The new THE MIGHTY THOR #1 by Fraction and Coipel will have several variant covers, including one by Walt Simonson himself. The book goes on sale 4/27.

UPDATE: As mentioned in the comments, this art is from 1983 and originally ran as promo art for Simonson’s epic run on THOR. Hence the odd size of the art. Laura Martin recolored it. Simonson is DC exclusive so this is the only THOR cover we’re likely to see.

Pretty clever of Marvel…or sneaky.

Simonson’s run as writer/artist of Thor lasted for nearly three years, and he wrote it for another year. Although it took place nearly 30 years ago, it’s still a model of what a talented creator with vision can do for even a long-running company character when they’re given some track to run on. Alas, in these editorial-driven days, that room doesn’t really exist.

HOWEVER, see Marvel’s BIG SHOTS announcement.


  1. Not bad, let’s see how long this series lasts before it is renumbered with the old series as Marvel has done with every single flagship title. Same for FF#1….I give them both 20-30 issues at most.

  2. @Steve Horton: well then, this makes me look even MORE forward to the upcoming Omnibus collection of Simonson’s “Thor” run (which I never read)! Great-looking stuff.

  3. I was also slightly disappointed to see that this variant cover was from an old ad for the talented Mr. Simonson’s run on the book, but as I don’t think I’ve seen it in color before that’s going to be a purchase from me (assuming I can get a copy from the store I frequent).

    At the very least it’s the new background on my desktop!

  4. Walt Simonson’s THOR is the BEST. He was drawing like a madman, the first mainstream comics artist I can remember who actually integrated the text into the design so fully (Toth always designed with text in mind, but it was much less overt).

    But when I went back and reread some of this stuff recently, I was surprised by how well-written it was. A real sense of humor to how it was STRUCTURED–you don’t often see humor in structure!

    If you haven’t read this series, do yourself a favor when it comes out again. It’s great.

  5. Torsten – they’ll probably charge the same for it as the photo cover, which was also probably “free” to them. I don’t think variant covers are priced based on whether they’re new art.

    Incidentally, the original ad can be seen here:


    Laura Martin did a very nice new coloring job on it…

  6. Thanks for posting the original, Kurt! Out of curiosity, anyone know about the little pieces of armor in the foreground? Did Laura Martin (or someone else) draw those in for the variant cover or were they cropped out of the original ad?

  7. I think it does potentially raise the question about how the amount of effort that went into creating a variant might effect the long-term collectability of the variant.

    I mean, if Marvel put out “stick-man” variants of every book one month, with the art being drawn by some intern with no artistic ability, would that end up being sold in the after-market at the same price as a variant cover drawn by some hot artist, with all other variables held the same?

    I don’t even buy variants, I’m mainly just sort of curious about the mentality and/or market forces around them.

  8. I don’t think stick-man variants are the same as reusing little-seen Simonson art — or a photo cover, which cost them even less.

    If KIRBY: GENESIS has a Jack Kirby variant cover, I’d think that would be taken more as “appropriate,” than “man, this isn’t new art!”

    On the other hand, publishers have done blank variant covers, for artists to draw on at conventions. Those are cheaper even than stick-men, but the people who like ’em, like ’em.

  9. I really see no reason for another Thor monthly comic. And reading that the variant is reused Simonson art is pretty lame. But it does make me yearn for Walt Simonson’s Thor!

    Speaking of Walt Simonson, if he’s exclusive to DC, is he going to be doing anything soon? His talent is missed.

  10. The variant issues cost the retailers the same as the regular issue.

    I’m just wonder what fans would be willing to shell out for such a cover?

  11. I haven’t read any of the HAWKGIRL stuff Simonson and Chaykin did, but Simonson’s ORION run is also fantastic.

    That was the book that started my Half Price Books addiction (this great bookstore chain in Washington). . .I got the entire run for 10 cents a piece, which added up to something like $3.50.

    And a lot of them have great backup stories written by Simonson and drawn by Arthur Adams and Frank Miller and John Paul Leon.

  12. Should have realized my memory was faulty and I had seen it in color before, thanks for posting the link Mr. Busiek.

    I was thinking I had seen it in b/w in Comics Scene Magazine lo those many years ago, but now I’m thinking that was an equally cool Beta Ray Bill shot, but as we’ve already seen, my memory is not what it once might have been.

  13. I just got the 2nd and 3rd Simonson Thor trades, and all I can say is, that scene where he throws his hammer up, then grabs Loki by the neck and encourages him to break a curse by reminding him that the hammer is enchanted to come back to his hand, even if it has to go through somebody’s head, is 1) one of the greatest moments in Marvel history and 2) had really better be in the movie.