After immense success with putting Hip-Hop duo Run the Jewels on the cover of a few of their books, Marvel has expanded the idea to give each and every single book in their All-New All-Different line-up its own Hip-Hop variant. We’ve tracked down each cover, provided information about the album inspiring the variant cover, and given our two cents on whether it fits the subject. We’ll be doing this each month for as long as the All-New All-Different brand keeps putting out variants!
Red Wolf #1
Marvel Creative Team: Nathan Edmondson (Writer), Dalibor Talajic (Artist)
Cover Artist: Mike del Mundo
Hip-Hop Album: Method Man’s Tical (1994)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Bring The Pain,” “All I Need”
How well does it fit?: Ehh, Method Man is easily the most successful of the Wu Tang alumni, while Red Wolf has been a largely unknown character in the Marvel U. After a solid cameo in 1872, I think his solo series will be a smash hit.
Marvel Creative Team: Robbie Thompson (Writer), Nick Bradshaw (Artist)
Cover Artist: Gyimah Gariba
Hip-Hop Album: Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV (2011)
Best Tracks off the Album: “6 Foot 7 Foot,” “She Will,” “How to Love,” “Outro”
How well does it fit?: I would lose a lot of friends if I compared Peter Parker to Lil Wayne, and rightfully so. As far as covers go, it’s a match; Wayne’s perchance for putting kids on his albums fits well with the pre-teen webster in Spidey.
Uncanny X-Men #1
Marvel Creative Team: Cullen Bunn (Writer), Greg Land (Artist)
Cover Artist: Greg Land
Hip-Hop Album: Geto Boys’ The Geto Boys (1986)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Gangsta of Love,” “Fuck Em,” “Scarface”
How well does it fit?: The Geto Boys came nearly 30 years ago, and even though it was far ahead of its time, it’s just a shadow of what Geto Boys would do in years to come. Likewise, the X-Men are kind of broken now, and the new X-team would have Xavier rolling in his grave: Magneto, Sabretooth, Mystique, and Fantomex… word?
All-New Inhumans #1
Marvel Creative Team: Charles Soule & James Asmus (Writer), Stefano Caselli (Artist)
Cover Artist: Marco D’Alfonso
Hip-Hop Album: Future’s DS2 (2015)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Where Ya At,” “F*ck Up Some Commas,” “Rich $ex” (no links. I can’t encourage this tripe)
How well does it fit?: I hope it doesn’t fit. Future is one of the worst rappers I’ve ever heard. I guess the similarity between Future and the Inhumans is that I rarely understand what anybody is saying. Horrible rap aside, the cover is gorgeous.
Marvel Creative Team: Charles Soule (Writer), Ron Garney (Artist)
Cover Artist: Alex Maleev
Hip-Hop Album: 2Pac’s Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. (1993)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Keep Your Head Up,” “I Get Around,” “Last Wordz,” “Holler If Ya Hear Me”
How well does it fit?: 2Pac has come out with a LOT of material. I mean, his catalog spanned for a good decade after his death, so why choose Strictly as the variant cover? Maybe Marvel is trying to get back to Matt Murdock’s gritty roots. His past couple series have been so outlandish and broad-scoped. It’d be nice for a return to something dark and violent. Maybe that Shadowland outfit has something to do with it?
Guardians of Infinity #1
Marvel Creative Team: Dan Abnett (Writer), Carlo Barbieri (Artist)
Cover Artist: Marco Rudy
Hip-Hop Album: Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly (2015)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Alright,” “King Kunta,” “i,” “The Blacker the Berry”
How well does it fit?: Guardians of the Galaxy has carved out its own space in the comic book world since the movie debuted – so much so that there is a book coming out where different versions of the team face off against each other. The only guarantee is that is will get weird. Kendrick Lamar’s latest album is genius, but it is very eccentric, and is reflected in the music videos. As oddball as it sounds, there are a lot of poignant topics in the jazz-filled tracks.
All-New X-Men #1
Marvel Creative Team: Dennis Hopeless (Writer), Mark Bagley (Artist)
Cover Artist: Ed Piskor
Hip-Hop Album: Camp Lo’s Uptown Saturday Night (1997)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Coolie High,” “Luchini – This is it,” “Black Nostaljack – Come On”
How well does it fit?: Camp Lo’s smooth style of Hip-Hop is a complete 180 of the chaotic time-displaced All-New X-Men. Now that the first volume is complete, maybe they can kick back and groove a bit more – especially now that Scott Summers is going to be a bachelor for a while.
Totally Awesome Hulk #1
Marvel Creative Team: Greg Pak (Writer), Frank Cho (Artist)
Cover Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Hip-Hop Album: Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Guillotine (Swordz),” “Ice Cream,” “Verbal Intercourse”
How well does it fit?: You don’t want to make RZA angry. The Chef served up one of the hardest rap albums of all times on the first try. Will an All-New Asian-American Hulk be able to hit a home run on the first try? My hopes are high – particularly since there is an Asian writer and artist on this book, a rarity in minority-led books.
Scarlet Witch #1
Marvel Creative Team: James Robinson (Writer), Kevin Wada (Artist)
Cover Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz
Hip-Hop Album: Eminem’s Relapse (2009)
Best Tracks off the Album: “3am,” “Beautiful,” “We Made You”
How well does it fit?: This is one of the best fits I’ve seen so far. Both Scarlett Witch and Slim Shady are very mentally unstable characters, and when they go off their rocker, they can obliterate worlds with the chaos and fury they unleash.
Starbrand and Nightmask #1
Marvel Creative Team: Greg Weisman (Writer), Domo Stanton (Artist)
Cover Artist: Keron Grant
Hip-Hop Album: Gang Starr’s Hard to Earn (1994)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Mass Appeal,” “Dwyck,” “Code of the Streets”
How well does it fit?: Well, I have no idea who the hell Strarbrand and Nightmask are apart from a brief appearance in Infinity. Gang Starr is one of the most lauded duos in Hip-Hop history. Maybe the word “star” brought them together? I don’t know. There’s a lot of Eastern influence in Starbrand; I’ll give it a go.
Marvel Creative Team: G Willow Wilson (Writer), Victor Ibanez (Artist)
Cover Artist: Adam Hughes
Hip-Hop Album: NWA’s Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Straight Outta Compton,” “Fuck the Police,” “I Ain’t the 1,” “Express Yourself,” “Dopeman”
How well does it fit?: I really hope A-Force kicks down the damn door the way N.W.A. did. With such a microscope under how to “correctly” portray a strong female lead in a superhero book, G. Willow Wilson has thrown out the rule book and brought the heat with an all-female team.
Squadron Supreme #1
Marvel Creative Team: James Robinson (Writer), Leonard Kirk (Artist)
Cover Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Hip-Hop Album: Wu Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu Tang (1993)
Best Tracks off the Album: “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Method Man,” “Protect Ya Neck,” “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothin’ Ta F’ Wit,” “Shame on a N****”
How well does it fit?: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s never been truer than for Wu Tang Clan, which is firmly planted in first place as the most heralded Hip-Hop group. Yeah, there have been several spectacular solo careers, but nothing that’s matched the acclaim of Wu Tang. Similarly, this iteration of Squadron Supreme includes: Blur, Hyperion, Dr. Spectrum, and Power Princess. Word on the street is that their first task is to murder Namor – and that they succeed.
Marvel Creative Team: Sam Humphries (Writer), Mike Del Mundo (Artist)
Cover Artist: Juan Doe
Hip-Hop Album: Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle (1993)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Gin and Juice,” “Murder Was The Case,” “Lodi Dodi,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)”
How well does it fit?: I can only hope to love Weirdworld as much as I did Doggystyle. The Snoop debut was just fun. There were threats of violence and lots of sex talk, but really it was just a fun record with a new sound. The first installment of Weirdworld was just that: vulgar, thrilling, hilarious.
Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #1
Marvel Creative Team: Kate Leth (Writer), Brittney Williams (Artist)
Cover Artist: Javier Pulido
Hip-Hop Album: Digable Planet’s Blowout Comb (1994)
Best Tracks off the Album: “9th Wonder (Blackitolism),” “Jettin,” “Dog It”
How well does it fit?: This doesn’t really make sense to me at all. I like both of these separately, but I don’t see the connection.
That about does it for Marvel’s new books and the Hip-Hop variants that come with them. Check back next month for a whole new set of entries.