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Marvel to Capitalize on 2010s Nostalgia with Marvel Phase 2 Variants

For years, Marvel has effectively weaponized nostalgia to increase comic book sales. In fact, exploiting readers' fleeting sense of youth and warm feelings toward stories published decades ago is one of Joe Quesada's 22 Cheap Sales-Boosting Gimmicks That Always Work, as everyone is well aware. But there's just one problem: there are only so many comics from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s that can be used to trick aging Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials into buying more modern comics and, since Marvel has heavily tapped the resource, rehashing nearly every popular super-mega-crossover event of the eras by this point, they're running out of old stories to capitalize on. What's a corporation to do?

Thankfully, the research and development department at the House of Ideas has made a breakthrough discovery: as the world tumbles into disarray from fractured politics, climate disasters, and the coronavirus pandemic, the window for nostalgia is ever-widening. In fact, anything up to 2015 is eligible for a nostalgic cash-in at this point. Seizing this opportunity, Marvel has created a bunch of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 variant covers to slap on March's Avengers books. A press release from Marvel follows:

This March, Marvel Comics will continue to spotlight the Marvel Cinematic Universe with stunning variant covers by some of the industry's top artists! Following November's INFINITY SAGA PHASE 1 VARIANTS come six brand-new covers paying homage to Phase 2 of the MCU's Infinity Saga. Adorning upcoming issues of your favorite comic book series, the INFINITY SAGA PHASE 2 VARIANT COVERS will depict the characters and moments from this second era of legendary MCU films.

Alexander Lozano showcases Tony Stark's epic arsenal of armors as seen in Marvel Studios' Iron Man 3, Ryan Stegman delivers an electrifying illustration of Thor's battle with Malekith from Marvel Studios' Thor: The Dark World, Declan Shalvey captures the explosive energy of Marvel Studios' Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Skan revisits the first outing of the Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy, Valerio Schiti depicts the epic showdown between the Avengers and Ultron from Marvel Studios' Avengers: Age of Ultron, and David Nakayama puts his spin on the small-scale showdown between Ant-Man and Yellowjacket from Marvel Studios' Ant-Man!

Below, see the covers and their release dates.

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Jude TerrorAbout Jude Terror

A prophecy claims that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Unfortunately, nobody can tell when the comics industry has reached its "darkest days" because it somehow keeps finding new lows to sink to. No matter! Jude Terror stands vigilant, bringing the snarkiest of comic book and pro wrestling clickbait to the undeserving readers of Bleeding Cool.
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