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Judging (Marvel’s January) Books By Their Covers

Marvel’s January solicits are up (they’ve been up so long that February came out this past Tuesday!), so let’s make some prejudgments based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgments, don’t we?).

Let’s begin!
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Yet another adorable Dave Bullock cover.

Gotta love that dial.
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Decent cover by the master, John Romita.


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Strong cover by the master’s son.


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Ha!

I was just talking about how I thought a certain pose was quite common on recent Spider-Man covers, and ta da – that same pose shows up on a Spider-Man cover!

Still, it’s a good cover by Stephane Roux.
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Very good cover by Ron Frenz.

I wonder where he’ll end up when Spider-Girl ends.
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What an odd design by Simone Bianchi.

Nice character drawings, though!
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Cute cover by David Nakayama.


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An impressive cover design by Ariel Olivetti, but his everyone still looks way too bulky.

What a weird thing to be Olivetti’s “thing.” “Yeah, I’m the guy who draws everyone really bulky.”
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I tend to believe that this Stuart Immonen cover is missing something that will be added later on.


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Cool variant cover for Captain America #46.

That’s Djurdjevic, right?
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You could make a strong argument for this Epting cover for this Cap one-shot to be an honorable mention.

It’s a very well drawn piece – it just seems a bit too similar to past Epting covers to merit honorable mention – is there a category for just plain ol’ mentions? Like, “While I might not wish to honor it exactly, I think I should still mention that this Epting cover is really well drawn?”
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Powerful Jae Lee cover.


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This is a very engaging cover by Roger Cruz.

Doom’s pose is intriguing, but I especially love Chameleon’s pose – “Anyone can try to look menacing, but who else but the Chameleon can gently cover one eye? No one, that’s who! Nyah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Nyah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Nyah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Yes, I am bad ass.”
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Really impressive figure drawings by Eric Nguyen, but the basic cover concept is fairly routine.

The angle isn’t really even interesting.
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Nice action shot by Clint Langley.

I’d love to see Langley do some sequential work.
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Trippy angels, Suydam!

I love when Suydam isn’t doing homages to old Marvel covers.
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More of an imposing villain by Clint Langley on this month’s cover as compared to last month.


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Ed McGuinness appears to be vibing the late, great Mike Wieringo a bit here.


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Interesting cover by Mike Perkins, mostly because it really doesn’t look like his usual style. It has an almost Mark Bagley quality to it.


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An early contender for “Most Superfluous Comic Book of the Year!”

Still, a fine cover by David Yardin.
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This might not even be the cover, right?

They’ve done that before with the Kick Ass solicits, show a page rather than the cover.
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The girl on the bottom of this Tommy Ohtsuka cover is sad because she doesn’t have sharpened ears like the other two people on the cover do.

“Yeah, I have neat purple hair, but my ears are so boring and round!”
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At first, when I saw this Salva Espin cover, I thought, “Wow, the Avengers look really pissed at someone just outside the lower right hand corner of this cover!”

Then I looked at it further and realized that that was not anger, that was yearning!

My theory was proven when I noticed that I did not think to look beyond the boundaries of the page, and once I did so, it was clear.

So see for yourself.

Damn, superheroes sure do love that stuff!
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Good Tom Grummett cover. I was going to note that I thought that the “playing pranks on each other” cover motif seems to be a bit over-used on these FF covers, but looking back, I guess it’s only been used twice or so.


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Decent Salva Espin Thor cover.

I see Louise Simonson is writing this one! That’s neat “casting.”
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Good to see Sanford Greene end up somewhere else after his Batman title at Jonni DC ended.

He brings his standard dynamic cover work to Marvel.
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FULL FACE COVERS ON PARADE!!!!

First, a fairly scary cover by Mico Suayan.


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Next, a well-drawn by surprisingly laid back Gerald Parel cover.


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Good job by Marko Djurdjevic pulling away from his previous themes for this Magneto cover.

It gives it much more of a punch.
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Is that actually Lee Bermejo? Looks more like Mike Perkins to me. Could it be the Perkins variant?

Strong cover, though.
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That’s one smooth looking Punisher by Jay Anacleto.

I doubted myself on Jay’s last name, but I was correct! Yay me!

How is that pronounced, by the by?
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Clever cover homage by Greg Land.

The British zombies are done to an homage of Shaun of the Dead.

Clever!!
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Hmmm….

I usually love Gabrielle Dell’Otto’s work.

And there is a lot to like about this cover.

But I just don’t think the two figures go together all that well.

Individually, though, good stuff!
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You’ve never gotten a real back rub until you’ve gotten one from the original Human Torch!

Rather odd cover idea by Esad Ribic.
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There is a certain engaging quality to this Alex Garner cover, but man, that face does not look like it belongs to the rest of the drawing, and that really throws the whole thing off for me.


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Nice Nic Klein cover.

It’ll be nice seeing him do covers for a better book!
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See?

Even Richard Rider thinks his costume is lame!

Good cover idea by Adi Granov.
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Not sure exactly what it supposed to be going on on this Alina Urusov cover.


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Very cute Mike McKone cover.


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Striking Dave Johnson cover.


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Decent cover by Aleksa Gaji – I think the dramatic intent is carried fairly well.


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On that note, I dunno if Brandon Peterson DID carry the dramatic intent of this cover well enough.

I think his work on this cover had a slightly detached feel that takes away from the dramatic impact. Sort of like a colorform cover (although not to that extent, of course – same basic theory, though).

To wit, does it even feel to you like Black Bolt’s foot is actually touching that Skrull?
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That’s some odd lighting there by GG Studios.

Otherwise, it’s an okay cover.
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I really like this Patrick Zircher cover – it only loses some points since it is basically the same exact cover design as Dennis Calero’s #1 variant.


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I love how you can almost always count on Ed McGuinness to bring a ton of energy to his covers.


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I debated whether this Mike Deodato cover should count as a full face cover.

In either event, it’s a pretty strong cover – nice stylizing.
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Two good covers for Thor #600 by Olivier Coipel and Marko Djurdjevic.

Both good works, but I think I prefer Djurdjevic’s, especially the part where he actually tries to get across some story in his with the Balder bit.
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Another cute Gurihiru Wolverine/Power Pack cover.

I wonder how many iterations we could get for this Power Pack deal?

Will we get to the point where it’s a four issue mini-series starring Yondu and the Power Pack as they get into hijinx in the future! Katie with a fin would be adorable!

Or maybe D-Man/Power Pack! I can see the odor lines already!!
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I’ve been enjoying Michael Ryan’s covers for this series so far.


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I forget, is Cyber really that big?

Or is this new Cyber bigger than the old one?

I liked the old one – Peter David created him, no?
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Now, here, on this David Williams cover, the lighting is SUPPOSED to be mysterious.

So it works.
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Another powerful cover homage from Dave Wilkins.


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What a weird cover by Das Pastoras.

The actual figure drawing is fine, but the rest of the cover does not fit together.
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Another cute Mike McKone cover.


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I guess Clayton Crain does a nice job of setting up the collage effect…I suppose I just don’t like his character drawings very much.


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An odd Lee Bermejo cover.

The layout is actually quite good, and the Rogue figure even works more or less, but holy crap, that’s a weird Wolverine!
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Speaking of awful character work, holy jeebus, Humberto Ramos! What an utterly dreadful Dazzler!

I especially dislike the Exorcist-style head.
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Nice classic sci-fi style cover by Brandon Peterson.


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Good job by Mario Alberti.

When, though, did Storm have a costume like that?
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Very nice Stephane Roux cover, although it’s pretty similar to some of the previous covers in this series.


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Interesting Dennis Calero cover.

Sorta Land-ish, though.
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I like this Billy Tan cover, it adds a certain dynamic this book was lacking – that is, a certain straightforward “we’re a superhero team.”


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I like the design on this Adrien Floch cover.


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Does this count as a full face cover?

Anyhow, good Sean Phillips cover!
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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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Very impressive group shot by Patrick Zircher.


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Great Alex Ross cover.


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The character work is not very good, but that’s some awesome background work by Juan Doe.

REALLY awesome.
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Another strong Ultimate Spider-Man cover by Stuart Immonen.

He is awesome-rageous.
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I love the energy Mike McKone shows on this cover.

Not the actual energy, of course, but the sense of power and action.
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TOP FIVE
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5. What an awesome design by Humberto Ramos.

It’s funny how he does this cool cover the same month he does that goddawful Dazzler one.
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4. I can’t get over how much this Mico Suayan cover pops.


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3. This is a beautiful execution of the story by Greg Tocchini.


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2. Skottie Young is just KILLING this series.

Can’t wait until I see the interiors.
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1. I love it when Djurdjevic does offbeat covers.

This one is awesome, offbeat and even tells the story!
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Okay, that’s it!

Feel free to share YOUR top fives and YOUR prejudices!

27 Comments

The reason I can’t love the dial on the Age of the Sentry cover is because “villain” is misspelled.

List of words you should be able to spell if you work for Marvel Comics:

(1) hero

(2) villain

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 24, 2008 at 10:22 pm

It’s a very well drawn piece – it just seems a bit too similar to past Epting covers to merit honorable mention – is there a category for just plain ol’ mentions? Like, “While I might not wish to honor it exactly, I think I should still mention that this Epting cover is really well drawn?”

I think we should make more room for mocking covers that fall below that threshold.

Also, are you sure that NYX cover isn’t drawn by Josh Middleton?
Looks incredibly similar to his style.

Also, are you sure that NYX cover isn’t drawn by Josh Middleton?
Looks incredibly similar to his style.

Urusov has been vibing Middleton the whole series long.

Are there no Avengers covers for the month of January? Did I miss something?

The Avengers covers are “classified” until after Secret Invasion #8, as the covers likely spoil the events of that issue.

Am I the only person who looks at the Incredible Hercules cover and sees Vixen? (Yes, I know that Vixen’s not white, and not Marvel, but X-23’s costume and body style is really reminiscent of her.)

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 24, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Urusov has been vibing Middleton the whole series long.

So they’ve gone from ‘Draw like Kirby!’ to ‘Draw like Middleton!’?

Guess it’s better than ‘Draw like Liefield’….

I actually love the X-Men legacy cover. Its a really creative way to convey the history of the characters.

I’m a fan, but I can barely tell what’s going on in that Alex Ross cover.

The X-Men Legacy cover is part of a Triptych, and the cover for Civil War: House of M is an homage to House of M #1.

I think Anacleto would be pronounced like ‘Anna-klepto’ but without the ‘p’. But I am not a linguist and only learned how to properly pronounce Edgar Cayce’s surname last week, so what the hell do I know?

God, how many Punisher books are there now? It’s like the ’90s all over again, only I’m not a hype-buying moron this time ’round.

Though that could change if they started republishing The Punisher Armory.

Wolverine: Switchback #1
“The actual figure drawing is fine”

Ummmm…
Perhaps I’m not seeing the same drawing you are, but that is just plain terrible “art”.

-“When, though, did Storm have a costume like that?”

Way back when Uncanny was in the high 280s and low 290s.

Get a load of that Jim Lee designed Cyclops costume. Yeesh, I’m still a huge Jim Lee fan, and especially love his early X-men run, but that has to be one of the worst costume designs of all time.

Love that Ultimate Spidey cover. Think it would definitely be my pick of the month.

“I’d love to see Langley do some sequential work.”
Dig out some 2000ADs… I’m sure Rebellion have collected at least one or two of his stories by now. He’s done tonnes. All painted…
Not sure about Simone Bianchi’s X-cover… Beast looks like Dr Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog…
Cable #10 – either that kid has really long legs (or is standing on a box) or Cable has short calves or is kneeling…
Dr Doom and The Masters of Evil… Shouldn’t that be Dr. Doom and the Sinister Six?
Love that Sanford Greene cover… Is he the guy who used to do Batman Strikes? Some of the best graphical story-telling around… My three-year old has ditched his Marvel Adventures Hulk for Batman Strikes (the 1st Digest-sized volume) as he can follow the story much easier…
Werewolf by Night looks more like Man-Bat… Needs more dog…
Punisher #1 needs the Kitchen Sink addition that Frank Cho gave us last month…
“To wit, does it even feel to you like Black Bolt’s foot is actually touching that Skrull?”
No. But he also blends into the background too much, making the skrulls stand out, but BB fade away…
It’s not just odd lighting on the She-Hulk cover – the wreckage looks out… like there’s some kind of forcefield in effect around her…
On the Thor covers, my vote goes to Djurdevic too! Fewer characters, but seems much more effective…
ON the Weapon X: First Class cover, is Wolverine constipated? What kind of pose is taht where you leap at your opponent with your claws between your legs? “I’m so tough I can castrate myself before I deal with you!”
New Cyber is bigger… from Wolverine origins… first dozen or so? can’t quite remember.. got blurry…
Love Brandon Peterson’s artwork… Why can’t he get another run on interiors??
At least Stephane Roux’s Storm doesn’t have her breasts hanging out like last month’s cover…
Utterly love your top five picks, though my fave is the Spider-man/Man-Thing cover – beautiful piece of work…

My favorites: Spidey/Man-Thing, Baby Madrox, Wizard of Oz, Wolverine/Power Pack, and the Romitas Spidey covers.

I can’t figure out what’s going on on that Alex Ross Invaders cover.

FF ADVENTURES: this “prank” cover works because of Sue’s embarrassment/disappointment; it’s quite poignant, really.

X-MEN NOIR: When did Lt. Data join the Brotherhood?

Heh, your #1 pick could also qualify as a full-face cover — a damn good full-face cover.

The upside-down-ness really puts it…over the top.

Sorry, but did I just see you use “Alex Ross” and “great” in the same sentence? Isn’t this against the rules of the site?

Ummmm…
Perhaps I’m not seeing the same drawing you are, but that is just plain terrible “art”.

It’s not photo-realistic or anything like that, but it’s still a strong drawing in the artist’s style.

My problem is that he then does not match that style with the rest of the cover.

Way back when Uncanny was in the high 280s and low 290s.

I dunno – they certainly have similarities, but this costume is black – that costume was silver/gray.

Sorry, but did I just see you use “Alex Ross” and “great” in the same sentence? Isn’t this against the rules of the site?

One step up from just general pissiness – uninformed pissiness!

David Nakayama is absolutely KICKING MAJOR ARSE on Big Hero 6. Would love to see him on a regular title (Runaways perhaps? Hands down infinitely better than Ramos’ faux-anime stylings).

It should’ve been Hostess FRUIT PIES… They seem to prefer them three to one on cupcakes and Twinkies ;-)

Man that’s a cold detachedly homoerotic Namor cover. Did that guy ever illustrate an Anne Rice Vampire book?

That Astonishing cover ‘s OK but I can’t help thinking it should be a poster for X-Men: The musical. Cyke and Beast are just jazz dancing away behind Wolvie’s big song and dance number.

No…the art on Strikeback is not photo-realistic. Like many others, I’m tired of Greg Land-style cheating in comic art. Give me George Perez any day…
What I’m seeing is that the (bad) artist on that cover doesn’t seem to know proper proportion and fore-shortening. In this case, it’s a very long torso and what appear to be very short legs (despite being bent at the knees). I know Wolverine is a “runt”…but, that’s just not even close to being acceptable.
The whole figure just looks awkward and completely distracts from whatever background is being used.
Honestly, I didn’t even notice the background until I read your comment on it because I was too consumed by the horrible work done on Mr. Hewlett’s figure.

Pardon my ignorance but does design and layout mean the same as composition? And what do you mean exactly by dynamic?

At first I didn’t realise that the ASM Extra cover was a reflection and thought that 2 spidermen were doing synchronised web-swinging. I now think that it would be awesome to see some synchronised web-swinging.

Thanks Brian – are Marvel’s Feb covers on the way?

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