Variant Covers: DC Goes Savage Noir


[Variant Covers is a column every Tuesday that breaks down the various titles coming out that week in the world of pulp pimp-slaps and man clad of iron.]

First Wave #1

Rejoice, my legion of fellow fanboys and girls. This week we’re getting Brian Azzarello and Rags Morales’ love child First Wave. This shit has been on my radar since last year, when they first announced it. Azzarello and Morales are rocking out in their own DC Universe filled with pulp goodness. There ain’t no Superman, there ain’t no super powers. But there’s Batman carrying a shitload of guns, the Spirit, and Doc Savage. Who according to Azzarello via CBR “is top of the food chain. He’s the Superman.”


I’m a total whore for Elseworld titles, and noir schlock, so I’m sold. I’m always down with the concept of Elseworld titles, since the author gets to pretty much do whatever the fuck he wants. They aren’t bound by the typical editorial constraints, “God dammit, you need to have Hal Jordan fighting some Black Lantern..uh..the Black Lantern Pa Kent or some shit in this title, or your tits are mine!” Just a couple of dudes getting to flesh out their own universe. Maybe it’ll suck, maybe it’ll be enjoyable, maybe it’ll be a certain shade of gray.

But I gotta get behind it. I spend so much time grousing about the idea that all stories these days are hindered by editorial-driven Super Events, I’d be a total douchebag to not support something veering off in a different direction.

The Green Hornet

Green Hornet #1

You can almost feel the Earth shuddering as all the Kevin Smith fanboys shuffle out of their houses and do their master’s bidding as they go and buy this pile of shit. Back in 1999, I would have been beyond pumped for this title. I was sixteen, and I thought Kevin Smith was the greatest thing ever. I also jerked off to pictures of Pamela Anderson’s face photoshopped onto porn stars that I downloaded from AOL chat rooms. Things have changed.

Back then, Smith was ripping it up on Daredevil for the newly-created Marvel Knights line. Dude was teamed up with some guy named Joe Quesada. Back then he was just a great penciller, or the guy who created Ash. And it was a hell of a run, and something that sold me on Daredevil. Listen, I was too young to experience Frank Miller, and I’ve gone back and read it. Chill out. But it was Silent Bob’s tale that got me into the character in the first place.

These days?

These days, Kevin Smith is getting kicked off of airplanes, directing shit like Cop Out, and writing shit slop Zack and Miri Make A Porno, which should have been titled, “I Want to Be Judd Apatow.” Quesada? Quesada is the Marvel Czar.

It really doesn’t matter how good this title is, it’s going to sell. Smith has legions of followers who would buy used pairs of his underwear if they were for sale, or tattoo Snoochie Boochies to their dumb foreheads if commanded. I ain’t totally hating, the guy has penned some of my favorite movies ever. It’s just that he hasn’t done anything since I graduated from high school back in 2001 that I dug the fuck out of, but whatever.

Inside The Stark Mind

Invincible Iron Man #24

I know I’ve been riding the jock of the Fraction/Larroca run on Invincible Iron Man for a while now, and for that, I apologize. Tomorrow bestows on my salivating ass (can an ass salivate?) the last issue in the Stark: Disassembled story, and I’m pretty amplified over it. Our bro Stark has spent the last eight months or so melting down his mind and drooling all over himself in a hospital bed like Terri Schiavo. But would you believe that just before the second Iron Man movie comes out, he’s going to be back and spit-shined and ready to drink a lot and have sex with beautiful women?

What a coincidence!

I dig the story arc though, and the rest of the Marvel Universe structured around it. They’re rocking out with the whole We’re Getting the Band Back Together! vibe; as Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and our Thor finally put aside their differences and decide to slay ass together. When I realized that Bendis blew up the Avengers seven years ago, I felt old as fuck. I was like, “Man, seven years ago I was typing blog entries in my Mom’s basement…I still am.” Whatever though, feel the wrath of my greasy, fluid-crunchy keyboard!

The dope thing about the storyline is that Fraction manages to craft a storyline that not only adheres to the general direction of the Marvel Universe, but the dude also creates a pretty bizarre storyline. Half of the Stark: Disassembled storyline has been some trippy metaphysical journey through Tony’s mind. For a big title like Invincible to spend half their issues with Stark digging up oranges and being hunted by weird mechanical monsters in his mind is dope.

Also? The art is gorgeous.

Also coming out for Marvel is Ultimate Avengers #5, where I’m sure Mark Millar will blow tons of shit up, while Steve Rogers fights his son, the Red Skull. You read that shit right. Oh, Ultimate universe. And there’s fourteen Deadpool titles dropping, including Prelude to Deadpool Corps #1, featuring Rob fucking Liefeld. Don’t be hatin’, you know that gets your attention. Slap on your Youngblood t-shirt covered in salsa and sweat, and rock the fuck out.