Variants and Lore: Dan Hipp Artist Showcase

Take a look inside the history of one of Marvel Snap's most prolific artists: Dan Hipp! Bohe dives into how the artist we all know started creating variants for our favorite game.

First of all, I want to say thank you, dear readers, for all the support you gave to our last Variants and Lore article! Being able to present this kind of article and knowing that it will be enjoyed by the community is very satisfying, and it opens the space to continue working on more cool stuff like this.

Today, I want to present this second piece differently. Rather than focus on the lore behind the characters and their variants in the game, we’ll be taking a closer look at the work of one of Marvel Snap’s most prominent artists: Mr. Dan Hipp!

It was not easy to choose the first artist for this work. Undoubtedly, the art in Marvel Snap is on another level, and the work behind the variants we enjoy while playing our cards is formidable — regardless of the artist we refer to.

From Peach Momoko to Kim Jacinto, with Rian Gonzales and Artgerm in between, mentioning them all here would be next to impossible (although we’ve technically already done that). However, if this type of article is to your liking, let us know in the comments section (at the bottom of this page), on our Marvel Snap Community Discord, and my Twitter, and we will certainly continue this type of work that gives the recognition that every one of the artists (including Inkers and Colorists) deserves.

Who is Dan Hipp?

His full name is Daniel Spencer Hipp, and he was born on September 11, 1978 (it will soon be his 45th birthday. I hope Marvel Snap celebrates it in a big way!).

Before devoting himself entirely to art, Daniel attended Edison High School in Fresno, California. Then he attended the University of California in Irving where he majored in art. He grew up drawing superheroes and monsters all the time.

During his time at university, he found another of his great passions: water polo. He was even selected for the national team! On his Facebook page he still mentions being a coach of water polo. Nevertheless, it was at this time that we begin to see him travel to various art conventions, trying to make his art known and pursue his dream of working in the world of comics.

The crucial point that seems to be the watershed of his current style of drawing is the fact that, in the beginning, his style was similar to Mike Mignola’s (creator of the Hellboy series), which made it difficult for him to break through the industry.

Hellboy by Mike Mignola / Dark Horse Comics

Certainly, everyone in life has people who inspire them, and there’s no doubt that Mike Mignola could have been a starting point for Dan. It wasn’t until an editor opened his eyes saying “We already have Mike Mignola” that, just a year later, he published his first comic with Mark Andrew Smith, The Amazing Joy Buzzards (Image Comics 2005). This is where we begin to see Dan start to evolve his style and technique into what we know today. It was a journey that would take him down great paths.

Amazing Joy Buzzards #1 inside back cover by Dan Hipp.

After Joy Buzzards, Dan thought that it would be easy to get other assignments once he got his foot in the business, but, of course, it wasn’t. He says he learned a lot as he went along. Like most newcomers, he thought he could draw a comic because he could create amazing pin-ups or covers. In 2007, Tokyopop gave him a break as a writer and artist for the first time to make Gyakusho!, a story of revenge and monsters published in two volumes (consisting of almost 200 pages!). The third and final volume was published much later due to editorial problems.

Gyakushu! Vol. 1 by Dan Hipp

In 2009, he began to collaborate with DC Comics on series like Supernatural: Rising Son and Gen 13, but he always stayed true to his art style as it continued its evolution little by little. In 2010 he drew Ben 10 Alien Force: Doom Dimension with Peter David, totaling two volumes with 80 pages each. Next came Stray Days Will Come from Hermes Press, another project written and drawn by himself.

It was after this work that he decided to venture into the world of animation. He began working for various studios, including Warner Bros Animation, Random House, DC Comics, and, finally, Cartoon Network, the studio where one of his most recognized works, Teen Titans Go!, would be born.

Cover for Teen Titans GO! #11 by Dan Hipp

Teen Titans Go! is a franchise where we can appreciate the art of Dan Hipp in great detail. He worked as the art director of the animated series, and he also drew several covers in the comic series with the same name between 2013 and 2019.

Although this was his main project during this period, he also worked on side projects with Marvel Comics, such as:

  • Inking in All-New X-Men Vol.1 #25
  • Alternate cover of Black Widow Vol.5 #19
  • Alternate cover of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol.2 #7
  • Alternate cover of The Amazing Spider-Man Vol.5 #25
Black Widow Vol.5 #19 alternate cover by Dan Hipp – (Dan Hipp’s Black Widow variant was just introduced to the game a few days ago – July 29, 2023)

Apart from some other works, his name has also appeared in the credits of Young Justice #7 and Legion of Super-Heroes #8, both for DC Comics.

This biography was made with data from:

Dan Hipp and Marvel Snap

It’s not easy to know when Dan Hipp’s relationship with Marvel Snap began, but, after doing some research, it looks he was first approached in mid-May of last year.

It was on May 24, 2022 when Dan shared the following image on all his social networks:

Onslaught Variant for Marvel Snap by Dan Hipp

At this time, the game was in closed beta, which makes it clear that some of Dan Hipp’s variants have been with us from the start.

The Dan Hipp variants are the second most common in Marvel Snap. The only style with more variants are the Pixel variants (yes, some of us like them). Currently, the game data attributes a huge number of variants to Dan Hip — 127, to be exact. Some of them, like the Onslaught example above, have been around since day 1, and many others have yet to be released. I’m looking forward to a lot of them!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it would be somewhat difficult to mention and analyze every one of them here. Still, I cannot pass up the opportunity to share my personal favorites. First, the top three variants that are currently available in the game, and then the top three variants I’m most looking forward to.

Personal Top 3 Released Variants

3rd – Spider-Man

Something that I noticed while working on this article and observing Dan’s work in detail is how, in many of his works, there are certain details, backgrounds, and nods to purple and pink.

I think this certainly makes his art something very comfortable to our eyes. These types of cool colors help contrast with the vibrant colors that are often present. In this case it’s the red in Spidey’s suit.

This variant was released on June 7, 2023 and has a cost of 700 Gold.

2nd – Master Mold

Many of you know that Master Mold (and the rest of the Sentinel Program characters) are some of my favorites in the Marvel Universe. This probably has a bit to do with why I ranked this variant at #2.

Nonetheless, I think we can all appreciate the tremendous job Dan has done with Master Mold. The work with the lights is amazing! In the hand, the chest, the eyes, everything in the image seems to glow, even when we view it without any special effects.

You can imagine how beautiful it shines when it’s upgraded in the game and it gets animated. A splendid job, without a doubt.

This variant was released on May 7, 2023 and has a cost of 700 Gold.

1st – Magneto

I think I’ve figured out what makes Dan Hipp’s variants so appealing to me. I have to confess that, in the beginning, they usually weren’t the first to catch my attention. But as I got to know Dan’s work more through obtaining his variants in the game, little by little they became some of my favorites.

The reason for this, and what I clearly notice when I see Magneto‘s variant, is that it takes me back to my childhood in a way. It makes me feel like I’m a kid watching Cartoon Network again.

If we have good memories from this period of our lives, looking at Dan’s art lets us feel like we are watching Dexter’s Laboratory or The Powerpuff Girls on a random afternoon with no other concern than being a kid.

This variant was released on July 22, 2023 and has a cost of 700 Gold.

Personal Top 3 Unreleased Variants

Honorable Mentions

Both of these variants are amazing work on Dan’s part.

I think the Galactus one in particular will make people spend whatever it takes to get it. The way he creates a high-angle perspective undoubtedly gives this variant a very particular touch.

Klaw is one of my favorite characters because it takes me back to childhood. Remembering the game Captain America and The Avengers from the arcades brings me very good memories.

Again, purple and pink are the predominant colors. In this case, that’s because of the character, but they way Dan handles the background to make beautiful contrasts make the whole piece feel very harmonious.

Both variants are not available in the game yet.

3rd – Carnage

With a very dynamic pose, this Carnage variant will certainly look formidable when it’s upgraded and animated.

The pattern of dots in the background allows us to notice another artistic gesture that is common in Dan’s work. We also see it in the Spider-Man variant I displayed above.

Carnage is a character with very bright colors that almost become blood or crimson red. Working with color tones in a way that makes them more pleasing to look at and less tiring for the eyes is one of Dan’s strengths.

This variant is not available in the game yet.

2nd – The Infinaut

It was pretty hard to choose between this and the variant I ranked first. Either way, I’m very excited for the day these two variants from Mr. Hipp are introduced.

Seeing this variant of The Infinaut makes me think of a Mega Man boss, but in a super cute way. The pose is very well worked and it seems that The Infinaut is walking in a place with low gravity, almost as if it were floating.

This variant is not available in the game yet.

1st – Jeff the Baby Land Shark

Who could say no to this incredibly cute variant of the smallest and most adorable shark in the Multiverse?

Working on this article and being able to appreciate Dan’s work in more detail opened my eyes to recognize his distinctive style and the characteristics that make it so special.

Did you notice the purple hue in Jeff’s outline? Dan uses the light to again put a cool color tone to contrast with the warm background. Do you see the background? Again, the dotted pattern that gives uniformity to it despite the explosive details.

Although I’m someone who does everything possible to save gold, I think that when I see this variant in my store I will not be able to resist.

This variant is not available in the game yet.

Miscellaneous Work

In addition to all of Mr. Hipp’s works mentioned above, both for large comics and animation producers as well as for Marvel Snap, Dan has shared many works on his social networks that let us know a little more about the things he likes and is passionate about.

The Rise of Skywalker by Dan Hipp- January 20, 2020

In this image, we can see two of his great passions reflected together. Dan has a lot of published work related to Star Wars. It’s not difficult to see the nod to one of the greatest illustrators, mangakas, animators, and film directors of our time, the great Hayao Miyazaki, founder of Studio Ghibli (yes, the little girl running on the fish waves is Ponyo!).

Dan has mentioned that he continues his zombie survival training by watching monster movies. I think that makes it clear how shows like The Last of Us can certainly grab his attention.

The details alluding to Star Wars are formidable when we remember that Pedro Pascal, in addition to representing Joel in TLOU, is also the actor who plays The Mandalorian.

My Dearest Friend… by Dan Hipp June 6 2016

I end this article with one of Dan Hipp’s most beautiful and highly significant works in my humble opinion.

The phrases in each frame form a Tim Burton quote, which is sung by Jack Skellington and Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas:

“My dearest friend, if you don’t mind, I’d like to join you by your side.
Where we could gaze into the stars, and sit together, now and forever.
For it is plain, as anyone can see, we’re simply meant to be.”

The eight pairs of characters embody the feeling of always being with each other, no matter what happens. Do you recognize all the movies/characters?

Closing Words

Before I go, let me share with you the platforms where you can find more of Dan Hipp’s work:

It has undoubtedly been a very gratifying job to share with you the work of an artist as wonderful as Dan Hipp. I hope this article has been to your liking. Do not hesitate to share your opinions with us in the comment section of this article, on the Marvel Snap Community Discord, and on my Twitter. We will return with more variants, lore, and artists as long as it’s content that is valuable to our community.

See you soon! And as always, dear readers, thanks for reading this far, and don’t forget to smile. You know it makes a difference!

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    • Ty for your kind words, blueberry! You’re right! That Jeff variant is going to be the spotlight one during September. I hope I can get it without having to open 4 caches. xD

    • And also mine. <3

      Little by little I hope the game will be kind and I can open Dan's variants more often. I'm going to have to spend spotlight caches to find Jeff's!

  1. What a great article. I love the Dan Hipp variants. Despite the fact that gold is now at a ridiculously high premium for me, I couldn’t resist the Magneto variant when it popped up in the shop for me a few days ago. I’ve got Hawkeye, Ghost, Goose (an amazing one), Iron Man, Vision, Spectrum and Onslaught, but the crown jewel of my collection is my ink finish Dan Hipp Blue Marvel. Dang, I want more. I’ve been hoarding boosters for a great Galactus variant – haven’t upgraded him once – and boy, that’s the one I want.

    • Ty for your kind words, Pickle! You’re always motivating me to keep up the good work! <3

      I'm just going to open all the spotlights needed for getting that Jeff variant! (Hope you get the Galactus one when it get released).

  2. Hoping we get more articles like this one; the artwork/variants in Snap are definitely my favorite aspects of the game and we wouldn’t have that without the fantastic artists brining their kickass work. Good job on this one!

  3. Marvel Snap dando visibilidad artistas con un estilo propio tan marcado que no llega a ser del agrado de todos, yo sabia que Dan tenia algo que ver con Mignola (Creador de Hellboy), No estaba tan loco! Muchas gracias al creador de este articulo! abrazos!

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