason already mentioned #4 too, so check it out if you go after this one.


Venom (2003) #18

Venom (2003) #18

Print run: 24,760

This series had a very bizarre storyline going on, but the last few issues should remain interesting for collectors out there at least due to Skottie Young's interior art.

Venom: Flashpoint

Venom: Flashpoint

Print run: 3,378

Reprint of the Agent Venom origin, a tiny print and a cool cover might make this book hard to find and good to have in your collection.

Venom (2011) #1 1:50 Sketch Variant (and 2nd-4th printings)


Max. Print Run for the Sketch Variant: 1,080

As always, treat these numbers with a grain of salt. Sales numbers of 54K for the first printing make the maximum print run for the 1:50 around 1,080 copies. Probably a lot of less, though.

If the 2nd print was less than 5K, let's assume that the 4th would not have reached 2K, which is a smaller print run than some of the store exclusives that will be coming out for the new series.

As mentioned above here's some more info on the regular series print runs in the form of charts … I am not a chart specialist so I hope these make sense:

Venom (2003)

As I said above weird series about extraterrestrial agents cloning Venom and a lot more nonsense, which was not what you probably wanted as a Venom reader in 2003. Guest appearances by Wolverine and Spider-Man, wonderful Sam Kieth covers on the first few issues and Skottie Young's art (and even Sean “Cheeks” Halloway for one issue) are the only redeeming features in the series. It started selling over 90K, ended right below 25K.


Venom (2011)

Rick Remender and Tony Moore, fresh off their Frankencastle mini-epic, was the dream team for Venom and they started a great run featuring Agent Venom / Flash Thompson, a frail character that in Remender's hands went through hell and back. Cullen Bunn took over after Remender left and kept the series alive for another 16 issues. First issue sold over 59K (one cover, 4 printings) and with 42 (+5) issues is the longest Venom title ever. Just not the original Venom, of course.


Venom Space Knight

Don't have much to say about that. Sales of #1 were almost 60K (with a total of 5 covers and there's a reprint of #1 in case you want an even cheaper option). People don't seem to have liked this that much, I honestly only took a quick look at the last few issues as Venom came back to Earth. That it barely made a difference sales-wise says a lot about how people didn't care for this.


Comparison of the performance of the first 13 issues of the three series (relative to the sales of the first issue)

Just using the first 13 issues as that's how far Space Knight got before getting canceled. You can see the huge instant drop of Space Knight and the struggle of the 2003 series. The way I read this is Venom and Sci-Fi don't go that well together! 2011, on the other hand, shows a way softer downward trend (losing between 2-5% per issue, which is pretty much normal for comics) and even managed to pick some readers for the Circle of Four storyline.


So Marvel has some store exclusives going on for the new Venom series, they even got the 1:1,000 McFarlane variant in an effort to push the sales of the first issue as far as they can go, which is absolutely reasonable. They even got some store exclusives for #2 and #3 planned in order for the decrease in sales not to be so sharp, but at the end of the day (as this article tried to prove) readers will only stay if they are engaged by the story and the art.

I really think Marvel don't have to reinvent the wheel every time they put out a Venom series. Also, it's probably a character that ideally shouldn't have his own regular series. I personally see it a bit like Lobo, the minis were great, the series, not so much … Remender's run was great, but, even thought it's a great story about addiction, weakness and strength, it's not the original Venom.

OK, that's about all I have to say about Venom, if there's anyone still out there what do you think?

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  • sdalton32

    I picked up Venom: Space Knight issues #10-13 solely for the cool Zach Howard covers – I dig’em the most. And each time, the lcs had only 1 or 2 copies, which reflects what you have pointed out about this series ( lower print runs due to lack of interest).

  • Jason S

    I love that Flashpoint cover. Great article! Thanks!

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    Medina is hit or miss for me, but can draw a bad ass Venom.

    Great article!!

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    Isn’t Venom Space Knight 10-13 the return of the Eddie Brock Venom we all know and love?

    I thought that was the story ark that leads to the new Venom Ongoing coming out this month.

    Could be wrong. I have issues 10 to 13 as well and I must say it was a pretty good read. Probably because Venom was not in space but in planet… new york lol

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    Man!! Had no idea that Venom Flashpoint had such a minute print run.

    I have 3 copies of that book. Bought it for the cover.

    I have 0.1% of the print run lol.

    That book also reprints the 1st Solo App of Agent Venom.

    That cover rocks!

    It reminds of the Thunderbolts Prelude #1 issue, which reprinted the 1st App of the TBolts in Hulk 449. Had a cool alternate cover by Bagley and had a print of only 5000.

    Same concept!

  • Skot Whitman

    Just realized the artist on the last 3 issues (11, 12 and 13) of Venom Space Knight was Gerardo Sandoval, who’s drawing the new Venom book. People might remember him from the short lived Guardians 3k and SW2015:AoA #1-5 issues.

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    I really liked Guardians 3000… 🙁

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