When Marvel Comics announced their new Avengers NOW! initiative, there were a few big bullet-point announcements. Thor’s a woman; the Falcon is the new Captain America; Iron Man’s getting a Genius-Bar costume change. But for a certain kind of comic book fan, the most important part of the announcement was: Deathlok, Deathlok, Deathlok.
The cyborg hero first appeared four decades ago, but 2014 has seen a veritable Deathlok renaissance. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. put its own spin on the character, transforming J. August Richards’ superpowered Mike Peterson into a scarred killing machine. And in October, Marvel is launching a new Deathlok ongoing series, written by Nathan Edmondson and drawn by Mike Perkins, focusing on sleeper agent Henry Hayes.
EW is excited to share an exclusive variant cover of Deathlok #2, illustrated by artist Tom Whalen, whose geek cred derives from his series of snazzy alternate movie posters for Mondo.
And as a bonus, here’s the cover with just the artwork:
And if you can’t get enough Deathlok—it’s impossible to get too much Deathlok—here’s J. August Richards at Comic-Con 2014 talking about the future of the character onscreen.