Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Judging (Marvel's May) Books By Their Covers

Marvel's May Solicitations are up, so let's make some prejudgements based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgements, don't we?).

Let's begin!


That IS a drawing of a lot of ships.

Can't take that away from it.



This ruins EVERYthing!!!

Ultimate continuity is RUINED!!!!

I hope that big guy is a new Ultimate villain!

I have been waiting so long for another Geldoff!!

Subway has been getting a lot more aggresive in their weight loss ad campaign!


I am not sure what Eaton was going for with this Fury cover, exactly, but I do not think he pulled it off.


I can't be the only one who looks at stuff like this new Marvel Adventures: Avengers really cynically, can I?

Like, "Hmmm...who can we make a woman? Is there anyone who could be black? Can Thor be black? Hey, Storm is black AND a woman! SCORE!"

See, now this is a fun Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man cover!

Good job by Amanda Conner

Woah, first the joke right out of the 60s, and now this cover...

Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four must think it is still 1963 outside!

I once worked in Stamford, CT...

Damn you, Marvel!!!

Interesting that they're letting Ron Garney do the covers for Amazing Spider-Man.

Clearly, THE best superhero cover artist working today.


I gotta tell ya...

...if he ever wants to stop "drawing" comic book covers, I think Greg Horn has a real future in comedy.

Humberto Ramos on Wolverine is really weird, but I will admit, I don't mind this cover.


In his recent chat at CBR, Karl Kesel was asked about the new Spider-Man costume...

He responded, "I love it. I love it. I love it. I want to marry it."



"I hate it."

Admirable honesty...hehe.

This Last Planet Standing cover is what I would call a good throwback cover.

Oh, and I continue to be amused at the idea of a comic universe devoted solely to Tom DeFalco.

Very clever Spider-Girl cover design by Ron Frenz.


This has got to be the first Clayton Crain cover that has an actual bright background.

Now I know why he likes his covers murky...hehe.

By the way, this issue features: Lizard, Man-Wolf, Vermin, Madame Web, Black Cat and Puma.

Do you think Aguirre-Sacasa has forgotten what decade it is?

Is this Spider-Man Unlimited cover an outtake from Marvels? A panel Alex Ross didn't use?

And I do not want to know where Jay Anacelto got the photo references for liquid dripping off someone's chin.

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane is a fun book...

But you don't get much more boring than this Takeshi Miyazawa cover.


I am grouping them together because they are all by Gabriele Dell'Otto, and, well, they're all basically the same level of quality.

You'd think he'd want to mix things up a bit, but I guess he is figuring, if it ain't broke, don't fix it...hehe.

I like Copiel, but I think he went a little TOO understated for this Black Panther cover.


It is interesting to see Weston shift from more realistic art for the covers DURING the series.

Still, this Fantastic Four: First Family cover has a nice layout to it.



Not a great Daughters of the Dragon cover.

Dan Slott, take care.

You still have the honor of having written the best Doc Samson mini-series.

I like Lee Weeks' art a lot, so I don't get why he seems to be doing such an affected job on this cover.

I like Jack Kirby, but I don't want Lee Weeks to try to look like Jack Kirby. I got enough of that during Perez and Byrne's FF runs (Byrne's first run).

More Iron Man covers should have Tony Stark in an undershirt.

And he should have a perm again, like during the 80s!

Nice cover.

I am impressed by how Frazer Irving manages to convey emotion on Iron Man's helmet. Very nice job. Iron Man: The Inevitable has had some very impressive artwork from Irving.

Not impressed by this Marvel Team-Up cover from Phil Hester.

Very blah.

Not a bad drawing, though.

Oh, now a handbook for the 70s!

Not niche-y enough, Marvel!

I want an official handbook for 1983!!

Marvel Tails starring Peter Porker the Spectacular Spider-Ham!!


U.S. 1!

Obnoxio the Clown!!

Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior!!!!!!!!

This must happen!

Ah well...I give it three years before it actually happens.

I liked Sal Velluto on Black Panther.

Man, how ugly was that Storm outfit?

Talk about irony...using photo refs to draw photos.

By the by, these "rewriting old comics" comics have not been all that inspiring so far. Anyone enjoying them out there?

I love covers that perfectly encapsulate a comic, and whether you would enjoy it.

If you dig this cover, you are the audience for this comic book.

I think "The Renderer" could be the name of a super cool villain, don't you think?


This New Avengers cover looks like a case for Sherlock Holmes...

"The Case of the Purloined Lines"

It is madness!! The characters, they are not surrounded by any lines! The streams, they are crossing!!!!

FINALLY, a comic that puts women in their place!


I wonder what kind of dramatic impression the world of Underworld will have upon the Punisher.

This could shape up to be the crossover event of the year.

Two teams on opposing sides of the cover?


Giant characters holding characters in their hands to signify they are controlling them?


So...what 60s cover cliches are the Thunderbolts missing out on?

This is a nice, clever, funny cover by Andrea Di Vito.

Thing is lucky to have him drawing it.

At what point do you think Gurihiru gave up on attempting to draw the Iron Man costume in detail?

I say two minutes in.

Ron Frenz Rule of Costume Design - live by it!

Very strong Travel Foreman Ares cover.

Is Travel his real name?

Nice Hulk cover by Ladronn, however...

it seems like he is repeating the covers a bit.

Hey look, Black Tom is back!

And he is carrying a big bag of suck!

Oh wait, that's just Excalibur's reflections...sorry.

Paco Medina, tsk tsk tsk...doing a cover homage and not adding an "After Byrne" note.

Tsk tsk.

This is a pretty cool cover by Dave Ross.

Granted, any cover with Flag-Smasher, Domino and Deadpool is BOUND to be good, right?



Ah, who am I fooling...

To recap...Sentinel Squad One is a prequel to the events in the current X-Men titles.

Because, you know, you need to know the full backstory of peripheral characters in X-Men.

Son of M #6 just broke the record!!

What record?

The most covers of a comic mini-series involving just showing a character standing still in the middle of the street!!

Woohoo!! Num-ber One! Num-ber One!

Yikes! Mike Mayhew needs some new photo references!!

No offense intended to the children depicted in the cover, of course.

Okay...I guess I understand that SOME offense was going to occur...hehe.

This looks just like this cover Bachalo did on his first stint on Uncanny X-Men!

Or am I totally wrong?

The one with Bishop and Deathbird.

A fan upset with Shani Davis, I am sure.

Look at that! Topical humor!!

Good drawing by Sook, but I do not know if it is that gripping of a cover.


All we need is for Vin Diesel to do the voiceover.

Certainly a STRIKING cover, but also not all that clear of a cover.


Look how smug Poccy looks on that cover!

THAT is why he is a villain!

Yes, I have decided to call Apocalypse Poccy from now on.

Wow....X-Men: Fairy Tales and Mangaverse.

Does C. B. Cebulski ever pitch a NORMAL series to Marvel?

Gene Ha?


Gene Ha?

That X-Men: The End cover?

Gene Ha?

Wherefore art thou, good Gene Ha?

Cool Allred cover, but not good enough for top five!!


Colorforms...I am telling you...colorforms.


Well, I will give him credit, he gave us a nice background for the colorform on this cover.


I really gotta give Cho credit for his adapted style on these Ms. Marvel covers.

Nice work.

Striking cover.

This Four cover has to be one of the cutest final issue covers ever.

Almost top five just based on cuteness.

But it didn't


5 and 4. POSE-OFF!!!

First, #5's Stuart Immonen's Nextwave cover depicts the group vogueing their way quite nicely.

However, #4 (and the winner) belongs to the esteemable Marcos Martin with this moody Runaways cover.

Someone give Marcos Martin a regular gig - STAT!

#3 Tommy Lee Edwards has been striking gold with his recent covers.

Such depth and forcefullness.

VERY nice.

#2 A nice posing Captain America by Epting.

However, this one also strikes the mood and theme of the issue, which is rare for posing covers.

So, kudos to Epting!

#1 belongs to the great Richard Corben, with this cover to Marvel's rather odd book, which is adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe work.

Totally out of left field, but appreciated.

Well, that's it for this month!

Feel free to weigh in with your prejudices (and your top five covers)!

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Blogger Michael said...

I'll repeat here what I said on my own blog:

Ye gods, is that *really* the Civil War trade dress?

2/15/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

That Runaways cover? Purple and green color scheme with half-hearted silhouettes that barely register? Really?

I quite like the book, but I really do find the image offputting.

2/15/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Matthew Craig said...


I mean, seriously.

Am I eevil for wanting Frank Quitely to do a Daredevil GN featuring DD in the movie costume?

There could be cool hypersense-simulating artistic effects and everything!

Amanda Conner really is the New Steve Dillon, isn't she. Gad, but I want to see her draw Amazing Spider-Man.

Punisher: Tyger looks bosting. I hope they whack it in a hardcover with PUNISHER: YEAR ONE, to mirror the BORN/THE END business.

Even 'Ringo cannot save that horrendous Third Leg Spider-Man costume. A cynic might suggest that he knows it, based on that cover.

Do you think the notion of a "Riverbank Massacre" would be less funny if I didn't know about Hammy Hamster?

In the Marvel Universe, is Britain actually just Central London surrounded by a BIG FRICKIN' OCEAN and Ireland?

Re: Mike Mayhew: his MARY JANE illustrations (what I saw of them) were odd, in that they were less than stellar pictures of "Peter" and "Mary Jane," but amazing pictures of Peter and Mary Jane. He actually made them look like real kids...oddly enough...but, you know, real people, for the first time! Woo!

Whoever let that book go to press with the words "chemically-engineered spider" on the back deserves a metaphorical punch up the bracket, though.

Black Tom looks too much like Tony Stark.

I like how That's Not Spider-Man gets jabbed in like an afterthought on that Nuvengers cover. Nobody wants to draw him, Marvel!




2/15/2006 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Sleestak said...

Is it just me, or did Sal Velluto use as reference the infamous Liefeld Captain America side view for that BP cover?

2/15/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Seamus Gentz said...

So the Iron Spider costume (God, I feel dirty just calling it that) really only has three legs? Why THREE? Spiders have eight limbs, damn it. 2 arms + 2 legs + 3 spider legs = 7. Not eight, seven. Can Stark just not count, or is it Quesada's fault?

You know, it shows you just how terrible that thing is when the only thoughts I can have about it involve arithmatic.

2/15/2006 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Apodaca said...

Is it me, or does Apocalypse have Michael Chiklis' face on that "Stupid vs. Crapula" cover?

2/16/2006 12:13:00 AM  
Anonymous carla said...

By the by, these "rewriting old comics" comics have not been all that inspiring so far. Anyone enjoying them out there?

.... *raises hand* That'd be me. I think they're kinda light good fun in an era where severity and over-rama are mainstays on the shelves. Kinda like watching'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' once and awhile. Then again, I could be a minority here.

And for the record, Greg Land should be taken in very small doses. For a cover and, like, that's it. Too much will make you want to order something out of the catelog he's so obviously lightboarding.

2/16/2006 03:34:00 AM  
Blogger Alicia said...

I've heard rumors about there being seven-legged flying spiders in nature.

I sort of doubt Marvel put that much thought into the decision to give Iron Spider three mechanical legs, though.

2/16/2006 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

The official word on the arms (and it creeps me out that I know what the official word is on the arms...hehe) is that, when the costume was initially designed, it WAS going to be essentially Doc Octopus, but Quesada thought it would be silly to make Spider-Man look just like a villain, and then Quesada noticed in one of the designs (I think Bachalo designed the costume) one of the arms almost looked like a stinger, and Quesada thought that would be a neat idea.

So what it is is two arms on the side, and a third one that works like the Scorpion's tail.

2/16/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Mela said...

So...what 60s cover cliches are the Thunderbolts missing out on?

Maybe a few dozen gignormous bombastic captions telling you how earth-shakingly dramatic the story is and how it's the greatest work of literature ever put to print. Marvel loved those.

2/16/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Jer said...

"Oh, and I continue to be amused at the idea of a comic universe devoted solely to Tom DeFalco."

Why? It's just Marvel's Earth-2, which was DC's comic universe devoted solely to Roy Thomas. It's kind of fitting, actually.

And you aren't the only one who has a cynical view of the Marvel Adventures covers. The first two thing I thought when I looked at it was "doesn't Marvel have any good female characters who actually WERE Avengers?"

Then I thought some more and decided, not really. Storm probably is the most recognizable and popular female superhero character Marvel has. Sigh.

2/16/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Paul O'Brien said...

Marvel Tails starring Peter Porker the Spectacular Spider-Ham!!

He's in the Alternate Universes Handbook from last year, which is a real barrel-scraping exercise in Marvel obscurity. Apparently, he's actually a spider bitten by a radioactive pig.

2/16/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Matt Brady said...

There is some bizarre musculature on some of these covers. That Spider-Man Civil War cover has his tendons popping out of his neck through his costume like...I don't know, something gross. And that shot of Black Panther holding Storm, it looks like his neck is two feet long. And Sleestak, I also thought of that Rob Liefield Captain America shot when I saw that. Very very ugly.

2/16/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

"So...what 60s cover cliches are the Thunderbolts missing out on??

Ooh, ooh, I know! Floating disembodied heads all looking concerned.

2/16/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"He's in the Alternate Universes Handbook from last year, which is a real barrel-scraping exercise in Marvel obscurity. Apparently, he's actually a spider bitten by a radioactive pig."

But that was only Spider-Ham! I need a detailed description of the events of Marvel Tails!!

People need to know J. Jonah Jackal's background!

And Ducktor Doom!!

They MUST!

By the by, anyone catch the DeFalco Spider-Girl story where he managed to work Spider-Ham into continuity?


2/16/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous C. Tynne said...

Having a cartoon series based on Peter Parker's life (only as a pig) isn't -quite- "working Spider-Ham into continuity".

Eep on the Marvel Age Avengers line-up.

I guess Wanda is unusuable now, and no one would know who Carol Danvers is.

They coulda used Wanda, she at least got onto some of the cartoons.

Is Giant-Girl supposed to be Janet?

2/16/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Are those Ultimate Deathloks on that Ultimate Spider-Man cover? I think they might be.

What is wrong with Spidey's neck on that Civil War cover?

Are the Not Avengers sneaking up on someone? Why are they all crouched like that?

Is that Sir Ian McKellen on that Punisher cover?

Um... Wolverine's Canadian...

Oh god, they're taking Captain America to Britain. That should be good for a laugh. And by "great laugh" I mean "British readers putting their heads in their hands and saying rude things about American writers". I just read the Olympus arc from circa Avengers #100, and at the end, a British copper calls Thor a "Yank", so if you were wondering what Asgardians actually sound like...

Marvel Adventures Avengers. Whuh?

So, hang on. Spider-Man's new costume is designed to look like a scorpion? I think this is finally confirmation for my long-held theory that no one at Marvel can actually read. The clue's in the name, Joe.

2/16/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Oh, and I remember that in Quesada's original statement about the new costume, he said he designed it based on a sketch that Bachalo did for fun, and back then he was actually talking up the fact that it looked like a villain's costume.

2/16/2006 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tim O'Neil said...

"FINALLY, a comic that puts women in their place!"

If I had been drinking liquid, surely I would have done a spit take. SO wrong, and yet so right...

2/17/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I think the best jokes are the ones that, if people don't get it, they think you're a total asshole...hehe.

2/17/2006 07:48:00 PM  

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