Invincible Iron Man #9 Variants

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Low $20
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Mid $70
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High $250
  • 1st full appearance of Riri Williams.
  • 'Horsemen of Apocalypse' B cover variant with art by Chris Turcotte
  • Rounding out the Hot 10 this week is the return of a surprisingly low print book.
  • A $1,400 sale for a 9.8 on eBay and a new all-time high for a 9.8 of $1,500 in a private transaction puts the 1st Riri back on the Hot 10.
  • Unfortunately, this book doesn't turn up often enough to create a vibrant market.
  • Chatter remains high though as collectors continue to search out the few 9.8 copies that currently exist.
  • CGC reports just 28 copies graded at 9.8 and just 1 signature series 9.8 copy. For comparison, CGC reports 319 copies of the A cover having ever been graded at 9.8 and an additional 13 signature series copies graded 9.8.
  • These are very unusual numbers for a B cover (stores are traditionally able to order B covers in any quantities they want unlike ratio variants like the Ultimate Fallout #4 Djurdjevic cover which was only available at a ratio of 1 copy for every 25 A covers ordered).
  • Even factoring for stores that only ordered 1 copy (and check the first box, the A cover, on the Diamond Comics Distributors order form) and the difficulty in attaining higher grades on a black cover like this one, you would expect only a slightly smaller amount of 9.8 copies of the B cover.
  • Your old buddy @x did some digging last week and found that Marvel was famously aggressive in structuring their variants in this era and that affected orders on this book.
  • Rather than offer the B cover as an "order-all" aka order as many as you want item, Marvel required stores to order at least 90% as many copies on issue #9 as they had on issue #7 before they would qualify to order this cover.
  • The natural trend for stores is to order less on each subsequent issue to stay ahead of natural attrition in readership. From issue 7 to issue 9 orders often drop between 20% and 50%.
  • Moreover, because of the way Diamond ordering works (orders are placed months before the comics go on sale), stores would have been ordering issue 9 well before issue 7 (the 1st cameo of Riri) was in stores and therefore before Marvel would have begun marketing issue 7 or the red hot buzz on Riri had taken hold.
  • All in all, for most stores it would not have made financial sense to stretch their ordering to qualify. Only the very largest stores could have made the numbers work and even those stores may not have made the effort to add the B cover beyond customers who pre-ordered, especially pre-Riri fever.
  • It is very likely that despite being a B cover, this cover is actually quite rare.
  • This would explain why so few copies are ever on the market at once and why 9.8 copies come to market far less often than would be expected.
  • It also explains why the book may take a slow simmer approach with collectors rather than the explosive growth we see with books that are more readily available.
  • Rumors persist that an Ironheart film is in development for the MCU. Robert Downey Jr. has been quoted numerous times in favor of Riri picking up the mantle.
  • Riri Williams suits up in armor in this issue but not the Ironheart armor.
  • Riri makes a prior cameo in Invincible Iron Man #7.
Low $3
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Mid $9
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High $30
  • Second printing, blue title text