Villains' Reign Variant Covers Are Both Terrifying and Wonderful
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Villains’ Reign Variant Covers Feature Bizarre – Yet Incredible – Marvel Hero/Villain Mashups

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BY September 27, 2021

Starting in December, Kingpin will war with New York City’s superheroes in Devil’s Reign, one of the eight upcoming Marvel tentpole titles. The event feels like a spiritual sequel to Dark Reign, when Norman Osborne took over SHIELD. But also Shadowland, when Daredevil went too far, killing Bullseye, which allowed the Beast of the Hand to possess him. As a result, Daredevil ended up in an all-out war with every New York street-level hero (plus Wolverine). We don’t know too much about the title, but to celebrate, Marvel is debuting eight Villains’ Reign Variant Covers in January. However, these mashups of heroes and villains aren’t a simple “Captain America as Red Skull” or “Iron Man as the Mandarin,” like we’ve seen in the past. Instead, these combinations feel like they pulled names out of a hat.

And it made for eight wonderfully insane covers.

The Weirdest Marvel Villains’ Reign Variant Covers – But Also Kind of Brilliant?

Marvel Villains’ Reign Variant Covers, Hulk, Kingpin, Thing, Death, Black Panther, Sabretooth, Mary Jane Watson, Nightmare, Captain America, Princess Python, Captain Marvel, Mole Man, Doctor Strange, the Ringmaster, She-Hulk, Kraven the Hunter, Devil’s Reign, Daredevil, Marvel Comics (Images: Marvel Comics)

When we say it feels like they pulled names out of a hat…this is what we mean. First, we have two “ah, that’s interesting” combinations at the top:

  • She-Hulk as Kraven the Hunter
  • Doctor Strange as the Ringmaster

Then we have the “what in the hell am I looking at and why do I love it” mashups:

  • Captain Marvel as Mole Man
  • Captain America as Princess Python

You read that right. One of the Villains’ Reign variant covers…is Cap as Princess Python. And it oddly works. But now, let’s take a look at the terrifying ones.

These Villains’ Reign Variants Will Haunt Your Multiversal Dreams

Marvel Villains’ Reign Variant Covers, Hulk, Kingpin, Thing, Death, Black Panther, Sabretooth, Mary Jane Watson, Nightmare, Captain America, Princess Python, Captain Marvel, Mole Man, Doctor Strange, the Ringmaster, She-Hulk, Kraven the Hunter, Devil’s Reign, Daredevil, Marvel Comics (Images: Marvel Comics)

These next four go beyond weird. They enter the realm of “oh god no.” The first, Mary Jane Watson as Nightmare. Generally, Mary Jane is most guys’ amazing fantasy (if you don’t get that pun…shame). But the Marvel character mashup in this Villains’ Reign variant cover? Nope. Turn and run, Peter Parker. You did not hit the jackpot.

Following dreams turned into Nightmare; we get inspiration turned to dread. This one makes the most sense out of all the combinations, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying—Black Panther as Sabretooth. If there were a villain that could take on Black Panther and Wolverine simultaneously, it’s this guy. Whatever his name would be. BlackTooth? Sabre Panther? Panther Tooth? Black Sabre? Wait, I think that last one is from The Mandalorian. Moving on…

Hulk. As. Kingpin. Honestly, any time Hulk wears a suit, he’s unsettling. Wearing the white power suit Kingpin loves to don, he’s more menacing than either character separately. However, out of all the Villains’ Reign variant covers, the is a character who should debut in the Marvel Universe. King Hulk the Crime Lord? I’m already down for 100 issues.

But finally, we have a mashup that makes all the other Villains’ Reign variant covers look like the Pet Avengers. Take Marvel’s most loveable rock monster, Ben Grimm, and combine him with Death herself. Death Thing even sounds like a horrifying villain. So, sweet dreams, everyone!

Which one do you like the most? And what completely out there mashups would you want to see?

Cable and Rhino? White Queen and the Lizard? Ms Marvel and Galactus? Lockjaw and Apocalypse…wait, that one needs to happen. Who’s a bad dog?!

(Featured Image: Marvel Comics)

COMICSMarvel

Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.

Black PantherCaptain AmericaCaptain MarvelDaredevilDevil's ReignDoctor StrangeHulkKingpinKraven the Huntermarvel comicsSabretoothShe-HulkThingVillain's Reign

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