DC Comics loves its monthly variant cover themes, and last week they announced that their theme for April would be art by John Romita Jr. They’ve done creator specific months before; the Michael Allred and Darwyn Cooke months were a lot of fun, and there’s a Neal Adams month coming soon. Nabbing John Romita Jr. away from Marvel after he’d been there for decades was a big get for DC, so making the most of their acquisition makes sense.
I find that my enjoyment of Romita Jr. varies. He seems better suited to particular characters than others; he was a great fit on Wolverine during a yearlong run with Mark Millar a while back, but his recent run on Superman didn’t do much for me at all. I think I prefer him in a grittier, darker setting; bright and colourful is not my Romita Jr. jam. I was really surprised when DC put him on Superman instead of Batman, because Batman struck me as such a good fit for his style. But now, with these covers, John Romita Jr. gets to draw all sorts of DC’s characters.
So let’s take a look at his various takes on Wonder Woman. We’ll start with Wonder Woman #51, inked by Scott Hanna with colours by Dean White:
I kind of like this. The flying through a snowstorm angle works well for me. If it was just the straight Wonder Woman image on a sunny day I would probably be less enthused, but the snow on top of it all makes it look cool. And also sort of intriguing, because now I want to know who Wonder Woman is fighting mid-snowstorm. I might pick this one up, if I can.
Next is Superman/Wonder Woman #28, inked by Scott Hanna with colours by Laura Martin:
This is almost the exact same pose for Wonder Woman as the previous cover, which is kind of a bummer. The busted up machinery is fun and all, but the repetition is uncool. Also, I automatically dislike every Superman/Wonder Woman cover in which Superman is in the foreground and Wonder Woman is in the background (i.e. most of them).
Onto some team fun with Justice League #50, inked by Scott Hanna with colours by Alex Sinclair:
I’m amused by Superman flying sideways and looking straight out while everyone else is looking ahead. Focus up, Superman! You’re going to fly into a lamp post or something. Also, you’re blocking Wonder Woman! There’s not a lot of Wonder Woman here, just the top of her torso and her head as she grits her teeth and flies with all her might. Weird composition on this one all around.
And finally, JLA #10 with inks by Danny Miki and colours by Dave McCaig:
And now everybody is flying up instead of to the right. Romita Jr. is being really repetitive with his layouts here, which is making for some dull covers. We get a bit more of Wonder Woman in this one at least, though in a profile similar to the previous cover. I get that drawing 26 variant covers is a lot of work, but I could do with some more imaginative designs across the board here.
These John Romita Jr. variant covers will be available this April, so if you want to pick any up you should talk to you local comic book shop and get them to set them aside for you!