Batrimony: A Buyer's Guide to the Variant Covers

 

"This is awesome and helpful." -Tom King

June 4, 2018  Last updated June 16, 2018 7:15 AM EDT

One of the joys of this extraordinary moment in Bat/Cat is Bruce and Selina finally tying the knot in the flagship Batman comic is an event the company wants to mark with the best talent they have, and certainly the talent want in on the most important union in DC Continuity since Lois and Clark.  A number of variant covers have already been revealed for Batman 50, the wedding issue, along with peeks of sketches that may be additional covers or they could be pin-ups or other internal art within the issue.

I’m going to do my best to maintain a list of what’s available and where to get them, but first – before you panic about the sticker shock – relax.  Batman and Catwoman are an iconic power couple on par with Superman and Lois Lane and DC knows that.  They’re doing exactly what they did for Clark and Lois’s nuptials: releasing a wedding album.  Quietly announced a few months ago on the Penguin Publishing site, it will undoubtedly reproduce all the variants, along with important issues like the proposal in Batman 24 and the retrospective of Batman and Catwoman’s 80 year pairing from Batman 44.  It is now available for pre-order through Amazon, (although I personally give my local comic shop first dibs at my money whenever possible.)

Now then, here’s what we know…

 

Batman 50 by Mikel Janin

THE main, official, A cover is this instantly iconic image by Mikel Janin that lit up Twitter on April 4.  It should be available in abundance – but still let your comic shop know now if you’re planning to scoop up ten. 

The B and C variants should, I believe, be available through any local comic shop as long as you subscribe for variants or get on the list now.  Talk to your friendly LCS people and find out…

Batman 50  variant by Arthur AdamsBatman 50 variant by Arthur Adams

B is by Arthur Adams.  One very dramatic Batman, check. Very dramatic Bat Cape, check.  And an awful lot of bats.  Me-ow.
If you're not sure about your LCS's policies, or don't have one, you can always preorder from Forbidden Planet, Unknown Comics, Midtown Comics, etc.

Batman 50 variant by Jim Lee, pencil sketchBatman 50 variant by Jim Lee

C will be Jim Lee & Scott Williams  The pencil sketch seems out of its time tonally.  It is so evocative of Hush, an affair doomed by the limitations of that era's Bruce compared to King's brilliantly fleshed out protagonists.  It can be pre-ordered through several sites specializing in variants, such as Unknown Comics, Forbidden Planet, and of course Midtown.   Pencil Only variant at Legacy Comics.

 Batman 50 variant cover by Joe JuskoJoker Variant by Joe Juskos

Joe Jusko shared his early sketch of this gem on Instagram and let us see it develop in stages.  He gets my personal award for capturing the joi de vivre that defines Selina as I know her and eludes everyone DC Comics has allowed to write her.  THIS is the Selina Kyle who “draws something rich and joyful from the act of living.”  The cover is an exclusive to Midtown Comics and is available through their website.  Late addition: Joker Variant added "by popular demand" June 8.

 Batman 50 Virgin variant-cover by Jae Lee

Midtown is also accepting orders for a Jae Lee "Exclusive" for Dynamic Forces* that is available in multiple forms, black and white, gold foil, with signatures, etc.

DF: Exclusive Cover by Jae Lee

DF: Virgin Variant Cover by Jae Lee

DF: Virgin Dual Pack by Jae Lee

Midtown Comics B&W Jae Lee variant, and you can see their other options: signed copies, foil etc. from the list on that page.

*Somebody doesn't know what exclusive means.  Granted, it might be me.

 Batman 50 variant cover by Dawn Mcteigue

This beautiful Selina and Bruce is by Dawn McTeigue.  It is exclusive to Yancy Street Comics and available through their ebay store.

Batman 50 variant by Jorge Jiminez

And this fierce Jorge Jimenez is exclusive to ZMX Comics, also available for pre-order on ebay.  There is a B&W version also.

 Batman 50 variant by Eric Basaldua

This version by Eric Basaldua adds some purple to Selina’s dress, a Legacy Comics Exclusive.  Black & White, and virgin also available. 

Batman 50 variant by Tyler KirkhamBatman 50 variant by Tyler Kirkham 
Blank Batman 50 variant by Tyler KirkhamBlank Sketchpaper Batman 50 variant by Tyler Kirkham

A wonderful suite of variants by Tyler Kirkham Bruce and Selina in wedding clothes, Bat and Cat in costume, and two with a blank white center - destined, let's face it, for Tom King doodles.  One with a scroll, one with the Batman logo, these boarded blank will actually be on blank cover sketch paper stock.  They are literally made for convention sketches. Whewee, this is going to be fun!
Signed copies available now through pre-order from the artist's website: tylerkirkhamart.com and Unknown Comic Books' Tyler Kirkham Exclusives page

Batman 50 variant by Jason Fabok 

Jason Fabok has created this magnificent image exclusive to Yesteryear Comics, it will be available through their ebay store

Hey, it's our first update!

Neal Adams variant for Batman 50

Is Cape-ripper a word?  It is now.  Neal Adams has arrived on the list with this MUST HAVE for those of us with a certain, um, appetite for the Bat half of the Bat/cat thing.  Colors--those delirious vibrant colors--by Tim Shinn.  This striking piece is available now on the Official Neal Adams Website: the colored version shown here, black and white signed, and the virgin pencil signed.
Just added: Hologram versions of the above - color, b&w, virgin pencil. 

The Bridal Portraits

Batman 50 variant by Warren Louw

"This is it" read the tweet where I first saw this glorious woman, and he was right.  This is the variant all lovers of Selina Kyle will have to own.  By Warren Louw, it is available exclusively at KRS Comics and San Diego Comic Con.

A few eagle-eye fans noted her eyes are blue and not green, but for me personally, given the plethora of proper Catwoman images behind her--the 90s costume, the skirted costume, as well as an unmasked Selina with flowing long hair that defines the real Selina we know and love, the eyes aren't a dealbreaker. 

Cover A is a 3000 print edition. SOLD OUT
Cover B, B&W with trade dress, is 1000 print. SOLD OUT

SDCC Convention sets   SOLD OUT (excluding those he will have on offer at SDCC. Good luck.)

Batman 50 variant by Natalie SandersSelina Kyle Framed Bridal Portrait variant by Natalie Sanders

And then there is this glorious piece, in a similar style but Selina's features a little more mature and sophisticated.  This gem by Natali Sanders for Comic Market Street may not have the assortment of classic Catwoman costumes in the back, but this beauty leads my personal must-have list. 
Late addition: the framed version with the rings added "by popular demand" June 8.

Cover A, the Trade Dress is a 2800 print edition.
Cover B, the framed portrait with the rings, is a 1300 print edition.
Cover C, virgin, is an extremely limited 900 print edition.
Covers A, B and C are all available signed and unsigned.
There is now a fourth covers, ultra limited "Customer Appreciation" edition of 750, given away free (not a typo) with the first purchases of full sets.  Details on the Customer Appreciation Cover and pre-sale from CMS here.

 

Breathe, Bruce.  Remember to breathe.

Selina Kyle Bridal Portrait, Batman 50 variant by Joshua MiddletonSelina Kyle Bridal Portrait B&W, Batman 50 variant by Joshua Middleton

Remember how long they were behind masks for each other, and then look at those eyes.  And then imagine what it's going to be like for him, standing there in his morning coat, seeing those eyes of the woman in the mask.  This unbelievable beauty is by Joshua Middleton, exclusive to Ssalefish Comics.  And I ordered mine before I gave y'all the link.

Color is a 3000 print edition, the black & white is 1500.

A Poker Hand of variants from Clay Mann

Batman and Catwoman by Clay MannBatman 50 True Romance variant by Clay MannBatman 50 Clay Mann variant with Selina in wedding dress

That wonderfully sensual piece we'd seen from Clay Mann at an early stage was a Batman 50 variant after all, and it's even hotter in color.  It's also one of four.  Yes, Clay Mann has joined Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame as the kind of insane genius who would create four separate tasting menus for four individual diners. All for Comic Sketch Art.  There is some confusing terminology between the websites offering, so we'll go slowly.  If it's very important to you, call the store and talk to a human to confirm:

The basic Clay Manm, Cover A trade dress variant appears to be the last one released, with Selina in the wedding dress, not the first one released where she's in the Catwoman costume.

The costume version appears to be called "True Romance"

Thes both appear to be 3000 print runs with a virgin variant of 1250.

Batman 50 Joker variant by Clay MannBatman 50 Bloody Bat Variant by Clay Mann

The second Clay Mann "Joker Variation" replaces those gargoyles with a wedding cake and reimaging Bat and Cat as the toppers with a knife-wielding Joker bearing down to make the cut.  As for "The Bloody Bat"... um, how to put this... Clay, su-btle-ty.  I know, I know, subtlety isn't really something you see a lot of where Joker is concerned, but sometimes, maybe...

The Joker Variant is a 1250 print run and the Bloody Bat a convention run with only 250 sold online.

Available at Comic Sketch Art and Legacy Comics.

Alex Ross

Batman 50 variant by Alex Ross, cover A The Bat Family Batman 50 variant by Alex Ross, Cover B CatwomanBatman 50 variant by Alex Ross, cover c Batman

These exquisite sets by Alex Ross are primarily going to be sold at San Diego Comic Con, but an extremely limited number are available for pre-order through the artist's website beginning June 22.  You can get on the waiting list now, but it is a slightly complicated process as you'll need to view the blog entry describing the sets available (AB or ABC, signed or unsigned) and then get on the list for that particular purchase.

 

Frank Cho Triptych

Batman 50 variant cover by Frank Cho

These three jaw-dropping covers by Frank Cho join together to make a complete image.  Exclusive to 4 Color Beast, you can click through and get on the waiting list now. 
Cover A, Batman is a limited edition of 2800;
Cover B, Catwoman and Nightwing a limited edition of 1200
Cover C, Batgirl and Robin, a limited edition of 1200.

Cover A or the Set of all 3 are offered signed and unsigned.

 

The Full Wedding Party

The Groom's Side, Cover B Robin, Huntress, Black Canary, and BatwomanThe Groom's Side, Cover C Batgirl on a motorcycle, Nightwing, GordonThe Full Wedding Party A-Cover Batman and CatwomanThe Bride's Side, Cover D, Poison Ivy and Penguin, Mr. Freeze, ClayfaceThe Bride's Side, Cover E: Joker and Harley Quinn, Riddler, Ra's al Ghul and a hyena

Now we're talking.  J Scott Campbell has produced an interlocking set of 5-colors, colors by Peter Steigerwald, exclusive to the artist's website. You can get on the waiting list now

Cover A: Batman and Catwoman (central cover), a 2,800 print edition
Cover B: Black Canary, Huntress, and Batwoman, a 2,200 print edition
Cover C: Batgirl on a motorcycle, a 2,200 print edition
Cover D: Poison Ivy and Penguin, a 2,200 print edition
Cover E: Harley Quinn and Joker, a 2,200 print edition

Cover A alone, Bride's side, Groom's side and full set available signed and unsigned.

 

Oh please. Let's get some testosterone on the table...

Batman 50 variant by Jock for Forbidden PlanetBatman 50 variant by Jock for Forbidden Planet

Enough with the girly frills, let's remember it's a Batman comic and Batman 50 to boot!  If you want a cover that is all Batman yet alludes to the wedding content, the dramatic Jock variants for Forbidden Planet do not disappoint. 

Batman 50 variant by Jock for Forbidden Planet 

There's what I'll call the Straight Jock Variant, with the entirely black background;
the Monochrome Variant with the half-white background,
and a Set of Three: the straight, monochrome and what we'll call Confetti.
Signed and unsigned options on each at Forbidden Planet.

These covers are also available for preorder at Big Bang comics June 8.

 

With this ring

Batman 50 variant by Mike MayhewBatman 50 variant by Mike Mayhew

Sparklies.  How amazing is it that Mike Mayhew is the first of all these wedding covers to prominently feature that most iconic element: the ring.  This beautiful pair of variants for Comicpop Collectibles will be appearing on their ebay store... well, soon, we hope.

 

Geometry!

Batman 50 variant by Dave Johnson

This angular lady in the Erte pose looks a little like Tim Sale's Selina from The Long Halloween (and maybe a little more like Sale's Sophia Falcone from Dark Victory, but anyway) by Dave Johnson for Comic Sketch Art and also available at Legacy Comics.

This is a 3000 print run.

 

A personal favorite

Batman 50 variant by Mark Brooks (Selina version)Batman 50 variant by Mark Brooks (Catwoman version)

This heart-stopping jewel by Mark Brooks reminds me of an old Norm Breyfogle commission with Selina in the classic skirted costume, lounging in the cat lair, Batman behind. It's perfect.

Available now at Legacy Comics and Comic Sketch Art
Also Limited Edition Comix should have it on their ebay store at some point.

Veiled Selina is a 3000 print run. The cowl variant 1250

 

A Hidden Cat

Jim Balent variant cover
Please note: Not Final Cover

I'm not sure what the point is of "a Jim Balent variant" that doesn't give us the Jim Balent Selina. The bod might be familiar, but the short hair and goggles are the antithesis of his iconic 90s Catwoman.  An artist's name is a brand (in the best sense).  Let him be what he is.

In any case, Jim Balent, the man who created the Catwoman that launched her first solo comic, has produced a charming set of variants and hidden a cat in there, which he invited his twitter followers to find.  Now available for preorder on the Jetpack website and ebay store.  Unmasked, masked and black and white options abound, plus a yet to be revealed "Midnight Release Variant."

 

Joe Madureira Triptych

Batman 50 triptych variants by Joe Madureira

Another beautiful connecting triptych, this time by Joe Madureira and, like the Frank Cho, exclusive to 4 Color Beast. You can join the waiting list right now.

A superior Cover A for the wedding, Batman and Catwoman rather than separating them.  An edition of 2800 copies, available signed and unsigned.

Cover B, the heroes Superman, Batgirl, Wonder Woman and
Cover C, the villains Joker, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn
are both 2100 copy editions, available only in sets.
The complete 3 cover sets are available signed and unsigned.

Negative Space, sort of

Batman 50 variant by David MackBatman 50 variant by David MackBatman 50 Convention Cover by David Mack

Check out this amazingly clever Bat/Cat/Joker visuals from David Mack, Exclusive to Surprise Comics. Again, please note final image will vary.

Cover A: 3000 print edition, ships July 5
Cover B: 1500 print edition, ships July 5
Cover C is a convention cover for San Diego Comic Con, only 200 will be sold online and they will not begin shipping until July 23.  For that reason, full A-B-C sets will not ship until 7/23.

Stained Glass Joker

Batman 50 variant by Nick Derington

It's an odd looking Selina, but it took a long time to notice with that incredible Joker window behind them. Nick Derington variant exclusive to Ultimate Comics.

 

First Dance

Batman 50 variant by Joseph Michael Lisner

This dramatic tango dip by Joseph Michael Linsner is exclusive to Galaxy Comics.  (Also, that cat in front is quite reminiscent of Tim Sale's Long Halloween #1 kitty.)  Trade Dress, Black and White and Virgin.

Cover A, the trade dress, is the usual 3000 print edition.
Cover B, the black and white, is 1500.
Cover C, virgin is 1000.

 

Now that's hot.

Batman 50 variant by Guillem March

Been waiting for this since Guillem March teased a few weeks back. We saw a proper Catwoman mask, a very hot kiss, and no context.  The finished piece does not disappoint.  Me-ow.  Exclusive to King's Comics, AU.

Daughter of the Moon

Batman 50 variant by Ant Lucia

I don't know for sure that Ant Lucia had Selina's name in mind when he created that gorgeous moon, but I like to think so.  This beautiful variant cover is for BuyMeToys.com.  Color, Black and White, and Virgin cover available only through the 3-cover set limited to 1,000.  

 

"And now for something completely different"

Batman 50 variant by Lucio Parrillo

Not everyone likes their weddings dripping with romance.  Some prefer a gruesomely realistic Joker hovering over the scene.  This bone-chiller is by Lucio Parrillo for Scorpion Comics and Clan McDonald Comics. Scorpion says it will go on sale in their online store this Friday at 6pm EST.  No ETA from Clan McDonald.

Some go even further and want them dripping with blood.  This Joker wielding a bloody knife with no bride or groom in sight is the work of Francesco Mattina for 7 ate 9 ComicsAvailable for pre-orders Saturday June 16, 2pm EST/7pm GMT

The trade dress is a 3000 print edition
Virgin is a 1000 print edition
Black and White also a 1000 print edition. 

Batman 50 variant by Greg Horn

This pair by Greg Horn is available on the artist's website. Cover A, in wedding clothes, is an edition of 3,000. Cover B, the costume variant, is 1500. Cover C, virgin costume is 1000.  Signed and unsigned available.

Viva Italia

Cover of Batman 50 by Tom King in Italy (numbered 150 there) by Giovanni Timpano

Perhaps not technically a variant, this is Giovanni Timpano's cover with colors by Flavio Dispenza for Italy's Batman/Catwoman wedding issue, which is numbered Batman 150 there. 

 

"Bridesmaids Variant"

The Bridesmaids Variant is by Alé Garza for Colosseum of Comics

Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald for Aspen Comics, available for pre-order June 23rd.


 

Internal Artwork

Batman and Catwoman Pinup by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez 

And this amazing print is by the legendary Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez.  I was told it will be a pin-up in 50.  The print is only available if you're lucky enough to catch him at a con before it sells out. 

Greg Cappulo Batman & Catwoman for Batman 50 "Holy Matrimony" by Tom King

An internal page, Batman and Catwoman by Greg Capullo.

Tony Daniels interior page "Roman Holiday" from Batman 50 

And another internal page, tagged "Roman Holiday" by Tony Daniels.

There will also be a variant cover by Frank Miller.


This guide will be updated as we go.  The wedding issue Batman 50 "Holy Matrimony Batman" by Tom King will be released July 4, 2018.