When I think of comics of my childhood, two series come to mind right away. Todd McFarlane’s adjective less ‘Spider-Man’ in 1990 and the Jim Lee / Chris Claremont ‘X-Men’ run in 1991.
These #1 issues was one of the biggest ‘HOLY SHIT THIS IS FUCKING AMAZING’ moments of my childhood memories.
Jim Lee’s artwork was utterly brilliant (and still is to this day). Chris Claremont wrote an amazing storyline that kept me wanting the next issue. McFarlane couldn’t do any wrong. He brought a dark side of Spider-Man that I never witnessed before, and I loved every second of it.
As a kid I thought these were extra special. Not for the stores or art, but the fact variant covers were coming out. Different covers of #1’s were consistently coming out. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I wanted them so badly because I figured variant covers were so rare.
How wrong I was.
Fast-forward about 20 or so years later. If I had a chance of encountering my younger self, I’d probably smack him upside the head for having such a stupid thought.
A month can’t go by with a stupid variant cover coming out. More often than not, they’re not newsstand prices either. Nope, they can range anywhere from $10 to even $50 (based on how many issues were printed).
Possibly the most famous variant cover to come out in recent memory is Amazing Spider-Man 583. Don’t remember what it is? Sure you do. It’s the Spider-Man issue featuring President Barack Obama on the cover. People ate this issue up like crazy. Prices were going up, and variant issues came out (five variants in total).
Variants were once cool. Now, they’ve oversaturated the market.
When once people were excited to get their hands on a variant, now more often than not they huff in exhaustion from them. Reason being is very simple.
Sometimes, comics come out twice a month. A variant would technically, in an odd perspective, make it three times a month. So within one month, you can easily spend around $25 for just three comics. That’s a lot of fucking money people!!!
It’s getting out of hand. Usually variants would come out for a #1…#50…#100 type of special issue numbers, or special anniversary type (50th anniversary of Spider-Man for example).
So what was once new, innovating and exciting… is just a pain in the ass now.
Without even looking it up, I’d guess that the Wolverine storyline ‘Old Man Logan’ had at least 20 variants in total.
So please publishers…calm the fuck down with these variants. You’re sucking the fun out of collecting comics.