MaltyBlog #4: Malty Rant – Variants

As a comic book collector, one of the things that I have to deal with is variant covers. On the surface, I don’t have a problem with them. They are fun, alternate pieces of art that gives the collectors something a little extra. But if you are like me and are a bit of a completionist, then getting all the variant covers for your favorite titles can be a pain. I get a lot of help from my local comic shop, as they pull them for me before I get there. But then… sigh… then a company does a release like IDW did this past week. Rant incoming…

Master of the Variants!

I only physically (key word right there) collect a handful of new titles each month. From Dark Horse comics, it’s anything related to the greatest cartoon and toy line of all time, Masters of the Universe. Currently as of this writing, I am collecting the new Masterverse series. As is the norm for any publisher these days, there are variant covers. The most recent issue (#2) had 3 covers, and I was happy to get them all. Three covers seems reasonable, and it doesn’t break the bank.

That black and white cover is sick!

The Scarlet Variant

From Marvel comics, I collect for my two favorite badass fictional women… She-Hulk and the Scarlet Witch. This week saw the release of Scarlet Witch, Vol. 3 #4. This series has proven to be a big seller and popular title since it started in January of this year. It’s to be completely expected that there will continue to be variants for this series, and many of them to boot! Imagine my joyful surprise and simultaneous sense of financial dread when I saw that I was getting 4 variants from my local comic shop, and it included a 1:50 variant! I have never gotten a cover that rare/hard to find, and though the cost wasn’t the prettiest, I went for it!

If you were wondering, the 1:50 variant is the ‘Virgin’ cover all the way to the right. There was 1:100 variant that’s a sketch version of the Magneto cover, but the shop didn’t get one in. I love the art of Alex Ross though, so I will be on the hunt for it.

Way Past Cool Variants!

Do you collect ‘kids’ comic books, or titles/series that are aimed at children and teens? Well if you love Sonic The Hedgehog as much as I do, and buy those comic books, that’s the category given to them. Once published by Archie comics back in the day, the franchise has been published by IDW comics since 2018. To celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the series (nearing 60 issues!), IDW released a special 5th Anniversary comic book this week, and my shop was able to get me 6 variants (out of 7 released)! Before I explain my frustration and get to my rant, here are the variants I picked up:

All of these covers look amazing, there’s no disputing that. To make it even better, the last two were a 1:10 and 1:25 variants. Cool!

I left the comic shop feeling happy with my new books. However I may need to research new titles coming out before I blindly buy them, as I was about to discover a new frustration… the reprint.

Where Have I Seen This Before?

I get home and start to thumb through this 5th Anniversary comic book, about my favorite little hedgehog. I was excited to see what cool new story they were giving us for the celebration, but started to realize what I was seeing looked very very familiar. I was reading the first issue from 2018! This ‘Anniversary’ book was a freaking reprint of a comic book I’ve had in my collection for 5 years! Sure there was a ‘new’ short story at the end, and a reading guide for 5 years of comic books, but was that worth a whole new reprint? IDW essentially reprinted a 5 year old book, slapped on a few extra pages of things, and charged $8 US for it! That’s twice the cost of what the the original issue went for, and the price of every single issue released so far (currently they are $4 US)! Then make variants of it, with the 1:10 and 1:25 variants costing $10 and $20 respectively? Did I just spend $60 US on 6 reprints of a 5 year old comic?!?

Let me be clear here. As a grown ass adult, I know that it is completely on me to pay for all of these or don’t. No one is making me buy anything. However, I know that I am not the only collector who collects variants. Adults and kids alike love to collect these. But I feel like publishers are starting to take a huge advantage of collectors like us, and to do something like this?

The Rant

If you are selling a reprint, MARK IT as such somewhere on the front cover! Also, DON’T CHARGE TWICE THE PRICE FOR IT!

A reprint DOES NOT make for an Anniversary title in my opinion! How about a longer ‘new’ story to fill the whole book, and LEAVE THE REPRINTED STORY OUT OF IT ENTIRELY!

Can’t write a long enough ‘new’ story? Well as you seem to like selling us on so many variant covers, how about a 5th Anniversary book that collects all the covers to date? NOT EVERY VARIANT COLLECTOR OUT THERE has found all of them, myself included! A nice collection would have made a wonderful 5th Anniversary release for all of us collector’s out there!

I feel that a short story and reading guide would have made for neat extras in this months upcoming 60th issue which is technically the 5th Anniversary release anyways. A reprint of Issue #1 from 2018, in the same month, wasn’t necessary.

Rant over. Now I am going to go read some of those folded/stapled stack of papers we call comic books. I may have ranted and been genuinely frustrated, but this is a hobby I still love and cherish very much!

I’ll be back with another post on 4/10 for MaltyMonday!

Till Next time, be good to each other and Game On!

~ Malty

Each blog post will end with a random Music Video, because TMG ❤’s MvM

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