Marvel Comics has been making many inroads with hip-hop in recent years, perhaps most notably with their variant covers. This week, a new batch hit the web, inspired by rap legends like Nas, Dr. Dre and Missy Elliott.
Starting in 2015, the comic company began to create variant covers to their issues that paid tribute to iconic rap records. For example: The Roots’ Illadelph Halflife was used to inspire a variant for The Avengers, Jay Z’s The Black Album was imitated for Black Panther, and Nas’ Illmatic was used to depict a young Miles Morales as Spider-Man. Marvel has released over 50 covers so far.
This week, they teamed with Billboard to release several new covers. The issues hit comic shops in November.
Sam Spratt’s illustration of Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows imitates the cover of Nas’ 2012 album Life Is Good, which depicts the Queensbridge emcee with ex-wife Kelis‘ wedding dress draped over his lap.
Alitha E. Martinez and Rachelle Rosenberg flipped the cover for Dr. Dre’s swan song Compton into a depiction of Wakanda, the fictional African country ruled by T’Challa in Black Panther.
Riri Williams, the new black girl who takes on the mantle of Iron-Man, emulates Missy Elliott’s pose on the cover of her album Under Construction, in an illustration by Adi Granov.
David Williams and Carlos Cabrera’s cover of Iron Fists #1 draws inspiration from EPMD’s timeless Back In Business.
Lastly, in a surprising entry, artist Bill Sienkiewicz emulated Prodigy and Alchemist’s art for Albert Einstein for the cover of Venom #1.