UPDATE 9/23/2014 11:39 AM PT: Marvel Comics declined comment in response to inquiries from CBR News regarding the change in artists.
Following the recent controversy surrounding Milo Manara's variant cover for "Spider-Woman" #1, the famed erotic artist's name has popped up again -- this time because of Marvel variant covers that might never be seen.
Diamond Comic Distributors revealed earlier today that two upcoming variant covers -- one for "Thor" #2 and another for "Avengers and X-Men: AXIS" #1 -- have had Manara's name removed from their credits. "Avengers and X-Men: AXIS" #1's variant will instead be handled by Siya Oum, while the variant for "Thor" #2, the second issue featuring the new female Thor, does not yet have an artist attached.
The news comes just a little over a month after Manara's variant for "Spider-Woman" #1 drew heavy criticism for its depiction of the titular character. CBR News has reached out to Marvel for comment on the artistic shift, but did not hear back by time of press.
"[W]e'll do more Manara variants," Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told CBR News in a recent installment of our weekly AXEL-IN-CHARGE feature. "He is a world-renowned artist with a huge fan base, and his variants, like the Skottie Young variants, are aimed at people who appreciate his art and his style. But we are aware of the growing sensitivity to covers like this, and we will be extra-vigilant in policing their content and how we use them in our marketing."
The Manara variant for "Spider-Woman" #1 is scheduled to hit stores when the issue ships in November.