Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Judging (Marvel's July) Books By Their Covers

Marvel's July 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!

I didn't expect him to duplicate the strong cover effort from last month...

but damn, couldn't he have at least TRIED?

"this is the explosive climax to the amazing series of events that go back to Mark Millar's first issue"?!?!



It is too much!!


Pretty pedestrian cover, too.

Ugh. Tom Raney appears to be doing the "washed" look with his pencils.

I do not approve.


Man, Steve McNiven makes being annoyed at Civil War difficult, because he's so talented.

Great cover, although this scene better damn well appear in the issue!

Luckily, Michael Turner is there to make it easy to make fun of Civil War.

Although, isn't it funny to see a costume design that is actually BENEATH Turner?

Due to the ugly trade dress, Civil War covers are automatically disqualified from Top Five consideration, but if not, this Juan Doe cover for Civil War X-Men would be a top contender.

Very strong cover image.


I think this is one of the best arguments against photoshop comics. This Civil War Daily Bugle comic looks less like a cohesive drawing and more like a photo collage.

Is it just me, or does Cheung's art for this Young Avengers/Runaways mini-series cover...

look a bit regressive? It looks more like his X-Force style than his post-Scion stuff, no?

I bet Rich Watson can tell me (completely obscure reference I should not have made, sorry, folks)!!

I like John Watson's work a lot, but this Civil War Frontline cover is a bit goofy looking.


Man, wasn't Waid and Garney's Captain America awesome? The book is in capable hands at the moment, but I bet Waid and Garney could do something ELSE cool.

Oh, by the by, the solicit for this issue? "When one of the War's leaders comes to recruit Spidey for his troops..." Which one could it be?!!? I love a mystery!!!

I am pleased that they are allowing the Black Panther/Storm wedding to be without the yucky trade dress.

Nice cover, except the dress.

Luckily, Michal Turner is chipping in on a variant cover.

Yep, nothing says "wedding issue" more than a half-naked lady in the rain!

Turner - All class.

You know what Civil War needs more of?

People standing with their arms folded!!


Never mind.

Ryan Sook is a really, really good artist.

Nice cover (except, of course, the silly trade dress).

Man, what an awful Cable/Deadpool cover by Roberto Campus!!

Is Deadpool glowing?

That is barely recognizable as Deadpool!

And the Daredevil ain't that good, either.

I like Leinil Francis Yu's art a lot.

That being said, this New Avengers cover is kinda lame.

Ooooh...now Nitro has Wolverine!!

Remember when Justice League International did that with Lobo and Guy Gardner?

That was cool.

This is less so.

No giraffe neck, though!!

I really admire the way Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man lately has tried to avoid the crossover crunch, and stand on its own.

Also, nice cover by 'Ringo.

Man, that is one creepy looking cover.

Clayton Crain's work scares me.

And I don't want to know where he got the photo basis for this cover from!!

Pretty low-key last issue of Last Planet Standing.


Wow, that is probably the most boring Mary Jane cover I've seen yet.


This is a very nice cover as both a last issue AND a 100th issue.

There's no mention in the solicits of Sal Buscema, though. I hope he's still on board.


It's funny, though, THESE covers are interlocking, but since most of Gabriele Dell'Otto's covers have looked basically the same ANYways, this is not exactly osmething new.

I don't like the new Nova costume...

I like how somber Ronan looks...

Nice Silver Surfer...

Best Super Skrull I've seen from Dell'Otto yet!!



I love it!

The grim and gritty Power Pack!

Classic idea!

Very weird poses.

But since I love obscure Marvel characters, I'm down!!!

Pretty decent Fantastic Four: First Family cover by Chris Weston...


Nice drawing by John Romita Jr. (as usual)...

however, it's not exactly a striking cover.

The same thing can be said for this Tex Ghost Rider cover.

Then again, Tex at least has the benefit of following Clayton Crain, which will make people be happier to see his cover.



Iron Maniac.

This is what I love about Kirkman. It's just SO stupid that he manages to sell it!


Wow, this Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four looks like the most generic cover ever!


Oops...I spoke too soon!!!


I like Aaron Lopresti's art...

but not that Giant-Girl costume.

There's scary.

And then there's unintentionally scary.

This cover nicely pulls off both.

First disappointing cover for Frank Cho (well, outside of his absurd #1 cover).

Too bad, I was really impressed with his last two covers.

Tsk tsk.

One of the few times that the cheesecake cover motif WORKS, and Horn has to blow it by putting a picture of a wolf on the cover and then pretending that he is drawing a werewolf.

Poor form, Mr. Horn, poor form.

Gary Frank is an AWEsome artist.

However, look at this Squadron Supreme cover...

DAMN, his Squadron Suprem covers are boring!

Luckily, his Fury Peacemaker cover, while still being fairly static...

has enough attitude to pull the cover off.


First, Billy Tan on Uncanny X-Men...

Next, Chris Bachalo on X-Men...

I would have put both of them in the Top Five, except that they really only REALLY impress me because my expectations were lowered so much...so not enough for top five!!

Seriously, New Excalibur has got to quit with these covers.

It's like they're in a Mentos commercial, the way everyone is so freakishly giddy.

This is an impressive Storm cover by Mayhew.


I like Paul Pelletier.

This is a nice drawing.

A bit subdued for a cover, though.

You can debate the merits of Paco Medina's pencils (which seem to tighten and loosen from issue to issue)...

but you have to admire his cover design sense.

What an odd decision by Quesada...

it's like he's trying to draw them like Sin City.


Another colorform cover by Bradstreet!

Detach - move - apply.

I like the idea behind the Halo cover.

You don't need a fancy cover, just slapping "Halo" on the cover is probably enough to sell the comic.

Pretty good Jack Kirby cover.

I dunno about the concept, though.

Nice cover design by Oeming.


HONORABLE MENTIONS (really nice month for covers, so there's a lot of them)!!!


He is awesome.

These covers for Marvel's Western one-shots are awesome.

A lighter month, both easy top five - but once I kept out one, I couldn't decide which one to keep, so BOTH became honorable mentions!

What a perfect encapsulation of the fun that is Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius!!


This reminds me of the super-sweet Dave Gibbons cover for this month's Action Comics.

Great job by Granov.

Off month for Nextwave.

I expect greatness every month!

This coloring book incentive would be a guaranteed top five...

except it looks just like a black and white version of the original cover!!

What gives?!?!

MAN, do I loves me some Marcos Martin.

I can't wait until he draws Doctor Strange!!

However, this cover is a bit too weird for me to make top five. I still dig it a lot!

It was SUPER close between the two Ladronn covers (heck, all the top six titles I could be convinced to mix around)...but since this on is a bit more of a static cover, I put this one (for the Handbook) in the honorable mentions.

Great cover, though.

Ladronn rules.


5. Claire Wendling is an excellent artist.

This is a great cover for X-Men Fairy Tales.

Last month, it was Kyle Baker, this month it is Claire Wendling!

Who's going to draw a cover next?!?! H. R. Giger?!?!

4. How freakin' badass is this Ladronn Hulk cover?!?

It's like it's leaping off of the page!


3. Steve Epting has delivered some really strong covers for this arc.

This might be a little high, but I feel bad for excluding him from the top five in the past.

Still, great cover, no?

2. David Mack is a design genius.

An amazing cover.

1. Finally, Richard Corben's covers for House of Horror: Edgar Allen Poe have been awesome, but for this cover...

he amps it up a notch!

What an amazing design, and he pulls off the design flawlessly.

What a great artist Corben is.

Well, that's it for this month!

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

Read More


Blogger Michael said...

I have to agree about the new Nova costume. Too much jagged metal crap (which is the macho version of frilly lace). But, it does fit with the (absurd) new direction Marvel seems to be taking him in. And hey, being in Annihilation means he dodges the Civil War bullet.

4/18/2006 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous SpiritGlyph said...

Man, is that the best Bagley can do with Ultimate Scorpion? He looks like the Fabulous Frogman.

That Daily Bugle cover is bad. Why is Luke Cage holding Wolverine's ankle? Is Ms. Marvel supposed to be floating on her back?

Lord, I hate Greg Land.

Oddly, that Michael Turner Spider-Man cover is not that terrible.

Look's like Nicieza's using some of old characters in Thunderbolts. I see Pretty Persuasions and that water guy from Force of Nature.

Super-Skrull looks like a vampire, but at the same time is pretty bad ass.


I hate Greg Horn too, though not as much as Greg Land.

I nominate Wolverine: Origins as the Homoerotic Cover of the Month. A beefy, drooling Captain America on top of a beefy, drooling Wolverine? Even in the throes of passion, Cap is reaching out to stroke Wolverine's head with his freakishly huge hand. It's almost romantic.

4/18/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Matthew Craig said...

That's not the Scorpion! The Scorpion is a sexy Goth girl with Cootie-Palm! GOD, I wish they'd stop changing characters to suit some sort of quasi-post-dated fashion statement!

It's terrible, I know, but I've been waiting ages to see a Cameron Stewart Spider-Man cover, and I'm kind of...disappointed. Here's his Mary Jane, though, which is lovely: very Terry Moore!

Is Ultimate Wolverine short now? BOO and HISS, Marvel! You'll be giving him a shitty costume, next!


Don't you wish that Captain America and Iron Man would just KISS and get it over with? I WISH I KNEW HOW TO QUIT YOU, CLANKY!

("Clanky" (C) Warren Ellis)

Is it "Spider-Man's Ass" month AGAIN?

The Daily Bugle cover is action-figure-tastic.

Beyond sounds horrid, and it features the crap version of Venom. Seriously: that head is almost bad enough to draw my attention away from the webs on Spidey's costume.

See how Marventures Cap has lost his scales? I love the scales, even if some artists who try to draw the scales fail to draw the scales.

Is Ms. Marvel giving Galactus a lapdance? His eyes are rolled back in his head like Kyle McLachlan in Showgirls, or something. And she is Hellalizabeth Berkley.

I hate Captain Britain's costume SO. MUCH. Have these people never seen a Union Flag?! Or even a Jack?! I hate it almost as much as I hate...ecch..."Lionheart." SHE'S CAPTAIN BRITAIN TOO. Or possibly TWO.

You know what I really hate? When they colour Iceman to look transparent, when he's not. Specifically Ultimate Iceman, who is covered in ice, but I hate the literalism of Neoclassic Iceman, as well.

Ths may not strictly be relevant.


4/18/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous SpiritGlyph said...

Galactus? That's Nimrod, a pink Sentinel from the future. Nimrod not the best name Claremont ever came up with.

I should note that Runaways cover makes me very sad. Thank god Molly is safe -- I can't imagine Marvel killing off a cheerful 11-year-old.

4/18/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Matthew Craig said...

Nimrod not the best name Claremont ever came up with.

It's a name appropriated by future-Sentinels to strike fear into the hearts of subjugated humanity. The Sentientinels chose names that resonated with all the darkest human emotions, such as "Git," "Dill-Weed" and "Urkel."

...I don't even know who that IS.


4/18/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger RAB said...

Kudos to Michael for the insight "jagged metal crap (which is the macho version of frilly lace)" -- brilliant! I'll be stealing this observation and passing it off as my own at every opportunity.

4/18/2006 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahaha, that Cho Black Panther cover with the crying Bishop is hilarious.

4/18/2006 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger David Cutler said...

She-Hulk looks like a totally different woman (although, yes, green) on ever Horn She-Hulk cover so far. Because he's been photoshopping different pornstars, maybe?

4/19/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Nessor Sille said...

Nimrod was a "mighty hunter" in the book of Genesis. Supposedly he set himself in opposition to god and helped found Babel, the prototypical civilization in opposition to God.

Which has NOTHING to do with mutant-hunting sentinels from the future, so yeah...why did Claremont pick that name?

4/19/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

"Kudos to Michael for the insight "jagged metal crap (which is the macho version of frilly lace)" -- brilliant! I'll be stealing this observation and passing it off as my own at every opportunity."

I better see some royalty action off that.

4/19/2006 06:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I go the idea that it was because he was upposed to be the ultimate mutant hunter.

I guess Claremont missed the whole Nimrod = idiot meme that had already been around for a few years at that time. It is a bit bizarre to go back to the old Nimrod = hunter slang.


4/19/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Katze said...

Gabriele's drawings are wonderful but I need to say one gets bored of them easily.
Over here in Germany they bombarded us with them. Dell'Otto covers, dell'Otto prints, dell'Otto artbooks ... bit too much for my taste.

I love his sketches though. Had a glimp at his portfolio one year and was stunned.

4/19/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

"I love his sketches though. Had a glimp at his portfolio one year and was stunned."

I have no trouble believing that!

I bet his sketches are amazing!

4/19/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Honestly, who looked at Nova's costume and said "You know what this is missing? Pointy bits."?

4/19/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Apodaca said...

I want to see a story where Nova cocks his head to the side for whatever reason and accidentally stabs himself in the eardrum, forcing him to fix the new costume.

Wait, no I don't.

4/19/2006 11:52:00 PM  
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