Many comics are released with multiple covers featuring different art. Through your subscription, you can specify which of these variant covers you would like to receive.
Regular, Non-Incentive Covers
Setting Default Preferences
You can visit your Subscription summary page to set general preferences for your subscription. If you choose "One Cover," we will pull one of the "standard" covers of a book for your subscription. Most often, this will be the "A" cover or regular cover. If you select "All Covers," we will pull all of the standard covers for you. This may include covers with a slightly higher cover price, such as cardstock covers. Covers with nudity, blank covers, and covers that are significantly more expensive than the regular variant are excluded from this option. Those covers can still be selected individually, they are just not automatically included with this default setting.
Setting Preferences on a Specific Title
Perhaps you usually want one cover of each issue you receive, but for one title, you'd like to get them all. If you visit your list of subscription titles, you can set a preference for each title. This will override the default preference on your subscription. Your title list will also indicate which titles have upcoming issues with variant covers.
Manually Selecting Covers for a Specific Issue
If you visit your Cover Selections page, you can specify exactly which cover(s) of upcoming issues you would like to receive. Just alter the quantity field next to any cover and click "Update Issue." If you change your general preference for a title, any covers that you have manually elected to received will not be cleared. Selecting covers manually is the only way to get some premium covers, including those that cost significantly more than the regular cover price and those that feature mature content.
Cover Selection Deadline
As of August 30th, 2023, all manual cover selections are locked in and no longer editable after our final order cutoff, which takes place roughly one month prior to the issue's release date. If you view an issue that has passed this date, the quantities of each cover will not be editable. If you add a new title, any issues of that title that have passed their cutoff date will be auto-selected based on your preferences, and not editable. You will receive either only the primary "A" cover (if your preferences are set to "One Cover") or one of each (if your preferences are set to "All Covers").
Typically, this deadline will be Sunday at noon for DC books, and Monday at noon for all other books. Starting in August 2023, Image comics will also have a deadline on Sunday. We send an email Friday afternoon to subscribers with approaching Deadlines, giving you a few days to make last minute changes. See more about this below.
Retailer Incentive Covers
Some covers are supplied to retailers in limited quantities, usually based on how many "regular" copies are ordered. Sometimes, demand for these covers outstrips our supply, so we have introduced a silent-auction system to determine who receives these covers. On your Cover Selections page, incentive covers will have a "Bid" box instead of a quantity box.
How does bidding work?
Each subscriber privately bids however much he is willing to pay for a given cover. In the case of equal bids, the one that was entered first takes precedence. When we determine how many copies of a cover we will receive, we will "confirm" that many bids in order from highest to lowest. The lowest confirmed bid determines the price that everyone who receives the cover will pay for it.
Here's an example: Amazing Spider-Man #590 has a one-in-ten Wolverine cover. The minimum bid is $4.99, and we receive the following bids for it:
May's bid is considered to be higher than Eddie's because it was placed first. We find out that we will receive 4 copies of the Wolverine cover, so we confirm the top 4 bids. May has the lowest successful bid ($4.99), so everyone will pay $4.99.
Any time we have enough copies of a cover to fill all bids, everyone will pay the minimum bid, even if the lowest bid is above the minimum. If you would really like to receive a cover, we recommend bidding at least a few dollars over the minimum; it is still very likely you will only pay the minimum price for the cover.
Automatic Minimum Bid
If you would like to bid automatically on incentive covers that are available for books in your subscription, you can set an Automatic Minimum Bid on your Subscription page. This will cause a bid to be entered on any upcoming incentive cover whose minimum bid price is less than or equal to the amount you specified. Your bid on a given cover will be the minimum bid price for the cover. If you wish to bid above the minimum on any cover, you will need to enter a bid manually for that cover.
Due to this is a point of some confusion, here's an example of how this works: Amazing Spider-Man #590 also has a 1-in-25 cover, with a minimum bid of $9.99. If your "Automatic Minimum Bid" setting is $15, our system will place an automatic bid of $9.99 for this cover, not $15. You may always manually increase that bid, but the automatic bid will always match the minimum bid. Amazing Spider-Man #590 also has a 1-in-50 cover, with a minimum bid of $24.99. Since the minimum bid is above your setting of $15, you will not automatically bid on this cover.
Early Bidding Deadline
Similar to non-incentive covers, each incentive cover on your Cover Selections page has an Early Bidding Deadline. If one is not noted, the deadline has already passed. This is the last day that bids can be placed on a given cover before we must finalize our orders with the publisher. Following this deadline, we will confirm bids that we expect to be able to fill based on how much product we expect to receive. Confirmed bids cannot be retracted or changed, and they will be filled at the confirmed price even if later bids (placed after the deadline) are higher. Bids placed after the deadline, or those placed before the deadline but not expected to fill, are unconfirmed bids. These can be changed or canceled any time and may still receive a copy if we have remaining copies after confirmed bids are filled, starting with the highest unconfirmed bid (regardless of when it was placed).
Each week, on Friday afternoon, we send an email to all subscribers notifying them of any issues with a deadline on the following Sunday and Monday. This email lists affected issues, along with how many standard covers and incentive covers it has, with links to edit your selections for each.
If you'd prefer not to receive this email, you can edit your preferences here under the heading "Weekly Selection Cutoff".