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The A, B, & C Titles Among Canadian Price Variants

By Jayden Mitchell, proprietor of CaptCan Comics, October 2022

“In many cases, that is the deciding factor in my opinion: the availability of certain books, regardless of their significance, is the driving factor in their value.”

Thanks for checking out my market report on Canadian Price Variants for 2022! I manage the buying and pricing at CaptCan Comics, where we have sold over 4100 Canadian Price Variants in the last two years and currently have over 2200 Canadian Price Variants in our inventory.

In collaboration with Jay Halstead, Jay and I have just finished establishing our recommended values for approximately 150 of the top Canadian Price Variants! Amongst that list are 50 books we think are selling for less than last year's Guide Values, 85 that are higher, and 13 that are the same.

TMNTA #72 we marked much higher
TMNTA #72 we marked much higher.
Of those 85 that we marked higher, some are MUCH higher! For example, books like Swamp Thing 25, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures 71, 72, and the latter Specials. These are all books that hold value in Direct Editions, and are already scarce in Newsstands, which draw significant premiums. Canadian price variant newsstands however, especially in NM-, are largely hypothetical, in that we know they exist (for some of the TMNTA specials we "believe" they exist but haven't seen one), we know they are hard to find, and we know they sell for more than Newsstands when available – but they just don’t come up for sale often enough for anyone to "really know" their value!

Books that are selling for less in Canadian Price Variant newsstand this year are the result of a combination of (a) books cooling from last year's white hot market (e.g. Moon Knight), and (b) books that collectors have realized are more available in Canadian Price Variant newsstand than they initially thought – such as Alpha Flight #1 (even as the CPV for the issue obviously still remains the most rare and appealing relative to the other first print types).

Thor #337 we marked much lower
Thor #337 we marked much lower.
Then, there are books that are down even more, as they are both cooling and more available in Canadian Price Variant newsstand than collectors may have initially thought; see Thor 337 for example which now has 604 CPVs on census as of 10/24/2022 with 81 in 9.8 representing a greater supply of CPVs versus most other CPV keys (but of course the CPV numbers are tiny for Thor 337 compared to the 9,249 60¢ copies on census, a full 1,563 of which are in 9.8 as of 10/24/2022)!

Many books have held similar values to last year, particularly in exceedingly popular titles that CPVs are often bought up in, like Amazing Spider-Man and Batman.

Overall, amidst a cooling market in comics, (on 80’s books in particular) Canadian Price Variants continue to achieve impressive sales as the more-common books (e.g. Thor 337) & highly-uncommon books (e.g. Swamp Thing 25) filter themselves out in the growing online market.

As Canadian Price Variants become more well known, their availability (supply) continues to increase as CPV copies come out of the woodwork and collectors are more likely to actually realize what they own these days. Gone are the days when a small handful of sellers had limited inventory of Canadian Price Variants in VG – everyone is selling them now! As supply increases, the pack separates – the more-available titles, the harder-to-find titles, and the very hard-to-find Canadian Price Variants are distinguishable by their sales data.

First, the more readily-available titles. There are lots of Canadian Price Variant runs that are more plentiful in Canada and online versus other titles. These more-available titles vary from Amazing Spider-Man (which everyone and their cousin is working on a complete run of), to Fantastic Four, which has a good following of people working on a run, to Warlord which unfortunately no one needs a run of in Canadian newsstand, but everyone has. The A, B, and C list titles, if you will.

The A's

Amazing Spider-Man #252 is another CPV that now exceeds 600 CGC census copies (as of 10/24/2022)
Amazing Spider-Man #252 is another CPV that now exceeds 600 CGC census copies (as of 10/24/2022) but demand remains very strong and we marked this one higher.
The A’s will always pull a significant premium on filler issues in VF or better copies of Canadian Price Variants. Many "insignificant" issues of Amazing Spider-Man CPVs will still fetch $30-40 in a NM and $200+ in 9.8. Common Major Keys in any series, and Minor Keys in these A list series will sell for large premiums in high grade.

The B's

Web of Spider-Man #15: 1st appearance of Chance.
Example CPV in the Web of Spider-Man title, #15, 1st appearance of Chance.
The B’s will sell for a small premium in VF and a larger premium in NM. Web of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, and similar titles seem to see NM run copies settling in around $15, but VFs to $6-8. 9.8s will sell for $150 or so. Common Minor Keys and Keys in these B list titles will still demand significant premiums, and VFs will enjoy small bumps.

The C's

Warlord #74: great cover but few are out there collecting it.
Example CPV in the Warlord title; great cover but demand is low so supply builds up and it feels like everybody has these for sale.
The C’s – your Warlord, Amethyst, ROM, Micronauts – unfortunately, it feels like everyone has these for sale, and not many people are Princess of Gem World completionists (they’re out there – just not many of them!) The online market is flooded with VF and better copies of many of these titles, lots for under $5.

The more-uncommon titles, however, prove to be a different story. Many issues of these series do not regularly appear for sale online in Canadian Price Variant newsstand, and when they do, draw a premium in any grade. Certain eras of Batman and Detective, for example, are very uncommon in Canadian Price Variant newsstand; $0.75’ers are more readily available, but $1.00 cover price CPVs (& up) are not easy and some "filler" issues can still fetch $5 in VG. I’d love a high grade Elvira 11 with that stunning Stevens cover – but many of these $1.00+ cover price books are frustratingly difficult to find.

G.I. Joe #21, one of the top CPVs
When you get a CPV that is both A-List and uncommon like G.I. Joe 21 the result can be prices that go ballistic!
Other (currently) A List, but not common Canadian Price Variant titles such as G.I. Joe, Transformers, etc. etc. are much the same. And keys of this caliber – Batman 423, Swamp Thing 25 & 37, G.I. Joe 21 – are all ballistic!

Sonic #0, a CPV that is very hard to find
Sonic the Hedgehog is an example title where it is truly hard to find high grade CPVs.
And then you have the VERY hard to find titles. BLIP, TMNT Adventures (and Specials!), Sonic the Hedgehog – these books are truly hard to find as high grade Canadian Price Variants. These series have a large following, and many of these books are not available for sale at any regular frequency. Some of the latter issues of TMNT Adventures Specials (8 & 11) are still hypothetical, and don’t have a confirmed image. Even Direct Edition copies of these books are $200+ in NM-, and not readily available. A Canadian Price Variant NM- is anyone’s guess – as the value, like the book, is hypothetical!

In many cases, that is the deciding factor in my opinion: the availability of certain books, regardless of their significance, is the driving factor in their value. There are plenty of Canadian Price Variants selling at minimal premiums above Direct Edition, like the too-available Thor 337. But a Swamp Thing 37? Different story.

Vampirella #64, same cover art as #113
Vampirella #64 has the same cover art as #113.
Magazine Sized Canadian Price Variants are worth noting as well, as they are certainly gaining more attention.

Heavy Metal, Vampirella, Creepy, Eerie, etc are all very difficult to find high grade Canadian Price Variant copies of. Lower grades will demand small premiums, but high grades will demand significant premiums. Magazines generally draw high premiums for exceptional grade, and CPVs are no exception.

I am thrilled to have sold over 2000 Canadian Price Variants so far this year, including many impressive sales of hard to find books. See some of our top sales from the last year below!

Noteworthy Recent CPV Sales at CaptCan Comics

CPV Publisher Sale Date Sale Price (CAD)
Batman Vol 1 423 Canadian CGC 9.2 DC 9/17/2022 $2,000
Thor Vol 1 337 Canadian CGC 9.8 Marvel 7/15/2022 $1,875
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 238 Canadian CGC 8.0 Marvel 6/30/2022 $800
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 252 Canadian CGC 9.2 Marvel 6/30/2022 $500
The Punisher Vol 1 1 Canadian CGC 9.4 Marvel 8/5/2022 $500
Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars 8 Canadian CGC 9.0 Marvel 5/31/2022 $400
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 252 Canadian VF/NM Marvel 6/7/2022 $375
The Amazing Spider-Man 252 Canadian VF Marvel 4/1/2022 $350
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 252 Canadian VF+ Marvel 6/7/2022 $350
The Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 252 Canadian VF+ Marvel 5/31/2022 $350
Thor Vol 1 337 Canadian CGC 9.0 Marvel 4/29/2022 $300
Thor Vol 1 337 Canadian NM- Marvel 6/10/2022 $300
Detective Comics Vol 1 546 Canadian CGC 9.8 DC DC 8/12/2022 $275
Marvel Team-Up Vol 1 146 Canadian CGC 9.8 Marvel Marvel 5/14/2022 $275
Marvel Team-Up Vol 1 148 Canadian CGC 9.8 Marvel 9/5/2022 $275
Star Wars Vol 1 68 Canadian VF/NM Marvel 7/11/2022 $275
Marvel Team-Up Vol 1 141 Canadian CGC 9.2 Marvel 8/9/2022 $260
Marvel Team-Up Vol 1 124 Canadian CGC 9.8 Marvel 9/5/2022 $250
Marvel Team-Up Vol 1 143 Canadian CGC 9.8 Marvel 9/5/2022 $250
G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero 21 Canadian VG+ Marvel 6/24/2022 $200

If you have made it this far – thank you for reading!

Jayden Mitchell


The information within CPVPriceGuide.com is presented on a best-efforts basis, but none of the included information is guaranteed to be free of error and therefore you should use this guide only as one tool among your comics research tool-belt, and you should verify information with other sources before acting. Please read the full methodology & guide usage information. Our latest price guide edition of our comprehensive guide to Canadian Price Variant comics is the 2021 Edition, published December 2020.