Posts Tagged ‘Variant Covers’

Frank Cho to Draw a Year of Wonder Woman Variant Covers, Because DC Makes Dumb Decisions

May 2, 2016

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This weekend, artist Frank Cho announced on his Facebook page that he’ll be drawing variant covers for Wonder Woman when the series relaunches this June as part of DC’s “Rebirth” line. Several sites are reporting that he’ll be on the book for a year, and since it’s shipping bi-monthly that means 24 covers. Cho is an artist best known for doing sexy pin-ups and while his work isn’t really my jam, he’s certainly very good at what he does. He’s also drawn some cool, non-hypersexualized stuff when reined it, and hopefully he brings some of that restraint to Wonder Woman. Cho’s got definite skills. However, he’s also a real twit.

It all started a while back when Marvel inexplicably decided that it would be a fun idea to hire famed erotica artist Milo Manara to draw variant covers starring their female characters. He did a Spider-Woman cover that had the character bizarrely positioned with her butt poised high in the air, and the cover drew a lot of criticism. It was poorly drawn, and the sexualized pose wasn’t a good reflection of the contents of the new Spider-Woman series. Marvel eventually decided not to release the cover.

For some reason, Frank Cho decided that this was the hill he wanted to die on. He did a commission of Spider-Gwen on a blank sketch cover, mimicking the Manara pose. When folks were all, “Come on, man,” Cho blasted the “small group of angry and humorless people ranting against my DRAWING of a pretty woman,” telling them that they should “just grow a sense of humor and relax.” He then doubled down on the pose, drawing Harley Quinn in the same position. Over the past year, he’s done several of these pieces, reveling in the controversy he’s causing and proudly posting them on the internet like he’s some sort of brave rebel (he’s not).

The reaction to Cho’s pieces have brought him some vocal defenders, many of whom are the sort of men (they’re all men) who use the term “social justice warrior” unironically. They see Cho as a defender of free speech, a valiant hero saving the comic book industry from the scourge of evil feminists who are ruining their funny books. Cho tried to capitalize on the support of these dopes by following the posting of one of his sketches with a campaign where he sold “Friends of Cho” t-shirts. The ad for the shirts asked, “Are you outraged by the outrage?” and offered his fans the opportunity to stand with him (he only sold 21 one of them online).

So, this twit is drawing Wonder Woman covers. It doesn’t seem like a good fit. When your biggest fans think that feminists are destroying comics, maybe a series starring a famed feminist icon is just not the book for you. It’s a dumb move by DC, doubly so on the heels of the ongoing controversy surrounding known sexual harasser Eddie Berganza, who currently edits Wonder Woman (he won’t be doing so when the book relaunches). Sometimes it feels like DC is doing their damnedest to alienate their female and feminist fans.

Cho’s fans will be in for a surprise if they pick up the new Wonder Woman, though, what with noted feminist and all around good guy Greg Rucka writing the book. All 21 of them are going to be sorely disappointed come June.

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Check Out All of the John Romita Jr. Variant Covers Featuring Wonder Woman, Coming This April

January 18, 2016

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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

Colouring Book Variant Covers For Wonder Woman’s January 2016 Comics

October 19, 2015

I’m not even sure how this is going to work, but DC Comics’ newest monthly variant cover theme is adult colouring book pages for their January 2016 comics. Adult colouring books are all the rage now, and DC’s gotten their artists to draw covers particularly suited for colouring; it’s not just regular comic art without colour, but rather art specifically drawn for colouring. It’s more linework than shading, and there’s lots of outlined details for us to meticulously colour in.

My aforementioned trepidation is multifaceted. What’s the paper going to be like? I like a colouring book with decent, thick pages. Also, is this going to mess up the comics? Like if I’m digging in deep with my coloured pencils to get a solid red in Wonder Woman’s tiara, am I going to have a star indent in the first few pages of my comic? The mechanics of it have me wary, yet I’m also intrigued because colouring is a blast. Unlike most normal people, I just never stopped colouring. I’m not a bandwagon jumper on this fad; I have been a regular colourer for thirty years now, I just had to use kid books a lot. Now there are more options, which is super fun, including these upcoming covers featuring Wonder Woman.

First up, is the variant for Wonder Woman #48 by Emanuela Lupacchino:

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I LOVE this. It’s so cool. I’m a huge fan of Emanuela Lupacchino generally, and this piece is especially gorgeous. The tweaks to the costume are fun, and her Wonder Woman looks both fierce and lovely. It also looks like a great colouring page, with a lot going on in the costume and some good balance with a background that’s not too sparse or too busy. I’m definitely going to pick this up.

Next up, Aaron Lopresti on Superman/Wonder Woman #25:

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This one’s only okay for me. The characters look fine, but they’re a little bit bare. I’ve coloured Superman about a million times in my life, and apart from getting the “S” shield just right, it’s kind of dull; filling in all of that blue gets old quick. The background is jam-packed in that style folks seem to be into with the current spate of adult colouring books, but personally it’s not my jam. I like to colour things, not patterns.

Wonder Woman also appears on the cover of Justice League #48 by Scott Kolins:

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We get to colour all of the Justice League! That’s fun. I’m not a huge Kolins fan, and the background is a little sparse, but I like that his linework is such that it’ll be easier to do some shading and colour variation.

Wonder Woman’s on the cover of Justice League of America #8 as well, by Cullen Bunn:

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I like this one even better! The artwork is more my preferred style, and it hits a good level of detail for potential colouring. The background will probably get tedious and will take real commitment to finish, but it’s doable. If I got this cover, I’d probably mix it up with weird colours to fill them all in, just for fun.

Look for all of these variant covers this January, and as always with these variant covers be sure to talk to your local comic shop ahead of time if you want to reserve a specific one. And, of course, post pictures of your covers once you’ve coloured them in!

Two Dark Knight III #1 Variant Covers Featuring Wonder Woman

October 15, 2015

First off, how is Dark Knight III still subtitled The Master Race? Who thought that was a good idea? What an absolutely terrible title for a book, regardless of the content therein. I can’t even bring myself to put the subtitle in this post’s title. It’s just too dumb.

Anyway, on to the subject at hand. DC Comics is releasing about 30 variant covers for Dark Knight III #1, many of them specific to certain stores. Now, I don’t particularly care about this book at all. Frank Miller hasn’t done anything interesting in ages, and has regressed to downright offensive as of late, so I’m not excited for him to return to Batman yet again. But, in the midst of this sea of variants there are a couple with Wonder Woman, and I’m all about Wonder Woman.

At first glance, 2 out of 30 doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s an understandable minority. To start with, it’s a Batman book. Plus everybody loves The Dark Knight Returns, and Wonder Woman’s not in that one. She’s all over the sequel, The Dark Knight Strikes Again, but nobody likes that one. That book is a dang catastrophe. So Wonder Woman relegated to just a couple of variants is about right, really.

So let’s get to the covers. First is a Joshua Middleton for Madness Games & Comics:

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I’ll say this: It’s super Frank Miller-like. He nailed the hair especially. The cover makes me think of what Miller’s art could be like if his work got more finessed and detailed over time instead of scratchier. His Wonder Woman is decent, and captures this world’s version of her well, but I’m particularly into the Carrie Kelly in the foreground; she looks great.

The second cover is by Artgerm, for Legacy Comics and Cards:

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At first glance, it’s pretty nice with his smooth artwork and a very lovely take on Wonder Woman, but the perspective kind of ruins it for me. Wonder Woman is in front of Batman, thus closer to the viewer, so she should be bigger. But Batman is HUGE behind her, to an outlandish degree that practically dwarfs her. It just looks weird. Nonetheless, the Wonder Woman on her own is really quite a lovely take on Miller’s version of the character. If they could excise or resize the Batman, it would be a great cover.

If you’re into either of these covers, getting a hold of them might be tricky. You’ll have to track down the specific store, and try to order the cover from their website or some such if they’re not local for you. I’m imagining they’ll be pricier than the regular comic too, so be prepared to pay a bit more; I think the Artgerm one is going for ten bucks. You might have some luck on eBay, too.  There also may be more variants with Wonder Woman, because not all of the covers have been released yet!

Cover Revealed for Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette’s Wonder Woman: Earth One Graphic Novel

September 25, 2015

Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette’s Wonder Woman: Earth One has been in the works for several years now, and yesterday Harpy revealed the book’s cover for the first time. Let’s take a look:

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And here’s the official synopsis:

From the masterful minds of Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS, THE MULTIVERSITY) and Yanick Paquette (SWAMP THING, BATMAN, INC.) comes the most provocative origin of Wonder Woman you’ve ever seen — a wholly unique retelling that still honors her origins.

For millennia, the Amazons of Paradise Island have created a thriving society away from the blight of man. One resident, however, is not satisfied with this secluded life — Diana, Princess of the Amazons, knows there is more in this world and wants to explore, only to be frustrated by her protective mother, Hippolyta. Diana finds her escape when Air Force pilot Steve Trevor, the first man she has ever seen, crashes onto their shores. With his life hanging in the balance, Diana ventures into the long forbidden world of men. The Amazons chase after her and bring her back to Paradise Island in chains to face trial for breaking their oldest law…staying separated from the world that wronged them.

Thought provoking yet reverent, thoroughly modern but still timeless, the power and courage of Paradise Island’s greatest champion — Wonder Woman — is introduced in this new addition to DC’s New York Times best selling Earth One original graphic novel series.

The cover is just okay for me. The pages that have been released look gorgeous, with clever layouts and lots of little fun details. This is plainer than I expected; I would have preferred something with a little more design to it rather than just a straight image.

They’ve tweaked the costume some, but not overly so. Basically, they just went more literal with it than usual, changing the classic eagle breastplate into something a bit more ornate and then continuing that look into the belt. Regular readers will know how I feel about tweaks to the tiara, though. I don’t see a star there and that bums me out a little.

What I really liked about the cover is everyone in the background. There’s Hippolyta and perhaps Philippus in the top left, and it looks like Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark, or at least people who look a lot like them, are in the mix too. And maybe Artemis with the red hair in the bottom right?

The chains look to be a reference to the bondage imagery common in the early years of Wonder Woman. Morrison’s seemed very focused on that in all of the interviews he’s done for the project, though he’s focused more on the kinky, sexual aspect than the matriarchal, female superiority message behind the bondage. I’ve been worried about how that will affect his vision of Wonder Woman. The kink is a part of it, for sure, but there was so much more going on with the bondage when William Moulton Marston originally wrote the book.

Anyway, I’m curious about this book but a little wary. I’m not a huge Morrison fan; he has a tendency to just burn everything down and do his own thing that I usually don’t enjoy. But Paquette is killer, and I’m sure the book will look great. Amazon has it listed for release this April, but that could change. It’s been delayed several time already. Hopefully it will keep on track and be available then!

Wonder Woman Looney Tunes Variant Covers For November 2015

August 26, 2015

Generally speaking, I don’t care for variant covers. They’re a non-sustainable way to boost sales and confusing when you’re looking through the stacks. But I’ve really grown to love DC’s variant cover program because they’ve made a lot of fun choices. Plus, Wonder Woman’s main titles haven’t been particularly good for a while, and more often than not I find the variant covers far more enjoyable than the book itself. Broadly speaking, the variant covers across DC’s line each month are a little hit and miss, but the Wonder Woman ones tend to turn out pretty great.

Case in point, DC’s recently announced Looney Tunes variant line! Coming out this November, the covers for Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman are fantastic. Check out this variant cover for Wonder Woman #46 by Terry and Rachel Dodson:

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It’s Wonder Woman dressed as a valkyrie singing “Kill the Wabbit” with Elmer Fudd, from the classic Looney Tunes cartoon “What’s Opera, Doc?”. This is literally one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I want this to be a poster and I want to hang it on my wall. Or maybe buy a hundred and wallpaper my room with it. It’s so cute and hilarious and gorgeously done. You know you’re guaranteed a good Wonder Woman when the Dodsons are involved, but they’ve outdone themselves this time. I absolutely love it.

Karl Kerschl’s cover for Superman/Wonder Woman #23 is also great:

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Much like the Dodsons, Karl Kerschl is a guaranteed good time as well. I love this cover and I don’t even know who the two Looney Tunes characters are. I just adore how he draws Wonder Woman and Superman. Sidenote: How amazing would Karl Kerschl be on a Wonder Woman comic interiors? Anyway, thanks to google I can tell you that the other character on the left if Witch Hazel, but I don’t know much about that green guy. Drop me a note in the comments if you know who he is.

Wonder Woman’s also part of the Justice League #46 cover, by Scott Williams, Alex Sinclair, and Warner Animation:

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Yes, that’s Lola Bunny from Space Jam as Wonder Woman. So fun. Also, Looney Tunes are sort of terrible in terms of well known female characters, huh? Lola Bunny is probably their most iconic female character, apart from Tweety’s granny or that cat Pepe le Pew is always harrassing, and she wasn’t created until 1996.

Finally, Wonder Woman is a part of this JLA #6 cover by Howard Porter and Hi-Fi:

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It’s fine, but I like the other ones a lot better. They’re far more clever and fun.

Look for all of these covers this November, and be sure to ask ahead at your local comics retailer if there are any specifics ones you’re keen to pick up!

Wonder Woman’s October 2015 Covers and Solicits, Plus Monster Variants

July 15, 2015

October is looking like another busy month for our favourite Amazon, with all of the usual fun plus a returning special I’m very much looking forward to. DC is also doing monster themed variants for many of their titles, just like they did in October last year. It’s good Halloween fun, and two of Wonder Woman’s titles will be part of the line. So let’s see what Wonder Woman will be up to in October!

First up, Wonder Woman #45:

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WONDER WOMAN #45
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art by DAVID FINCH and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by DAVID FINCH
Monsters Variant cover by CLAIRE WENDLING
On sale OCTOBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
With the Fates dead and Donna Troy still on the run, Wonder Woman must confront the sins of her past and a new, growing threat that’s closing in on the Queen of the Amazons!

I don’t imagine that the Finch cover is actually the final cover, but you never know. It just looks like a panel, and those blue bars don’t look great. I’m not sure whether Claire Wendling’s variant is the final cover or just a sketch either, but I’m super into it. I hope it is the final cover; I like the rougher aspects of it.

Anyway, the Finches carry on with their uninspired tenure on Wonder Woman. Apparently the Fates are dead. Thanks for the spoiler alert, because they haven’t even shown up in the comic yet. Also, Donna Troy hasn’t broken out of prison in the comics that have been published so far, but several solicits have told us she’s going to. You almost don’t have to read the comics, really. Just follow along with the solicits and you’ll get all the highlights.

Next up, Superman/Wonder Woman #22:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #22
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by CARY NORD
Monsters variant cover by J.P. LEON
On sale OCTOBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Following a shocking betrayal, Kal has lost faith in justice. Now, he’s embarking on a dangerous quest to restore his powers, while Wonder Woman makes unexpected allies of Lois Lane and Lana Lang.

The insides of this series have never done anything for me, but what I do love is it’s proud tradition of excellent variant covers. This one by John Paul Leon is fantastic. It’s a great idea for the monster theme, and is just all sorts of gorgeous. I’ll be glad to put this with my collection of Superman/Wonder Woman issues I’ll never read again but I keep to enjoy the lovely covers.

Man, Superman is really out of sorts, eh? Losing his faith in justice?! That’s a third of what he stands for! In theory I’m excited for a Wonder Woman/Lois/Lana team up, but being familiar with the quality of this book I’m not overly optimistic that it will go well.

We’ve also got Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #15:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #15
Written by ADAM BEECHEN and CARLA SPEED McNEIL
Art by JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ, KEVIN NOWLAN, SCOTT HANNA and CARLA SPEED McNEIL
Cover by JENNY FRISON
On sale OCTOBER 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
In “Our Little Dance,” when the well-meaning members of Debbi Domaine’s family argue that Cheetah needs rehabilitation more than incarceration, Wonder Woman is dragged into court! And Diana teaches a young thug a lesson about how having a pet forces you to train “Both Ends of the Leash.”

To be honest with you all, I wasn’t a big fan of either of these stories when they came out digitally, but I do love this cover. It’s lovely work by Jenny Frison, and will look amazing on the stands. The stories inside are pretty average, but neither of them are bad. They’re also very different stories, so chances are you might find something you’ll like.

Finally, Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman is back with Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2:

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WONDER WOMAN ‘77 SPECIAL #2
Written by MARC ANDREYKO
Art by CAT STAGGS, RICHARD ORTIZ, DREW JOHNSON and JASON BADOWER
Cover by NICOLA SCOTT
RETROSOLICIT • On sale SEPTEMBER 30 • 80 pg, FC, $7.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Get ready for three new stories based on the classic television series starring Lynda Carter! A scientist who is intensely jealous of Wonder Woman becomes empowered by an ancient artifact and Cheetah is born! A woman with the powers of both fire and ice seeks revenge against a corrupt politician. And, Halloween finds the princess up against an undead adversary.

So many stories! Plus the Cheetah and zombies, presumably. This should be a fun book. None of the stories have been released digitally yet, though I anticipate that they’ll be out soon. That’s a great lineup of artists, and Marc Andreyko did a fine job with the first few Wonder Woman ’77 stories so I’m glad to have him back. Nicola Scott’s cover looks fantastic as well. This will actually be out at the end of September instead of October, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

There’s a lot of Wonder Woman fun to be had this fall, and a lot of great covers. Remember to ask your local comic shop ahead of time if you’re keen to get a variant cover; they can go quickly.


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