Marvel NOW! Variants & Interview Reveal Lineups, New Titles

Marvel Girl

All New X-Men

Quesada Variant

Diamond Comics Distribution has a vested interest in Marvel NOW!'s success, just as the did the DC New 52. New comics, new #1s, means new readers, which means higher sales on all levels of distribution, or at least that's the goal.

[Click here for a full gallery of Variant images from upcoming final issues, first issues, and more!]

To support the big initiative, Diamond ran an interview with Senior Vice President David Gabriel on their retailer website, where Gabriel talks about big numbers for Uncanny Avengers #1 and much more.

"I can easily say that it passes not only Civil War and Avengers vs. X-Men first issue orders, but that it has the highest orders of any debut in my ten years at Marvel; the orders really are staggering," said Gabriel, of the opening salvo in the Marvel NOW! volley.

Gabriel acknowledged all the variants for the issue, saying it is absolutely on purpose. "One of the strongest reasons for variants is that they help in the promotion of a comic, and it was obvious when we started planning for the Marvel NOW! launch (and specifically the Uncanny Avengers #1 launch) that we wanted to go big." Fans can expect variants across the board with Marvel NOW! as well, including "Blank variants, artist variants, themed variants, sketch variants, final issue variants" all to "help retailers promote the books they are selling."

Fantastic Four

Final Issue


Those aforementioned "blank" variants, used for fans to get their own image sketched at conventions, Gabriel attributed to a retailer's suggestion. He specifically says artists like Marko Djurdjevic, Marcos Martin, Phil Noto, and Skottie Young are some artists they're seeing great response from, on both the retailer side and also from consumers themselves. He promises Joe Quesada will be doing many variants for the relaunch initiative as well.

Skottie Young's "Baby Variants" are going to keep coming in the Marvel NOW! future, with eight announced, and Gabriel promises, "close to 20 by the time all of Marvel NOW! is finished." Those all spun from the very popular response to the Midtown Comics baby variant of Avengers Vs. X-Men #1. One of those new Baby Variants revealed with the interview is apparently for New Avengers #1 (it's titled "Young Baby New Avengers") and has most likely accidentally given us the first glimpse at the roster, or at least part of it, for that mysterious team.


Black Bolt, Black Panther, Iron Man, and Mr. Fantastic seem to be uniting as New Avengers. Interestingly, three of those members, Bolt, Stark, and Richards, have been members of Bendis's secret "Illuminati," a group of high-level and high-powered heroes who meet clandestinely to prepare for threats larger than any of their own networks of heroes. Black Panther, being the leader of Wakanda, seems like he would fit right into that particular group, and in fact was at the first meeting of the leaders. At the time, he felt "uncomfortable" with what they were doing and decided not to be a part of it, but times have certainly changed. Back on July 2, 2012, Jonathan Hickman - the writer of New Avengers, said that he has more to say and do with Black Panther.

"Yeah, the Panther is a great character and I am going to do a bit more with him. He’s a secret city, science king, so — kind of right in my wheel house," Hickman told CBR. Executive Editor Tom Brevoort later hinted that there's "more Panther-related stuff on the horizon."

Gabriel also said Milo Manara will be doing a Marvel NOW! cover that heavily features Psylocke, with her name in italics in the interview like it's the title of a book, suggesting the mutant ninja will be getting her own ongoing series as part of Marvel NOW!.

When reached for comment on Psylocke, a Marvel Comics representative had merely this to tease:

"Stay tuned for some big news regarding Psylocke on Monday!"

Esad Ribic will be doing a five part cover for Avengers #1-5, and an unused piece of art from the original Amazing Fantasy #15 by Steve Ditko will make a special Amazing Spider-Man #700 variant cover.

Aside from the copious variant covers, Marvel is also offering a variety of incentives to retailers like "postcards, mini posters, free comics, deep discount incentives, event parties, and much more." It's clear that David Gabriel and Marvel Comics are putting their full force behind Marvel NOW!

More Marvel NOW! at Newsarama

Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!

Twitter activity