Do you like Marvel’s hip-hop variant covers? That’s a rhetorical question. If you’re reading this, that means you’re people, and people love Marvel’s homages to everyone from Eric B & Rakim to Run the Jewels.
With that in mind, Marvel is releasing a free comic collecting some of their favorite hip-hop covers. The 32-page book will contain 14 of the covers that the comic book publisher has released this year.
Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso explained the decision to the New York Times:
“The hip-hop variants were a really special initiative that caught fire in the outside world. We thought this was a great opportunity to highlight that and make it available to fans for free.”
Alonso explained the rationale behind selecting albums to pay tribute to (and picking appropriate characters) in an interview with Uproxx earlier this year.
“At the very beginning of the process, we roped in a few artists we knew were hip-hop heads — Sanford, Damion Scott, Juan Doe, Mike Del Mundo, Mahmud Asrar, etc. — and did a lot of brainstorming about what iconic covers HAD to be included, which characters would work best for them, and that’s when we nailed down homages to some of the most iconic covers: Sanford’s 3 Feet High & Rising, Damion’s Aquemini, Juan Doe’s The Chronic, Mahmud’s Long.Live.A$AP. That’s also when we came up with the self-imposed rules, was that any recording artist that got a cover got just one cover, so we could pay homage to as many rappers — and styles — as possible. We could’ve done an homage to every single A Tribe Called Quest album, you know what I’m saying?”
The free comic will be available on January 6 at participating stores.