Marvel comics have canceled Milo Manara’s variant covers for two upcoming issues, and while the move comes just a month after the artist’s Spider Woman #1 cover caused widespread controversy, the company says it is unrelated to the cancellation.
Manara will no longer be illustrating variant covers for Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #1 and Thor #2, IGN notes. The decision prompted speculation that Manara had been released from the Marvel projects due to the uproar over his variant cover for Spider Woman #1, which was released online last month. Marvel endured widespread criticism for what many believed to be an overly sexualized portrayal of the character.
Side-eyeing you so hard about this Milo Manara variant cover, Marvel. -C pic.twitter.com/IDJlDnz7Jn
— Girls Reading Comics (@girlsreadcomics) August 19, 2014
Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso reached out to Comic Book Resources, however, to clarify that the decision had nothing to do with the Spider Woman variant.
“Clearly, unequivocally, I want to state that this is only a scheduling problem,” Alonso said. “The Manara covers were recast due to his schedule. He will be doing more covers for us, in fact, he’s working on one right now that will be announced sometime soon. This is purely an issue of his schedule not permitting him to do the two covers, ‘AXIS‘ #1 and ‘Thor‘ #2. We overbooked him, and the timing didn’t work out.”
Despite Marvel’s original lack of comment on the change in artists, several sites had assumed a link with the controversy, reporting that Manara had been suspended by Marvel. While some have speculated that Manara’s future work with Marvel could be in jeopardy, Alonso asserted that wouldn’t be the case during his weekly interview feature with CBR in late August.
“Yes, we’ll do more Manara variants. He is a world-renowned artist with a huge fan base, and his variants, like the Skottie Young variants, are aimed at people who appreciate his art and his style. But we are aware of the growing sensitivity to covers like this, and we will be extra-vigilant in policing their content and how we use them in our marketing.”
While Marvel regularly issues variant covers for collectors, not all of them generate the negative controversy that Spider Woman #1 did. Earlier this month, Marvel teamed up with STOMP Out Bullying to support National Bullying Prevention Month with a series of variant covers depicting Marvel heroes like the Hulk and Captain America standing up to bullies, As The Inquisitr previously noted.
[Image via RTL]