This is the first post I've made on this bog that doesn't have to do with real action figures or statues. Comic Book cover variants are a major trend in the hardcopy comic world. Back in the day, variants would be rare incentives for some super-special issue. But now it's actually rare when and issue doesn't have at least one variant. Different companies will have themes, like Lego covers or Women of Power. But my favorite by far has been the Action Figure covers. There are a few early examples of this kind of cover, but I believe the current trend was kicked off by the various Marvel Star Wars comics from Spring of 2015. There were tons of action figure variants across all the Star Wars titles at the time. Then later that Summer, Marvel's Secret Wars event used the same tactic and its momentum has only grown since then. There are usually a few Marvel Action Figure Variants each week now. And other publishers are picking up on the trend as well. Let's check out a slew of these covers below!
I'm going to do my best to keep adding to this list as more issues are published. Let me know if I'm missing any!
I'm not keeping these in any real order, but I might as well start with the first of the modern batch.
The majority of these covers are drawn by John Tyler Christopher (I'll try to note the exceptions).
Princess Leia on the cover of Princess Leia #1 (3/4/2015)
Captain Marvel on the cover of Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1 (6/10/2015)
Thor on the cover of Thors #1 (6/17/2015)
Emma Frost on the cover of X-Men #600 (11/4/2015)
Jean Grey on the cover of X-Men #600 (11/4/2015)
Jubilee on the cover of X-Men '92 #1 (3/30/2016)
Wolverine on the cover of All-New Wolverine #1 (11/11/2015)
Ms. Marvel on the cover of Ms. Marvel #1 (11/18/2015)
Squirrel Girl on the cover of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 (12/16/2015)
Gwenpool on the cover of Gwenpool #1 (4/13/2016)
Mockingbird on the cover of Mockingbird #1 (3/9/2016)
Black Widow on the cover of Black Widow #1 (3/2/2016)
Hellcat on the cover of Patsy Walker: Hellcat #1 (12/23/2015)
Spider-Gwen on the cover of Spider-Gwen #1 (10/14/2015)
Spider-Woman on the cover of Spider-Woman #1 (11/18/2015)
Spider-Gwen (Aqua Gear) on the cover of Spider-Gwen #7 (4/13/2016)
Spider-Gwen (Samurai) on the cover of Spider-Gwen #8 (5/4/2016)
Silk (Deep-Space) on the cover of Silk #7 (4/20/2016)
Silk (The Worthy) on the cover of Silk #8 (5/11/2016)
Spider-Woman (Polar-Gear) on the cover of Spider-Woman #6 (4/27/2016)
Spider-Woman (Hulkbuster) on the cover of Spider-Woman #7 (5/18/2016)
Cindy-65 on the cover of Spider-Women Omega #1 (5/25/2016)
Crystal (and Thane) on the cover of All-New Inhumans #1 (12/2/2015)
Medusa (and Inferno) on the cover of Ms. Marvel #2 (12/16/2015)
Naja (and Karnak) on the cover of Karnak #3 (4/20/2016)
Agent Daisy Johnson (aka Quake) on the cover of Quake: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (9/9/2015)
Agent "Peggy" carter on the cover of Agent Carter: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (9/16/2015)
Agent Jemma Simmons (and Agent Leo Fitz) on the cover of Fury: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (9/23/2015)
Agent Melinda May on the cover of The Cavalry: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (9/30/2015)
Maximum "Max" Ride on the cover of Max Ride: First Flight #1 (4/8/2015)
Capri on the cover of Figment #3 (11/11/2015)
Constance the Bride on the cover of The Haunted Mansion #1 (3/9/2016)
Now this one is interesting. Seemingly unrelated to the batch of covers above, this cover came out roughly 2 years before this modern series. This was the main cover for Fearless Defenders #2 and was likely inspired by the toy world's frustration with the missing Dani Moonstar Marvel Legends figure which was supposed to hit the shelves in late 2012. It was never released, despite being advertised on the cardback for Mystique. This cover is by Mark Brooks who also played around with other non-comic themes for covers (like paper cut-out dolls). I consider this cover the true precursor to the modern action figure cover, but it's possible John Tyler Christopher never saw this image before.
Dani Moonstar on the cover of Fearless Defenders #2 (3/13/2015)
I'll finish this post up with a bunch of the recent imitators. I don't mean that to be disparaging. I think this trend is awesome and I hope it continues for a long time. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
April O'Neil on the cover of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #52 (11/25/2015) Blindbox Comics Exc.
Pink Ranger on the cover of Power Rangers #3 (Upcoming 2016 Boom Studios release)
Baroness on the cover of G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #216 (7/2015)
Scarlett on the cover of G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #221 (12/9/2015)
I don't know any of these character names...
Zombie Tramp #21 (3/30/2016)
Zombie Tramp #22 (4/20/2016)
Zombie Tramp #23 (5/25/2016)
Vampblade on the cover of Vampblade #4 (4/13/2016)
That all I could come up with for now. If you know of any others that I missed, let me know below. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for future Marvel ones at the very least. Thanks!