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CSBG Archive

Snark Blocker – Face Front, True Believers!

Here is every one of DC’s superhero title stunt of December 1997, where practically all of their superhero titles had a full face figure on the front of the cover of each book!


Thanks, as always, to the Grand Comic Book Database!


Vig reminded me of this one. It’s a bit on the snarky side itself, but in a cute way…


The Triad one, which I don’t remember seeing before, is particularly cool.

These were fun covers, as were the other line-wide stunt, which was something like “work the title into the cover in an unusual way (à la Will Eisner’s The Spirit, for instance.) But (to make an exceedingly minor gripe) as I’m organizing my collection, they are a little irritating, as the issue numbers are hard to read and in an odd place.

Here‘s a link to a previous Snark Blocker featuring those covers, Sue!

Holy zombie variant, Batman!

I love Wonder Woman’s little smirk, but Aquaman looks so peeved by his finny friends! And why is Richard Nixon dressed up like Captain Marvel?

And of course there was Deadpool #12!

Great gimmick, great execution, and an all-around great time creatively at DC. I was reading so many DC books at the time.

One thing though, isn’t using “Face Front True Believers” as the title of a DC-centric article near sacrilege? ;)

Anyway, thanks for the memories, good times indeed…

Holy crap did DC have a great line-up of writers in 97.

Jurgens, Simonson, Kesel, O’Neil, Priest, Dixon, Alan Grant, Moench, Evanier, PAD, Arcudi, Ostrander, Ordway, Ennis, Kaminiski, Peyer, Loebs, Stern, Marz, Robinson, Morrison, and Byrne (well, ok I didn’t like Byrne’s WW, but he’s still pretty good at what he does). Even John Wagner was doing some work. Waid was probably doing JLA: Year One or Brave and the Bold or something at this point too.

I can’t say much about Immonen’s writing because I haven’t read much of it, but really, that’s a great line-up of writers.

It might even be as good as DC’s line-up in 2004.

I was hoping you would have the Deadpool cover.

Fun stuff.

What was the great lineup DC had in 2004? I don’t recall. Wasn’t that around the time the books became extremely editorially driven post-Identity Crisis in anticipation of Infinite Crisis?

Which was better: DC’s full face month or the one Marvel did on their covers to celebrate the comapny’s 25th Anniversary?

Hey, remember when Marvel had a similar stunt in the 80s, for their 25th Anniversary I believe? All the books had a cover framed by a silver border filled with Marvel’s current characters of the time, while the center of the cover had a facial close-up similar to DC’s stunt. Have you ever done a Snark Blocker collecting those? That would be cool too.

How cool! I had no idea DC had done this, since back then I was still 6 or 7 years from starting to pay attention to comics again. I owb, looks like, 7 of these.

Looks like Batman was anticipating the Marvel Zombies schtick on the Shadow of the Bat cover … & Dick the Dick Cheney on the Detective cover.

Looking at a random month in 2004 (September), DC DID have some pretty darn good runs going on in 04 (especially compared to now)

Brubaker on Catwoman
Brubaker/Rucka on Gotham Central
Pfeifer on Aquaman and HERO
Gerber on Hard Time
David on Fallen Angel
Cooke on New Frontier
Baker on Plastic Man
Diggle on Adam Strange
Simone on Birds of Prey
Beechen on JLU (before Beechen took on the regular DC Universe and proceeded to be…well…not as good)

Of course, T!

It was the very FIRST Snark Blocker!

Here it is.

Y’know. I meant late 2004-early 2005, sorry. And it was editorially driven, sure, but the writers were talented enough to do a lot with it.

Andersen Gabrych, Willingham, Lapham, Pfeifer, J.H. Williams III & Dan Curtis Johnson, Rucka and Brubaker, Arcudi, Simone, Byrne, uh.. Bob Harras (Hey, people tended to like Breach, didn’t they?), Jiminez, Stuart Moore, Johns, Gray+Palmiotti doing a real good job on Hawkman, Waid, Andreyko, Gibbons, Baker on Plastic Man, Scott Beatty, Morrison, and Beechan doing some real underrated work on JLU.

Granted, you also had Loeb, AJ Lieberman, and Winnick … and Devin Grayson but I’m easier on her work than a lot of people.

I’m not saying everything hit it out of the park, but it’s a pretty good group of writers there.

Huh. I only have four of these. I thought I’d have more.

Captain Marvel looks like Lon Chaney up there.

I dig the Wonder Woman and Legends of the Dark Knight covers.

Andersen Gabrych, Willingham, Lapham, Pfeifer, J.H. Williams III & Dan Curtis Johnson, Rucka and Brubaker, Arcudi, Simone, Byrne, uh.. Bob Harras (Hey, people tended to like Breach, didn’t they?), Jiminez, Stuart Moore, Johns, Gray+Palmiotti doing a real good job on Hawkman, Waid, Andreyko, Gibbons, Baker on Plastic Man, Scott Beatty, Morrison, and Beechan doing some real underrated work on JLU.

Okay, I see what you’re talking about now. It’s strange, even though the lineups were technically good and many even started off with potential, I remember the actual stories in most cases, at least the ones taking place in the DCU proper, being rather underwhelming. Stuff like Plastic Man and Gotham Central issues by Brubaker (didn’t really like Rucka stuff) and New Frontier knocked my socks off, but so many of those other books you mentioned went off the rails due to having to dovetail into Infinite Crisis. So many potentially good runs lost me with insipid suboplots involving OMACS, the forced rift between Superman, Batman and WOnder Woman, bad metatextual stories, mindwipe stories and Jeanclipso stuff. Personally I’m not a fan of Simone either, her stuff is too cutesy, “girl power!” for my taste.

“Which was better: DC’s full face month or the one Marvel did on their covers to celebrate the comapny’s 25th Anniversary?”

Marvel’s had this character frame thing, which I think was to its detriment. The DC covers largely look better, but printing techniques had advanced considerably in the interim.

I prefer the DC ones, even tho I’m more of a Marvel fan.

That Spectre cover, which I hadn’t seen, is terrific.

Nightwing looks like a 12-year-old. That’s my only complaint.

Also, that Deadpool issue came out the very next month, huh? Neat.

So many of those are just mediocre. The ones that employ some style, like the Starman cover, really stand out.

>>Of course, T!

>>It was the very FIRST Snark Blocker!

Also cool. Thanks for linking to that. Sort of surprised to see that the only one I own is the CAPTAIN AMERICA (roughly midway through the longest run I own, some 220-plus issue) — I mean, I already *knew* that I’ve amassed far more DCs than Marvels (in direct contravention to my buying habits back in the ’70s), but that really brings it home.

I love the Legion of Super-Heroes one. I really miss that version of Triplicate Girl, she’s a fantastic character.

The Kevin Nowlan “Tin Man” Batman cover is excellent!
(Is he part horned toad, too?)

I like gimmick months like that. I even liked Assistant Editor’s Month.

*dodges tomatoes*

Annoyed Grunt

July 7, 2008 at 7:07 pm

I think DC turned a few of these in to mouse pads later on.

That was a lot of fun! I called my girlfriend and, with all the links provided, we watched and compared these “Face Front” covers with Marvel 25th anniversary covers from 1987, and this other thread where DC’s titles were incorporated into the cover.

Didn’t Marvel had another cover-theme gimmick for the ‘NUFF SAID! month, with all the characters having their indexes covering their lips ? Has this been covered ? Is there a link ?

The Deadpool one was the best. That’s how you take the piss out of something in a nice way.

Yes–Assistant editor’s month–I’d like to see an index of those–covers + what they did for Assistnat editor’s month!
I liked the Marvel Team Up with Galactus & Aunt May, Fred Hembeck drew Spectacular Spider-Man, The Thing fought Goody-Two SHoes and went to complain to the editors about it, John Byrne left several panels of Alpha Flight White as white costumed characters battled in a blizzard, Spidey revealed his identity to a terminally ill kid, hmm that’s it for now off the top of my head. Maybe I’ll have to do a search for it!

Found some stuff here-(even has a link to a cover gallery)
I forgot about these that I read:
-Bernie America (Not that great actually, as Cap’s old Girlfriend dreams of being a female Cap.
-Marvel Tales had the normal reprint of Amazing Spidey, but had a one or two page update of another issue where the kids at Peter’s school had mohawks, shaved heads, etc, and other references like that.
-The Avengers (mostly reserve members) went on Late Night With David Letterman (How could I have forgotten that one? It was one of my favorites!)
-Thunderbolt Ross considers suicide, while Bruce Banner ponders a decision with Assistant editor Ann Nocenti
-A group of kids in a club modelled on the Avengers kick out their Iron Man member who then hits the root beer pretty hard. (While Tony Stark was battling alcoholism, and not being Iron Man–he was also in a story where he bet a cop he could stay sober)

So some serious stories, but unusual ones, and some silly ones too.
I either didn’t read the others, or don’t remember them (I’m sure I read the FF issues–but I can’t remember it.
SO a review of these would be cool.

I’ve said before that with the Booster Gold book running through all DC’s old gimmicks like the #0 and #1,000,000 issues, I really want them to do an issue with a cover to fit in with this set…

Yeah, Marvel did something like that in 1987. It would be cool to do a feature with those covers too.

Wow, it’s like 2/3 of their books were either Batman or Superman.

– was there an event of some kind? Did it mark 10 years since Marvel did it?
– Priest on Steel? That’s hilarious and sad
– some of those are great, in some cases despite the book. Nowlan rocks the house
– Superboy and the Ravers?
– Deadpool is all sorts of brilliant

Holy cow, Chuck Dixon practically wrote the entire Batman line that year.

Entirely too much Moench for my tastes.

Urgh. And I must get that Morrison/Millar Flash issue, holy crap.

I was working at a store when these came out…we displayed them all on a wall in a big grid…and right in the center? Deadpool!

Deadpool came out durring the event….
Only thing sad about Priest on Steel was how little support it got from DC..it was awesome.
Superboy and the Ravers…never has such a “trying to be hip” name produced such a great book.

Rene, here’s the Snark Blocker from 2006 showing the Marvel covers


“Holy cow, Chuck Dixon practically wrote the entire Batman line that year.”

To excellent effect, for the most part. Heck, I’d forgotten that he WASN’T writing Azrael at that point.

But, yes, this was one of DC’s higher points from a writer perspective, and that was WITHOUT Waid writing any of the titles (as I think, given the Morrison / Millar team on Flash, this is when he was on the JLA: Year One break). I’d also put 2004 ahead of it from an overall talent level perspective (especially as Johns was still more or less on top of his game on Flash), as I know that in spite of the very good writers on the Superman books in these covers… they weren’t producing good work. They really were about a year overdue for a wholesale change.

The Superman Adventures cover is particularly great, as you wouldn’t expect one of the animated tie-ins to be a part of this. Although I guess both Gotham Adventures and JL Adventures were part of the next one.

(Was there even a Batman animated book at this point? I can’t remember where this fits into the hiatus between B:TAS’ old and new runs)

i would imagine that Superboy and the Ravers is the most slept on title ever.

I’m trying to think of anything else that comes close. Maybe Young Heroes in Love.

The Mad Monkey

July 8, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Normally, I don’t break the rules of snark here…
But, man…that Detective Comics cover…


Just thought of 2 more Marvel face covers (from the same series!). Morbius #2 and #32

Yeah I can’t say anything about the quality of the book, but 1997. Superboy and the Ravers. That’s pretty much in line with “Kool-El.”

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