Variant Covers: Choking You Fanboys Out With Grayson’s Cape

Templesmith Is A Stud

Choker #1

The first issue of Choker is coming out this week, and I’m jazzed because I’m a huge glutton for Ben Templesmith’s work. You may know him as the artist and co-creator of 30 Days of Night, or the co-creator of the barely-ever-released but no less awesome Fell. There’s something about his artwork that I can really get into, and so when I heard that he was putting this out with writer Ben McCool I was stoked. And if that wasn’t enough, McCool’s explanation of what the title was about sounded as though it came from the rotting canals of my own brain:

I guess I’d better lay down the disclaimers, then: language used is dastardly goings-on are repellent, and the characters are so lewd you’ll feel like only an industrial-strength jet wash will be able to rinse your tarnished conscience clean. Put simply, we’re hoping to give Bill O’Reilly a Rush Limbaugh-resembling hernia.

It’s a rotting, filthy noir fable. How the fuck can you not get amped for that? Wait, you mean you’re not a glutton for perversity and depravity? I can’t relate to that.

ZOUNDS!, the Grand Resurrection

Batman and Robin #8

It really saddens me that Batman and Robin, a title that was created for Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne couldn’t twelve or so issues before delving back into the monotonous resurrection of Bruce Wayne. And if that isn’t enough, consider the fact that we know the actual return is coming in a stand alone title, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. So what the fuck is going on in the pages of Batman and Robin? Why, they’re trying to bring Bruce back to life! It all just screams of redundancy and lack of progress.

Who the fuck knows, I could be wrong.

It is upsetting to me that an interesting storyline involving Grayson trying to wear the cloak and embrace the burden of filling his pseudo-father’s shoes has been canned so quickly into its run. Whether or not the timeline was intentional or not, I am the unhappy because everything is switching so quickly back to the Bruce Wayne type thang. There’s some speculation that Bruce could return and not be Batman, or even that the dude’s displaced spirit is going to be caged in the body of Damian and, and, and…I don’t fucking know, I don’t care.

So this week we find the emaciated, laser-blasted corpse of Bruce rising from the Lazarus Pit. I don’t need ingenuity or textual analysis to figure out that it isn’t going to work, I only need to look at the list of DC events this year to figure out that this attempt is going to be a steaming failure pile.

That’s the bad. The good? Well, the storyline is being written by Morrison, who has been Batman’s curator for the past few years, and as usual, I dig it. If you want to look aside all the annoying seemingly financial aspects of the storyline, Morrison continues to drill into Grayson’s psyche for interesting examination. While reading this newest arc where Grayson so badly wants to succeed in bringing Bruce back, there comes a debate. Is Grayson really bringing back Bruce out of a promise to be there and protect him always, or is it a selfish motivation, because he can’t handle manning the wheel of the Batmobile himself?

Grayson’s motivations have been interesting throughout. The dude had to don the Cape almost out of necessity, to prevent a pack of assholes from Damian to Jason Todd inheriting it. And since wearing it, he has been fumbling through the motions, trying to distance the symbol of the Cape from the symbol of the Man who previously wore it.

Das Monkey of Doom!

Hit-Monkey #1

Listen, it’s a fucking Monkey Assassin. You’re not sold? You’re saying it isn’t worth your three-dollars? C’mon now! I don’t know anything about Hit-Monkey, other than the cover features a monkey dual-wielding pistols in some dramatic pose. Apparently he’s from one of the seventy-three Deadpool titles that I don’t read. I’m so out of touch. I’m like the Awkward Uncle of comic book readers, I think I’m still hip but I’m sitting here in an Age of Apocalypse t-shirt covered in chunky peanut butter and wearing no pants.

That said, I bet it’s somewhere between “entertaining” and “not worth my money”. I’ll give it a whirl, since I’m comics-curious. And when I say I’ll give it a shot, I mean I’ll buy it and it’ll sit in the rest of my backlog, gathering dust and grimy fingerprints.

The entire week in Marvel seems dedicated to variant covers featuring Deadpool, and I’m on a nostalgic trip. I remember the good ole days when everything had a variant cover. If it wasn’t a tin-foil, ultra-rare, holographic, four-dimensional cover featuring Savage Dragon, I didn’t want anything to do with that shit! And it seems the good days have returned! Yes! This week you can get Deadpool variant covers of shit like Amazing Spider-Man, Invincible Iron Man, Wolverine Savage, X-Men Forever, and yes, more.

This will cure the ailments of the comic book industry! Variant covers! It’s all so simple, why didn’t they try this like fifteen years ago. Oh, they did. Collect them all to be a true asshole!