In a week awash with comic news leading up to New York Comic Con’s official kickoff tomorrow, Paste has an exclusive first look at Black Mask’s convention-exclusive Black #1 variant cover. Designed by series writer and co-creator Kwanza Osajyefo, the striking text-based cover highlights the defining nature of blackness in America and the implicit and far-ranging racial bias that negates the complexity and depth of black individuals. Below a bold, stenciled “BLACK” is a list of more nuanced descriptions: artist, sister, social worker, President of the United States.
Black #1 NYCC Exclusive Variant Cover by Kwanza Osajyefo
All proceeds collected from sales of the variant cover, available at NYCC booth #2161, will be donated to Black Lives Matter, a movement founded to bring attention to, among other issues, police violence against the black community—fitting for a comic in which the main character discovers his superpowers following a confrontation with cops.
The first issue of the politically charged series, drawn by industry veteran Jamal Igle, hit shelves today following a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and a distribution deal from Black Mask. The publisher is no stranger to donation initiatives; We Can Never Go Home co-writer Matt Rosenberg hosted an online auction of the book’s many variant covers to raise money for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in an effort to contextualize the protagonist’s use of firearms in the story.