Over the last few years, Marvel Comics has released a handful of special variant covers that paid tribute to popular/iconic hip-hop albums with a Marvel heroes twist. For example, there was a Luke Cage comic last year that had Power Man standing in for LL Cool J on the Bigger And Deffer album art and one from the year before with Ms. Marvel on The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. Those covers were the brainchild of former Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, and while he has since been replaced by new editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski (who once posed as a Japanese man, which people don’t talk about enough), Marvel’s love for hip-hop has not departed with him.
As announced by The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel is teaming up with Universal Music Group to release a handful of special edition albums that actually have the Marvel tribute covers in place of the original art. The three albums getting this special treatment are 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out, and GZA’s Liquid Swords, with them featuring art from Brain Stelfreeze’s Invincible Iron Man, Tim Bradstreet’s Punisher, and Denys Cowan’s Contest Of Champions (respectively).
The contents of the albums themselves won’t change, so you won’t have Iron Man actually performing “In Da Club,” but Universal will be selling specialer version of each one that includes a “limited edition” of the comic that the hip-hop cover originally appeared on as well as a lenticular print of the art. The Hollywood Reporter story doesn’t say when these will be available (or if anyone will point out the issues with having primarily white superheroes standing in for black musical artists).