Sunday, November 30, 2014

Variant solicitations to go with those variant covers, sent here from Earth-Caleb

When DC released their last round of solicitations—for their books shipping in February of next year—they included plenty of Harley Quinn variant covers, in which the suddenly super-popular character appears on the covers of the books with the title characters.

As was the case with previous themed variant programs—Batman '66 variants by Mike Allred, Drawyn Cooke draws whatever Darwyn Cooke wants variants by Darwyn Cooke, even some of the Flash or monster variants by various artists—the variant covers generally looked a lot more light-hearted, a lot more fun and a lot more all-around interesting than the regular covers. Additionally, many of them were drawn by better artists...or, if not objectively "better," than at least artists with a more individualistic style, artists whose work stands out as strikingly different than so much of the New 52 line's (thankfully starting to erode a bit) "house style."

In writing about those variants when the solicits were released, I pulled out The Flash cover as an example of one that seemed to suggest a more interesting story than the one that would actually appear in the book, and wished the interiors matched the variant cover rather than matching the regular cover.

Which got me thinking.

Later, I went back and tried to imagine stories to match all the Harley variants (some of which were much easier to do than for others), to be drawn by the cover artists rather than the interior artists and written by the regular artists and, um, me, even if my contribution was simply to write the solicitation that a real comics writer would then flesh out. So, um, please enjoy this bit of fantasy solicitation writing, I guess...? Hey, don't judge me! Everyone needs hobbies!


ACTION COMICS #39
Written by GREG PAK and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by NICOLA SCOTT and DANNY MIKI
On sale FEBRUARY 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
After a long night of drinking at villains bar The Dark Side, Terra-Man has taken all the ridicule he can stand from Harley Quinn. Where does she get off making fun of him? He spends his time trying to take down the most powerful superhero in the universe, whereas Harley and her stupid boyfriend can't even kill a single normal human being who dresses like a bat. They decide to settle things with a bet: If Harley can ride Superman for eight seconds without being thrown, she can have Terra-Man's flying robot horse. And if Superman throws her? Then she's gotta trade in her clown get-up for a country and western costume. Can Harley break the Man of Steel? Not if she plays fair, but since when did Harl ever play fair?


AQUAMAN #39
Written by
JEFF PARKER and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by AMANDA CONNER
On sale FEBRUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Harley's had it with henchmen: They're not the sharpest tools in the shed, they're greedy and prone to double-cross each other or—worse still—her, and they have a tendency to squeal as soon as Batman threatens to beat them up or dangles them over a ledge. That's why she'd decided her new gang will be an all-dolphin one: They're brilliant, they'll do just about anything she tells them for no bigger pay off than a bucket or two of fish, and it's not like they can ever rater her out. Even if they wanted to, it's not like there are any crimefighters who can talk to dolphins. There aren't any crimefighters who talk to dolphins, right? Because if there were any, that could potentially jeopoardize Harley's entire operation.


BATGIRL #39
Written by CAMERON STEWART, BRENDEN FLETCHER and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale FEBRUARY 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Batgirl thinks she's so cool, with her new costume, her hipster neighborhood and her naturally red hair that she didn't even need to be dunked into a vat of chemical waste to get. Well, let's see how she handles an all-out assault by the Crown Princess of Crime on her beloved Burnside neighborhood! Oh, I guess she can handle it pretty well, huh? Stupid Batgirl...


BATMAN #39
Written by SCOTT SNYDER and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Backup story written by SCOTT SNYDER, JILL THOMPSON and JAMES TYNION IV
Art and cover by JILL THOMPSON
Backup story art by DUSTIN NGUYEN
On sale FEBRUARY 11 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
In this story set early in Harley's career, she goes up against Batman solo for the first time and discovers something the Arkham inmates never told her before: Batman is hawt! Suddenly Harley finds herself crushing on the man her boss and boyfriend Mister J. has devoted his life to crushing. But does Harley really want Bats in her belfry, or is she just trying to make her Puddin' jealous? And will either scenario make The Joker want to murder her any less? Love triangles don't get any sharper than this! Plus, in the backup story, the inmates and Mahreen finally learn the truth about The Joker!


BATMAN AND ROBIN #39
Written by PETER J. TOMASI and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
On sale FEBRUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
The Ventriloquist is muscling in on Coney Island. Harley Quinn can take the bespectacled and be-bowtied little nobody no problem, but his boss Scarface is a certified criminal genius, and cold-blooded maniac killer to boot. To win this one, Harley's going to have to fight puppets with puppets, and her new best buddies Batman and Robin are fully articulated!



BATMAN/SUPERMAN #19
Written by GREG PAK and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by J.G. JONES
On sale FEBRUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Harley Quinn proves herself the greatest supervillain of all-time when she lays out the World's Finest in no time flat, and takes down the rest of the Justice League, The Teen Titans and scores of superheroes she can't even name. Just nobody tell her those aren't really superheroes, they're just unfortunate cosplayers who found themselves looking at the business end of a cartoonishly large wooden mallet. Can professional comics writer Jimmy Palmiotti end Harley's reign of terror, without ending his own lucrative royalty checks, before anyone gets hurt? Well, more badly hurt than they already are, anyway. Have you ever been hit with a cartoonishly large wooden mallet? Those things hurt.


CATWOMAN #39
Written by GENEVIEVE VALENTINE and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by JIM BALENT
On sale FEBRUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
Because you demanded it! Well, not demanded it, but thought about it, even fantasized about it, in the deep, dark recesses of your mind, but you'd never admit it, you beast. Jim Balent returns to Catwoman, and he's bringing Harley Quinn with him because two Gotham City Sirens are better than one! It's double the action and double the double entendres when Harley Quinn and Catwoman engage in the sexiest catfight we can get away with n a T+ comic!

DETECTIVE COMICS #39
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL, BRIAN BUCCELLATO and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by DAVE JOHNSON
On sale FEBRUARY 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
So there Harley Quinn was, sitting in The Joker's study in the Ha-Ha-Hacienda one night, bleeding out, slipping into unconsciousness. What can she do to make the decent people of Gotham City afraid of her, she thought. And then it happened. A baseball bat smashed through the window, knocked over the bust of The Joker and hit her on the head. "A bat!" she thought, "That's it! It's an omen...I shall become a girl that hits people in the head with a baseball bat!" She knew that the people of Gotham City were a superstitious and cowardly lot, and they feared being hit in the head with baseball bats. Before Harley ever picked up a comically large wooden hammer, before Barbara Gordon ever donned a cape, Harley Quinn was the original Batgirl of Gotham City! Join us for this very special look back at her earliest encounters with Batman in a little story we like to call "Harley Quinn: Year Pun."

THE FLASH #39
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and VAN JENSEN and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by AMANDA CONNER
...
On sale FEBRUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
...
It's time once again for the annual Flash/Superman race for charity, but Superman is a no-show: It seems he's all tied up at the moment. Harley offers to fill in for Supes, and while she may be a wanted super-criminal, The Flash wouldn't want to disappoint all those widows and orphans expecting that charity money by arresting Harley before the race, would he? But how can Harley hope to keep up with The Fastest Man Alive? Don't worry; she's seen every Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote cartoon, like, a zillion times, and has a cheetah-pulled chariot jam-packed with plans for stopping super-fast foes. The Flash likes birdseed, right...?


GRAYSON #7
Written by TIM SEELEY, TOM KING and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by DAN PANOSIAN
On sale FEBRUARY 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
...
How's that old saying go? You can take the boy out of Gotham, but you can't take the homicidal maniacs from Gotham off his back? Something like that? Dick Grayson may have left his hometown and his Nightwing identity behind, but even globe-trotting super-spies sometimes have to put up with the likes of Harley Quinn, Agent of H.A.R.L.E.Y. Q.U.I.N.N.


GREEN LANTERN #39
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by MIKE McKONE
On sale FEBRUARY 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
In this issue: Hal Jordan gets hit on the head...a lot! When the Green Lantern captures Harley Quinn with ease, she points out the injustice of a guy with a magic wishing ring taking on a poor, defenseless woman with nothing more powerful than a pretty big hammer in her arsenal, and challenges Hal to a fair(-ish) fight. If he and his Corps can defeat her and her roller derby team, she'll surrender without a fuss. If not, she gets to walk and/or skate away free. No matter who wins, Hal loses...once the images of him in his goofy helmet get online, anyway.


GREEN LANTERN CORPS #39
Written by VAN JENSEN and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover JASON PEARSON
On sale FEBRUARY 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
You know the secret of the old saw-a-person-in-half magic trick? Unfortunately for Green Lantern John Stewart, neither does Harley! If he'd like to live, he better put a ring on it. But is Sector 2814 ready for Green Lantern Harley Quinn? And does that question sound as stupid as we think it does, now that we say it out loud?


HARLEY QUINN #15
Written by AMANDA CONNER, JIMMY PALMIOTTI and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by MARCO D’ALFONSO
On sale FEBRUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
It's a Crisis of Infinite Harleys! When the pre-FLASHPOINT Harley Quinn learns just how successful the new Harley Quinn series is on Earth-Prime, and that The New 52 Harley Quinn is apparently now more popular and (more importantly) making more dough than she is, she decides to pay a little visit to The New 52 to have a little chat with this new lady calling herself Harley Quinn. Impossible you say? Ha! Harley doesn't know the meaning of the word! (Seriously, she has a terrible vocabulary). It's a continuity-crushing crisis, starring 52 different Harleys from all 52 Earths! Just nobody tell Grant Morrison, okay?


JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #9
Written by JEFF LEMIRE and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by MIKEL JANIN
On sale FEBRUARY 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
We interrupt this regularly scheduled space-faring, time-traveling cosmic adventure for 20-page "The Harley Quinn-itus Saga"! Harley's beginning to think that The Suicide Squad might not be the safest super-team to be on, and she's shopping around for membership on a less suicide mission-oriented team. She knows she's not Justice League material, but Justice League
United seems like they'll let just about anyone on the team. Now if she can only convince them of that...maybe by killing them all...?

JUSTICE LEAGUE #39
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
1:25 Variant cover by BABS TARR
On sale FEBRUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The Queen of Fables makes her New 52 debut and uses her amazing powers to completely defeat the Justice League once and for all, trapping them forever inside the pages of a book. As long as no one accidentally opens that book and releases them back into the world, than the villains should be free to do whatever they heck they want from now on. Surely no villain would be dumb enough, clumsy enough to do that, right? And, if they did, they'd have to face the wrath of the Queen of Fables—How will Harley fare when trapped by a nightmarish version of the Commedia dell'arte cast of stock characters?

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #39
Written by J.M. DeMATTEIS and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by JOE QUINONES
On sale FEBRUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
What, you think Harley disguising herself as Swamp Thing to infiltrate "Justice League Dark" is weird? That's not weird. You know what is weird? The fact that Swamp Thing's not really real; he's ALWAYS been Harley Quinn in a costume! That's right, everything you thought you knew about Swamp Thing is wrong! Join us on this crash course of retconned Swamp Thing history, from the cover of HOUSE OF SECRETS #92 to the New 52! Is this for real? Of course it is. That, or Harley ate something strange and psychoactive growing out of Swampy that she probably shouldn't have...


SINESTRO #10
Written by CULLEN BUNN and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by IAN BERTRAM
On sale FEBRUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Ugh. That hipster mustache. That severe widow's peak. That bright pink complexion that doesn't go with either Green Lantern green or Sinestro Corps yellow. Even the name, "Sinestro;" he might as well call himself Bad Guy-o. Can you say "make over"...? Sinestro can't. In fact, all he seems to be able to say are "Arrrrggh!" and "Die!" and "Kill you!" when Harley offers some friendly advice to Hal Jordan's archenemy.


SUPERGIRL #39
Written by K. PERKINS, MIKE JOHNSON and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by JOE BENITEZ
On sale FEBRUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
You'll believe a girl can die. Harley wants an introduction to Kara's cousin, the Man of Handomeness. Supergirl wants left alone. Does she have the super-patience to stand up to Harley Quinn's powers to annoy? Only time—and this particular comic book—will tell.


SUPERMAN #39
Written by GEOFF JOHNS and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by AMANDA CONNER
On sale FEBRUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
He is one of the most powerful to ever walk the face of the earth. She is...not. But she does have a hunk of Red Kryptonite, and she's not afraid to smash it into pieces small enough to fit in a pea-shooter, sling-shot, cream pie and other fool-proof delivery mechanisms to chuck at Superman. By the time Harley's done with him, Superman's going to wish this was an Imaginary Story. Continued in this month's issue of THE FLASH.


TEEN TITANS #7
Written by WILL PFEIFER and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by SEAN “CHEEKS” GALLOWAY
On sale FEBRUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
In an attempt to move one from The Joker once and for all, Harley's trying online dating. And she thinks she's met a pretty good prospect. He's got killer fashion tastes, looks a little like a living marionette doll, he's a supervillain and his idea of a good first date is to trap the Teen Titans inside a video game. Could The Toyman be Mr. Right...? It probably depends on whether or not the Titans can beat him at his own game and send him to a maximum security prison or not.


SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #16
Written by PETER J. TOMASI and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and by FRANCIS MANAPUL
On sale FEBRUARY 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
It's Valentine's Day, and love is in the air! And that's worse than Beijing smog if you happen to be bitter and alone on Valentine's Day, like poor Harley, whose longest, happiest relationship was with history's worst mass-murderer, a sadistic evil clown who has tried to kill her AT LEAST as many times as he's kissed her. So this year Harl's decided to play Reverse Cupid, driving lovers apart with arrows—regular old non-magical pointy metal-tipped arrows. Unfortunately for Harley, Cupid's aunt Wonder Woman and her new beau Superman aren't going to let her turn this Valentine's Day into a massacre.


WONDER WOMAN #39
Written by MEREDITH FINCH and J. CALEB MOZZOCCO
Art and cover by PHIL JIMENEZ
On sale FEBRUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Bad news? Wonder Woman has been defeated by one of her Amazon sisters, and is no longer their chosen ambassador to Man's World. Worse news? It was Harley Quinn who has defeated her and taken her place. What would the DC Universe be like today if Harley had taken Wondy's place five years ago? It would be a lot like the contents of this comic, which no Wonder Woman fan will want to miss. Well, except Wonder Woman herself. She's not going to like it one bit. Especially not page 3. Or 5. Or 17. Oh, is she going to hate page 17!

4 comments:

culturewarreporters.com said...

This is hands-down my favourite of all the things you've ever written. I'm not even a DC guy and I would read/buy every one of these.

Jer said...

This is hilarious - I hope another stupid cover stunt inspires you to do this again.

SallyP said...

Oh God...I would so read these. ALL of them!

Laplace Zombie said...

This is not the first time you've proposed more interesting comics than the ones we eventually get.

Am I the only one that thinks the better looking covers deviate more from Harley's New 52 uniform?