A variant cover created to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month that pays tribute to Mexican artist Jorge Gonzales Camerena has apparently been altered prior to publication to instead feature Green Lantern Kyle Rayner holding a bag of tamales. I wish I was joking here.
The original cover by Jorge Molina was set to appear on next month’s Titans United: Bloodpact #1 as one of several covers that would be released during HHA. Here’s the original, unfinished cover, which appeared in solicitations and was already being sold by retailers:
Molina said on Twitter he intended to pay tribute to Kyle Rayner’s Mexican heritage. “… being Mexican myself, it was a great honor to have the opportunity to pay tribute to my country and roots, that’s why I decided to pay homage to Jorge Gonzales Camerena.”
Here’s the image Molina referenced in his artwork, by the famous painter and muralist:
“La Patria” appeared on more than 350 textbooks produced by the Secretariat of Public Education throughout the 1960s and 1970s in Mexico, to the tune of about 523 million copies.
“A Mexican muralist I admire,” Molina said. “’La Patria’ is probably his most recognizable work. Due to some legal issues, this cover was not suppose to see the light of day (it’s unfinished, you’ll notice both the Mexican flag in incomplete and GL chest logo is missing).”
It’s not clear who made the changes, but the variant cover that’s now showing up on Diamond’s PreviewsWorld website looks like this:
“HAAAAAAARD to keep my mouth shut….all I can say is one has my signature and the other one doesn’t, go figure,” Molina said on Twitter.
Although it’s understandable that DC would have to change their plans if legal issues surfaced, the choices they made when altering the cover were not good ones. The new cover does seem to keep to the theme that DC chose for their other Hispanic Heritage Month covers, which all feature food:
At Screen Rant, Samantha King sums up the problem here, calling them a reductive disappointment:
While giving Hispanic artists the opportunity to produce variant covers to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month is wonderful, this year’s execution – and disrespect to artists – is staggering. The majority of the covers showcase a single hero with an item of food. Apart from this, very few of them have any markers of heritage and cultural appreciation. This is particularly astonishing considering how well DC has been representing other communities recently with the 2022 DC Pride special and covers, as well as the variant covers (and gorgeous red letter packaging) for AAPI Heritage Month. In comparison, these feel ridiculously reductive. The Titans United: Blood Pact #1 cover featuring Green Lantern Kyle Rayner stands out as especially egregious, though Hawkgirl’s baffling appearance as a waitress, of all things, is a close second.
The covers have brought all sorts of reactions on Twitter: