Everyone remembers who came in 1st place, 2nd place not so much. However this rule is not the same in comics, where 2nd printing has been accepted as a great alternate to missing out on a 1st printing. Today’s list will focus on 2nd printings that can still be picked up pretty cheap in comparison to their 1st print counterpart. Some have the same cover with color variations, others have a totally new cover making them a variant cover in other terms. Let’s face it multiple printings will always be here as long as the demand is there. Dealers are not stock piling on 1st printings and getting stuck with them, as they know a 2nd printing will be issued if need be. These 2nd and later printings are generally lower printed and have the potential to be much more valuable as the time goes by. We have already seen some gains on such books as (TMNT #1, Amazing Spiderman #361, Superman Man of Steel #18 & Saga #1), so it’s better to get looking now before the vultures swoop in.
X-Men #248 (Sep 1989)
I spoke about this book a few weeks ago in my Jim Lee thread, so not going to go into massive detail about how significant this book is. However Marvel knew they had a gem when people were writing about how great the art was on the book. Marvel released a 2nd printing on this comic with an all Gold Background, that in my personal opinion looks way sexier than the original. The book has an elegant look to it, and makes it look more valuable than what it actually is. The gold printing was much lower in print run, and is actually a harder to find book in most shops. The best part is you can find it for a fraction of the cost of the 1st printing and with some shopping pick up a high-grade raw for $5 dollars max. After you’ve read this just for fun do a search on Ebay for X-Men 248 and you will see multiple pages listed for the 1st printings and count how few of the 2nd printings you come across, the ratio will no doubt surprise you.
New Mutants #87 (March 1990)
Here is one that is quite strange considering how valuable the 1st printing is. Cable makes his first appearance well sort of since he technically appeared as Baby Nathan in X-Men 201 years before. The 2nd printing like X-Men 248 had a gold background and was identical in nature except a black UPC box. The 2nd printing came out roughly 8 months later once New Mutants became a glorified hit, and the demand was there for this book. The 2nd printing had a similar print run to the original 1st printing, so they are about the same ratio wise. I would state that this is the best sleeper pick of the lot, as you can pick up mint raw copies for $5 to $10 at shops and online. Heck even CGC 9.6 and 9.8 copies on Ebay are listed between $50 and $150 or less, that makes for a cheap option.
Batman #638 (May 2005)
Here is a cool variant cover that mimics the 1st printing, and creates a whole new view-point to the book. This variant cover is my favorite of the list, and really has sleeper potential due to the heat factor of Red Hood lately. The 1st printing shows Batman holding the Red Hoods mask and his face is in shock, the 2nd printing shows Jason Todd holding the mask and you see Batman’s face in shock in the helmet’s reflection. The cover is simple and effective, yet so cleverly completed that I cannot consider this a 2nd print but more of a true variant cover. Keep an eye out for this book, as the value has increased the past few months, but you can still pick it up for around $5 to $10 in most shops and online.
Rat Queens #1 (Oct 2013)
Here is a book that is really scarce in the wild or even online due to a minute print run, in fact the print run was so low it was never released by comichron. The best guess scenario is a print run of less than 2500 exist. This book saw a spike in value when the Cartoon Specs happened, but since then it has fallen back down to around $20 online. The big key to this issue is a new cover and a tough all white background making high-grade copies even harder to locate. This book is a buy now and hold as the rewards down the road could be plentiful. Keep an eye out for the 2nd print of issue 2 as it also had a lower print run and came with a new cover.
Edge of the Spider Verse #2 (Nov 2014)
Wow it’s only been 2 years that Spider Gwen has been around, felt a lot longer than that. For this book I would try to pick up not the 2nd print, but the 3rd printing, and the reason behind this is this printing had the only variant cover to the 1st one. The other printings all were the same as the 1st with different coloring in the bottom and top of the book. The 3rd one had Spider Gwen in different poses, showing her costume design and looked simple and effective. This book was picked up immediately when people found out it was a different cover, but since Spider Gwen has cooled down recently now is the time to pick up on the cheap as those same people are dumping this book for discounts. Marvel still has big plans for Spider Gwen as they recently brought her back in Clone Conspiracy and we may see her character stay in this universe instead of returning to hers. Spider Gwen’s value is at its lowest right now, but this will correct itself and the demand will grow again. Don’t wait too long on this one cause it will be a short time frame.
Hillbilly #1 & #2 (Oct 2016)
One of the newest books on this list is Hillbilly and not surprisingly the 1st print and 2nd print of issue 1 & 2 are sold out. The book has done extremely well, and it is very well written by Powell. The 2nd prints for both books were just released in October and both covers are made different from the originals (issue 2 is a sketch version). Comichron reported a minute 3,227 for issue #1 and 2,856 for issue #2 This is estimated order and not precise) but this does give you a general idea how low printed this was. Hillbilly has long-term potential as Powell has had a cult following with Goon previously and those books continue to rise in value each year. The great thing about this spec is you might be able to snag one at your LCS for cover price.
Wishing all my American CBSI family a safe Thanksgiving day, and dress warm cause old man winter is here.
Until Next time!