Marvel Editor-in-Chief Alex Alonso apologized for the Milo Manara variant cover for Spider-Woman #1 that sparked a controversy last month (see "'Spider-Woman' Manara Variant Spurs Controversy") in an interview with ComicBookResources.  The only previous response from Marvel had been in a Tumblr post by Executive Editor Tom Brevoort, which fell short of an apology.  Manara had also responded, but in a way that displeased most of his critics (see "Manara Responds to Criticism of 'Spider-Woman' Cover").

"We want everyone--the widest breadth of fans--to feel welcome to read Spider-Woman, Alonso said.  "We apologize--I apologize--for the mixed messaging that this variant caused."

Like Brevoort, Alonso pointed out the limited nature of the variant and said that Marvel would not have published the Manara cover as the main cover for the book.  "If you open up the book, you’ll see that this series has everything in common with recent launches we’ve done, like Black Widow and Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk and Captain Marvel.  It’s about the adventures of two women that have complete agency over their lives and are defined by what they do, not how they look."

Alonso touted Marvel’s percentage of female staffers and titles with female lead characters (30% of its editorial staff, and 20% of its titles).

Alonso said that Marvel would continue to use Manara variants for its books, but said that Marvel "...will be extra-vigilant in policing their content and how we use them in our marketing."

That’s less than satisfactory to some, who wanted Marvel to stop using Manara covers.  And there will undoubtedly be a lot of scrutiny on the interior pages of the first issue of Spider-Woman.

The impact on sales is still uncertain, although the scale of the attention brought to the book probably indicates that sales will be higher than they otherwise would have been.