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 collectibles 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 10 titles a month.
But for May, and Marvel Comics' so-called Fresh Start, they will be smashing their records and allowing retailers to commission exclusive covers for the following 13 titles.
- AVENGERS #1 is now available for retailer exclusive variants! (Order by 3/23)
- HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: WEAPON LOST #1 (Order by 3/23)
- DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #300 (Order by 3/30)
- HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: ADAMANTIUM AGENDA #1 (Order by 3/30)
- VENOM #1 (Order by 3/30)
- HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: CLAWS OF A KILLER #1 (Order by 4/6)
- MIGHTY THOR: AT THE GATES OF VALHALLA #1 (Order by 4/6)
- X-MEN: THE WEDDING SPECIAL #1 (Order by 4/6)
- BLACK PANTHER #1 (Order by 4/13)
- HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: MYSTERY IN MADRIPOOR #1 (Order by 4/13)
- INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #600 (Order by 4/13)
- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 (Order by 4/20)
- X-MEN: RED ANNUAL #1 (Order by 4/20)
Considering that new EIC C.B. Cebulski is reportedly not a fan of variant cover economies in comic books, how many would they have had if he hadn't been in charge? Or is this purely David Gabriel acting alone…
Though looking at current performance might I advise retailers to request an Amazing Spider-Man #800 cover with the Red Goblin on it? That seems to be going down rather well in the aftermarket.