As with any series launch, the recently announced Avengers AI #1 by Sam Humphries and Andrew Lima Araujo already has a variant cover in the pipeline, but it’s definitely one with a retro twist. Revealed on the Marvel Tumblr, Matthew Waite’s variant for the first issue goes back to the 8-bit era of video games, giving a look at Hank Pym, the Vision, Victor Mancha, a Doombot, new character Alexis and 616 newcomer Monica Chang fighting a team of Ultron robots as if it were an old-school, 8-bit Nintendo game.
The cover definitely channels Capcom’s original Mega Man games, with Pym’s robotic Avengers leaping and blasting Ultron robots in a very Mega Man-esque fashion. Waite’s cover isn’t the first time an Avengers team has been depicted in 8-bit. Data East published Captain America and the Avengers for the NES in 1991, which featured Captain America and Hawkeye attempting to rescue Iron Man and Vision from the Mandarin.
It’s unknown whether the 8-bit variant cover will be a trend for Marvel moving forward, but given the popularity of theme variant covers such as the zombie variants during the Marvel Zombies era and the current Skottie Young Li’l Marvel covers, it seems like a pretty likely scenario that readers will see more 8-bit cover shenanigans going forward into the next era of Marvel NOW!