Spinning out of the events of Infinity Wars is a new Guardians of the Galaxy team, and a new series by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw. To introduce fans to the new members of the team, Marvel has announced a series of variant covers spotlighting each member. In addition to a variant for Guardians of the Galaxy #1, the team members will grace the covers of twelve other January-shipping titles, including Amazing Spider-Man, Black Panther, Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider, and more.
Marvel has been doing these ‘themed’ variants for a while now, and, to be completely honest, I don’t get them. I get why they’re doing them, but I don’t get the appeal of them. If I’m buying a Spider-Man comic, I would want Spider-Man to be on the cover, even if it’s a variant cover. Is Amazing Spider-Man going to get a big sales bump from having Star-Lord on the cover? If a casual person walks into a store to buy a Spider-Man comic, and the only one they find has a character who is not Spider-Man on the cover, are they going to want to buy that comic? I know that variant covers are not specifically for casual persons walking in off the street, but those people still have to be taken into account.
Alternately, if I’m buying a comic because I really like the art of Gamora that’s on the cover, I would rather it not have a giant Deadpool logo on it. There’s an X-Men variant by Phil Jimenez out on this week’s issue of Amazing Spider-Man that I actually love…but it’s got an Amazing Spider-Man logo on it. Similarly, there was a beautiful David Aja Fantastic Four variant cover a few months back, with a big old Doctor Strange logo across the top. If Marvel are going to continue to put out these themed variants with collectors and art fans in mind, it makes more sense for them go to the route that DC or Image have with their art-centric variant covers: no logo or small credits across the bottom (or somewhere on the cover), and a showcase for the art. That’s what variant covers are all about, right?
The art on some of the Guardians variants is really nice, and I particularly like the Rocket Raccoon/Howard the Duck/Cosmo cover by Bobby Rubio. You can check out 9 of the 13 variant covers, and the full list of books sporting them, below. Look for these covers to hit stores in January.
Celebrate The New GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Team With Special Covers!
New York, NY—November 28, 2018— This January, Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw – the creative team that brought you Thanos – will bring a new GUARDIANS OF GALAXY series to readers! And to celebrate the debut of this brand-new team, Marvel is releasing a series of variant covers showcasing past and present Guardians of the Galaxy characters from superstar artists Mike McKone, Ema Lupacchino, Dale Keown, Will Sliney, and more!
Look for Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY variant covers on these select titles:
- AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 by Gerald Parel
- AVENGERS #13 by Patrick Zircher with colors by Jason Keith
- BLACK PANTHER #8 by Jamal Campbell
- DEADPOOL #8 by Jamal Campbell
- DOCTOR STRANGE #10 by Will Sliney with colors by Frank D’Armata
- FANTASTIC FOUR #6 by Pasqual Ferry
- GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 by Ron Lim with colors by Israel Silva
- IMMORTAL HULK #12 by Geoff Shaw
- SPIDER-GWEN: GHOST SPIDER #4 by Bobby Rubio
- SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #2 by Mike McKone with colors by Jesus Aburtov
- UNCANNY X-MEN #8 by David Marquez
- X-23 #8 by Dale Keown
- X-FORCE #2 by Ema Lupacchino
Don’t miss your chance to collect all GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY variants, coming this January to your local comic shop!
Joe Grunenwald is a writer and editor living in the Pacific Northwest. He’s taller than a lot of people but not as tall as some people.