I don’t know if “suckers” is the right word. If customers are happy to pay the mark-up for the variant, and it covers the cost of the unwanted books for the retailers, and the model helps Marvel make money and pay creators a good wage, then it seems win-win-win-win.
Comics is a tricky industry because you have to cater to both readers and collectors, and you need both of them, and they often want different things. It’s a tough balancing act.
That said I do think it’s fair to suggest that Marvel has been letting their readers down.