Comics has officially reached a new plateau in the variant era.
Today, DC Comics announced that for their highly promoted February launch of a "Justice League of America" title by Geoff Johns and David Finch, they will release 52 variant covers for its first issue. Aside from promotionally lining up with their "New 52" line of superhero books, the number will also represent a cover for each of the 50 United States and two representing Washington DC and U.S. Commonwealth Puerto Rico.
This news comes via MTV Geek who also noted two new tie-in series will also launch around the title in February – a "Vibe" comic from "Arrow" writer Andrew Kreisberg and artist Pete Woods and a "Katana" series written by Ann Nocenti and drawn by artist Alex Sanchez. As a result of that second book, Nocenti will step down from "Green Arrow" to make way for writer Jeff Lemire starting with issue #17. All three monthly series are expected to connect with the new Justice League monthly.
DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio shared his thoughts on the move with MTV, saying,"We've done a lot of great things with the 'New 52, and now we're putting the focus back on Justice League, with the launch of 'Justice League of America'. We want to make people realize that this is one of our key franchises, and we plan to build it out not just with the main 'Justice League' titles, but other books that tie into them as well." He added of the 52-cover gimmick, "Given the title of the comic and the year in which we're announcing -- an election year -- we wanted to celebrate the country, as well as the various states."
While DC is not "incentivising" the covers – making them only available if retailers up their orders on "Justice League of America" #1 – the end result of the stunt will likely be the same: retailers ordering higher than they may otherwise in order to get a number of different covers in the hands of collectors. The variant practice has come under criticism of late as a possible symptom of a comics market less healthy than it may appear on the outside, but publishers and their representatives have often pushed back against that view, often citing a common push against variant under any circumstances as Marvel SVP David Gabriel recently did in an interview on CBR.
Whatever your take, there will be scads of region-specific "Justice League of America" covers to pick from come February. For more, see MTV Geek and stay tuned to CBR News.