WrestleMania XXVIII is only six short days away and tonight’s Raw from Atlanta is the last chance to sell us on the biggest pay-per-view event of the year (although a surprising number of announcements have been coming on Smackdown). The last Raw before WrestleMania should be the best show of the year, at least until the night after WrestleMania which has it’s own history of making history. Before we get to tonight (and the one-hour documentary on the Rock and John Cena airing before Raw that no one was asking for), we have our last Warm Up before WrestleMania featuring a look back at last week’s show from Philadelphia.
Obviously the big story coming out of last week’s Raw in Cleveland, Ohio, was the “John Cena rap versus the Rock’s concert” in the town that boasts the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While neither performer is headed for induction, the musical battle didn’t quite go down the way the promos gave the impression it would be and it was a blessing. Most importantly, everyone got some air time with Cena and the Rock were limited to one segment each. As we head into tonight’s show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, expect a heavier focus on C.M. Punk and Chris Jericho and much clearer picture of the final names added to the card for WrestleMania XXVIII.
In the last edition of Standard Deviations, we took a look at a set of variant covers for Marvel’s House of M series released in 2005. The Scarlet Witch was a central figure in that series as she will be in this year’s Avengers versus X-Men. Also central to AvX is Hope Summers, the first mutant born since the Witch’s “no more mutants” curse. In the interest of equal time, this go around we’ll be taking a look the variant covers that shipped with 2007’s Messiah Complex, the story that introduced Hope to the Marvel Universe. The story stands as an important part of X-history and a who’s who of top artists turned in some beautiful cover artwork for the thirteen-part crossover.
As expected, last week’s Monday Night Raw from Boston dedicated a lot of time to the Rock and John Cena with their upcoming match at WrestleMania XXVIII. Thankfully both men were in attendance to move things along, unlike this week’s Warm Up at MLD where we’re wishing Brian best of luck in “all of his future endeavors.” We’ve brought our old friend “The Jason” up from developmental to get ready for tonight’s Raw in Cleveland, Ohio.
As Marvel’s Avengers versus X-Men event looms on the horizon and Avengers: The Children’s Crusade wrapped up this week, this edition of Standard Deviations takes a look back at the set of variant cover images from 2005’s House of M. The Scarlet Witch’s “no more mutants” spell has been a defining moment for the Marvel Universe and set both of these recent series in motion. While the significance of House of M‘s story is clear, the series was also one of the first high profile examples of the return of variant coves since their hey day in the 1990s speculator market.