Super Sons #1

Seems that most comic shops seem to have gotten tired of their own variants. I mean, compare this comic's very humble 7 store exclusives to Harley Quinn‘s insane 40 or even Justice League vs Suicide Squad‘s 14. There's not even a Midtown Comics variant … Think about that for a second!

I guess it's a sign of things going back to normal, probably. No idea if it's the market who's getting sick of these or the stores who don't want to bet more money on these, but I would find it really weird if it were the latter. This seems to be one of those titles that seems destined to greatness, but I guess it's kind of a stretch to have Harley Quinn or Wonder Woman in the covers (if those are the main selling factors for store variants). Maybe some retailers can weigh in below?

What's clear is that the remaining stores are putting out some quality product …

Jonboy Meyers

Fried Pie Comics

Francesco Mattina

Hip Hopf Comics

Simone Bianchi

7 ate 9 Comics

Mirka Andolfo

Bulletproof Comics

Eric Basaldua

Most Good Hobby

Tyler Kirkham

Unknown Comics

Frank Quitely

Hall of Comics / CBCS / More Great Collectibles

Foil Variant

ECCC Comics


  • Avatar

    I think maybe the market, which will obviously affect the retailers if nobody wants them. I have been burnt a couple of times on these from a spec view, and as for PC, not interested in paying $50 plus dollars for a different cover limited to “only” 3000 copies.

    • Avatar

      Yeah, market probably got burnt out by the sheer number of offerings for “exclusive” variants, particularly since there appears to be new variants released every single month. Just exclusive Cover A variants alone for Harley Quinn #1 accounts for what, at least 120K units? Aside from events and Batman, is there even a single DC or Marvel title regularly selling that many copies right now?

      That said, all of the Super Sons variants were actually quite affordable ($10-15) for Cover A and even the 3-packs weren’t awfully expensive ($50-60). I guess stores have more experience now in terms of price and demand curve for exclusive variants. 😛

      I usually don’t buy retailer exclusives because while the covers are pretty, the actual story inside is usually crap. This time around, I just couldn’t wait for Super Sons #1 after reading Superman #10 & 11. I was only planning on getting one retailer exclusive set but the limited number of offerings and relatively affordable price points made it possible for me to actually collect all the different variants for my PC which is nice. Much easier to make impulse purchases when variants are $10 a pop with only one cover version than when they’re ~$20 a piece and ~$100 for a set. 😀

  • Avatar

    As a retailer sponsoring one of these new SS #1 variants (The Hall of Comics/CBCS/MGC by Frank Quitely) the first challenge is to really come up with a concept and matching artist that will excite both the causal fans and speculators, while maintaining a fair set of price points in the market that helps everyone meet their goal with these exclusives (either by offering exclusivity at a good acquisition cost for the true collector, fans of the artist or characters and/or possible upside for the speculators and flippers) And as a retailer, all those factors need to FULLY understood before buying in on the mimimum ordering numbers from both DC & Marvel, which as a point of full disclosure are: 3000 copies (Cvr A) 1500 (Cvr B’s) 1000 (Cvr C’s) & 1000 (Cvr D’s+) Doing the rough math there means a shop has to pony up between $12k to $15k just to get a set of exclusives produced, which is the main reason you see presale prices set where the are at usually at between $59 – $99 per set and the growing trend of retailers teaming up together to split the risk and front end costs. Obviously this isn’t a game for the faint of heart on any level. Retailer or collector (well, outside of some place like Midtown of course) BUT the rewards a small shop like ours can get from the exposure of offering a new, exciting shop variant world wide can be immesable and beyond the obvious incoming revenues that these books can sometimes generate and that can then be put back into our brick and mortar shop to help further our overall financial health and aid in its growth. There’s just so much to consider and reconsider when getting involved in something like this, including commiting to keeping the true print run numbers and price integrity models transparent and realistic, because the last thing any retailer would want are questions about those key things and/or disinterest in the offering itself, which as we’ve seen in some instances has led to inventory stock dumps below the collectors initial acquisition costs, which then causes collapses and loss of faith in these specialized areas of collecting. Then factor in having to deal with DC and Marvel and then Diamond directly (Damages, shortages, adjusted print runs, oh my!)

    I’ll spare you all any more but regardless thank you for this great CBSI forum and opportunity to share just a bit of this behind the curtain stuff, as well as for everyone’s past and current support of all these great shop exclusives. I can’t express enough what a true thrill it is to see your shops logo featured on the back of one of these variants and to feel everyone’s passion for these characters and the thrill of being in the mix of the limited market hunt! Thanks again and here’s hoping you all have a SUPER New Comic Wednesday and Let’s Go Super Sons!

  • Avatar

    As embarrassing as it is for our hobby, sexy ladies with boobs sell variants.
    You can’t make these two smooth little boys sexy. That would be weird.
    Plus, I suspect many retailers saw that Hip Hopf variant, threw up their hands and surrenderd. That is the clear winner. Why would you buy anything else?

    • Avatar

      I don’t think that phenomenon is limited to comics. :p

      In any case, I’m glad there are stores who took a chance and released alternatives to the Francesco Mattina variant. The Frank Quitely (esp Cvr C Bat-Mite and Mxy) and Tyler Kirkham (esp SLCC FanX Joker B&W) variants are my favorite. 😀

  • Avatar

    If you ever want to see the fall of a market by the people who depend on it look no further than store variant. Complete and I mean beyond complete investment garbage for collectors and a quick cash grab for dealer. I loved the 90’s but what I didn’t like form the 90’s were variants created with the intention of offering some type of collector value from day one of concept. It’s kinda like the “collector Issues” marvel and dc printed 500k copies and retailed at $1 each. They sold and everyone was excited till it was time for resale. The store variants are no different. Instead of trying for a mass distribution they target a smaller crowd of variant hungry people with the promise of gold. Pay $30 for this gem, get it graded for $17/20, and sell for hundreds(now $40/60 ouch lol). First up was aspen cashing in on a dead man’s sketch book. All basically redrawn by Peter. In the end the only thing that was really turner was the character rough sketch. Then came bulletproof with Del Otto, doubling the price, and offering 2nd print junk. It worked for awhile and then turned into an investment nightmare for those buying graded copies at $600 plus, now hanging around $300/350. Then came the cries of retailer over cost and lost income as they tried to cash in on the money train. Then came the tank in new books sales as people no longer wanted regular cover, opting for more expensive variants. Stores started feeling the crunch and people caught on to the variant scam itself. DC figured it out and ended the 1:25,1:100 etc train while marvel continues to chug along. In the end after bleeding investor dry and collectors figuring out they mad poor purchases, the market is now self correcting. The effects of these actions are now the slow decline in the industry as a hole. The back issue market is drying up and new releases for the most have little to no investment value unless you dish out the big bucks for overpriced campbell and Ross cover, which are being sold at their max value ever day one. So basically at this point the market has pushed out collectors without big money, giving them little no chance of ever finding anything of value and are milking the opposite. What does this mean overall, an inevitable market crash, mass rush to liquidate collections and a value tank across the board. Those holding low grade books will get hit the hardest. The reason I preach never to collect low grade anything and sell while you can. Basically the money train has run out and the gig is up.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.