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Marvel takes a jab at DC with 53 State Birds Variant cover

Last month DC Comics announced it will celebrate the February launch of Justice League of America with a staggering 52 variant covers that not only hit that magic number but also feature the flags of each of the 50 states plus Washington, D.C., and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (better luck next time, Northern Mariana Islands). As sales gimmicks go, it’s certainly … excessive, something even the publisher seems to recognize.

Not one to pass up a chance to rib (and one-up) the competition, Marvel has now revealed Stuart Immonen’s clever — if not exactly accurately named — 53 State Birds Variant for February’s Uncanny X-Men #1. As so many Marvel variant covers do, this one features the ubiquitous Deadpool and “all 52 state birds (+1).”

“Ornithology is one of America’s greatest past times,” Senior Editor Nick Lowe said in a statement. “With Inauguration Day and spring just around the corner, we could think of no better way than to celebrate our history than with a beaked representative from every state including Puerto Rico and then some!”

Check out Immonen’s full cover below. Uncanny X-Men #1 goes on sale Feb. 13.

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Comments

11 Comments

if DC hadn’t thought of this first, you can bet marvel would have done it. then again, by the end of 2013 there will likely be 52 different avengers books anyhow….

Certainly it’s jealousy of DC’s success with the New 52, but that cover made me laugh. I expect DC to return the favor. And Marvel NOW! is a lame attempt to emulate DC’s blanket reboot, but everyone knows that.

This is just a good-natured ribbing from Marvel; they may be in competition, but they’ve always been more like friends that call eachother out for their bullshit. You’ll never see an out-and-out slam from one of them because A) they recognize that in this industry, if one company is doing well, it helps the rest because it’s drawing people into the shops and they might get some spill-over sales and B) they share so much talent that rarely do you have a creator who hasn’t worked for both of them, and those creators aren’t going to slam a company they used to work for because they might want to go back there one day.

It’s a funny gag, but you can guarantee DC will get them with one of their own down the road.

Thank you, Robot 6, for sharing this, omg what a fun cover.

Can you imagine the artist learning, “53 birds?! I gotta draw 53 birds?!!”. Ha. And wow Stuart Immomen hit it out of the park.

@Evan, “Certainly it’s jealousy of DC’s success with the New 52…” What? That makes no sense, nor does “I expect DC to return the favor.” What favor? Returned how? DC is pulling back on variant covers, a sense of fun is not their strong point, and I expect they’ll be more than glad to bury this and any future referencing of their cover faux pas as quickly as possible.

@Anonymous, I’m glad someone else can see it for what it is, comic fans often take things like this far too seriously. It’s all in good fun.

This is funny, and the cover is great.

About the only thing that might beat this would be announcing a new comic starring a redheaded, butt-kicking woman analogue of, say, Moon Knight… and then very publicly pursuing Gail Simone to write it.

Funny piss-take on another one of nuDC’s ’90s-era MARVEL-marketing gimmicks (Gotta buy them ALL!)…

Thumbs up at the corporate sniping.

Marvel NOW! is a lame attempt to emulate DC’s blanket reboot, but everyone knows that…

And EVERYONE knows that The New 52 was DC’s desperate publishing-wide* copying of MARVEL’s “Ultimates” line, right?

(*excepting Morrison’s Batbook continuity bubble)

DC fanboy much?

/mainstream comics

I’m guessing the Emu is the 53rd Bird on this cover.

There aren’t 53 birds… The northern cardinal and the western meadowlark are duplicated among many states. Although some states also have game birds, which I believe show up on the cover. Compare and contrast with the Wikipedia listing.

Where’s the Rhode Island Red? I see the Blue Hen (from Delaware).

Which state is the Red Breasted Loon from?

It’s hard to publish 40 decent books a month (not to mention 52) but the variant covers are spinning out of control again, it’s almost 90′s insanity again.

What is ACTUALLY happening is that BOTH of these companies are vying position as a result of the LOUD Graphic Studios (LGS). LGS was born out of the repetitive status quo in comics and LGS has called out both MARVEL & DC for pushing liberalism and anti-Americanism in their comics in addition to the too-many-to-count contradictions in their scripts. This is specifically why LGS, under our brand, Envision Comics, has created the UNITED STATE HERO CORPS (USHC), and both of these publishers are aware of our feature concept. Understand that this is the ONLY reason why they are coming out with state-specific issues. Earlier this year, my attorneys sent a letter to DC to let them know that we are aware of their mimicking tactics. Today my attorneys are preparing a letter for Marvel as well because LGS is perceptive and keenly aware of developments in the genre of comic entertainment and will make every opportunity to protect our creations and their domain — especially when it appears that archaic, left-wing publishers are mimicking our concepts in the hopes of trying to sustain their own fading ideas. It would not be the first time a large company “borrowed” the ideas of a competitor for its own benefit.

The USHC is an order of 51 male superheroes modeled after the 50 American states and Washington D.C. Each USHC member reports directly to the governor of their respective state in their duties to protect citizens from dangerous threats, carrying out special tasks, and accomplishing amazing heroic feats. In moments where national security is threatened, the American President has the authority option to assemble the USHC into the world’s most powerful, united fighting front…

Envision Comics is a PRO-American, pro-conservative comic brand that boasts nearly 600 characters in a modern realm that is tethered towards reality. LGS is working feverishly to launch our concepts into the public domain. We have superheroes, villains, mercenaries, civilian characters, functional organizations, and remarkable concepts that make our comic realm quite vast. We have nearly 600 characters in the identified character sets. We have 35 primary superheroes and corresponding villains; we also have multiple hero teams divided into two categories: UHF (government-controlled Unified Hero Federation teams) and Independent (non-UHF) teams; the two divisions do not trust each other. Our villainous organizations include the Democrat Party and a plethora of other left-wing organizations.

Right now, LGS is in the works of putting together comic creation teams from every state. The creators will work in coordination with LGS as the writers incorporate local and national events into the scripts. What sets Envision apart from other comic brands is that our creations allow for socially-relevant scripts, incorporating politics, worldviews, and pop-culture into our publications. In fact, the Envision Universe is seared with seven principles that structure the realm, and therefore the scripts, into a believable construct that no other comic brand can credibly copy. What this means is that the principles in our version of comics will not allow for time-travel, alternate universes, characters returning from the dead, mutants, aliens or dimensional space travel, etc… While other comic companies abandon principles, Envision Comics embraces principles and this prevents us from being just another “me-too” comic publishing brand. The only setting in our comic realm is on planet earth in the present day and time. Envision Comics is tagged with the slogan “21st-Century Relevance.”

Our character set is so refined and relevant to today’s most controversial topics. Let Marvel & DC leapfrog each other on producing inappropriate homosexual characters in their offerings. While they’re busy catering to the special interests of sexual behavior, Envision Comics has come up with something far more substantial – the world’s only hero that has survived an abortion attempt on her life.

Marvel & DC have long mimicked each other’s concepts, and now that a newcomer has come along with a pro-American concept that will resonate with Americans while having the potential to seriously challenge their long-in-the-tooth offerings, they are working hard to mimic our feature concept before our official launch. As I’ve heard it said before, imitation is the biggest form of flattery.

Landon

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