J. Scott Campbell’s variant covers colorfully capture what fans love about Hulk, Spider-Man, and Thor just in time for the trio’s 60th years
Three larger-than-life Marvel Comics characters are hitting major milestones in 2022, and Spider-Man, Thor, and Hulk each dominate the special variant covers intended to celebrate their individual 60-year anniversaries. This trio of heroes are given center stage by J. Scott Campbell, a celebrated artist known for his work on various covers, including multiple issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, Black Cat, Thor, and others. As some of the most recognized superheroes in the world, the release of these covers in May and August is certain to grab attention.
Spider-Man has been slinging his webs for 60 years, becoming a fan favorite after making his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962 and Marvel is planning a big celebration in his honor. His story has taken fans through an emotional roller coaster, ranging from his failure to save Gwen Stacy to battling clones of himself to being buried alive to his controversial deal with Mephisto to erase his marriage from existence in exchange for saving Aunt May’s life. Through it all, he has remained one of Marvel’s most humorous characters and also one whose sense of responsibility weighs heavily upon him. Hulk has also been through a lot since his debut in The Incredible Hulk #1 by Lee and Jack Kirby, being banished to a gladiator planet, ruling a post-apocalyptic world, and having various levels of control in his eternal struggle with his alter ego Bruce Banner. On the other hand, Thor was justifiably deemed unworthy by Mjolnir, survived Ragnorok, and lost an eye, proving quite resilient for a character who debuted 60 years ago in Journey into Mystery #83 by Lee and Kirby.
In the variant covers, Campbell has visually captured what fans love about these Marvel Comics stalwarts. In Thor #25, the Asgardian has the swagger of a Norse god as he twirls Mjolnir while maintaining eye contact, lightning sparking all around him. Spider-Man’s acrobatics in Amazing Fantasy #1,000 catch him as he is about to swing off the page into the next 60 years, half of his body shaded like a classic comic and the other half possessing a modern sheen. In Hulk #7, the anniversary variant has the jade giant looking every bit the destructive brute that even Superman’s strength is measured against, as his footsteps alone are enough to crack the ground beneath him and his own name.
Thor’s anniversary variant is on sale now, with Hulk’s available on May 25. Spider-Man’s goes on sale August 31 and Marvel has revealed that more anniversary covers from Campbell can be expected in the coming months. For additional details on Spider-Man’s celebration, Amazing Fantasy #1,000 is a giant-sized one-shot where some of the best visual and editorial storytellers in the business will spin past, present, and future Spidey tales.
With what has been revealed already, Campbell’s variant covers are an integral part of these characters’ 60-year celebrations, and are in line with Marvel Comics’ energy when Captain America celebrated his 80-year anniversary last year. By paring the covers down to solely the heroes, it’s a joyful reminder of how mighty, incredible, and amazing Thor, Hulk, and Spider-Man have been for more than half a century.
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