DC Comics & Looney Tunes Variant Series (2015)

Comics added Dec 19, 2021 | Comic Cover Special Collections, Variant Families

Wonder Woman #46 (2015 Looney Tunes Variant)

Superman #46 (2015 Looney Tunes Variant)

Robin: Son of Batman #6 (2015 Looney Tunes Variant)

Green Arrow #46 (2015 Looney Tunes Variant)

DC Comics Makes Comic Covers Fun Again (for Profit)

In the aftermath of the Flashpoint storyline, which had revamped the DC Universe, DC Comics refreshed its characters and titles by launching “The New 52,” or 52 new titles, in September 2011. Of course, they boldly cancelled all existing titles the month prior, wiping the slate clean. While DC deemed the relaunch a success, by the end of 2011, DC was once more listed in second place behind Marvel in sales and units.

When DC’s unit share fell below 28% in 2013, DC execs were were once more inspired to artificially generate interest (and/or perhaps have a little fun at the same time) in its titles by introducing variant covers. They collaborated with both Mad magazine and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim Robot Chicken producers and published light-hearted variants for its many superhero titles. They also teamed up with Hollywood and published a series of variants based on popular movie posters. These variant efforts spanned most of DC’s titles, from Action Comics and Aquaman through Batman, Batgirl, Catwoman, Detective Comics, Green ArrowGreen Lantern, Harley Quinn, Justice League of America, Superman to Wonder Woman, to name a few of DC’s most popular titles. These series of variants were apparently well-received, or DC’s sales continued to disappoint execs, as DC continued with its wide-scale coordinated crossover variant efforts.

DC followed the success of these series of variants with another. This time the covers would feature characters from the well-known Looney Tunes franchise and its stable of classic, popular characters loved by millions: Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Marvin the Martian, Porky Pig, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Pepé Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote, Tazmanian Devil, Yosemite Sam and more. These variant covers inserted the most popular Looney Tunes characters into the covers for 26 of its most popular titles featuring its most popular super heroes such as Superman, Batman, Catwoman, Aquaman, Flash & Wonder Woman to name only a handful. The increase of coverage – from 22 to 25 – represents more than 10% additional coverage than any other previous series of variants. As a result, DC saw another spike in sales for these variant covers.

The success of this series of variants, like those published before, would lead in 2017 to a second DC/Looney Tunes crossover event. The 2017 event inserts Looney Tunes characters not only in the covers but also in DC’s best-selling titles. The first DC/Looney Tunes crossover event was published 17 years before in the long-forgotten four-issue Superman & Bugs Bunny mini-series starting in July 2000.

Sources: Wikipedia (The New 52)