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Joss WhedonJoss Whedon - "Astonishing X-Men" Comic Book - Variant Dispute @ Marvel
Saturday 24 April 2004, by Webmaster
While variant covers may be coming back in vogue in a big, big way lately, not everyone is thrilled with their return. Fans may grumble, but according to sources, not everyone at Marvel is sold on the idea as well.
While Marvel informed retailers that they would be offering a second variant cover to Astonishing X-Men #1, they had yet to announce the artist. However, sources have told Newsarama that the cover will be painted by Gabrielle Del’Otto.
The second variant cover is based on qualifying orders placed on the book - retailers whose orders for Astonishing X-Men #1 (placed by May 6) exceed their total invoiced quantities for Ultimate Fantastic Four #1 will receive those additional copies of Astonishing X-Men in a 50/50 split - the regular cover and the Del’Otto variant cover.
According to a sources at Marvel though, there’s been a deep schism between the upper management over the use of multiple covers for the same issue, focused specifically on the variant cover for the upcoming Astonishing X-Men #1 by Del’Otto.
At a meeting today at Marvel, Joe Quesada who has pointedly said that he doesn’t want the return to variant covers, was trying to make a beachhead of the Del’Otto cover. Quesada is, reportedly, taking the stance that Marvel is being forced to move back to variant covers by DC’s recent variants. But - if that was where the market was headed, Marvel should answer with another variant cover for Astonishing #1.
Although Quesada had been recently strictly opposed to variants as a matter of course, President of Publishing Gui Karyo is now the one with his finger on the stop button, with reports of Karyo keeping an eye on the bottom line, and not wanting to put unnecessary inventory in the marketplace as a matter of course.
Publisher Dan Buckely, reportedly took the middle ground in the meeting over the variant cover, which was at times heated, saying that some fans will want the cover, and, if treated as a incentive for retailers, it rewards retailers who take a strong position on the book.
Since the variant cover was already announced to retailers, it won’t be pulled, according to sources, despite the disagreements in upper management.
A source sent the following images to Newsarama, reporting that Marvel had narrowed its choice to one of them.