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CSBG Archive

Judging (Marvel’s April) Books By Their Covers

Marvel’s April solicits have been up for awhile now, 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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Interesting Marko Djurdjevic cover for this 70th Anniversary variant, but I do have to wonder what’s the deal – if 60s Marvel characters count for these covers, why not have Black Panther be the variant for, you know, Black Panther #1?


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I can only imagine how unenthused Ron Lim must be about drawing these types of Anita Blake covers.

I’m with you, Ron! I’m with you!
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See, Billy Tan! Cap’s current costume CAN look cool!

Well done, Adi Granov!
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Nice straightforward Barry Kitson cover.

I wonder how long the Hitch revamp of the FF costumes will last. I don’t think it will be very long. It seemed to very much “his” thing, so when he leaves the book, I think they’ll be gone soon after.

That’s not a knock on the designs, I think they’re fine, I just don’t think they will last.
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Kitson does a much cooler job on the second part of the story.

Very striking cover!
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Gotta give Joe Quesada credit, he’s pulling out all the stops to help Amazing Spider-Man!

Having Joe Quesada draw your covers is a huge boon for ANY book.

This is a pretty cool cover by Quesada.
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“Damn it, Mephisto! What now?!?”

Seriously, nice cover by Ron Frenz introducing Spider-Girl to the Spider-Man Family fold.
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Kenneth Rocafort certainly has a flair for the dramatic, doesn’t he?


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Not digging either Storm OR Emma on this Simone Bianchi cover.

Both are actually kinda frightening.
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So wait, is Night Thrasher supposed to be with Justice and the others?

Ramos’ design doesn’t seem to indicate that, but I THINK that’s what he’s intending.


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Decent Alex Ross cover.

I like the cover split, but I don’t know if any one of the three slivers stands out that much, and the background color is kinda garish.
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Did someone bet Ariel Olivetti that he couldn’t do a cover made up of just old 90s X-Men images?

What a weird cover.
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I think J. Scott Campbell gets a real bum rap sometimes. I mean, commercially, he’s a total star, but critically, I think he gets knocked too much. The guy is a very talented artist.

This is a nice cover.
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I’m not exactly sure what Deadpool is doing on this cover (is he grabbing Cable’s shoulders?), but overall, it does stand out.

Olivetti is good at making his figures pop on his covers.
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Great drawing by Mitch Breitweiser, but I don’t think it really rises beyond “pin-up.”

It’s a great pin-up, though!
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Okay cover by Stuart Immonen.

Not one of his best, really. It reminds me of an early 90s Marvel cover. Something you’d see during the summer when a title had six issues in three months.
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You have to love the energy pouring out of Djurdjevic’s covers.


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What the hell?!?!? A Noir take on Daredevil?!!? That is sacrilege!! What’s next, Sin City Noir?!?! Spirit Noir?!?

Some books just don’t mix with the noir concept, Marvel!

GEEZ!

Good noirish cover by Tomm Coker, though.
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Cute cover by Jason Pearson.


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And another good cover by Pearson for the start of the Destroyer.


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When I think of the three most badass super villains in the Marvel Universe, my mind automatically goes the Trinity….Doom…Magneto…Princess Python.

Thank you, Roger Cruz, for making my dream a reality!
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I love that Deadpool is suddenly popular enough for his own mini-series concurrent to his ongoing series!

Hopefully that means Deadpool Classic Vol. 3 will be out soon (with Deadpool #11 FINALLY reprinted!).

I dig this Mike McKone cover, it plays to Deadpool’s surreal qualities well.
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I don’t think Deodato quite pulls off the depiction of action on this cover.

Doom is handled well, but Iron Patriot doesn’t actually seem to be pushing him.
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Strong Daniel Acuña cover.

He has the ominous feel down pat.
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Lee Bermejo kicked this cover’s ass.

Very strong, bold work from Bermejo.
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I think they just took an old Pasqual Ferry Ultimate FF cover and added grey to Reed’s hair.


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Come on, archery fans, let’s hear it?

Does Clint Langley pull it off?

After Green Arrow Year One, Andy Diggle should write every archer.
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Well designed cover by Pasqual Ferry.


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I’m not as impressed with the design on this Tim Green cover.

The characters almost appear randomly placed.
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Very fun looking cover courtesy of the always fun Dave Bullock!


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For the second month in a row, I love the expressions on this Hitch FF cover.

You see, the key thing is when you’re doing the “photo realistic” art like Hitch is to make the expressions still feel like they’re being drawn, and Hitch has done that very well the last two covers. They’re realistic without looking like ACTUAL static photos.

Fluidity is almost always the key difference between good photo-realistic work and awful photo-realistic work.
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You have to love the brassiness of actually naming another comic book Fantastic Force.

Decent Hitch cover, but I think the decent part comes strictly from him drawing them – the layout and design of the cover is extremely bland. It’s just his skills as an artist that makes this bland design still look cool.
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I’m sorry, Chris Eliopoulos, I don’t get the joke!

Franklin is putting a mean sign on the back of H.E.R.B.I.E., but unbeknown to him, a sign is being placed on HIS back…but it’s not a mean sign! Doesn’t that sorta defeat the joke?
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I like how Salvador Larocca almost depicts for us the exact point where Star-Lord goes from being okay to being totally screwed – right after that lightning flash!

Cool cover.
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Darn it, Suydam, last month you showed off how detailed you could be! I’d love to see more of that!

This is still a pretty good cover, but I like the Suydam from last month.
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Very good placement of the guest stars by David Williams.


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If Alex Garner just made all of his covers, like, 20% less shiny, I think it would improve them all a whole lot.

All New She-Hulk…that’s pretty funny.
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Sean Phillips continues to really match the noir feel he’s going for on these covers.


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Patrick Zircher gets the story across well, but I don’t know if that merits the less than striking cover design.


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Certainly not a BAD cover by David Mack, but I haven’t seen an absolutely striking Kabuki cover in a few issues.


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Imposing cover by Tommy Ohtsuka.

He conveys the terrifying nature of the bad guy quite well on this cover.
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Is Jon Buran trying to make a statement by making it appear as though Hulk is on a whole other cover? Like the FF are so unimportant to him that’s he acting like they’re not even there?

Think that’s what he’s going for?


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Nice return of Patrick Scherberger to Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man for the fiftieth issue.


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It’s amazing to me how well John Watson is aping these other Marvel covers.


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I’ve been enjoying Greg Tocchini’s covers for this series a lot the last few months, but for the finale, the cover layout just seems to sort of be, like, “just there.”

After a number of clever arrangements, this one is a bit disappointing.
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I get that Jay Anacleto, like last issue, is trying to convey the sort of tackiness of this era in Marvel history, but unlike last issue which wonderfully conflicted the tacky with the mundane to show how sharp the contrast must have been, this cover just shows the tacky, and it’s not as cool.


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You just gotta love Greg Land’s cover arrangements.

If you didn’t, you would perhaps weep at the sight of them…


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Great pair of covers by David Williams.

The mixture of styles is PARTICULARLY impressive.
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This Khoi Pham piece looks more like interior work than a cover.


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Not a bad Billy Tan cover.

The design certainly helps the cover overall.
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Darnit, Jo Chen, what’s with the full pants?!?!

I mean, you remembered the correct way to have her facing, but demerits for the pants.
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Diogenes Neves draws an interesting group here, although I wonder why Wolfsbane is missing.

In addition, Karma does not look Asian, like, at ALL.
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Dude!

This is how bad ass this Daniel Acuña cover is – Gladiator punched that one Nova and his legs fell off!!


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Cool cover homage by Mike McKone.


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Terrible, terrible TERRIBLE cover homage by Mike McKone!!


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I think perhaps the style of Lucy in the Sky’s powers appeals to Ramos’ pencils, because this is one of the best Runaways covers he’s done recently.


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This one-shot just does not have enough words in the title.

How “Dark Reign” was not part of the title is beyond me.

The cover itself, though, is quite good. Djurdjevic did a nice job.
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Mario Alberti breaks out a grittier side for this Skrull Kill Krew cover.

I dig it!
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Andy Blase’s cover reminds me a bit of the late, great Mike Wieringo.


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I LOVE the creepy eye expression Bermejo has going on this The Stand cover!


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Mitch Breitweiser captures the Sub-Mariner’s demeanor very well on this cover.


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Jimmy Cheung uses the design limitations of the cover very well on this cover, by actually working the cramped space into the art. Clever.


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Wow, I guess there’s no more red body paint left?

Maybe THAT’s what Maleev has her legs crossed…
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I almost admire the fact that Alex Ross has the fabric fold there.

It’s almost a bit of an achievement to have that there.
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Nice offbeat cover by Francesco Mattina.


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Hehe…while this looks like a fairly bad photoshop job, it does look pretty funny!

So good job by Leinil Francis Yu.
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Denis Bajram goes from an incredibly striking cover last issue to just a dude.

Kind of a let down right there.
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Weird cover layout by Francesco Mattina.

And the facial expressions on the right – so odd.
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Cool Brandon Peterson cover, although I got sort of a kick out of seeing Lilandra being in basically the same pose Nightcrawler was in on last month’s Peterson cover (different angle, but same pose).


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Peterson’s Darkhawk here is suitably eerie looking.

I dig it.
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Strong cover layout by Doug Braithwaite.

I particularly dig the spittle from Wolverine’s mouth.
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Pretty cool Bianchi cover, although I wonder exactly how Wolverine is holding his footing on the plane.


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Cool idea by David Williams.

We’ve seen Wolverine do this actual routine in a comic, right?

Anyone recall where?
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Awesome C.P. Smith cover.

He sure as hell gets across the whole “noir” angle.
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That’s one shiny Wolverine by Nelson.


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While I’m sure the book will be cool, I’m not too impressed by Ron Garney’s cover here.

If you’re going to do a riff on the whole “Wolverine holding his claws out” cover, you have to come up with a clever angle, and not just “Wolverine holding his claws out.”
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I like Frank Martin’s drawing of Wolverine here.

I don’t know if many of these Wolverine tie-in books are going for covers beyond “Here’s a drawing of Wolverine! Done!” but at least it is a good drawing.
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I love the expressions Yardin gives the Madroxes.

What’s really impressive to me is the fact that Yardin is not alone there – a lot of other artists have made a point of giving different Madroxes different expressions. It’s definitely appreciated.
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It’s interesting that Roger Cruz decided to give Cyclops a bit of a package and not Angel.

In any event, this is a decent cover in what will be a very cool looking quadtych saying good bye to a very fun book by Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz.
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See? This is what I love about Clayton Crain.

He just EMBRACES this crazy crap.

“You know how Stryfe is kinda lame? Well, let’s just take that to the NEXT LEVEL!”

I might not like the results, but I love how he gets there.
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Oh man, Danger just radiates lame, doesn’t she (it?)?

So I think Lee Bermejo deserves extra credit for somehow making the cover even kind of cool looking.
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An origins book for Wolverine?

What a clever concept!!

Cool Tex cover.
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I like the expression on this Adrien Floch cover, but I think it is might not be all that striking of an overall cover design.


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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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Great finale cover by Stuart Immonen.


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I’m unfamiliar with Christopher Shy’s work. It looks a lot like Tomm Coker.

Anyhow, this is a strong return to the 2099 titles.
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Probably doesn’t stand out enough to make the Top Five, but wow, what an amazing design of the Wicked Witch by Skottie Young.


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Not as cool as the previous issue’s covers, but still a cool pair of covers by Ed McGuinness.


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Salvador Larocca does a great job here using all the computer effects available to him to make a cool looking cover.


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I love so much of this David Williams’ cover, except for Batroc’s movement lines – I think they should not be directly down like that. I think more of a twist to them makes a lot more sense.

Still, the rest of the cover is out of sight. A great piece of cover art.
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Awesomely clever Clayton Henry cover.

He’s bound and determined to make Ant Man look cool, isn’t he?
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Gabriele Dell’Otto knows that Mexican Wrestlers are awesome!


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It’s a tough Top Five this month, some great covers.

I love this Marcos Martin cover, but I think I may love it more as a drawing than I do as a cover.

Still, in a lesser month (like the last couple of months) this would be Top Five easily.
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TOP FIVE
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5. Dang, that’s one striking cover by McNiven!

The Red Skull wearing Cap’s costume?

Awesome idea.
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4. Why is everyone so mad at that shiny thing in the middle of the cover?!

Great Alan Davis work.
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3. I am unfamiliar with Rafael Grampa’s work, but woah, what an awesome cover this is!

Reminds me a little of the great Claire Wendling.
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2. If this cover was any more appropriate for the themes that Duane Swierczynski was looking to explore, then it would have come out in 1953.

What an awesome cover by Dave Johnson. The sand dripping is perhaps the best of the lot.
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1. Sonny Liew wins the internet with this amazingly clever Pride and Prejudice cover.

I absolutely adore this cover.
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Okay, that’s it! Feel free to share YOUR Top Fives and YOUR prejudices!

41 Comments

That Jo Chen cover…never realized Ronin’s costume is actually quite beautiful when it’s not using the mask. Would love to see if Chen can do interiors.

The arrow placement and artist signature on Marvel Adventures The Avengers #35 made me think that they had accidentally left the artist’s notes from the original pencils due to the way it is directly pointing at Spidey.

That’s “Evilhawk” on the War of Kings Ascension cover. You can tell by the helmet and shape of the gem.

I am ashamed of my “knowledge”

Y’know, I’m not necessarily opposed to the notion of an “evil Darkhawk.” I mean, the character was intentionally patterned after Captain Marvel with the whole “kid changes into a superhero” bit, so go ahead and give him a Black Adam.

But there’s just no damn excuse for naming the villain “Evilhawk.”

How did Marvel get permission to use The Joker on that Astonishing Tales cover???

Brian,
If you’re unfamiliar with Rafael Grampá’s work, you might want to check out last month’s Hellblazer #250, where he drew one of the short stories, and his creator-owned Mesmo Delivery. If you liked his cover for Werewolf by Night, I’m sure you’ll dig these other works from him!

Best,
J.

Holy crap, that’s a lot of cover judging today.

Lots of great covers this month.
I agree with James, Rafael Grampa’s work A-Mazing! Check out some updates here:
http://muertoz.blogspot.com/2008/09/rafael-grampa-brazil.html

But my Top 5 (in no order)
5. Maleev Spider-Woman (simply striking)
4. Britweiser Sub-Mariner
3. Martin Captain America
2. Wizard of Oz (Young’s doing career defining work)
1. McNiven Wolverine Cover (looks like a Red Kyrptonite affect on Captain America)

“Olivetti is good at making his figures pop on his covers.”

That’s because he doesn’t do BACKGROUNDS!

Just wanted to point out that the “garish” cover background on Avengers/Invaders #10 is the Irish flag.

Rafael Grampa is the next Great.

And now I can’t stop staring at Danger’s robo-nipples.

Astonishing Tales and Secret Warriors are my favorites of the bunch. I’m pretty biased against all things Pride & Prejudice, though, those were some of the most boring memories of high school.

That wolverine first class cover seems to be an Akira homage to me.

I don’t know about if Wolverine’s ever done it in a comic, but the cover to Wolverine First Class is a pretty clear homage to Akira.

Oh, and Rafael Grampa’s Werewolf by Night cover is definitely my number 1.

Maybe Cable and Deadpool’s doing the tango, Marvel-style?

Maybe there’s an inside joke about what one feeds Lockjaw that makes it funny?

I think Marvel needs a few more Wolverine titles.

“Darnit, Jo Chen, what’s with the full pants?!?!”

Well, they DID say something about “a great secret” in the solitics.

The Life and times of Lucas Bishop cover is based on the “Bishops Crossing” cover from his first.. second? appearence in Uncanny X-men

All-New Savage She-Hulk??? Who is she? She’s got red hair – JeanGrey? Madeline Pryor? Why is her top stapled to her chest??

The Franklin Richards books mess me up… I like the idea, but I find the artwork is trying to be Calvin and Hobbes, but nowhere near the mark… If Marvel want that look, why not hire someone with an art style much closer to Bill Watterson? Like Collette Coover (or was it Colleen? sorry)

Seriously, Land’s “Sisterhood” cover for Uncanny rocks.

Knocking him is sooo kinda over.

“All-New Savage She-Hulk??? Who is she? She’s got red hair – JeanGrey? Madeline Pryor? Why is her top stapled to her chest??”

Isn’t that Thundra?

That Hulk #11 cover is, I believe, an homage to the Defenders first appearance in (??) Marvel Premiere #4 (??).

Good covers all around this month. That Ant-Man one really made me chuckle.

I don’t find Danger lame. Not my favorite villain by any stretch, but I’d take her over say, Stryfe. I hope we can still be friends.

Isn’t that Thundra?

It’s Thundra’s daughter with the Hulk.

“Seriously, Land’s “Sisterhood” cover for Uncanny rocks.

Knocking him is sooo kinda over.”

It won’t be until his art improves or goes away.

What’s everyone’s problem with Danger?

I liked that arc.

Humberto Ramos – Yes…the bashing continues….
With so much talent out there, why must The House Of Wolverine (for this month apparently) insist on using the Mexican version of Rob Liefeld?

Pride & Prejudice – (please note this is sarcasm)
How original, Marvel Comics. Take a classic novel (albeit one I’ve never even considered reading) and use the Models, Inc. cover style.
Perhaps there’s some joke they’re intending that I either just don’t get or could be bothered to ponder.
Shame on you, Brian, for even thinking it’s a good cover.

Wolverine Month – *sigh*
I’m Canadian and this just makes me sick.

Astonishing Tales #3 – Mojo…yikes…
What If…The Joker and Baron Harkonnen (from Dune) had a love child…?

Marvel Zombies 4 – …
I’m tired…so very, very tired…

…ugh…
No wonder I don’t read Marvel books anymore…

Missing caption for the Cable/Deadpool cover:

Deadpool: Crap! I forgot, there is no such thing as a Vulcan death grip!

Hmm..is knocking Land over? No. Not when he draws like this. also the Sub-mariner cover? Is that a big rocket or is he happy to see us?

For the Universal War One cover, that issue centers on the character’s guilt for not being able to prevent the previous issue disaster. The next (and last) issue has a more impressive cover (and content).

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

- I think the Thunderbolts and New Avengers: Reunion covers work well side by side.

- The Runaways cover really syncs up with Ramos’ style.

- I like how there are a million Wolverine covers (and many on the way as variants), but Garney is the only one that managed to make them not look flat or like killer chopsticks.

It’s Thundra’s daughter with the Hulk.

Oh. My. God….

Well at least that gives me an excuse to NOT pick this one up… I’ve got all the Jennifer Walters books (including Byrnes GN and Ceremony). If it’s not Jen, it’s not being bought…

I’m also starting to think that Wolverine must have acquired Lobo’s original power (before Dox “neutered” him)… That’s the only way to explain how the guy gets around. Each drop of blood spilled grows into a new Wolverine…

By the way…

Is Marvel Zombies 4 also written by Fred van Lente? MZ3 was brilliant. I think he resurrected the franchise (pun intended!) using Aaron Stack that way was genius. It totally built on the characterisation we’d seen in Nextwave…

Yep, Van Lente is writing the new one, too.

its about the attitude, not the ‘cleverness’ of the angle.
Ron

It’s a pain, with ONE HUNDRED (capitalized because, well, DAMN that’s a lot of covers) to go through, I often find myself not giving a cover the description I originally intended. In fact, when I saw your statement, Ron, I thought, “I at least complimented the drawing while saying I thought it needed to be more clever as a cover, didn’t I?”

And I see that I did not.

So my bad – I think it’s a good drawing of Wolverine, and it does get across the attitude you mention, but for the number one issue of a new series being released in a sea of Wolverine books, I still think that the cover arrangement should be more clever to stand out among the multitudes of new Wolverine releases.

As I did note, though, I’m sure the book itself will be a blast, as you and Jason did a great job on your previous Wolverine storyline.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

“I love so much of this David Williams’ cover, except for Batroc’s movement lines – I think they should not be directly down like that. I think more of a twist to them makes a lot more sense.”

Huh? I don’t get it….???
Glad U dig the piece even though I don’t quite understand what u mean…..;)
I appreciate the kind words and constructive criticism…

Sincerely

David

The Bro with the mo..
http://brohawk.deviantart.com/gallery/

Sure thing, David, I’ll gladly elaborate.

When I think of Batroc, I think of his movements as a flip, which is done in a curve-like movement, as seen on this Kirby cover from Batroc’s second appearance…

Now here’s your cover…

I think that Batroc’s movements on the Kirby cover make more sense, as it seems like more of a natural flip, while I think your cover looks almost like Batroc is falling from a high height due to the straight action lines.

It’s not a huge problem, of course, as except for that little detail, I thought that the rest of the cover was top rate.

In any event, whether you agree or not, I hope I’ve at least explained where I’m coming from.

Thanks for clearing that up for me Chief…
A bit to geeky but I can see what U mean. :)
Maybe I should have U look over my layouts b4
I go 2 final…;)

Thanks again Brian…

Sincerely

Till next time we chat.

Peace

From the Bro with the mo..
http://brohawk.deviantart.com/gallery/

Haha, yes, you should definitely make sure to run all lines before me to make sure I approve of the curvature. “No, no, not EIGHTY degrees, dammit, make it an eighty-TWO degree angle! Geez louise!!!” :D

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