This is an area of collecting that I found out a while ago while I was at a local comic book shop. This applies to the front cover that is on comic books, and it can be a fun area pf collecting to dive into.
When a publisher like Marvel, IDW or DC puts out a comic book, they can give it another cover to help commemorate a special event like a new character coming about or it being the first issue of the series. Because of this, collectors will often pick up to issues to get the different covers.
How do you know when you have an alternate cover on a comic book?
One way to help you out is the look at the corners of the cover.
This will provide you information on who made the comic and the issue number. If this is the same, then you stand a good chance that you have the alternate cover. Another thing to remember is that sometimes the comic producer will put an “A” or “B” after the number to help with identifying what the comic is.
Another place to look is at the copyright information on the bottom of the first page. With comics, the producers will change the volume number if they to decide to either do a reboot of the series and start fresh or if a totally new chapter is starting with the character or series (like what Marvel did with the HEROES REBORN storyline that took place with several titles several years ago). If the copyright information is the same in both books, then you are one step closer.
The last thing to do is to flip through the comic book itself. What you are looking for is to see if both books you are looking at are the same all the way through—the covers on both books will be the only thing that will be different.
So, if the content is the same, you most definitely have the alternate cover of the comic. Do you have a comic book with the alternate cover?