For Hispanic Heritage Month in September, DC Comics teased variant covers to pay homage to the Hispanic community—but was met with much criticism.
Hispanic Heritage Month is typically celebrated in September, which allows those of Hispanic descent to celebrate and showcase all of their amazing work from their multitude of cultures. DC Comics wanted to express their celebratory statements on Hispanic Heritage Month by featuring seven new comic book variant covers related to the celebration. Of course, it is not as simple and has been met by much controversy from the artist of the Green Lantern Kyle Rayner cover—along with social media.
While six of the variants seemed to revolve around one commonality for Hispanic Heritage, food, one wanted to stand for something more. The variant for “Titans United: Blood Pact #1” displayed Kyle Rayner in a pose and stance that was an homage to “La Patria”—a painting by the famous Mexican mural artist, Jorge González Camarena. Back in June this year, the artist for the cover, Jorge Molina appreciated that DC Comics would promote his original design.
“How this image got promoted by DC is a mystery to me, don’t know if it was a mistake or in the end they decided to go for it. There is a variation of this cover, but I’m so glad this one is out there for the world to see since this was my original idea, pay homage to Camarena,” read one tweet from Molina in June.
Unfortunately, the variant has changed since the initial early draft tease of the seven covers. The cover that will actually be published eliminated the Mexican flag, retouched the Green Lantern Corps logo and stuck a grocery bag full of tamales with the word “tamales” and “Mexico” on the bag in Rayner’s hand. Molina has since commented briefly on the drastic change, “HAAAAAAARD to keep my mouth shut….all I can say is one has my signature and the other one doesn’t, go figure.”
It is clear that DC Comics wanted to push the food theme in comparison to the other six variants. Many fans took to Twitter about how the first cover is way better, and the second cover is flat out “racist.” Other fans noted how “uncreative” they were and disappointed by DC Comics on having just food as the highlight for Hispanic Heritage Month. Molina still received artist credits for the variant, but the homage signature is nowhere to be found. The perfect homage has been perfectly ruined.