Tuesday comic book retailers were informed by Diamond Comics Distributors that two upcoming variant covers for October’s Avengers & X-Men: Axis #1 and November’s Thor #2, solicited to be drawn by Milo Manara, will no longer be illustrated by the veteran Italian artist. Other artists will instead draw the variants. Siya Oum will draw the Axis #1 variant, and the new artist for the Thor #2 variant has yet to be named.
Given the recent attention and criticism Manara’s solicited variant for November’s Spider-Woman #1 received by some fans and sectors of the comic book press, on the surface the changes and their timing could be interpreted as conspicuous and potentially related. Asked to explain the cancellations Tuesday afternoon, Marvel declined to comment.
Neither covers' artwork was released to the press or retailers prior to their cancellation, so it remains unclear if the covers were ever actually illustrated.
As of press time, however, the Spider-Woman #1 Milo Manara variant remains on Marvel's schedule and will be published as solicited.