As mainstream comics are slowly dipping their collective toe in the comedy baby pool, DC took the initiative to parody a slew of films this month in its variant covers. It’s not necessarily the fact that the publisher’s parodying movies that makes this idea pretty damn great, but it’s the movies it’s taking aim at and the way the creators are mixing their characters in. Who wouldn’t want to watch Superman and Doomdsay (aka the alien monster that once, y’know, killed Superman) perched on the same phone booth time machine once occupied by Bill S. Preston Esq. and Theodore Logan, aka the heroes from the 1989’s Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Artist Joe Quinones pulls it off masterfully. The cover line also takes aim at cult nostalgia like Lost Boys, Beetlejuice and Purple Rain. But for the most whimsy, you can’t get more delightfully inane than Dave Johnson’s cover of Superman in the same iconic blaxploitation cover as Super Fly, with Wonder Woman draped over the infamous Cadillac Eldorado. A more serious interpretation could incorporate racial and cultural issues, but it’s just too damn goofy not to love. In the eternal struggle of grim & gritty realism vs. ben-day-dot fun, this initiative breaks new boundaries for the latter.
Meanwhile, Marvel’s variants celebrated female artists with gorgeous contributions from creators like Colleen Doran and Stephanie Hans. Image also unleashed some striking debut issues under artists including Dustin Nguyen, Terry Dodsen and Langdon Foss.