UPDATE (9/25): Bleeding Cool has approached Marvel, it seems Manara’s covers haven’t actually been pulled. He is still slated to create variant covers for upcoming issues Thor and Axis, as well as other Marvel comics. His variants will not be appearing in Thor #1 or #2 or Axis #1 due to scheduling constraints on his part, not because Marvel pulled the plug on his work. Marvel’s editor-in-chief Alex Alonso told Comic Book Resources, “Clearly, unequivocally, I want to state that this is only a scheduling problem.”
Several comic book fans were not thrilled at all when Milo Manara’s variant cover for Spider-Woman was released, myself included. Depicting Jessica Drew in a highly sexualized, nearly physically impossible pose made some female comic book fans that, once again, they were simply not welcome to play with the “real heroes” of the comic book world–which was kind of interesting, considering Marvel recently announced one of their longest-standing heroes, Thor, would be a woman starting in October:
Well, it seems that Marvel took the backlash against Manara’s cover seriously. The artist was slated to create a variant for Thor #2 and Avengers and X-Men: AXIS #1, and it seems his name has been removed from the comic’s credits. Instead, Siya Oum will be handling the Avengers and X-Men variant, and the Thor #2 variant artist hasn’t been revealed yet.
Obviously, Marvel isn’t dropping Manara completely. The man does have several fans of his work, and there were several comic readers who didn’t understand what the big deal was about the Spider-Woman variant in the first place. Sure, I’m not a fan of his stuff, but it makes sense that Marvel would continue to commission work from him since he does seem to still have some relevance (and makes money) in the comic book world. However, it seems Marvel will be exercising a bit of discretion on where his work is featured. But more than anything, can I just say how thrilled I am that he won’t be doing a variant for Thor (at least at this point)?