Marvel and DC have been stepping up their variant cover game for a while now. DC sees Marvel’s NCAA tournament; and raises classic movie posters. And in October, Marvel is calling: This time, with variant covers to more than 50 titles inspired by classic hip-hop album art.
Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso is an avowed hip-hop head, so his enthusiasm for this sort of limited-run cover shouldn’t be a surprise. But the end results are fairly fantastic–and character-appropriate. Some of the titles getting mashed up include the progressive, socially-conscious adventures of Ms. Marvel with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill; the quirky, misunderstood-with-a-dark-side Unbeatable Squirrel Girl with Tyler, The Creator’s Wolf; the armored billionaire who stars in The Invincible Iron Man with multiple gunshot and bankruptcy survivor 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying; the plays-by-his-own-rules oddball Howard The Duck with Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return To The 36 Chambers; and the wizened elder who brings enchantment to the Marvel universe Dr. Strange with the wizened elder who brings enchantment to thirty years of hip hop history in the form of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic.
The covers will be available, as with previous special variants, in limited quantities–which means that both longbox- and crate-diggers will need to plan ahead to grab ’em. But for Deadpool and Spider-Man recreating Eric B. and Rakim, it seems like any time invested will end up Paid In Full.