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CSBG Archive

Judging (Marvel’s February) Books By Their Covers

Marvel’s February solicits have been up for quite 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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Perhaps it is the coloring, but for whatever reason, this Ron Lim cover pops more so than a typical Anita Blake cover.

Certainly more so than those odd “pose” covers they so often have.
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Juan Doe certainly knows how to do dynamic covers.

I think the figures here are a bit too loosely drawn, but the overall feel of the cover is strong, as Doe covers so often are (and the loosely drawn figures thing is actually a bit of a constant, too, now that I think about it).
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Strong Dave Bullock cover.

I especially love the faces in the background. Total Silver Age throwback (and that drawing of the dog is great).
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Is this the actual cover for this issue?

If so, it’s kinda weak by John Romita, Jr. It is almost the opposite of a cover “popping.” It practically withdraws from the reader (which is why I honestly wonder if it is the final cover).
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He does a much stronger job on this cover.

Way to fully incorporate the whole cover as a piece of the drawing, JRjr!!
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Strange Barry Kitson cover.

It almost looks like they digitally inked his rough pencils (note that Kitson has some of the sharpest rough pencils ever).
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Clever cover design by Ron Frenz.

Possessed Peter’s grin matching the mask is a nice touch.
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Certainly an interesting cover by Kenneth Roquefort.

It reminds me a lot of the late, great Seth Fisher.
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I love how random these 70th Anniversary covers are.

A Namor variant cover on Black Panther #1?

That’s more than a wee bit silly, especially as Marvel Girl is on the X-Men’s 70th Anniversary cover, so it’s clear that the 60s characters count, so why in the world would T’Challa NOT be the variant for the first issue of a new Black Panther series?

Great drawing of Namor, though (Djurdjevic rocks!).
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That is a scary looking Black Panther by Ken Lashley.

And I don’t mean the cat on the left. I like that the Black Panther’s costume is so tight it actually wraps her breasts completely.

(Note: Someone else out there somewhere is likely saying that last sentence, sans sarcasm)
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Lovely Olivetti cover.

Very eye-catching.
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Bland cover by Jae Lee, but it fits the format of the book.

You don’t exactly expect super exciting covers for a guide book, ya know?
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Much stronger Lee cover for the main book.

Jae Lee would make one hell of a novel cover artist. He gets the dynamic poses down pat, and he’s such an excellent draftsman, as well. I can’t wait until we see him do something else (not a shot at Dark Tower, just that he’s been doing only Dark Tower for years now).
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I dunno if Mico Suayan is even trying to make the design of the Werewolf make sense on this cover, so I suppose I should cut her some slack there.

Otherwise, it’s a pretty nice action cover – the blurring effect helps well.
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Decent Karl Kerschl cover.

I like the layout a lot, but am somewhat underwhelmed by the character figures.
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That’s quite a bad ass looking little kid by Tim Green III.

Nicely done.
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I normally love Eric Nguyen’s work, but this cover leaves me a bit cold.

Especially the “action” sense of the cover (or rather, the lack thereof).
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Very cute Bryan Hitch cover.


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Certainly a striking Clint Langley cover.

That Blastaar design, though, is hideous.
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Is this Arthur Suydam cover an homage?

That would explain some of the odd decisions made in the layout.
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I was not all that impressed with the last few covers of this series, but I think Langley does a very nice job here, particularly with the Danny Ketch figure.


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Straightforward but well-drawn (and with a decent amount of “pop”) cover by Ed McGuinness.

Certainly a strong cover for a “jump on point” issue.
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Not a bad Kabuki cover by David Mack, but not exactly an enthralling one, either.

It does have a certain uniqueness that I do like.
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Tommy Ohtsuka’s Varian should have a contest with Korvus (from the X-Men: Kingbreaker series) to see who has the more comically large sword.


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Very nice drawing by Roger Cruz.

It’s not such a striking cover, though.

Very nice drawing, though.
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Cute and odd and cool cover by Clayton Henry.


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Isn’t this a cool bit how Clayton Henry can change his approach so dramatically from the one cover to the next?

Strong dynamic work.
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I really enjoy the way that Francis Tsai tries sort of an off-kilter approaches with his covers.

It gives them a unique feel.
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Heh,

Too easy.
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Interesting work from Gabriele Dell’Otto.

A real departure for him – I think I’d like to see some interior work from him in this style. I dunno if I like this particular cover layout, but the style is definitely intriguing.
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Fun cover by Juan Santacruz.

It reminds me of Pat Olliffe’s work in a BIG way.
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Excellent layout for the final issue of New Exiles by Tim Seeley.

Some of the character work looks almost unfinished, but overall, a very nice cover.
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That’s a chillingly weird cover by Alina Urusov.


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This Humberto Ramos cover is a bit of a mess.

Sort of all jumbled together with bad “lighting.”
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Interesting Aleksa Gaji cover.

I like how it “forces” the reader to take a double look.
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Lovely David Williams cover to the last issue of She-Hulk.


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Cool Patrick Zircher cover.


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The Calero variant does do much for me – a surprising lack of dynamism, which is strange, because Calero conveys so much with his static covers, yet with this action shot, it seems less striking.


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This David Yardin cover certainly comes up with a catchy visual.

It’s well drawn, too.
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I really enjoy Deodato’s character work here.

Impressive work from him on in an area of his art that I am not as usually impressed by.
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Interesting stylistic choice by Jimmy Cheung and Marvel – going to the Civil War trade dress.

Probably a good idea – that event has good brand identity at the moment.
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Ed McGuinness has two good “farewell” covers to two Ultimates titles…

I wonder whether the Ultimate FF will ever get a series again (you have to figure that the X-Men will be back).
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Some nice character work by the Dodsons.

They’re a good deal more palatable when they’re drawing guys.
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Decent cover by Gurihiru.


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Fair enough Brandon Peterson drawing of Darkhawk.

That certainly IS Darkhawk!

Not much more going on but that.
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This is an intriguing cover by David Williams.

On the one hand, I dunno if I like the design work on Wolverine, but on the other hand, while he may not exactly LOOK like Wolverine, he sure as hell FEELS like him, doesn’t he?

Williams’ Wolverine oozes attitude.
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Well designed David Yardin cover.


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I don’t like this Roger Cruz cover as much as his other cover this month.

In particular, his Beast looks far too slick, and when that’s your main figure, it’s a bit of a problem, ya know?
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You have to sort of admire the guys Clayton Crain has sometimes to just all out with these covers.

It doesn’t exactly make sense, but damn, is it full of vim and vigor!!
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Not one of Lee Bermejo’s best covers, even if it is part of a (trip?)tych.

Then again, any cover featuring Danger automatically gets 10 cool point demerits.
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That’s a very cool looking Polaris by Brandon Peterson.

Well done by Peterson.
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Cute Dennis Calero cover.

Love the claws.
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Perhaps it is a statement or something, but Mario Alberti’s characters seem to be a bit off, anatomy-wise, on this cover.


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I like this Dan Panosian drawing, but it is far from an appealing cover image.

I do dig the sort of Jordi Bernet feel to it.

As a drawing, it’s quite good.
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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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Very cool Pasqual Ferry cover.

Uses the character’s powers to as good of a visual effect as you could imagine!
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This Stuart Immonen cover is exquisite.

I only hope fans will give it enough of a glance to appreciate it.
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Another strong Immonen cover.


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When Juan Doe does not have to draw normal characters, he is amazing.

No one does propaganda-style comic book covers like Doe!
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I dig the shadow work on this Steve Epting cover.


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It is striking how much power is in Patrick Zircher’s art these days.

Very impressive (not that he wasn’t a fine artist in the past, but I think it is fairly evident that as he has taken more time with his work, the overall quality had improved a lot).
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What I like the most about this Gerald Parel cover is that it catches the eye right away just due to a strong drawing of the Captain, but THEN you notice the nice attention to detail with both men eying each other and readying their respective weapon.


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Dig that 3-D effect, Greg Tocchini!


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I actually don’t like the cover design here that much, but damned if Scotty Young doesn’t draw the hell out of it, making it worth at least an honorable mention.


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Strong concept (Dark Reigning Cats and Dogs? Priceless) that is well executed by Chris Eliopoulos.


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TOP FIVE
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5. Jay Anacleto delivers an excellent cover taking into account the exact type of reaction that Busiek is looking for, where the “realistic” approach conflicts with the almost gaudy decade of the 80s.

Brilliant idea for a cover.
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4. You know I loves me some negative space covers.

This Dennis Calero one uses that to great effect.
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3. Wow, what a strong return cover for the Kingpin by Marko Djurdjevic!


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2. Dave Johnson is an amazing cover artist, and he is buying into Duane Swierczynski’s storyline motif wonderfully.


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1. Knock the book all you like, the art on Hulk has been awesome, and these Ed McGuinness covers are top notch.


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That’s the list! Share your prejudices and YOUR Top Fives!

15 Comments

I’ll honestly never understand how Humberto Ramos keeps getting work.

I’m not prejudiced, I’m just happy this section is back.

Jae Lee (I believe) is doing the covers of DEAD IRONS over at Dynamite Entertainment.

Glad to see this section back, too!

That Darkhawk cover looks like it could be from a trading card back in the early 90s.

I wonder why Marvel didn’t use the original cover for that Galactus special?

(The actual cover, at least on the copy I got, is the same as the splash page inside.)

Humberto Ramos is a great artist on the right book… and a terrible artist on the wrong one.

Runaways is a good fit for him.

Why is the Hulk your number 1?

It’s so…bland.

This is my favorite feature on here!

The David Mack Kabuki cover is downright ugly.

The Black Panther cover attributed to Ken Lashley is actually J. Scott Campbell. You can see his signature on the tree limb to the right of her hip. Also, the tiny waistline and wide hips are a Campbell trademark :)

That Wolverine: First Class cover is based on a Kevin Maguire JLI cover, no?

Certainly seems to evoke the classic poses, although it might be cropped a bit tighter to focus on Wolverine.

Hmmm… Another David Mack swipe? The model and the pose on that Kabuki cover are… familiar, I think.

I need to think about to figure out if it IS the picture I’m thinking about, but I believe the model is Somali… Trying to remember her name…

Oh yeah, Ian, it totally is. That didn’t even register initially for me because it zooms in so much tighter than the classic JLI cover it’s homaging.

@ comb & razor:

The model for the Reflections #12 cover is photographer Linda Costa, whose experimental photos have appeared in David Mack’s Reflections series since they are friends. No swipes involved, just friends using each other as subjects in cool artwork.

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