Like many Marvel superheroes, the Avengers are mostly based in New York City. This localization has helped keep the Marvel heroes connected over the years, since they can’t help but run into each other, but also does a bit of a disservice to the rest of the country. In the wake of this year’s Civil War II event, however, the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. is distrusted, and America needs a far-reaching organization capable of keeping peace nationwide. Enter the U.S.Avengers, a new team dedicated to protecting the entire country. To celebrate the first issue (out Jan. 4 from writer Al Ewing and artist Paco Medina), Marvel compiled more than 50 variant covers, pairing each state with their own Avenger.
“We did extensive research through Marvel’s history to be able to align a particular Avenger with each individual State,” Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said in a statement. “Beginning with places of birth, and expanding outward to key stories featuring the character in that particular location, we were able to hone in on a specific and unique Avengers character with a connection to each of the fifty States — and more!”
So for instance, Ms. Marvel is the Avenger for New Jersey, since she’s entirely based in Jersey City. The Bruce Banner version of Hulk represents New Mexico, since it was there he first got his superpowers through nuclear radiation (the new “Totally Awesome” Amadeus Cho incarnation is Utah, since he spent significant time there). The covers are all gorgeously drawn by artist Rod Reis (Hadrian’s Wall), and the images fit together to form a 50-state picture of the American flag.
Readers who live outside the traditional 50 states shouldn’t worry about feeling left out, however. There are also variant covers for Washington, D.C. (Vision), Puerto Rico (White Tiger), and Canada (Deadpool). There’s also a bonus “secret” variant cover available to stores who order each one.
Check out a few of the covers below. U.S.Avengers #1 (and all its variants) hits stores Jan. 4.