DC Comics artist Jorge Molina is less than thrilled with DC Comics after the publisher repurposed his shelved Hispanic Heritage Month variant cover for the upcoming Titans United: Bloodpact from a sweeping tribute to a noted Mexican artist into a cartoonish tribute to performative diversity.
Commissioned by DC Comics in tribute of September’s eponymous period of cultural recognition, this year’s round Hispanic Heritage Month variant covers center around the theme of ‘food’ and features the publisher’s various Hispanic characters in cuisine-related activity, such as Bane eating flan and Blue Beetle (Jamie Reyes) indulging in a handful of tacos.
As first revealed by the publisher back in June, his original themed variant cover featured the Green Lantern Corps’ fourth Earth-borne member, Kyle Rayner, standing against a construct of the coat of arms of Mexico, itself cradling a cornucopia of tamales, with the flag of his ancestral nation gripped firmly in his hands.
“I did this cover for DC for the #hispanicheritagemonth,” explained the artist of his piece. “Kyle Rayner having a Mexican background and 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.”
“A Mexican muralist I admire,” he added. “‘La Patria’ is probably his most recognizable work.
However, Molina then revealed, “due to some legal issues, this cover was not supposed to see the light of day (it’s unfinished, you’ll notice both the Mexican flag in incomplete and GL chest logo is missing)”.
“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,” he concluded. “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.”
Unfortunately for Molina, it has since been confirmed that his cover’s promotion as part of DC’s September solicits was a case of the former and even worse, the version that did make it to print has been revealed to be an almost cartoonishly-offensive edit of his original work.
Making its way to social media on the weekend of August 27th, the new cover sees Rayner’s grand construct replaced by the mere act of holding a bag of tamales and the waving flag of Mexico swapped for a lifeless flag-construct which reads “Viva Mexico!!”
As the cover began to make the rounds across the internet, drawing criticism from fans all the while, Molina eventually took to Twitter to offer a response, albeit brief, to the entire situation.
“HAAAAAAARD to keep my mouth shut,” wrote the artist. “All I can say is one has my signature and the other one doesn’t, go figure.”
Titans United: Bloodpact #1 hits shelves on September 20th.
“The Titans are back, united against a common foe…aren’t they?” asks a solicit of the issue provided by DC Comics.
“All seems lost when Tim Drake wakes, out of uniform and seemingly out of time,” it continues. “Surely he was just fighting alongside Nightwing, Superboy, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Donna Troy? But where is Raven and what links her to the Fearsome Five? A blood sacrifice is coming that will change the world forever.”