web stats

CSBG Archive

Judging (Marvel’s June, July AND August) Books by Their Covers – Part 1

Marvel’s June and July solicitations have been out for long that their August solicits are out, too, so let’s make some prejudgments for all three month’s worth of comics based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgments, don’t we?).

To save on your load times, I’m breaking them into three parts!

Here’s June!
___________________________________________________

I really don’t like the new design of Rockslide (was it the same at the end of New X-Men? I forget, either way, I don’t like it) or the wolf kid.

Dust looks good, though.

And it’s a fine designed cover by the Dodsons.
___________________________________________________

Jimmy Cheung continues to amaze with his aping abilities on these Young Avengers covers.


___________________________________________________

Holy crap, it’s Alan Davis month, apparently!!!

FIVE covers from Davis this month!

First, a fairly generic cover with Gambit and the Marauders (are they still together? Wasn’t there a comic where Scalphunter was working as a short order cook or something?).


___________________________________________________

Next, a very fun looking cover with Wolverine and Kitty Pryde ready for battle.

That’s a well-designed cover right there.
___________________________________________________

Pretty boring FF cover here, although I love the effect of the flames kicking up where she makes contact.

And as a pure drawing, it’s well done (as usual – Davis is a really, really good artist) – it’s just boring for a cover.
___________________________________________________

Good old fashioned cover for this Clandestine one.


___________________________________________________

And finally, a striking Black Panther cover.

Nice layout.
___________________________________________________

Decent enough Bryan Hitch cover.

Why is everyone covered in chocolate sauce, though?
___________________________________________________

It’s weird how everyone on this Roger Cruz cover has the exact same opening for their mouths.

Still, it’s a fun cover. Beyond everyone having the same mouth – their reaction shots are great.
___________________________________________________

Glenn Fabry sure can create some interesting faces.

I dunno if they work all mixed together, but that Siryn is deservedly prominent on the cover.
___________________________________________________

Strong work by Greg Land.

While not his fault, of course, the cover still gets demerits for featuring Daken.
___________________________________________________

Clever use of the claws by Boo Cook.

It’s amazing that Marvel has this many extra Wolverine stories laying around that they can have three ongoings and still have room for plentiful amounts of one-shots.
___________________________________________________

Not a bad cover by Mike Choi.

I like the hair – his characters could use a little rough edges to them – often, they look way too smooth.
___________________________________________________

What’s weird for me about this Simone Bianchi cover is that Marvel has been hyping this image.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine drawing of Wolverine, but it’s not THAT interesting – and not something I’d be plastering over postcards, etc.

I’ve seen Bianchi do some amazing cover designs, so I know he’s capable of it.
___________________________________________________

Is that a spray tan on Invisible Woman on this Billy Tan cover?

That looks odd.
___________________________________________________

Strong Paolo Rivera cover.

It reminds me of Gerald Parel’s work.
___________________________________________________

VERY cool looking Green Goblin by Marko Djurdjevic.

Good cover overall.
___________________________________________________

Not a bad cover by Salva Espin, but not great either.

And the inset is pretty garish.
___________________________________________________

Is Michael Ryan getting inked by someone else here?

It’s a dynamic, forceful cover (and part of a triptych, I think – or at least a diptych).
___________________________________________________

I can imagine the editor chiding Deodato.

“Mike! You have shadows covering her breasts! What the hell, man?!

And you can’t even see her ass!!!”

Seriously, nice work by Deodato. It’s a stand out cover.
___________________________________________________

Oh dear lord – I think Skrull covers have officially trumped zombie covers for the most boring cover motif.

I am sure this was what Phil Jimenez was told to draw, and it wasn’t like he thought this would be a cool cover idea – but man, is it is a terrible cover idea. Well drawn, but a terrible idea.
___________________________________________________

I like the design of this Alessandro Barbucci cover.

The way the figure is hiding the weapon – her expression – her posture – that’s some strong storytelling right there.
___________________________________________________

I think Gurihiru properly gets across the sense of impending doom on the cover.


___________________________________________________

Likewise, Farel Dalrymple gets across the Mink’s sad situation well.


___________________________________________________

Nice change of pace by Nic Klein.

Some excellent characterization on this cover.
___________________________________________________

Brandon Peterson seems at home when working with technology-based characters, and it works well with this cover.

Spooky but effective.
___________________________________________________

I love the vibrancy of this Michael Golden cover, as well as the expressions, but the poses (and Sage’s lame costume – NOT Golden’s responsibility) are not great.


___________________________________________________

Skrull homage covers = automatic fail.

Sorry, Aleksi Briclot! You did well with the lame assignment you were given (especially Briclot’s unique choice of a cover to homage), but the automatic fail still applies!


___________________________________________________

The computer graphics on this Greg Horn cover are a little too evident.

Still, a nice layout.
___________________________________________________

Decent Yanick Paquette cover.

Sorta reminds me of the old school Marvel Comics Presents wraparound covers.
___________________________________________________

A fine cover by Tommy Lee Edwards, but he’s not exactly breaking new ground here.


___________________________________________________

Yet another stiff John Watson cover – he does a GREAT job with posed stuff – but when he has action shots, it really doesn’t work.


___________________________________________________

There’s more sense of movement in this posed shot by Paolo Rivera than in John Watson’s action shot.


___________________________________________________

Cute Leonard Kirk cover.


___________________________________________________

Damn, Hulk, it isn’t enough to be the strongest, now you want to be the fastest there is?

You have some issues, man.

Fair enough cover by David Nakyama (as Tom DeFalco’s Champion story gets told again).
___________________________________________________

How can this be comfortable for Sue? It seems a bit unsettling, really.

And where’s Reed’s left arm, Graham Nolan?!!? Where is it?!?!?
___________________________________________________

Tommy Ohtsuka does an okay job with this cover.

The basis set-up of the cover is nice, and I guess I can’t quibble too much about the execution.
___________________________________________________

I dunno if I buy Atlas’ stance on this Phil Jimenez cover.

Even if that’s an anatomically correct pose, it doesn’t look right (just like how no one draws Mister Miracle’s mask the way a mask like that REALLY word work – because it wouldn’t look as cool).

The background work is stellar, though.
___________________________________________________

Get ready, because Brandon Peterson, Salvador Larocca and Adi Granov are about to blow your minds with….GOOD BUT GENERIC LOOKING IRON MAN COVER GALLERY!!


___________________________________________________

Adi Granov mixes things up a bit with actually including a bit of plot in this cover!!


___________________________________________________

Ron Lim (as inked by Bob Layton) gives us a stronger cover for their Iron Man cover.


___________________________________________________

Land has certainly had worse covers than this one.

The idea of a “Hulk fights Thundra” one-shot amuses me greatly.
___________________________________________________

Impressive design work by the great Richard Corben, but it is not one of his more striking works.


___________________________________________________

Interesting John Romita Jr. cover – he seems to be channeling Alan Davis a bit on this one.


___________________________________________________

Fine Clint Langley cover.

Did I misremember, or didn’t they make a point of saying Groot was dead for good this time?
___________________________________________________

I dig the laid back approach by Djurdjevic.

Clever.
___________________________________________________

Okay, wait – if the concept of GeNext is that they all age in real time – how could this kid be Colossus’ grandson?

Colossus fathered his kid, when, 28 years ago? 29? So how could that kid already have a teenaged son?

Am I missing something? Is this NOT about the characters aging in real time? Did I just imagine that?

Good cover by Doug Alexander, either way. It’s a cute bit.
___________________________________________________

That’s an excellent drawing of Doom by Hitch.

Well done, Hitch!

I dunno if it is dynamic enough for a cover, but as a drawing? Top notch!
___________________________________________________

I would be very pleased if Acuña put it all together on this project. The cover is strong, but I fear that the interiors will not be as good (and based on the previews I’ve seen so far – that fear is well founded).

Also – Gaiman to the Knaufs? I can’t think of a similarly disparate drop-off, unless you count Austen as “succeeding” Morrison on New X-Men (Austen did two fill-in issues). I guess Pollack from Morrison. Veitch to Wheeler? Does Loeb/Liefeld from Waid count on Cap?

And I think the Knaufs are quite good, really, so it’s more me praising Gaiman than knocking them.
___________________________________________________

That’s a great cover design by Jae Lee.

Super spooky.
___________________________________________________

Pretty standard fare from Djurdjevic on this cover.

Granted, a standard fare Djurdjevic cover is still quite good, just saying…
___________________________________________________

Cool looking Captain Britain cover.

Is Hitch really so far ahead in his FF work that he can be doing covers for this AND X-Force?
___________________________________________________

If you’re attempting a character assassination, Bishop, you have the gun pointing the wrong way!

Not a bad Olivetti cover, really.
___________________________________________________

Holy cow, it’s almost like ANOTHER Alan Davis cover!

The credits say Mark Brooks, and I can buy this as Brooks’ art, but damn, that’s a fine Davis impression right there!

And a good cover, overall.
___________________________________________________

A lot of this Alex Ross cover is awesome.

Partially the arrangement of figures, but mostly the little character bits, like Wasp tenderly touching Cap’s face, shocked to see him still alive.

And a lot of it is just way bizarre, like Sentry’s expression and Wonder Man’s expression.

On the whole, though, good job by Ross. That’s two good covers in a row on this book!!
___________________________________________________

It’s weird, Claire Wendling absolutely NAILS certain parts of this cover, like the facial expressions – but it is almost like she spent so much time doing that that she didn’t come up with anything else, leaving us with two figures against a boring plain background.

Not a great total package – but her figures – excellent.
___________________________________________________

Bianchi at least makes his covers interesting!!!

Can’t say that I think it looks particularly GOOD, but it’s certainly different from most every other cover out there! That’s something!
___________________________________________________

Good collage storytelling effect by Frenz.

He’s quite adept at that cover approach.
___________________________________________________

McKone’s Spider-Man looks oddly like Tony Harris’ Spider-Man.

Anyhow, McKone is given a great visual hook for his cover – but I can’t say that I think he does much more than a competent job with the great hook.
___________________________________________________

Yep, that’s a Ron Lim cover.


___________________________________________________

Another intricate design by Adam Pollina.

Overall, I think it does make his covers for this series stand-out, but I’d love for his figures to be a bit cooler looking. I can’t say I’m thrilled with his approach of how he’s depicting Angel.
___________________________________________________

I don’t get it, Frenz?!?! Why does American Dream want traitors to vote?!!?

I must read this comic to find out why an American icon wants traitors to vote!!

So job well done, Frenz!!
___________________________________________________

Cheesy cover by Maleev?

Perhaps.

But still an amusing cover.
___________________________________________________

HONORABLE MENTIONS
___________________________________________________

Perhaps just as cheesy of a cover as the Maleev one, but dammit, it’s Dave Johnson!

He makes everything awesome!!


___________________________________________________

David Aja looks like he took some design tips from Kaare Andrews’ strong Iron Fist covers.


___________________________________________________

There is a lot that I love about this Patrick Scherberger cover – the crater in the ground, the implies heft of Thor’s hammer – but I think it could have done for a bit more fantastical approach – something grander than just Thor’s helmet being on Spider-Man’s head.


___________________________________________________

When he’s not doing silly zombie homages, Arthur Suydam can design some strong covers.


___________________________________________________

Great first issue cover by Carlo Pagulayan

Evokes a dramatic and imposing mood. Impressive work by Pagulayan.
___________________________________________________

Bradstreet is milking all the drama he can out of the last few issues of Ennis’ run, isn’t he?


___________________________________________________

Oeming does a great job here of re-establishing the identity of the book, in this sort of faux-homage to the first issue of Powers.


___________________________________________________

Bold cover layout by Maleev.

Works quite nicely.
___________________________________________________

More or less a standard looking cover, but I just love how Gerald Parel adds in those little touches of characterization into the faces of his drawings.


___________________________________________________

That’s a darn fine cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto.

He makes it tough not to give this issue of Ultimate X-Men a glance, just to see what’s up with the characters on the cover.
___________________________________________________

TOP FIVE!!
___________________________________________________

5. Very clever cover approach by Marcos Martin, who I think is awesome and should draw Spider-Man always.


___________________________________________________

4. I might be giving Gabriele Dell’Otto extra credit just because he is doing Secret Invasion covers without homages!

That said, I still think this is a striking cover image.
___________________________________________________

3. Not as striking of a cover image, of course, as this Captain America cover by Epting.

You know a cover is good when Marvel is using it as a full-page ad.
___________________________________________________

2. I love how this Criminal cover brings together both the personal attention of the figures as well as the sweeping nature of the city behind them – using the neutral space to make the figures AND the city pop is a brilliant design idea.

Great work by Phillips.
___________________________________________________

1. What a clever cover – Venom as a horror film, with Immonen’s ability to convey emotion bringing across the fear of the situation beautifully.

One of the strongest covers by Immonen on this book yet!!
___________________________________________________

Okay, that’s it! Feel free to share your prejudices (and your top fives)!

On to July!!

31 Comments

I for one think Groot will be the best Captain America ever.

Re: Young X-Men – Rockslide’s looked like that since the second Yost/Kyle story arc in New X-Men.

Re: Groot. He did kind of die, but Rocket save a tiny little twig and potted it at the end of Annihilation: Conquest.

I have a question about that Hitch X-Force: Ain’t No Dog cover. Is Wolverine screaming, or laughing? On first glance I thought he was howling at the sky ’cause he just killed a bunch of people in a berserk fury, but something about his eyes and his mouth makes it look like he’s just really happy.

“Ha, ha, ha, I just slaughtered a bunch of people, and it was so much fun! Ha, ha ha!”

Right, that’s what I mean, Josh – Groot died, but they saved him via the twig. Then they killed him again, this time explicitly saying “he won’t be coming back this time,” but Rocket saved a twig and it worked again. It just seemed odd to specifically say “this time he WON’T be back” and then bring him back anyways.

I think Abnett & Lanning made it ambiguous at the end of Annihaltion: Conquest, with Rocket sounding worried as he coaxed the twig in it’s pot.

I remember them saying in interviews that he was dead, but they must have had too much fun writing him.

I don’t think that’s aping by Cheung on that cover but rather lightboxing or an actual collage. Those poses are just way too perfect.

OH GOD OPENED ALL THREE COVER POSTS AT ONCE MY BROWSER NOOOO

Thundra? I LOVE Thundra!

“Hulk motorboat!”

SanctumSanctorumComix

June 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I would have thought by now that someone would have mentioned that Cheung isn’t “aping” anything.

Those are all collages of old artwork.
He gives credit in each issue right next to his signature there.

I really don’t think he’s drawing (or even lightboxing) anything.

Hopefully this isn’t coming across as snarky or anything.
I just thought that someone would have mentioned it by now.

~P~
PTOR

Glad to see you back, judging comic covers!

I think the Dodson/Young X-Men cover is surprisingly weak — considering it’s the Dodsons. Marvel signed them to an exclusive (I think) and this is why?

Love the Alessandro Barbucci SKY DOLL cover, though. I’d have given it Honorable Mention…or better.

SanctumSanctorumComix

June 3, 2008 at 7:09 pm

That Wolvie cover also deserves demerits because of the fact that it is lightboxed from a photo of Hugh Jackman.
AND that Land reuses the SAME exact head to draw the cover for X-MEN # 500.

Inexcusable.

~P~
PTOR

I think Abnett & Lanning made it ambiguous at the end of Annihaltion: Conquest, with Rocket sounding worried as he coaxed the twig in it’s pot.

They had someone (Mantis?) say explicitly that the same trick would not work this time – but Rocket tried it anyways (because, well, why wouldn’t he?) – but then it did.

It was just odd to add in a bit like that, then again, now that you point out…

I remember them saying in interviews that he was dead, but they must have had too much fun writing him.

It makes more sense as a plot change.

I like Groot, too, so I’m glad he’s back – it’s still odd!

I would have thought by now that someone would have mentioned that Cheung isn’t “aping” anything.

They haven’t because he is. ;)

The acknowledgments are to the people that he is meticulously aping.

It’s quite amazing, really, the amount of extra work he is putting into each cover.

Is Hitch really so far ahead in his FF work that he can be doing covers for this AND X-Force?

Well, considering FF is one week late for the second consecutive month…

Who is that between Iron Man & Wolverine on the MA: Avengers cover?

Love the Iron Fist cover!!

Hey Brian, cover design for Immortal Iron Fist always has been by Aja, Kaare Andrews just draw last covers and using the design Aja did in first issues of this arc

I would have thought by now that someone would have mentioned that Cheung isn’t “aping” anything.

I thought I just did in comment #3

Hopefully this isn’t coming across as snarky or anything.
I just thought that someone would have mentioned it by now.

I did! In comment #3.

They haven’t because he is.

Dammit, am I invisible or something!!

Who is that between Iron Man & Wolverine on the MA: Avengers cover?

Arnim Zola ? The Captain America villain ?

SanctumSanctorumComix

June 4, 2008 at 5:35 am

Brian,

If, if fact, Cheung IS meticulously re-drawing all those old comic images (instead of just pasting together a collage), then it’s amazingly well-done (although, besides th obvious exercise in artistic training and stretching of his abilities, it’s rather pointless).

However, you sound adamantly SURE that he’s drawing these.
Do you have any proof or reference (an interview perhaps) to confirm this?

Because, we’ve all seen these types of covers before, and they’re 99.999% just new art superimposed over old art.
Heck, I’m a professional illustrator, and a LONG-time comic fan (who can probably tell which issues (and definitely which artists) he’s getting these images from (whether he’s just using them as reference or not), and again, except for the “challenge” of seeing if I could stretch my “aping” abilities, I wouldn’t bother.
Especially, if I’m working in the hectic-deadline-crunch filled world of comics (where he has other projects that would require his time as well).

So, if you’ve got some goods (and I’d LOVE to find out that he is in fact DRAWING these. That would be amazing!)… please share.

ThanX!

:-)

~P~
PTOR

“Jimmy Cheung continues to amaze with his aping abilities on these Young Avengers covers.”

You have been making this comment and I honestly thought youare kidding.

Those seem to be clearly art samples and not original drawings.

1) They never implied that Groot was dead, and in fact it’s in the story that they can most likely re-grow him.

2) Yes, Cheung is actually redrawing every image on those covers and is putting in teh extra time to make them look like artists of the past. God bless him! :)

SanctumSanctorumComix

June 4, 2008 at 6:48 am

Now, I did some digging, and came across THIS little quote from Tom Brevoort (re: the Jim Cheung covers):

[i]“See those cool YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS covers…? The ones with the Young Avengers hero standing in front of a montage of classic artwork of the character who inspired them?

That’s not classic artwork. Jim Cheung didn’t just scan those from the printed books. He painstakingly repenciled them all, in the style of the original artists. This seemingly maniacal dedication to quality is one of the things that makes Jim’s work stand head-and-shoulders above the average–he doesn’t cut any corners,and in fact may be looking for extra corners to stick onto the page.”[/i]

Found here:
http://www.marvel.com/blogs/Tom_Brevoort/entry/996.Brand_New_Blog

He also showed a sample of one of the actual pencilled covers in progress.

If this IS indeed truth and not just the usual Marvel “B.S. answer instead of the truth”…, then I am AWED!
AWED, I say.

At the artistic dedication and sheer ABILITY of the Jim Cheung.
(I mean, I think he’s really good ANYWAY, but this… THIS would put him over the top!

~P~
PTOR

Yeah, that is ridiculously impressive by Cheung.

So glad to have these back by the way. Really wasn’t feeling all the various “Alphabets” and “Everyone is someone’s favorite” posts.

Hurrah, Brian, better late than never!

Before I go into top five, anyone else notice that Lemmy from Motorhead is hiding out at the back of the Three Musketeers cover?

My top five

5 Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft 1 – so detailed and so eerily beautiful

4 Secret Invasion 3 – I’m with you, Brian, great to see a nonSkrull cover. Great idea, but isn’t it sickening to see Jess fall for the billionaire playboy. Doesn’t she know where he’s been?

3 Amazing Spider-man 561 – extreme close up plus chaotic confetti equals brilliant cover

2 Punisher War Journal – cheesy? Nah, come on, It’s crafty and sumptuous. Mr Maleev, I salute you.

1 Immortal Iron Fist 15 – I hate boxy covers, which is why I’m so knocked out by how brilliant I think this David Aja cover is. The smallest of details tell you so much about the characters.

So who is all that on Punisher War Journal? Domino and who else? I’m intrigued just at the combo!

Andrew Collins

June 4, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Is it just me or does the Musketeer all the way in the back on that cover look just like Lemmy from Motorhead…?

Scavanger : the Contessa & Silver Sable, IIRC.

On that Genext cover, the traffic light is way too small, compared to real life. But then, if it had been drawn to authentic scale, it would’ve seemed way too BIG to the average reader! Most people don’t realize it, because our usual perspectives on traffic lights have no immediate familiarly-sized reference, but those things are huge! A single lamp is about the size of a human head.

Andrew Collins said: “Is it just me or does the Musketeer all the way in the back on that cover look just like Lemmy from Motorhead…?”

Yes, I think so too. As I said so, ahem, two posts before yours.

PS Are you the writer and Word columnist Andrew Collins?

Andrew Collins

June 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Robert, sorry I missed your comment, and no, I’m a different guy. :)

There are a couple slight indications that Cheung is aping. His Larocca Hawkeye, for instance, has a couple too many teeth showing to be the original drawing.

And he deserves all the praise he’s getting for these covers.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives