Standard Deviations vol. 1:
X-Men: Regenesis variant covers

Posted by under *like, Comics |

I am an unabashed fan and reader of Marvel Comics’ X-Men, but I am also a collector. As a consequence, I’ll go out of my way to track down variant covers of issues from most titles in the X-franchise. A quick disclaimer before we go on, I know the interior pages are identical, I know the book will not command the price I’ll pay for it going forward, and I know I can get a high resolution digital version of the cover image on my computer that will be far more accessible long term. I seek this stuff out because I want it in my collection. It’s OK if you want to consider it a disorder, disease or other malady; synonyms are really just variant covers for words.

This Fall is an important time for the X-Men as we enter a rebranding period called X-Men: Regenesis (which you can read a lot more about here). This banner brings with it a number of changes across the publishing line including two new titles in the form of Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s Wolverine and the X-Men and Kieron Gillen and Carlos Pacheco’s new volume of Uncanny X-Men (look for our review of issue #1 this Wednesday). First issues are always fair game for variant covers and these titles are no exception. What I find interesting is that the number and relative scarcity of this round of variants is thankfully reduced compared to the relatively recent launch of Victor Gischler and Paco Medina’s X-Men series in 2010.

As you can see abvove, the first issue of that particular X-Men series had no less than 8 different covers ranging in price from $12 to $200 from New York’s Midtown Comics. This time around, we’re only seeing 4 covers for each of the two new ongoing series: the regular cover, a “blank” variant, a section of an interlocking image by either Nick Bradshaw (Wolverine and the X-Men) or Dale Keown (Uncanny X-Men), and one of a two-part cover image by Frank Cho. A Bradshaw (Wolverine’s “gold team” titles) or Keown (Cyclops’ “blue team” titles) variant will be available for all eight of the Regenesis titles matching the teaser images that revealed each team’s new line up. These are all priced at $10 from Midtown and ship at a ratio of 1:15 (thanks go out to The Comic Speculator for this information) for their respective titles. The Cho variants are less common at 1:25 and the Uncanny X-Men #1 edition is priced at $20. There’s a lot more hype surrounding the launch of these series compared to Gischler and Medina’s X-Men #1, and I would have predicted more variants and gimmicks to go along with it.

I was somewhat surprised to see that the Bradshaw and Cho variants for Wolverine and the X-Men were priced lower than the others at $7 and $15 respectively. Assuming that the price here is inversely proportional to print run, and by extension orders, it would seem that Wolverine and the X-Men #1 was ordered at significantly higher numbers than Uncanny X-Men #1. Given the long history associated with Uncanny and the fact it’s continuing from the previous volume under writer Kieron Gillen, I would have guessed it would have equal or higher numbers compared with the newly launching Wolverine and the X-Men. This isn’t so, and it’s the “Wolverine and…” part of the new series’ title that’s likely responsible.

I’ve made no secret that I’m not much of a Wolverine fan. I don’t dislike the character so much as I dislike the way he’s become synonymous with the X-Men when there are characters there I find far more interesting. Perhaps they seem that way since they haven’t had the number of stories told about them that Wolverine has as they compete for panel time with him. It’s worth noting that the new Uncanny X-Men will be the first “X-Men” title launching without him being a part of the cast since his introduction, and it seems it’s already having an effect on sales. With the way X-Men: Schism played out, and the structure of Regenesis pitting Cyclops and Wolverine against each other, it’s unlikely he’ll be put back into the cast of Uncanny X-Men anytime soon. It should be interesting to see how this plays out both on the page and in terms of monthly sales.

Read more about X-Men: Regenesis on MyLatestDistraction.
and keep up with our reviews as each of the X-titles enter this new era.

Cyclops’s “Gold Team” variants by Dale Keown (preview images):

Wolverine’s “Blue Team” variants by Nick Bradshaw (preview images):

X-Men: Regenesis variants by Frank Cho:

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  • ptb said,

    I feel like I missed an opportunity to point out that variant covers are comic book Halloween costumes.

    Happy Halloween, everyone!

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