Marvel Comics has commissioned a range of stunning variant covers by InHyuk Lee celebrating its Asian American and Pacific Islander heroes.
Marvel Comics is celebrating its Asian American and Pacific Islander heroes in a series of stunning variant covers by InHyuk Lee. The last year has seen Marvel celebrate the importance of diversity in its comic book universe, with a series of Marvel Voices one-shots. The company is continuing this trend in August’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with some amazing variant covers starring fan-favorite characters.
Marvel has commissioned a range of covers by renowned artist InHyuk Lee, in which the heroes’ traditional comic costumes have been merged with streetwear and traditional cultural elements. In the process Lee has created some remarkable looks that will hopefully make their way into the comics themselves, focusing on characters like Ms. Marvel, Psylocke, and Jimmy Woo – recently played by Randall Park in Marvel’s WandaVision.
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In an official press statement teasing five of the eight total covers, InHyuk Lee remarked:
I’m very proud to draw these eight Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage variant covers showing the iconic Asian heroes of the Marvel universe. Silk, Ms. Marvel, Psylocke, Shang-Chi… I love all these heroes so much and since I’m an illustrator and character designer, I proposed to renovate their outfits in a modern or tech-wear style, and Marvel liked my suggestion. When Emily Newcomen asked me about these covers, I had to accept despite my busy schedule because it was so meaningful. I’ve been working with Marvel for 10 years now and I’m happy to say we can always have fun working together.
Marvel has confirmed all the heroes on Lee’s covers, as well as the issues which will include the variants. These are Shang-Chi (Marvel Voices: Identity one-shot), Ms. Marvel (Captain Marvel #31), Psylocke (Hellions #14), Jubilee (Wolverine #15), Silk (Amazing Spider-Man #72), Amadeus Cho (Immortal Hulk #49), Jimmy Woo (Avengers #47), and Armor (X-Men #2.) While fans will have to wait to see Lee’s Jubilee, Shang-Chi and Amadeus Cho, aka Brawn, the art of the other characters proves these will be more than worth the wait.
The five covers revealed to date are absolutely stunning, although there is a degree of irony to the fact Armor gets a variant cover; while she’s appeared in New Mutants of late, it’s been a long time since Hisako Ichiki stood in the limelight. She was one of the mutants included in a recent fan vote for the new X-Men team, although she only came sixth. InHyuk Lee’s design for Armor is quite remarkable, and renewed focus on the character will hopefully invite increased interest in a hero who has long been teased as front-line X-Men material. Psylocke has received more focus as the team leader of the Hellions, wearing a gorgeous jacket complete with dragon motif, and breakout teen hero Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, will soon appear in the MCU, hopefully in the kind of realistic but comics-accurate costume shown here.
Jimmy Woo appears in a costume similar to his role with the FBI in WandaVision, though comic fans will know he’s become a far more important figure as the overseer of the Agents of Atlas, recently entering an even more morally grey role behind the scene of the Marvel Universe. Silk rounds out the covers revealed so far – a spider-themed hero bitten by the same irradiated arachnid as Peter Parker, but hidden away for years in order to avoid the attentions of the reality-hopping inheritors. Now free, Silk is currently enjoying her own ongoing series from Marvel Comics, with a live-action series coming soon from Sony. Look out for these covers and InHyuk Lee’s other variants in August, as Marvel Comics celebrates its Asian American and Pacific Islander heroes.
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