Variant Alert: (She-)Hulk #1 (Ed McGuinness)

I am late in posting on this variant as it has been circulating online since about late 2016/early 2017. I say online cause this variant is made in collaboration with Hall of Comics and sold exclusively online. So you won’t be finding this at your local comic shop. hoc_hulk_cvr_a_1024x1024

This cover is an homage to the classic Incredible Hulk #181 cover which was the first complete appearance of Wolverine and of their first epic meeting. This cover takes that composition and substitutes the new Wolverine (X-23) and the She-Hulk (who is looking a bit different due to emotional/mental factors).

Admittedly I have not been a fan of this new (She-) Hulk series. The overall concept was interesting, but its execution has left a lot to be desired. I bought this issue for the cover and that’s it. I felt it was unique enough to be worthy to join the collection; and to have some female Hulk representation included. Also, I like McGuinness’ work.

I think it’s an attractive piece of art, but I do kind of wish Ed utilized the background a bit more rather then settle on a flat red background.

I would be remiss in mentioning that there are not one, not two, but THREE versions of this cover. One is as seen here. The second version (dubbed the popcorn version) includes Deadpool eating popcorn while riding on the back of the Wendigo. The third version is the popcorn variant, but in black&white (except Deadpool).

The issue originally sold for $65 and is still available as of this writing. Though it does seem to have a limited printing. Looking at Ebay any issues being sold have spiked to $85 or higher.

If you like covers, especially homage covers featuring Wolverine or She-Hulk then this one is for you. Otherwise you might just wanna skip it.

Variant Alert: Old Man Logan #25 (Tom Grummett)

Here we go with an homage variant of the classic cover from Incredible Hulk #181. The very issue when Wolverine was introduced to the Marvel universe and his first act was to square off with the Hulk. Lucky guy. I typically enjoy variants that pay tribute to classic covers such as Incredible Hulk #1. But typically the internal story doesn’t reflect the cover. It’s a cash grab like most variants are. But this cover (though it doesn’t quite reflect the internal story) still resonates for me.

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Here we have Wolverine, much older, taking on his new persona as just Logan meeting up with an older Hulk, who is also donning his new persona, as the Maestro. In a sense they are meeting up for the first time all over again. This cover variant actually does make sense.

Maestro and Logan are in my opinion Marvel’s grumpy old men. This cover reflects where they started, as a rivalry, and where they are today (…or in the future).

When I saw this was being made I had to try and grab it. I don’t own Hulk 181, but I hope to some day. I really think having that comic sitting next to this one really shows an interesting character arc going on 43 years! Not to mention I really love the Maestro.

I managed to go to my local comic shop on it’s release date (June 14, 2017) and I was able to snag one for $8! Which was awesome as there were only two in the store at the time. Unfortunately both seemed to have been damaged either during printing or shipping as both had white markings in the top left corner. So I picked the one that seemed to have the least damage. A small issue as the rest of the comic was pristine. I don’t intend on selling it anytime soon, but I hope if I ever do it doesn’t impact the price too much.

Currently, if you were unlucky enough to get one in stores, you can find this variant online. On eBay the prices for this variant go for around $30. Which is still affordable if you really want it. Which, of course you do!

Get SMASHED!

Variant Alert: Future Imperfect #2 -Secret Wars (Rafa Garres)

detailThis cover has been out for awhile so I doubt you’ll find one just sitting on the shelf at your local comic shop. This variant was released in July 2015 and created by Rafa Garres. Your opinion on this cover may vary, but I am a big fan of the Maestro version of the Hulk and this cover certainly captures a unique look for the character.

In the comics the fallen hero armor and weapons belong to Rick Jones, not Maestro. But he does use Captain America’s shield briefly. There are statues and toys that show the Maestro wearing the costumes of heroes as armor, but that isn’t quite cannon. In any case it is a very cool image that I myself have used in my cosplay.

Admittedly this version of Maestro does remind me of an Orc from Warcraft. Despite this it is still a visage of the Maestro that is clearly barbaric and intense. Despite the Maestro not ever wearing the heroes items as armor in the comics this cover brings it closer to reality for me. I wish they would use this design in one of his stories.

Despite it being off shelves for some time this can be good news for you! I bought my copy in 2015 by luck from a comic shop for around $20. On Ebay you can probably snag this guy for around $5. That is the problem with variants. They are even more of a gamble.

Nevertheless I still find this cover awesome and I hope you do to.

Variant Alert: Old Man Logan #22 (Chris Stevens)

This shall be the first of a new series I dub ‘Variant Alert’. As a collector I prefer to get my comics with their original covers (and I believe most variants are mere cash grabs). But on rare occasions a cover comes along that catches my eye and I must have it. Thus we begin…

With special thanks to Ratchet who alerted me to this cover I was able to grab one online for a reasonable price. I suggest you check out his site (it is Super Green 🙂 ). This is the Chris Steven’s Old Man Logan #22 cover. o2qs2h2kzxoy

This issue continues a story arc where Wolverine (Logan) is reliving certain key past moments of his life. In this issue it is his first encounter with both the Hulk and Wendigo (established in Incredible Hulk #181).

This cover just has so much going on with it. Not only does it subtly reference the fight scene on the cover of Hulk #181 (created by Herb Trimpe & John Romita), but also references the iconic cover design from Incredible Hulk #340 (created by Todd McFarlane).

The inclusion of a wild-looking Old Man Logan, a furious Hulk, and a more beastly Wendigo makes this all the more intense. I could not pass it up.

The comic is a 1:25 chance of being at your local comic store and was released April 26, 2017. So grab it if you can, otherwise you’ll have to go online. Prices online as of this writing are around $25.

Get Smashed!