Spider-Boy is joined by a whole team of long lost sidekicks on "New Champions" variant covers

New Champions variant cover
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Marvel Comics recently struck sales gold with the idea of Spider-Man having a long lost, forgotten sidekick known as Spider-Boy - and now they're taking that idea much, much further this October with a huge wave of variant covers featuring more supposed long-lost sidekicks of other Marvel heroes.

Though the characters are just for variant covers at the moment, other characters such as Gwenpool have made the jump from variant cover design to actual character in the Marvel Universe before - and Marvel is teasing that that could happen again with any or all of these new teen heroes.

"Like Spider-Boy, these new characters inspire a secret history of countless adventures where they’ve fought side-by-side with their superhero mentors!" reads Marvel's announcement. "Featuring fresh, bold designs by all-star talent, these stunning new covers may just be a glimpse into the future of the Marvel Universe!"

The enigmatic Spider-Boy has become a Marvel Comics sales sensation since his debut in writer Dan Slott and artist Mark Bagley's Spider-Man title. And he'll even soon get his own spin-off title, all down to the demand of sales according to Slott.

With that in mind, it makes some sense that Marvel would want to continue tapping into the idea of a superhero with a lost sidekick from their previously unknown past. And labeling them as "Champions," after Marvel's most recent incarnation of a teen superhero team, along with the implication that they could appear again beyond the variant covers, does seem to imply the publisher has some ideas.

But what's a little strange is how many of these characters, such as Vision, Captain Marvel, Hulk, and Iron Man, have actual existing teen proteges already.

Here's the gallery of covers, followed by a list of the titles and artists organized by release date:

October 4

  • Black Panther #5 by Ernanda Souza
  • Doctor Strange #8 by Romy Jones
  • Fantastic Four #12 by Corin Howell
  • X-Men #27 by Peach Momoko

October 11

  • Avengers #6 by Taurin Clarke
  • Blade #4 by Mateus Manhanini
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy #7 by Ron Lim
  • Magneto #3 by Betsy Cola
  • Venom #26 by Rian Gonzales
  • Wolverine #38 by Leinil Francis Yu

October 18

  • Deadpool: Badder Blood #5 by Nick Bradshaw
  • Ghost Rider #19 by Luciano Vecchio
  • Incredible Hulk #5 by Dan Panosian
  • Invincible Iron Man #11 by Takeshi Miyazawa
  • Miles Morales: Spider-Man #11 by Sara Pichelli
  • Moon Knight #28 by Javier Garrón
  • Scarlet Witch #9 by Jen Bartel
  • TBA #1 by Mirka Andolfo

October 25

  • Amazing Spider-Man #36 by Kris Anka
  • Captain America #2 by Lucas Werneck
  • Captain Marvel #1 by Paco Medina
  • Immortal Thor #3 by Toni Infante

One other interesting note from the list is the October 25 'TBA #1' cover by Mirka Andolfo. The art isn't among the covers revealed so far, and the 'To Be Announced' listing makes it seem like the cover will appear on a title Marvel has yet to announce.

Read up on the best teen superhero teams of all time.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)