Axel-In-Charge: Facing the 'Divided' Marvel NOW! Future
Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at email@example.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.
Today’s question is about what was the first variant cover.
Tom Russell asks:
Do you know what was the first “alternate” comic book cover to be published concurrently (as opposed to a later reprint)? Also, what was the first comic book issue to be _marketed_ as such– i.e. the whole “get this rare alternate cover by Hotty McArtistman” spiel?
Here’s one that readers can correct me on (and I know they will if they can, don’t you worry ;)) if I’m wrong, as I do not know the answer DEFINITIVELY, but as far as I can tell, the answer to both questions, Tom, is John Byrne’s The Man of Steel #1.
The whole “variant cover” craze was big with mass market paperbacks in the early to mid 80s, so it was only a matter of time before comic books picked up on it, as well, and I believe 1986’s The Man of Steel #1 was the first one to do so, and they definitely picked up on the idea to market it AS a collectible.
But I suppose there MAY have been a comic that tried this idea out before 1986, but I dunno. I’m sure folks will let me know if they think of one!
But otherwise, there ya go, Tom!
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.