StarWars.com showed off a variant cover of their own, showing some inter-company connectivity there, sharing space with their still newish sister company Marvel Comics. The cover for Star Wars #1 is a John Tyler Christopher “Party Variant,” which will only be available at launch parties hosted at comic shops across the country. It includes, somewhat surprisingly, Jaxxon, Marvel’s Star Wars-themed Bugs Bunny homage, created by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaikin back when Marvel first had the license. But don’t expect Jason Aaron and John Cassaday to make Jaxxon a main character in the series.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Star Wars comics back at Marvel,” said Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel in the announcement. “Star Wars has always been an important part of Marvel’s history and we knew we wanted to honor that legacy with a callback to the original Marvel Comics Star Wars series. We think old and new fans alike will be just as excited as we are to see Jaxxon, even if it’s only for this fun variant cover.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday night’s Marvel: 75 Years from Pulp to Pop special, which aired in place of a new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. up against midterm election coverage, the comics that are the base of Marvel’s success got the grand majority of focus, with Marvel Studios getting just a little section at the end of the show. In fact, Marvel even spotlighted a bit from the future of Marvel Comics, with Editer-in-Chief Axel Alonso giving a sneak peek at a new variant cover for Secret Wars #1, the first issue of their mega-event that begins in Spring 2015 and runs for a full year.
The variant cover, screen grabbed by our friends at CBR, seems to directly address some fan concerns about the event - namely the lack of Fantastic Four and X-Men characters on the first released image. Indeed, this one has Namor, Reed Richards (two of them in fact), Doctor Doom, Cyclops, the young Jean Grey, all alongside characters like Thanos, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Black Bolt, Spider-Man (times two, too), and the new female Thor. So, that should put to rest any speculation that the Fantastic Four or X-Men wouldn’t be featured prominently in the event, if the multiple “Summer 2015” teasers didn’t already.
This of course all follows those fifteen teasers, most of which featured prominent events from across time and space in the Marvel Universe (and multiverse), and the sixteenth teaser that said “Everything Ends” with the earlier Spring timeframe on it.
Marvel Comics also revealed the cover to the "Alpha" issue of the crossover Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex.
The cover showed off an interesting mix of characters. Beast, Storm, Magik, Kitty Pryde, Captain Marvel, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, and Rocket Raccoon were joined by Corsair, Young Cyclops, Young Iceman, Young Beast, Young Jean Grey, and Nova, with what looks like Ronan the Accuser in the center, who despite being a bit of a one-note villain in the recent film has been mostly on the side of the angels in the comics of late. The cover reveals one thing more than any other - it sure looks like Young Angel is going to be the member of the original X-Men who is “left behind” in the Ultimate Universe, as was teased at the start of that crossover story. A CBR interview with Sam Humphries, one of the architects of the crossover, reveals a bit more about the Black Vortex artifact itself as well as a bit more about Mister Knife, one of the villains of the piece.
The Black Vortex "reflects your cosmic potential," instantly transforming anyone who looks into it as the ultimate version of themselves. "There's no limit on the Black Vortex. If it gets in the wrong hands, you could apply it to one person, a whole team, a whole planet," Humphries said. He teases more in the interview, as well.