Every month, Marvel offers retailers the chance to commission exclusive covers for certain titles — as long as they order thousands of copies. It's an effective, if expensive way for both parties to a) get some promotion and create collectables for the market, and b) up their orders. Begun by Dreamwave back in the day, it was popularised by IDW, and now Marvel Comics does it more than anyone else with anywhere between five and ten titles a month.
Retailers are usually required by Marvel and DC to order 3000 copies of the exclusive cover, with 1500 of subsequent colour differential variants of the variant.
For April, Marvel Comics will be allowing retailers to commission exclusive covers for the following nine titles:
- Hunt for Wolverine #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #798
- Avengers: Shards of Infinity #1
- Venomized #1
- Captain America #700
- Domino #1
- Exiles #1
- X-Men Gold #26
- Thanos Annual #1
So you'd better get ready, they may be coming to your town…