Twisted variant theatre.

§ November 29th, 2021 § Filed under variant covers § 1 Comment

So I remembered the just the one action figure cover variant from when DC did ’em a while back, the Batman and Robin #29 from 2014:


…which I kept because of the Swamp Thing appearance, natch. And while I knew there were more, as part of DC’s attempts to boost orders on their New 52 line, I could not for the life of me remember any of the others. I mean, I know I ordered them and carried them at the previous place of employment, but this was during the lead-up to me opening my own shop, so, you know, maybe I had my mind occupied with other things.

Looking at the cover again reminded me this was a tie-in to the Robot Chicken TV show, which animated action figures in humorously irreverent sketches. (Worth noting that the show itself was inspired by similar “photo-funnies” content featuring action figures in Wizard magazine publications…in fact, writers on the feature went on to create the TV show.)

Specifically, the 2014 covers (of which there were 22(!)) were created to tie into a DC Comics-centric Robot Chicken TV special. And in all this Googling about, I discovered this was the second TV special, with the first in 2012 being advertised by DC then on, far as I can tell, one sole variant cover:


Why just Aquaman? Well, he’s apparently the most hilarious of superheroes, an easy punchline for hack writers.

Anyway, like the MAD variants discussed last time, they got a second run with the aforementioned 22(exclamation mark!) variants in 2014, featuring gags like this:


Hm. Well, your mileage may vary I guess, depending on how funny you find the show itself. I’ve never seen it, beyond, I think, some Star Wars gag years ago, and maybe some incidental advertising…but I looked at a few clips on YouTube and it’s fine. And looking at the Wiki entry there’s certainly some impressive voice talent puttin’ in some time there.

But back to the covers: honestly, looking at that gallery I linked above (and will link here again so you don’t have to go searching) I have no recollection of any of these save that Batman and Robin I mentioned. I don’t even remember this Justice League Dark variant:

…even though I surely must have kept one for myself. No way that would have slipped past me.

The 2014 books were 1 in 25 ratio variants…again, a silly thing to do, as making these freely orderable may have resulted in fewer inflated orders for comics that may not sell just to get the special cover, and more copies moved to customers who were amused by the variants. But that does explain the low estimated print runs you saw on that gallery page I’m not going to link to for a third time. Some random eBay checking revealed prices in the $10 range, mostly, but some optimistic chap has the Wonder Woman variant at $85.

I think, though, my favorite gag on all these covers was the one used for Aquaman #29:


Okay, I admit it, Aquaman is hilarious!

One Response to “Twisted variant theatre.”

  • […] apparent that the cover isn’t what’s inside, especially with gag covers like the MAD or Robot Chicken variants. But even those had more than one puzzled person perusing the rack, cracking the covers […]

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