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Marvel Does Blondie, Nirvana, and The Clash as Comic Book Covers

The Clash (Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Nicky 'Topper' Headon) back stage before their most famous gig at the Rainbow Theatre, London in 1977. © Allan Ballard

Marvel Comics are set to release five covers created in the style of classic rock albums. The comics will be released this September as part of the Marvel Comics variant covers series—and admittedly they look pretty great.

Ryan Penagos, vice president and executive editor at Marvel digital media, announced the news on his Twitter. The Marvel cover artworks are inspired by Nirvana, The Clash, Guns N' Roses, and Blondie. And will feature on comics from Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor, Inhumans, X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold.

The press release states, "A truly unique and limited collection, only five covers will be released, each paying tribute to a classic rock band that defined and expanded the music form."

Nirvana photographed in a stairwell at the Astoria, London in November 1991. © Matt Anker

One of the covers features Thor imitating the iconic cover of The Clash's London Calling album. The Clash’s cover was itself paying homage to Elvis Presley's debut album. In the Marvel version Thor is smashing his hammer, Mjölnir, on the ground just like Clash bassist Paul Simonon smashed his Fender Precision Bass live onstage at the Palladium in New York City in September 1979. The iconic photo was taken by Pennie Smith.

The Guardians of the Galaxy cover is a homage to Nirvana's iconic Nevermind with the floating naked baby, Spencer Elden, reaching for a dollar bill on a fish hook. The photo was taken by Kirk Weddle, who was a friend of Spencer's dad. In the Marvel version instead of a baby it’s Rocket Raccoon floating in space towards some currency that has Thanos’ (the Marvel villain) face on it.

Guns N' Roses at the Hammersmith Odeon, London 1987 during their Appetite for Destruction tour. © Steve Double

The Inhumans comic cover is a nod to Guns N' Roses' debut album Appetite for Destruction’s cover, which featured the skulls of the band members in the form of a Celtic cross. The Inhumans’ skulls replaces the five members of Guns N' Roses.

And the X-Men Blue's cover is created in the style of Blondie's Parallel Lines. The Blondie cover was photographed by Edo Bertoglio and features the the band in matching suits. Contrasting with these is Debbie Harry who is juxtaposed with her hands on her hips, in a white dress and high heels. The X-Men blue cover replaces the band with various mutants including Cyclops and Wolverine. The X-Men Gold cover has yet to be previewed.

Blondie headlined at The Palladium, NYC as part of their 1st U.S. Tour in 1978. © Lex Van Rossen

These follow on from a previous Marvel Comics' Variant series from 2015 which paid reference to classic hip hop covers. These included Rocket Raccoon and Groot in a variant cover of Run DMC’s King Of Rock. Along with Dr. Strange doing Dr. Dre and many more.

You can check out the Marvel Rock Variant covers below.

Thor cover. Image: Marvel Comics

Guardian of the Galaxy cover. Image: Marvel Comics

Inhumans cover. Image: Marvel Comics

X-Men Blue Cover.

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer these images for sale, along with many other photos of The Clash, Nirvana, Guns N' Roses, and Blondie as limited edition photographic prints.  

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