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!
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?
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. It’s not as “f*** you, men” as other books like Bitch Planet, but it’s just as kick-ass as Straight Outta Compton.
Rocket Raccoon and Groot #1
Marvel Creative Team: Skottie Young (Writer), Filipe Andrade (Artist)
Cover Artist: Khary Randolph
Hip-Hop Album: Run DMC’s King of Rock (1985)
Best Tracks off the Album: “King of Rock,” “Can You Rock it Like This,” “You Talk Too Much”
How well does it fit?: Well, King of Rock is one of Run DMC’s weakest albums, but I can’t help but see the similarity in their bravado to Rocket Raccoon and Groot. To me, Rocket and Groot represent everything that Run DMC felt like in early Hip-Hop. They’re weird and different. They’re loud. They’re in your face and are super comfortable with who they are. You don’t like it? Deal with it.
Marvel Creative Team: Joe Kely (Writer), Ed McGuinness (Artist)
Cover Artist: Dave Johnson
Hip-Hop Album: Eric B and Rakim’s Paid in Full (1987)
Best Tracks off the Album: “My Melody,” “Move the Crowd,” “Eric B is President,” “I Ain’t No Joke”
How well does it fit?: If there is any cover out there that could fit the insane silliness of a Spidey/D-Pooly team-up, it’s Paid in Full by Eric B. and Rakim. While Rakim will always be known as one of the illest MCs ever to rock a mic, The chemistry he had with Eric B is what propelled him to superstardom. Similarly, Spider-Man and Deadpool are great apart, but when you think about the two together, it just makes more sense.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1
Marvel Creative Team: Marc Guggenheim (Writer), German Peralta (Artist)
Cover Artist: Dave Johnson
Hip-Hop Album: Curren$y’s Verde Terrace (2011)
Captain Marvel #1
Marvel Creative Team: Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas (Writer), Kris Anka (Artist)
Cover Artist: Marguerite Sauvage
Hip-Hop Album: Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic (2014)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Fancy,” “The Black Widow”
How well does it fit?: Not at all. Iggy Azalea is a joke. Captain Marvel is an American treasure. I’ll miss Kelly Sue as a writer, but I’m confident in this new creative team.
Silver Surfer #1
Marvel Creative Team: Dan Slott (Writer), Mike Allred (Artist)
Cover Artist: Cliff Chiang
Hip-Hop Album: Drake’s Nothing Was the Same (2013)
Best Tracks off the Album: “Hold On, We Going Home,” “Started From the Bottom,” “From Time”
How well does it fit?: Silver Surfer is a guy who nobody really pays attention to because he’s never really beating his chest about how dangerous he is; he’s a sweetheart. Drake is the same way; he knows how powerful he is, but is more in touch with his feelings. Like the Silver Surfer, Drake also keeps questionable company around – AKA crappy ass rappers like Lil Wayne.
Old Man Logan #1
Marvel Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (Writer), Andrea Sorrentino (Artist)
Cover Artist: Tim Bradstreet
Hip-Hop Album: Ice Cube’s Death Certificate (1991)
Best Tracks off the Album: “No Vaseline,” “Givin’ Up the Nappy Dugout,” “Doin’ Dumb Shit,” “Steady Mobbin’”
How well does it fit?: If there’s one word to describe the early-90’s Ice Cube and the Old Man Logan version of Wolverine, it’d be “ruthless.” Fresh off his separation from NWA, Death Certificate was a big middle finger to the world, whereas Logan, who had just come off his own… “separation” from the X-Men, was in the same kind of mood.
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.