Marvel has been bombarding us with entertainment lately, from movies and ill-received amusement parks to playing with its own cover art. The company upped the ante on those Run The Jewels-inspired covers from back in January with its hero-filled Toddler Town in the recently released Giant-Size Marvel, and now it’s looking to mix genres with an upcoming slate of hip-hop inspired variant covers.
“For years, Marvel Comics and hip-hop culture have been engaged in an ongoing dialogue,” Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said ahead of the covers’ release, and his statement’s not a hard sell. The history of hip-hop artists and rappers and their comics-tinged influences includes Ghostface Killah, who named his debut solo album Ironman and uses the alias Tony Stark (for performances, we assume), as well as fellow Wu-Tang member Method Man going by the name Johnny Blaze, a.k.a. Ghost Rider’s alter ego. There’s also British DJ MF Doom, who borrowed part of his moniker from Fantastic Four villain Doctor Doom, and rapper David Banner, who took inspiration from the Hulk TV show.
When Marvel wraps the Secret Wars event this October, the palate-cleansing reboot will include these variant covers, tweaking the covers of classic and new hip-hop albums. So, this fall, an alternate Iron Man cover will feature Tony Stark doing his best 50 Cent, while the Extraordinary X-Men stand in for De La Soul on that trio’s 3 Feet High And Rising album cover. The new Captain America, Sam Wilson, will recreate A$AP Rocky’s debut album cover. Eleven of the 50 covers have already been released, so you can get to matching the covers and their albums (though for brevity’s sake, we’ll only include a handful here).