Standard Deviations vol. 13:
Marvel’s “Thor Goes Hollywood” variants

Posted by under *like, Comics |

With this weekend’s premiere of Marvel Studio’s The Avengers (and as part of our month long Standard Deviations series dedicated to the team), we’re taking a look at some past sets of variants shipped to coincide with the premieres of the solo movies featuring the Avengers’ “Big Three:” Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. In this edition, we spotlight May 2011’s “Thor Goes Hollywood” variants that featured an excellent theme paying homage to some of American cinema’s most iconic films. Just about every image is immediately identifiable whether you’re a film buff or not.

The best image of this set for my money is Sebastian Fiumara’s homage to The Social Network on the cover of Iron Man 2.0 #4. Not only is it a great image with fun text, it pushed the book’s logo off onto the sidebar. Obviously having a giant “IRON MAN 2.0” wouldn’t fit with the design of The Social Network one-sheet poster, but moving it also addresses a design element that I think hurts these covers in general. Each of them bears the names of characters unrelated to the image (and Thor) as the logos for the books dominate the image. Even though they used a consistent and subdued font for these covers rather than the typical logo designs, they still seem particularly gigantic. It doesn’t help that Marvel didn’t include an issue of Thor during the month these books shipped, so the central figure’s name doesn’t appear on any of these covers. The closest we get is Journey Into Mystery (Thor’s original title), and as a result Lee Weeks’ Raiders of the Lost Ark image takes second place for me. Greg Horn’s Matrix and Jaws inspired images for FF #2 and Heroes for Hire #5 are also pretty great, but I’m giving third place to John Tyler Christopher’s Forrest Gump inspired image for Black Panther #517.

While there are plenty of fun things happening throughout this set, some covers just don’t work for me. I understand there are constraints when creating an homage to a movie poster, but a few of these images just employ familiar imagery and miss something in the composition and backgrounds. Regardless, it was nice to see that this set had a unifying them that ran deeper than simply showcasing Thor, something that I found lacking in the Iron Man by Design set. All of the Thor Goes Hollywood variants shipped as either 1:15 or 1:20 variants of their respective books, and current values are in the $5-15 range a year later. The entire set was collected at the end of 2011 in a Thor Goes Hollywood one-shot.

Marvel’s Thor Goes Hollywood variants published in May 2011:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #658 by Paul Renaud inspired by Aliens
  • Avengers Academy #13 by Amanda Conner inspired by Coyote Ugly
  • Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #517 by John Tyler Christopher inspired by Forrest Gump
  • Captain America #617 by Khoi Pham inspired by Silence of the Lambs
  • FF #2 by Greg Horn inspired by The Matrix
  • Generation Hope #7 by Gabriel Hardman inspired by Inception
  • Heroes for Hire #5 by Greg Horn inspired by Jaws
  • Incredible Hulks #627 by Mike Del Mundo inspired by Titanic
  • Iron Man 2.0 #4 by Sebastian Fiumara inspired by The Social Network
  • Iron Man #503 by Sebastian Fiumara in homage to The Shining
  • Journey Into Mystery #622 by Lee Weeks inspired by Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • New Avengers #11 by Amanda Conner inspired by The Graduate
  • Secret Avengers #12 by Michael Kaluta inspired by Metropolis
  • Uncanny X-Force #7 by Mike Del Mundo inspired by Frankenstein
  • Uncanny X-Men #535 by Humberto Ramos inspired by The Usual Suspects
  • Wolverine #8 by Dale Keown inspired by Rocky IV
  • Wolverine: The Best There Is #5 by Simone Bianchi inspired by Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • X-23 #9 by Jim Steranko inspired by King Kong
  • X-Men #10 by John Tyler Christopher inspired by Saturday Night Fever

Read more entries from the Standard Deviations series on MyLatestDistraction, and be sure to check out the rest of our Avengers themed installments:


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