What if some of the most iconic album covers in rap history were given a Marvel makeover?
For those uninitiated with comics (I’m still learning myself), variant covers are alternative covers. Just like movie posters and albums sometimes have different versions, so too can comics.
Over the past year or so, Marvel has done something super cool with their variants: they’ve put their characters into some of the most recognizable hip-hop album covers from the past forty years and have even compiled them into one single book.
Here is the book’s introduction by Black Panther author Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Regarding the rap variants, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said, “This variant program is an opportunity to show not only my love for hip-hop culture, but also the love of so many in Marvel’s freelance community. Hip-hop inspires a lot of us. It is the musical score for a lot of our lives. This comes from a place of love.”
How dope is that?
I have collected
101 131 of these covers and their inspirations, although I’m sure I’ve missed a few. Pick your favorite below.
Bonus: This is unofficial – I found it on Tumblr – but I like it much better than the Hulk/Cuban Linx version above.
If I’ve missed any, let me know and if/when Marvel drops more, I’ll be sure to add them.
Christopher Pierznik’s eight books are available in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Medium, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.