It’s the fan discussion that one that everyone has opinions on, even if they don’t feel comfortable sharing them in public: yes, every superhero has a body that puts us mere mortals to shame (one of the benefits of being, you know, fictional and all that)… but who, exactly, has the Best Beach Bod of the DC Universe? This August, the answer to that question will become far easier to answer thanks to the release of what might be the Big Summer Hit of 2023: G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
Let’s ignore, for a brief second, the sheer audacity of G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition for having perhaps the greatest pun title in the history of comics. (For those who don’t get it, 'G’nort’s' rhymes with 'sports'; does that help?) Instead, let’s appreciate the fact that the 48-page one shot will collect DC’s 2022 and 2023 swimsuit variant covers alongside, teasingly, an all-new centerfold featuring one of three potential characters — which, yes, means that fans can pick up multiple copies to get multiple pin-ups. DC isn’t saying who the options are, just yet; so let’s let our imaginations run wild while we wait.
That’s not all; the issue will also feature Steve Orlando and Paul Pelletier’s 'Out There' short, featuring Midnight and Apollo, which originally appeared in DC Cybernetic Summer #1 back in 2020, as well as an all-new story featuring the Penguin written by Julie & Shawna Benson, with art by Meghan Hetrick.
As unexpected as it may be, G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition combined two particular shoutouts to the days of comics past. The titular host and cover star of the special G’nort, is a Green Lantern who hails from the 1980s Justice League International run by writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis that also provided the cast for the recent DC Black Label series The Human Target; that’s also where G’nort last showed up, as charming and ineffectual as ever. The idea of comics having a swimsuit special is, again more than a little unlikely, but a comic book tradition dating back to the 1980s, when comics news magazine Amazing Heroes would have annual Swimsuit Editions offering artists the chance to do pin-ups of their favorite characters. In the 1990s, Marvel would release a series of Swimsuit Specials, which again offered pin-ups of the company’s heroes and villains, some more than others with tongues firmly planted in cheeks. Marvel teased a revival of that idea with 2019’s Marvel Summer Special, but canceled the book prior to release.
Creators contributing to G’nort’s particular important, somewhat hairy, comeback special include Amanda Conner, Nicola Scott, Stanley “Artgerm” Liu, Joëlle Jones, Mike Allred, Babs Tarr, and Jenny Frison; the issue will be released August 29, just in time for everyone to get cursing the warm weather and looking forward to fall. (Just me? Okay then.) Look for the amazing cover by Vasco Georgiev, or the sly foot fetishists cover by J. Scott Campbell, both of which you can see in the gallery below in addition to internal art; Adam Hughes and Pablo Villalobos also contribute covers.
…Also, can we just say: it’s Dick Grayson, isn’t it? I think we can all agree that it’s Dick Grayson. He’s already the face of Dawn of DC — now he gets to be the rippling, finely-toned body of it, as well. It’s the karmic payback for having to wear the Robin outfit for all those years.
DC is having a sexy summer, but Marvel is going for a summer of symbiotes, for some reason. Sounds… sticky.