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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Venom Key Comics Part 4

Since Sony just once again announced a Venom movie but this time confirmed for 2018, I got a request to expand this Venom key issues list in which I have moved around some issues in order to squeeze them in according to cover date.

Don't be surprised if you see some issues again that you already saw in Part 3 if you read it when I first published that post.

So here's Part 4 to this continuation. If you don't care for Moderns, you might want to skip this, but then again, if you get a bunch of Moderns buying lots and don't necessarily care for 'em, you may wanna sling 'em back in the market an get paid as a few of these are being sought currently. 

Click this Part 3 link if you missed the previous key issues.

1st appearance of Mac Gargan as Venom

That's right, the alien symbiote even bonded with Mac Gargan, one of Spidey's earliest foes and the original Scorpion. Gargan is the 2nd to become Venom and he would later become a member of a later incarnation of the Thunderbolts.

The original Thunderbolts would first appear in The Incredible Hulk #449, and the new roster with Gargan as Venom in the team would first appear in Thunderbolts #110. The first appearance of Mac Gargan as Venom in Marvel Knights Spider-Man #10 was published March, 2005.

First appearance of Anti-Venom

Eddie Brock did separate from the symbiote as he was dying from cancer. While working at a soup kitchen, Brock met Martin Li, who had special abilities and cures Brock of his cancer. However, when the Venom symbiote attacks him and tries to rebond with him, this causes the white blood cells charged with Li's healing energy and remnants of the symbiote in his body to create a new white symbiote.

This new hybrid would be known as Anti-Venom and have powerful restorative abilities that could heal Brock himself as well as others who are ill. The Anti-Venom suit is also corrosive to Venom, inflicting pain and literally dissolves the alien symbiote. 

There are variants of this issue, which is absolutely no surprise. If you're into them, this Cover B of Venom's face shown to the right is a 1:10 incentive retailer deal and is done by artist Adi Granov. The regular cover may have a print run of around 77,909.

The 1:10 incentive may be around 7,790, or that may be around the number of how many copies were given to comic shops. Who knows how many were actually printed up, but in my head, I usually round up to 8,000 for the heck of it.

The 2nd printing variant just might be the 1st Anti-Venom cover if 1st covers are a big thing for you and your collecting habits. If not, I have no idea where Anti-Venom first popped up on a comic cover. 

John Romita Jr. does the cover of that bad boy and you can click the images if you want a bigger view of the covers.

Both covers are pretty cool and I have no idea of the 2nd printing print run for this issue. First appearance of Anti-Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #569 was published October, 2008.

1st full or 2nd appearance of Anti-Venom?
2nd Anti-Venom cover

If one full page doesn't suit you as a first full appearance, this one definitely has Eddie Brock as Anti-Venom more in this issue. So far Overstreet just notes the previous issue of Amazing Spider-Man #569 as "Debut of Anti-Venom", and I believe CGC has that issue as Eddie Brock becomes Anti-Venom.

Whether they decide to change this or not, I have no idea. After all, the Hobgoblin's 1st appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #238 also shows him as the costumed villain in a full-page splash at the very end of that issue. Then again, Hobgoblin is also on the cover as well.

Amazing Spider-Man #570 does have the first meeting and battle between Anti-Venom and Mac Gargan as Venom.  Yes, that Mac Gargan who was the original Scorpion.

Also Spider-Man meets Anti-Venom for the first time as well. There are variants for this comic or information that I could find.

The Monkey variant is a 1:10 deal and the cover is by Mike McKone. I am not sure about the Luke Ross Peter Parker variant for this comic or if it was a 1 for 1 or a 50/50 split deal.

Peter Parker Variant | Monkey Variant | 2nd Print Variant

Cover dated November, 2008, Amazing Spider-Man #570 was released or hit comic shops around September, 2008 and has an estimated print run of around 82,456.

1st appearance of Venompool?

Not exactly sure why Venompool is getting so much hype in the market currently. It might have to do with the Deadpool: Back in Black.

Well since the whole hybrid of Venom bonding with Deadpool is hot, most are looking for when this first may have happened in comics. Apparently Venom's origins were revamped in Deadpool's Secret Wars #3, and before the symbiote ever bonded with Spider-Man, this rewritten origin has the Venom symbiote bonding to Deadpool first.

Oi, vey! So, right now the market is going bonkers for What If Venom Possessed Deadpool which has the cover date of April, 2011. Raw copies are selling for $100 to $150 for that issue, so if you got one, I'd sling it back into the market if you aren't a big fan.

As mentioned in the community page, that's a pretty hefty price to pay for just liking a cover of a reprint and the What If Venom Possessed Deadpool collects/reprints the entire story run that first appeared in different What If comics, beginning with the Iron Man: Demon In An Armor comic featured here.

Sellers were noting Venom Possessed Deadpool as 1st prints, but I'm letting you all know that's not the case. The collected reprint comic does have a different and cooler cover by Skottie Young. Take your pick, but the actual story line first ran and was told in the 2nd stories of these comics below just for reference:

  1. What If? Iron Man: Demon In An Armor (Part 1 of Venompool story)
  2. What If? Wolverine: Father (Part 2 of Venompool story)
  3. What If? Spider-Man: Grim Hunt (Part 3 of Venompool story)
  4. What If? Dark Reign ( Part 4 of Venompool story) 

There's the extra three covers for even more reference if these appeal to ya.

So What If? Venom Possessed Deadpool has an estimated print run of around 17,609, which is not much lower than What If? Iron Man: Demon In An Armor.

These original 1st prints are slightly over-looked at the time of this writing. Might of changed since this post was published though. 

Of course, this is a What If? story so it's not actually in Marvel's mainstream continuity or canon. There's a reason why I mentioned Deadpool's Secret Wars #3.

If this is the first time Venom merged with Deadpool in a comic story, the original 1st print of What If? Iron Man: Demon In An Armor might see more heat. 

Estimated print run for the collected reprint shown to the right is around 17,616. 

If you have stomping grounds or a bunch of local comic shops and comic cons, you may want to see if you can find a raw copy for cheap from a seller who has yet to catch on for either this 1st or the 2nd print that collects the entire story. Depending on your area, you might want to check out antique shops or antique fairs as well.

February, 2011 is the cover date for What If? Iron Man: Demon In An Armor #1.

1st Flash Thompson as Agent Venom

Flash Thompson would be the 3rd host for the Venom symbiote, and his version would be known as Agent Venom. This time the Venom symbiote falls into the hands of the U.S. military. With his military background and loss of his legs, Flash jumps at the chance to be involved in the military program Project Rebirth 2.0 that would use the Venom symbiote and host to carry out special missions.

Agent Venom has become quite popular since his first appearance in this Amazing Spider-Man #654 comic, and I must admit his costume looks pretty bad ass. This comic came out not too long ago, and there is a 2nd printing with a different cover. 

I kinda like the 2nd print cover by Stefano Caselli better but just my opinion. Take your pick or get both if you don't mind 2nd prints.

Estimated print run for the 1st printing is around 53,882. Not sure about the 2nd print. April, 2011 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #654.

1st appearance of Crime Master's Jack 'O Lantern
1st issue to 2nd on-going series

As far as I know, this is the 4th version of the Jack 'O Lantern character and worked for the third incarnation of the Crime Master. His identity is not yet fully known and was created by Rick Remender and Tony Moore.

Also, he makes his first appearance in this very comic as the villainous Jack 'O Lantern. This comic series stars and centers around Flash Thompson as Venom or Agent Venom. 

The series would be cancelled with issue #42, so it didn't really last all that long. Still, if you're a fan of Venom and especially the Flash Thompson version of Agent Venom, this issue does kick off the character's 1st on-going series as a host for the symbiote.

There's a few variants for this issue and some are 2nd, 3rd and 4th printings. We'll start with the retailer incentives.

So the first retailer incentive is the 1:50 sketch cover. Joe Quesada does the regular cover and obviously this cover as well. Should be only around 1,079 copies given to comic shops. Maybe a 1500 or 2000 over-all print run?

Dunno for sure. The 2nd incentive variant is the 1:15 cover by Paulo Siqueira.

Also known as Cover 1C, that incentive variant should have had around 3,598 copies sent as bonuses to comic shops. So, not that many copies of this variant also.

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th printings are basically the same as the regular cover but they have different colored back grounds. The Venom logo is white as well instead red like the regular cover.

So the 2nd has a red back ground, the 3rd an orange-ish back ground, and the 4rth a light purple or even pinkish back ground. I won't be showcasing them here. If you want you can click the mycomicshop link below to see the 2nd, 3rd and 4th printing covers.

May, 2011 is the cover date for Venom #1 volume 2, and it's regular cover estimated printing is around 53,981.

1st appearance of Andrea Benton

The character of Andrea Benton makes her debut in this issue. She only appears in 4 panels on two pages in this issue and is the neighbor of Flash Thompson in their apartment building.

Andrea does appear in the next issue #32 as well, but it's still only panels on two pages. Not gonna really bother with her 1st full appearance if she even has one.

So cameo or not, Andrea Benton debuts here, and she does become a host for a part or piece of the Venom symbiote and becomes Mania a few issues after this one. That one is coming up directly after this issue.

Don't think this issue is overly sought-out. Might still be a sleeper and not that well-known to comic fans or speculators. 

This issue only has an estimated print run of around 23,441, and April, 2013 is the cover date for Venom #31 volume 2.

1st appearance  of Benton as Mania

Here we have another spawn of Venom, sort of. Actually, a portion of the Venom symbiote bonded with Andrea Benton to save her life. Thus Mania was born and this spin-off of Venom is a somewhat recent character in Marvel Comics so she does not have that many appearances.

If you're an all-out Venom fan, this character's debut may be one to consider picking up. I think Carnage will be Venom's villain in the once again recently announced Venom movie, but if it is successful and a franchise develops, he'll need other villains other than Carnage to fight against.

Dunno if Mania would be a good choice or not for a possible Venom movie. She is more known as spin-off character for Flash Thompson as Venom. 

Venom #38 volume 2 has the cover date of September, 2013.

Origin of the symbiotes

Some origins just aren't necessary for certain characters or monsters or aliens. In the first Alien flick, the origin story of the Xenomorph was never given, and it added mystery and tension. 

In the sequel Aliens was the origin given? Nope, and the movie worked and was bad ass. Then and I'm pretty sure some fans demanded it, Prometheus spilled the origin of the Xenomorphs and I was like, why?

It was not a good origin story, ruined Aliens for me quite a bit and to the extent that I disregard the movie as part of canon. Actually, I disregard everything after Aliens.

So, Brian Michael Bendis decided to give an origin for these symbiotes. It was bound to happen.

After all, we've known that the Venom symbiote was a parasitic alien for a long time now, so it only makes sense to wonder what's up with them exactly. Well, this issue does explain where these symbiotes originate.

In the story, the Venom symbiote has bonded with Drax and they return home to the world of the Planet of the Apes. Just kidding, the Planet of the Symbiotes. I'll let the actual comic explain since they do it so much better.

Klyntar, Schmyntar. Since this is a pretty recent Modern Age key comic, there's a few variants concerning this beast. Actually, there's only one that I could find and it's a 1:20 retailer incentive by by Salvador Larroca

What's the regular cover estimated print run or sales to North American comic shops? That may be only around 51,466. So the 1:20 variant might have the estimated and take it with a grain of salt print run of around 2,500 give or take.

Anyway, key issue and expands the origin of Venom and the symbiote aliens, Guardians of the Galaxy #23 volume 3 has the cover date of March, 2015, and it is an over-looked key at the time of this writing at least.

Retconned origin of Venom symbiote 

Since Deadpool is so hugely popular, I'm not surprised they're trying to tie the character into almost everything. So apparently the symbiote's origin is retconned in this issue and precedes the events of Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8, the issue that originally tells the origin of Spidey's alien costume and how he got it.

Well it seems that the creatives saw fit to have that very symbiote bond with Deadpool before he latched onto Spider-Man. So here this one is, and even though a Deadpool comic, it does affect the Venom mythos or continuity for the character.

Will they retcon Deadpool as the reason why the original X-Men were formed and the Avengers or the Fantastic Four?

Not sure if they're any variants for this issue. The first issue of this series has quite a few.

September, 2015 is the cover date for Deadpool's Secret Wars #3, and the regular cover may have an estimated print run of around 57,659.

Merges with Black Suit
1st Coldwar & Guzz

Let the gimmick continue! Venompool is back and once again merges with the symbiote to get comic fans all excited that these two popular characters have bonded again.

Since the symbiote's origin was retconned to have bonded with Deadpool first before Spidey (Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8), it's no surprise they'd milk the idea and comic fans probably have been asking for this to happen again.

So once again, this issue retcons Marvel continuity and sees the Venom symbiote slink back to Deadpool after being rejected by Spider-Man (Web of Spider-Man #1) and before it bonded with Eddie Brock. The originality of creatives in this generation is astounding.

This is a five issue limited series, and the 1st issue does see the debuts of Coldwar and Guzz. Coldwar does die in issue #3 of this limited series though, so not really a major villain or anything.

Estimated print run for this issue is 78,653, and not sure if that total is shared with the Ron Lim variant or not. In terms of variants for this comic, there's not so surprisingly quite a few.

Let's start off with the Ron Lim variant and I'm not sure whether it's retailer incentive pr not. The Lim variant may share the total estimated print run with the regular cover. Not 100% sure about that since there's no information I could dig up regarding the deal with that cover. 

Onto retailer incentives. Some hate 'em, some love 'em. Most long time readers know how I feel about them, so no need for my opinion.

First up is the 1:10 retailer incentive cover by Kabam! This estimated run or incentives given to comic shops should be around 7,865 if we are going by the estimated copies of sold to North American comic shop of 78,653 provided by ComicChron.

Once again, the number for these incentives are just estimates. There could actually be more or less in existence. Pretty cool cover and shows more of Venom adopting Deadpool's look and colors.
Alright, next up is the 1:100 sketch cover done by Rob Liefeld. This one may have around 786 given to retailers or maybe even less, depending how many comic shops were willing to buy 100 copies just to get this one as an incentive.

As usual, there is also the 1:50 color version of the Rob Liefeld variant cover as well, and the estimated amount given as incentives to comic shops may be around 1,573 or less copies out there in the world.

So if you're a fan of Deadpool and his creator, Rob Liefeld those might be nice variants to snag up if you're also a fan of variants as well. Probably can still get raw copies under a $100 if you shop around.

The NYCC variant by Dale Keown is supposedly limited to 500 as reported on their website.It basically has the New York Comic Con  logo right above the Marvel logo. There are regular color and B&W versions of that variant as well. 

Color covers of the Dale Keown variant is limited to 3,000 and the black and white is limited to  to 1,500. Pretty standard for an exclusive set.

KRS Comics also had a variant exclusives with a cover done by Tyler Kirkham. There is a color variant limited to 3,000 copies and a sketch cover of the colored one limited to 1,500

 NYCC Variant KRS Color KRS Black & White

Definitely a more recent key comic issue for Deadpool and Venom, and plenty of crazy variants for those who love them.

There's also 2nd and 3rd prints I think, but mycomicshop should have cover references for those. December, 2016 is the cover date for Deadpool Back in Black #1.


1st Lee Price as Venom

Lee Price is the newest host of Venom currently, and I'm assuming this new on-going series centers around this new incarnation. So we have the first appearance of Lee Price and he bonds with the symbiote in this issue.

From what I know, there's nine variant covers for this issue alone and this issue does seem hot at the moment. There is a limited edition Todd McFarlane sketch cover that's selling in the mid $100 range.

Sources say that the limited sketch McFarlane sketch variant is a 1 per comic shop, and the color variant of that cover is a 1 for 1000. The color variant of McFarlane's cover sold for almost a grand back in March 5th.

Yowza! That's pretty crazy. Either the estimated print run of 90,138 is split with the Ron Lim variant cover or that number is just for the regular cover. Don't know and couldn't find any info on the Rom Lim cover.

Anyway, if the color McFarlane variant is 1:1000, than only around 90 copies may have been given to comic shops as an incentive. Not 100% certain about that, but that is the word and it's supposedly rare.

Also on the variant front for this issue is the retailer 1:25 cover by Rick Leonardi. That variant should have around 3,605 copies that was given as incentives to retailers.

Then there's the Venom #1 Dell 'Otto Color "virgin" & B&W sketch exclusive variants from Frankie's Comics.
The color is apparently limited to 3,000 copies and the B&W sketch is limited to 1,500. Virgin is said to be limited to only 500 copies.
Color Variant  B & W Virgin

Doesn't end there either for exclusives. There's also the Comicxposure exclusives by Clayton Crain also, and these exclusives are the color, sketch, and virgin variants.

Color Variant  Negative

The regular color is limited to 3,000, the negative or reverse is limited to 1,500 and the virgin (no title an just art) are limited to 500.

Scorpion Comics also has Mark Bagley exclusive variants for Venom #1. Almost the same deal with the regular color variant limited to 3,000 copies.
Then there's a B&W sketch version of the color variant and that's limited to 1,500 copies. Alright, looks like I was originally wrong about there not being a 3rd variant for the Scorpion Comics Mark Bagley variants concerning this issue, and it does appear that there is a negative variant for this particular exclusive deal.

Thanks to Lewis Blackett for the heads up and for the picture. I'm using it on here, and I think it is one of his actual copy. Not sure, but if so, much appreciated for taking the time to snap a pic of that and send it this way.

He and me thinks that this negative variant is pretty similar to most exclusive variants and is limited to only 500 copies. Makes sense, indeed.

Man, talk about variant ridulousness. The last of these exclusive third party variants that I could dig up are the Wonder World Comics exclusives.

There are three and the cover is by Greg Horn, and it is a homage to Amazing Spider-Man #121. Once again, there's the regular color limited to 2,500 and the black and white is limited to 1,500.

Color Variant  B&W

The 3rd is a reverse negative limited to 500. These negative covers are just ugly in my opinion.
Jeez, for more of the other variants of this issue, mycomicshop has some of the covers for reference. Venom #1 has the cover date of January, 2017.


I usually do not do this, but Yohany requested I put in a variant section. A lot of these are from a list he emailed me, so thanks for that, dude. Much appreciated.

Most of these are technically not even Venom key comics and don't even have Venom in the actual issue. In my opinion it's like buying a book about Goodfellas but with Tyler Durden on the cover when he isn't even in the actual story. 

Some of the story arcs to these comics aren't even about nor have anything to do with Venom. I suppose they are just created for fun and to sell more copies of a certain issue.

The numbers below are estimates and not conclusive. Some sources say one number and then another say another number, so the numbers are "around" the range.

Amazing Spider-Man #678  
1:50 ( est. 1,085)
Avengers #21  
1:50 ( est. 1,096)
Captain America #7
1:50 ( est. 939)

Defenders #2  
1:50 (est. 778)
Invincible Iron Man #512  
1:50 (est .703)
Journey Into Mystery #633  
1:50 (est. 477)

Incredible Hulk #4  
1:50 (est. 917)
Fantastic Four #602 
1:50 (est. 902)
FF #14

1:50 (est. 852)

Mighty Thor #10  
1:50 (est. 749)
New Avengers #20  
1:50 (est. 1058)
Scarlet Spider #1  
1:50 (est. 1,068)

Secret Avengers #20  
1:50 (est. 761
Uncanny X-Men #5
1:50 (est. 1,269)
Uncanny X-Force #20  
1:50 (est. 1,021)

Venom #12  
1:50 (est. 554)
Wolverine &  X-Men #4
1:50 (est. 1,190)
X-Men #23  
1:50 (est. 774)

X-Men Legacy #261  
1:50 (est. 751)
Venom #2 
1:25 (est. 1,521)
Venom #2 Color
Frankie's Comics (3,000)

Venom #2 B&W  
Frankie's Comics (1,500)
Venom #3 
1:100 (est. 552)
Venom #3 Dell'Otto Color
Frankie's Comics (3,000)

Venom #3 B&W Frankie's Comics (1,500) Venom #4 Dell'Otto Color 
Frankie's Comics (3,000)
Venom #4 B&W
Frankie's Comics (1,500)

Venom #4 Virgin  
Frankie's Comics (600/500)
Venom #5 Craine Variant 
Deadpool Back in Black #5 
KRS Comics (3,000)

And of course for the KRS Deadpool Back in Black #5 by Tyler Kirkman there is the black and white version of the color cover that is limited to 1,500. 

I planned on having this and the next part finished a lot sooner, but yet another family emergency happened again.

UPDATE: I was able to get that done a lot sooner than I had anticipated. Part 5 is ready with a bunch of Venom variants for those who are fans of the character and variants.

In terms of this Part 4. I'm going to add a few more keys in this outro since a few comments brought them up. Okay, so the alien symbiotes origin in Guardians of the Galaxy #23 volume 3 was added to the list above.

Hope you are all having a good one and you're family is healthy and safe.


  1. Ugh, too many variants. It seems a little ridiculous to have a character on the cover and not even have them in the story. I guess whatever sells and gets the guys at Marvel a little more Ka-Ching. Woah! I'm having flashbacks of my childhood.

    1. yeah this garbage reminds me of that dark era in the 90's when every comic had 10 variant covers and Liefeld was everywhere *shudder*

    2. Have to agree with both statements above, but it is what it is.

  2. There's rumors that Gwenom will make a 1st appearance in Spider-Gwen 19. There are presales for the standard cover and a Clayton Crain variant ... investment worthy?

  3. Yeah, probably be hot for a tick, but I'd watch for it to possibly fizzle as time goes on. Get in on that super quick or wait for a down trend if there is one. For me since I don't care about Moderns nor variants, I'd just snag it to flip but that's just me.

  4. How about Guardians of the Galaxy #23? I believe this is when Bendis tells us of the symbiote's origin story. I believe it counts as a key issue for Venom. DucN.

    1. Hi there and thanks for the heads up. I added GotG #23 volume 3 to the list.