Comic book variants for beginners: Part 2 : Printing variants

What is a (subsequent) printing variant?

It is a 2nd,3rd, or 4th etc etc printing of a popular comic that is now out of print.

Is it hard to get?

Well that depends on how popular the original comic was. If it’s a really popular comic, you might not get it until the third or fourth printing. But as I said, it really depends on how you are trying to get it. Are you putting it in your holds box at your local comic book shop, going on eBay, or are you trying to just walk in a store and buy it?

Can they be expensive?

Sometimes,but probably not, honestly.

If multiple prints are done for a comic, that means the comic is popular. Normally, because of it being a key issue of some kind or the first issue of a comic. Though there are exceptions.

But you must understand that if the second printing does retain value , the value normally stops there.


The rule of thumb is often that the second print is where the value stops. BUT, there are always exceptions. There are some comics in which the third and even the eighth comic still retain their value.

Why do people buy these?

For Reading .

Sometimes people like me would much rather read a comic series as it comes out rather than wait for the graphic novel to eventually come out. And it only takes one forgotten email to miss out on a key issue, and in that case, you’re stuck. Yes, you can buy the next issue. But it’s like skipping a chapter in a book. To move forward you must read that chapter. So for people like me, this is one of the easiest ways to continue is to get a second printing.

Unless you have the money to shell out around $25 for a comic you could have gotten for $4.


There are some series that I just buy. Rather it is to support the artist, the series, or just because I like the character.

This isn’t about money as it is about collecting.

I will eventually read them. When I do, I don’t want to have to hunt down an omnibus or volumes. I just want to go to my shelf and read.


This is Edge of the Spider-Gwen #2 1st and 2nd printing, and you’ll notice that as slide between the two other than the blue at the bottom of the second printing they are for the most part the same.

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 1st print vs 2nd print

Comics too expensive for my wallet.

Although I didn’t mention printings being the same, that is normal, but is not always the status quo.

For example Black Panther #3 1st print vs Black Panther #3 2nd print.

The one on top is the 1st print.

Occasionally this happens when the prints are very different. I bought the 2nd print, because of my inability to procure a variant of the 1st print.I wanted something different from cover A.

Why can it be so difficult to get a first print?

The key issues above went out of print rather quickly. And now with the existence of the MCU, scalping within comics is at an all-time high. It has affected the comic shops so much that some shops won’t allow you to buy more than one of any single issue at a time.

Part 1 Cover Variants

Part 3 Ratio Variants

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