Heroes in Crisis will explore the trauma of superhero violence after everyone at a crisis center called Sanctuary dies, but the super-mega-crossover event comic by Tom King and Clay Mann may spawn a crisis of its own… a Crisis of Infinite Variant Covers!
In a press release today, DC Comics unveiled new variants for Heroes in Crisis #1 from J.G. Jones, Mark Brooks, and Francesco Mattina.
Joining the HEROES IN CRISIS team of Tom King and Clay Mann are artists J.G. Jones, Mark Brooks and Francesco Mattina (art shown above), who will be providing chase variants for issue #1, and Ryan Sook (art shown below), who will be providing themed open-to-order variant covers for all seven issues of the series.
Additionally, DC revealed that Ryan Sook will produce a series of themed variants available for open order by retailers, exploring the top traumatic moments in DC history (collect 'em all!). Said Sook:
I think these momentous occasions fit so naturally into the scope of the project as a whole. Many devoted readers know these events, but even new readers can instantly connect to them or may be aware of them already. Like the death of Superman or Batman's back being broken—these defining moments have already come out in other media like film, animation and games, because they are lasting, character-defining moments. They go beyond the comic book page into something human that we can all relate to. It's what makes the series so compelling, to see how the heroes have to deal with [trauma].
They deal with the date of the stories' original release but without a year ascribed. That is deliberate. I researched the exact dates, but the trauma can't be locked in to history when you carry it with you; it becomes kind of timeless.
In a veritable filibuster that may mark the longest anyone has ever spoken about variant covers in a single stretch, Sook continued for another two full paragraphs:
Covers should be instantly impactful and visceral in communicating an idea or concept. That's not more, or less, pressure but it is different [from interiors] because your focus changes. I still want to tell a story with that one image but don't want to lose sight of the visual impact it should have. I'm gathering many elements of a larger story and arranging them on a single canvas in a way that hopefully accomplishes that.
The covers themselves fall in line with the gravity and heaviness of HEROES IN CRISIS' theme, which Sook also kept in mind. "It is my intent for each cover that I do to be as suitable to the material it's wrapped around as possible. So every image then is influenced and directed by what I am dealing with. I want to connect with the tone of the material in color and technique for that to work. It's instinctive more than anything. The tone of this book is hopeful overall. But only after getting through the dregs, as it were. So for these covers, these moments that I'm handling, we're looking at a snapshot of the horror.
The press release revealed which traumatic events made the variant listicle:
Following Sook's depiction of the death of Superman on the cover of issue one, Sook's subsequent HEROES IN CRISIS variants will focus on Batman's back being broken by Bane for issue two, Wonder Woman killing Maxwell Lord for issue three, Aquaman losing his hand for issue four, Jason Todd's death for issue five and Hal Jordan killing Kilowog for issue six. Issue seven will feature a special yet-to-be-announced Harley Quinn moment to round out the series. All of Sook's variants in this series will receive a spot varnish treatment to give a photo-finish shine to each case file snapshot.
Heroes in Crisis #1 hits stores on September 26th.