For many years, Marvel would occasionally publish "Variant" covers - the same comic but with two different covers. These were harmless fun, and most collectors enjoyed the novelty and were happy to occasionally buy two copies of a comic book in order to acquire both versions.
Then saw the arrival of "Limited Variants". In order to get one copy of a limited variant, a comic book store had to purchase 10 copies of the regular cover. Then when this became popular, we saw 1:25, 1:50, 1:100, 1:200 and 1:300 variants. Then comics would be published with three different variant covers - then four, five, seven, and (literally) fifty variant covers.
The collectors like myself who were "completists" saw their wallets and bank accounts being ravaged, and eventually we had to admit defeat. In 2010, the site gave up trying to track variants of non-Spider-Man titles (where Spidey only makes a guest or cameo appearance). That allowed us to focus on the ever-increasing number of Spider-Man title variant covers.
Here are the site rules for Variant Covers.
- For cover dates up to and including June 2010, we include all Variant Covers for all Issues in the database, including Spider-Man guest appearances, cameos and Spin-Off Titles.
- When the first issue of a Limited Series began on or before June 2010, we will include Variant Covers for the entire Title.
- After July 2010, we will include all Variant Covers only for "core" Spider-Man titles:
- Including Spider-Man Limited Series
- Including Spider-Man One-Shots
- Including Ultimate Spider-Man
- Including Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man
- Including all the "Spider-Man in Motion" variant cover series.
- Including all the "50 Years of Spider-Man" variant cover series.
- Including any other Spider-Man specific variant cover.
- NOT Including Spin-Off characters such as Venom, Spider-Woman, Spider-Girl, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Ham, etc.
- Core Spider-Man "Trivial Vanity" Variant Covers of any kind with cover date of July 2010 or later will be represented by a single "example" cover. A "Trivial Vanity" Variant is when multiple sponsored versions of a comic exist that differ from each other only by differing text, coloring and/or logos.
- Printing Error Variants, or recalled/cancelled variants that never saw general distribution are excluded.