I go back and forth on how I feel about variant covers, in terms of whether or not they're good for comics in general. But I'll say this much: the inclusion of variants can sometimes lead to great art we'd otherwise never see. Case in point, Ronald Wimberly's variant cover for Mighty Avengers #3, which is probably my favorite cover of 2013 so far.

This is the good part about variants. I think Marvel would be less inclined to run something like this as their regular cover, which means we may have otherwise never seen this homage to blaxploitation, particularly the work of Chester Himes, from Wimberly. It's a fitting choice for a lot of reasons, but maybe most importantly because the leader of this team, Luke Cage, was based largely on Himes' Harlem Detective novels starring Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones:



Here's Wimberly's full variant cover for MightAvengers #3, as well as the promotional poster for Cotton Comes To Harlem, the 1970 film directed by Ossie Davis and based on the novel by Himes.




Mighty Avengers #3 arrives in stores this November.

[Via Wimberly's Tumblr]

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