DC pays tribute to an iconic X-Men cover

In 2021 DC scored a hit when it paid homage to one of the most iconic Marvel covers of all time, Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man #1, for a variant cover to December’s Batman #118. Now for Shadow War Zone #1, a special one-shot that follows up on the Batman, Robin, and Deathstroke Inc. crossover Shadow War, the publisher is at it again. 

Shadow War Zone #1

Shadow War Zone #1 main cover by Jonboy Meyers (Image credit: DC)

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This time DC is paying tribute to another iconic Marvel cover – 1981’s Uncanny X-Men #141 (opens in new tab)– or as you know it best, part one of ‘Days of Future Past’ by Chris Claremont and John Byrne.

Shadow War Zone #1 is written by Olympic speed-writing gold medalist Joshua Williamson, who writes all the other issues in this event but with a little help on Shadow War Zone.

The variant cover is by Howard Porter, who is also drawing the Shadow War interior art for the Batman issues.

As you can see by his tweet, Porter was excited about paying homage to an iconic comic book from his youth: 

If you told the 13 year old me I would get to draw this, he would have done backflips around the living room. 52 year old me did not do back flips but I imagined I did 🤸🧍🤸🧍 pic.twitter.com/hlXom6IWHCFebruary 7, 2022

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Check out both covers side-by-side:

Shadow War Zone #1 variant cover

Shadow War Zone #1 variant cover by Howard Porter and Uncanny X-Men #141 by John Bryne side-by-side (Image credit: DC / Marvel Comics)

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Shadow War Zone #1 variant cover

Shadow War Zone #1 variant cover by Howard Porter (Image credit: DC)

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Like the Batman-Spider-Man homage, the fun is in the details, Marvel’s signature ‘heads’ box in the upper left-hand corner during that era, the “Marvel Presents” bar at the top, and the parody of the Comics Code Authority symbol, which now reads “Approved by the Authority of the Distinguished Competition, Marvel cheeky term for DC back in the day.

As for the insides of Shadow War Zone #1 itself, the 48-page special on sale May 17 also includes writers Ed Brisson, Stephanie Phillips, and Nadia Shammas along with Williamson with art by Trevor Hairsine, Ann Maulina, Mike Bowden, and others.

According to DC the special showcases the impact of Shadow War on the DCU.

“Talia al Ghul has put a hit on anyone who has ever worked with Deathrroke – and that includes Black Canary!” reads DC’s description. “Where has Luke Fox been? Talia is sick of watching from the sidelines and joins the battle herself.”

Shadow War Zone #1

Shadow War Zone #1 variant cover by Leirix (Image credit: DC)

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Shadow War Zone #1 also includes the debut of a new villain Angel Breaker who has some sort of connection to new(ish) Batman rival-anti-hero Ghost-Maker.

The main cover seen above is by Jonboy Meyers and Shadow War Zone #1 has another variant cover by Leirix (to the right) which we’re gonna guess features that new villain Angel Breaker.

If Ra’s al Ghul is really dead then the DCU just lost one of the best Batman best villains of all time.

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