Unless (like me) you live under a rock you’ve heard about the hip-hop variants Marvel is putting out. Inspired by the rap music scene Marvel has scheduled 26 variant covers over the next several months based on this theme. Criticisms of the hip-hop variant have come from many different angles. From the “we hate everything” fanboy knee-jerk response to the more reasoned responses questioning whether Marvel would have served an entire community better by hiring more of their writers and artists and not just appropriating a form a music so closely associated with their culture. I don’t buy many variants. I’m not really the type that looks for that “next big book” that will make me hundreds of dollars. That being said some of these covers, simply by virtue of the drama surrounding them, will be worth a few bucks. At least until the next big drama comes along.
What do you think? Does it make Marvel seem disingenuous to use Black Culture when they take such a beating for hiring so few of the talented black artists and writers? Sound off in the comments.
Here are the covers Marvel sent out this morning, and further down the page you can find the accompanying press release:
Marvel Hip-Hop Variants
All-New Wolverine #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Keron Grant
Amazing Spider-Man #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mike Del Mundo
The Astonishing Ant-Man #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mark Brooks
Doctor Strange #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Juan Doe
Extraordinary X-Men #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Sanford Greene
Howard the Duck #1- HIP-HOP Variant Juan Doe
Invincible Iron Man #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Brian Stelfreeze
Sam Wilson, Captain America #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mahmud Asrar
Ms. Marvel #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Jenny Frisson
Squadron Supreme #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mike Del Mundo
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Phil Noto
Star-Lord #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Tradd Moore
Personally it’s a shame that Marvel keeps sticking their foot in it. They had some massively talented people on this project, damn good artists, shame they didn’t think about the ramifications of audience reaction. Or then again maybe they did. Everyone is talking about it aren’t they? Maybe the old adage, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, will hold true.
Here’s that press release…
Marvel Becomes Inspired by the Music Industry with
Marvel Comics’ Hip-Hop Variants
New York, NY—July 16, 2015—Expression and art form merge between Marvel Comics and the world of hip-hop with a unique line of HIP-HOP Variants covers inspired by some of the most iconic and well received hip-hop and rap albums of all time.
Accompanying each all-new #1 from Marvel Comics coming this fall, fans will get the chance to purchase their own Marvel Comics variant cover featuring their favorite Marvel characters paying homage to some of the most well-known and vocal musical artists over the past couple of years.
“For years, Marvel Comics and Hip-Hop culture have been engaged in an ongoing dialog,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “Beginning this October, we will shine a spotlight on the seamless relationship between those two unique forces in when we unveil the first of more than fifty variant covers, each of which pays tribute to an iconic album cover from the past 30 years that shaped pop-culture over the past three decades.”
Look for Marvel’s HIP-HOP Variants to grace the covers of these exciting Marvel comics beginning in the month of October:
- Amazing Spider-Man #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mike Del Mundo
- Angela: Queen of Hel #1 – HIP-HOP Variant by Annie Wu
- The Astonishing Ant-Man #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mark Brooks
- Contest of Champions #1 – HIP-HOP Variant by Denys Cowan
- Doctor Strange #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Juan Doe
- Extraordinary X-Men #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Sanford Greene
- Guardians of the Galaxy #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Shawn Crystal
- Invincible Iron Man #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Brian Stelfreeze
- The Mighty Thor #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mike Deodato
- Sam Wilson, Captain America #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mahmud Asrar
- Spider-Gwen #1 – HIP-HOP Variant by Humberto Ramos
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Phil Noto
- Uncanny Inhumans #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Damian Scott
- Uncanny Avengers #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Jason Pearson
Look for these additional HIP-HOP Variants coming later this fall:
- All-New All-Different Avengers #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Jim Cheung
- All-New Wolverine #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Keron Grant
- Carnage #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Ariel Olivetti
- Howard the Duck #1- HIP-HOP Variant Juan Doe
- Ms. Marvel #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Jenny Frisson
- Old Man Logan #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Tim Bradstreet
- Spider-Man #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Adi Granov
- Spider-Man/Deadpool #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Dave Johnson
- Squadron Supreme #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mike Del Mundo
- Star-Lord #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Tradd Moore
- The Totally Awesome Hulk #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Mahmud Asrar
- Web Warriors #1- HIP-HOP Variant by Damian Scott
No fan can afford to miss out when Marvel Comics stands alongside the hip-hop industry with covers celebrating some of the most iconic albums which have crafted the sound of a generation. Be there when Marvel Comics’ HIP-HOP Variants drop this fall in your local comic book shops.
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.