Marvel Artist John Romita Sr. Teams With Son For DC's 'Superman' Issue

The veteran Marvel artist moves over to DC for a variant cover on September's issue
John Romita Snr/DC Entertainment

The 34th issue of DC Entertainment’s Superman series won’t just continue the critically-acclaimed run by creators Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.; it’ll also feature a special variant cover by the artist’s father, the iconic John Romita Sr., which The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively reveal, at left.

The cover is the classic Marvel — and specifically Spider-Man — artist’s first work for DC in over 50 years, he told THR via phone. “I worked there in prehistoric times for about eight years,” he joked. “It was between 1958 and ’65. In those eight years, I did a lot of romance comics.”

This new cover is “the first time I’ve done Superman on a [comic book] cover,” the 84-year-old artist said. “I’ve done a few sketches when we used to do crossovers, and a couple of paperback covers that had Superman on them, and I’ve done Superman on sketches for kids on conventions. DC called me and asked me if I would be interested in doing a variant cover, and I told them as long as it wasn’t a crowd scene, I’d try it.”

The cover brings Romita Sr. out of retirement, but as he joked, “I’ve been coming out of retirement for sixteen years! They don’t leave me alone.”

Superman No. 34 also features the debut of the Machinist, a new villain for the Man of Steel designed by Romita Jr., himself also a longtime Marvel artist (See an exclusive look at the villain’s first appearance below). He told THR that, when starting his run on the series, he “was a little bit intimidated knowing that I was going to be doing the first super hero, especially after all the other [artists] who’d come before me.”

Those nerves disappeared once he started working with DC CCO Johns on the title, he admitted. “I realized: I’m still in the same business, it’s just a different costume, and I felt more comfortable,” he said.

Superman No. 34, featuring a regular cover by Romita Jr. and variant by Romita Sr., will be released digitally and in comic book stores August 27. Below, the regular cover, Romita Sr.’s variant cover without cover copy and the first appearance of the Machinist, courtesy of DC Entertainment.