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CSBG Archive

Judging (Marvel’s March) Books By Their Covers

Marvel’s March 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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Here, Juan Doe seems to almost embrace the odd anatomy he often does with his characters, and it really works nicely.


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One of Greg Land’s better covers.


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Nice Ed McGuinness variant cover.

Pin-up pieces like this work better as variant covers.
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John Romita Jr. is really good at drawing beat-up Spider-Man.

Remember the fight against Morlun? JRjr really knocked that one out of the park.

This is a good cover, too.
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Who drew this cover, exactly?

The solicits credit Klaus Janson, Chris Eliopoulos and Dean White.

So is it a matter of Eliopoulos creating the letters, Janson then drawing the arm and Dean White coloring it all?

However it was put together, it looks good!

I love the little touch with the webshooters being visible. I don’t recall ever seeing them shown like that before.
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Good cover by Tomm Coker, if a bit straightforward.


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Intriguing cover by Kenneth Rocafort.


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Not a bad cover by Humberto Ramos overall, but geez, if you’re going to depict the follow-up to an action, you really ought to show some sign that the actual action took place, right?

The clawed dude slashes at the dinosaur and we get…nothing?
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I like this Ariel Olivetti cover as a sort of a reminder, “See, folks! I was lame when I debuted, too, so it’s just like I’ve come full circle!”


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You know you went overboard with the female anatomy, Ken Lashley, when J. Scott Campbell does a cover and he makes the female character look more realistic than you did on your cover.

Overall, it’s a strong cover, really, from Campbell, who has been known to do some great cover work.

I don’t exactly get why Doom is clutching his own cape, though…
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Has the kid shrunk since last issue’s cover?

Olivetti has been weird with people’s sizes on these covers.
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Cool group pose cover by Immonen.


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Impressive Daniel Acuña variant cover for Dark Avengers.


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Morgana Le Fey’s breast sure seem powerful!

Seriously, this is an intriguing perspective by Deodato.
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It’s tough when you’re going to be compared to Jae freakin’ Lee, but this Richard Isanove cover is a bit of a step down from Lee’s striking Dark Tower covers.


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Intriguing cover idea by Marko Djurdjevic.


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I like Patrick Zircher’s take on the Werewolf better than Mico Suayan, but I might add that Suayan apparently is just drawing from Marko Djurdjevic’s designs, so I suppose it is Djurdjevic that I should take issue with, re: the design of the Werewolf.


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I like this Karl Kerschl cover better than last month’s – it pops out a good deal more, and I love his Blastaar.


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Cute cover idea by Greg Land.


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Gotta hand it to Lee Bermejo, he managed to get some wind so that we get a clear shot of Elektra’s ass.

Seriously, though, I can’t knock a dude for showing Elektra’s ass, as she fights in a freakin’ bathing suit, basically.

So fine cover by Bermejo.
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I’m more suprised/impressed by Clay Mann’s variant.

I love it when I see artists raise their game, and Mann has definitely been improving!


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Simone Bianchi may win the “oddest Fantastic Four layout” award.

What an odd angle to get Johnny from, and the ripple effect on Reed is beeee-zarre.


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I’m a bit disappointed in Marko Djurdjevic’s depiction of the Thing on the variant cover.

The brow really doesn’t work for me, and it distracts from the rest of the piece.
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Nice Ender’s Game cover by Pasqual Ferry.


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Love the eye-blast battle, but what the…is that supposed to be Wolverine?

It looks like Baron Blood!

Otherwise, fine cover, Eric Nguyen!
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Good use of the whole cast by Bryan Hitch, and I love his expressions, particularly Valeria’s.


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Cool David Yardin cover, but so sad, I never took Captain Marvel for a gay-basher.


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Awesome character work by Arthur Suydam. I love that. Man, I’d love to see more character work like that from him – the expressiveness, the posing, the whole deal – top notch.

Good cover, as whole, too.
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Decent Hercules cover by Dave Williams.

The expressions (particularly Amadeus) seem a bit strange.
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Clever cover idea by Mark Brooks, but I don’t think the execution of said idea really works as well as the idea itself.

In particular, the fist does not work well in silhouette and the torso bit just doesn’t even make sense. It would be one thing if it was half green/half red, but mostly green with a red arm and, oh, let’s say part of the torso red, too.

Kinda weird.
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I think Sean Phillips definitely evoked the kind of pulp-y look he was going for.


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Interesting cover idea by Salvador Larocca.

I think it might have actually been served better by making the figures even smaller, making the cover stand out even more.
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Interesting cover by Tommy Ohtsuka – is this two sides of the same person? Someone tell me!


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Strong Roger Cruz cover.

I especially like the way he uses the flamethrower to light the Avengers. Clever.
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An amusing Roger Cruz cover.

Odd take on Doc’s hair, though.
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I dig the cover design on this Francis Tsai cover.

Tells the story nicely.
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I love John Watson’s homaging a cover from, like, last year!

Is Bryan Hitch’s first cover of Fantastic Four actually that well known?

Watson does a helluva job aping that style, though!
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Decent finale cover by Gerald Parel.


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Khoi Pham, like Clay Mann, keeps growing as an artist, and it is a delight to see.


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Scott Clark does a good job with this Models, Inc. cover.

Evoking the feel without going overboard with photocopying.
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Okay, fill me in, what’s going on on this Gabriele Dell’Otto cover?


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Pretty cool Phil Jimenez cover.

I particularly dig the background – makes the character pop.
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While some of the figures in the boxes look downright awkward (is Doom’s mask uneven or something?), overall this is a strong cover by Billy Tan.


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Again, that’s Mockingbird’s actual costume, so I guess I can’t bust Jo Chen too much for it.

Okay, yeah, I can.

Come on, Jo Chen! When they said, “We want the cover to emphasize that Mockingbird’s back,” I think you might have missed the “that.”
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Daniel Acuña came dangerously close to making Vulcan look kind of cool!

Frightening.
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Pretty cool Mike McKone cover.


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TERRIBLE Mike McKone cover!


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I like the energy on this Humberto Ramos cover, although I’m not exactly positive what is going on – he’s flying, yes?


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The spotlight effect works well here.

Good job by Aleksa Gajic.
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Jimmy Cheung’s part of the cover is quite cool looking, but I still am unsure if I like the idea of doing this Civil War cover format style.


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I think both Juan Doe covers for this English/Spanish one-shot are a lot of fun.

I think I like the English version SLIGHTLY better. I liked the use of the two heroes more there.
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Good Zircher cover.


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I like how Skaar is, like, totally embracing the Surfer as a guest star. This is about the third cover in a row that the Surfer has been prominently featured.

Good Alex Garner cover – his style can sometimes not work so well with human features, so an alien works really well with Garner’s style.
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Not a bad Deodato cover for Squadron Supreme.


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Odd poses on this Mike Perkins cover.

They’re all drawn well enough, but their poses are kinda strange.
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“Namor’s phallus shall reign supreme!!!!”

Esad Ribic has had some interesting cover designs on this series.
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Pretty cool cover by Francesco Mattina, but I think the design is actually a good deal less interesting than some of his previous efforts.

Still, at the worst, it’s a striking cover.
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Very cool cover design by Marko Djurdjevic.


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Forgetting everything else, I love how David Finch draws Spider-Man’s eyes.


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Interesting cover layout by Stuart Immonen.

He frames the shot very well.
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Those are some awfully narrow claws by Leinel Francis Yu.

Otherwise, it’s a cool cover for the return of Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine.
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I like the drawing of Colossus by the Dodsons, but it is a bit on the bland side for a cover.


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Like I was mentioning on his Thunderbolts cover, Francesco Mattina can come up with some interesting cover designs, and this War Machine is one of them.

Love the use of white – makes it all pop like crazy.
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I really enjoy this Brandon Peterson cover – it has all the ingredients you look for in the debut cover of a series.

Very much “setting the scene and the cast of characters.”
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The Ron Lim variant, on the other hand, is sorta goofy looking.

Not BAD, exactly, just kinda goofy.
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Both covers work fine, it’s just amusing to me to see Brandon Peterson have two covers this month that involve a character sort of lurching forward.


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I love Dougie Braithwaite’s cover layout, but the figures seem sort of off (particularly Cannonball).


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Cute McNiven cover.

Can’t wait ’til I see what McNiven has planned next! What a great artist.
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I love how ersatz this David Williams cover looks, especially Kitty’s facial expression.

Good stuff.
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Klaus Janson does a nice job depicting a lot of Wolverine’s life.

It’s interesting seeing him draw modern Wolverine.
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David Yardin does a really nice job using the Sentinels to both frame AND light his shot.

Love the expressions on the Madroxes.
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I like this Roger Cruz cover better than last issue.

He has a real good angle on Jean Grey.
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Clayton Crain did not draw enough blood on this X-Force cover!

I demand a re-draw!!
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Danger is less noticeable on this Lee Bermejo cover – so only five cool points deducted!

As a triptych, the whole thing probably works okay, but as individual pieces, not so much.
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Like I mentioned before, my biggest problem with Alex Garner are his faces, and I have a bit of a problem with his Psylocke.

The rest of the cover, though, is quite good – especially the effects on the sword.


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Nice throwback cover by Dennis Calero.


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I dunno if this Brandon Peterson cover achieved the intended effect – Nightcrawler appears to be falling back not forward.


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I like the quirkiness of this Pasqual Ferry cover for the final issue of Young X-Men.

Now I hope I see no more of Ink ever again!
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HONORABLE MENTIONS
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Very cool job by Kaare Andrews, doing the best he can with the material given to him.


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Very cute David Williams cover.

Love the expressions, love the movement. Great job.
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Is this Alex Ross cover an homage?

It reminds me of some Invaders cover from the 70s. I could be totally wrong.

Homage or not, it’s a strong cover.

I love Cap readying his shield.
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Great farewell cover by Ron Frenz!

Love the bookend treatment.
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Epting tells a story nicely here – we have an idea of what the story will be like by a simple image. Nicely turned.


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Nicely stylized cover by Greg Tocchini.


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Great use of filling the cover to direct your attention.

Zircher is doing some strong cover work lately.
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TOP FIVE
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5. I’ve been loving the use of negative space on these covers.

Great work by Dennis Calero.
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4. Skottie Young’s art is amazing.

This cover is great art AND tells the story, so it makes the top five.
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3. Dave Johnson continues his striking cover work for this Duane Swierczynski storyline.

He’s nailing the mood perfectly.
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2. Jason Pearson’s cover is so good because it both tells the story (the Thunderbolts attack Deadpool) while also being one hell of a stylized cover.


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1. My favorite cover this month, though, is Dennis Bajram’s cover which is similar to Pearson’s cover in that it relays plot while also being striking on its own, only this cover is a bit MORE striking than the Deadpool cover.

You don’t get much more iconic imagery than seeing a damaged Statue of Liberty floating in space.
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That’s the list! Share your prejudices and YOUR Top Fives!

19 Comments

you have two mistakes in this

That’s not Wolverine being given a noogie by Ikaris in the Eternals #9 cover thats one of the Eternals that works for Druig, can’t remember his name

and Acuna did not make Vulcan look cool on the Nova cover, because thats “Quasar” (my money on that is that it’s Quasar Posessing Richard Rider)

Spider-Man #588 just reminds me way too much of JRjr’s cover of Kick Ass #2

And for the entire time I have been looking at the cover, I cannot work out what’s going on with Kitty’s left foot on the Ultimate Spider-Man cover.

Re: pin-up covers. Did anyone else buy Thor #600 and flip through the cover gallery? Being unacquainted with the series in recent years, it really struck me that, out of like 13 issues in this newest version… at least ten of the covers could have been swapped around randomly with no difference.

Comparing that with the preceding 500-some covers featuring actual story-related imagery made it particularly… odd. Is that what people really want, Tom Brevoort?

Yeah, the guy that’s being wrangled on the Eternals cover is Vamprio.

Somebody SHOT the teddy bear !!! :-(

Lots of questions this month:

That is a bizarre pose for Lilandra on the first War of Kings cover, isn’t it? I’m kinda surprised you didn’t say anything about it.

Also, is it my imagination, but have there now been two months in a row where the fasion magazine layout has been used? And on two different titles?

Is Deadpool the new Spider-Man and/or Wolverine, the guy who’s in half the books put out? It’s weird seeing him in his own title, a limited series, Thunderbolts and… seems like there was another. Seems like a matter of time before he’s in X-Factor, consoling Siryn after what happened with her and Maddrox.

Good covers, though.

I figured someone woulda mentioned the crotch lensflare with that Guardians cover.

Oh, forgot my biggest question, really non-cover related, but does Marvel have some plan to discontinue monthly titles? It seems like everything is changing titles or becoming a limited series. I know there are spin-offs for events, but it seems to be ramping up this year.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Brandon Peterson War of Kings and Alex Garner Silver Surfer covers…

Is it just me, or do Namorina’s [Namora?] thighs look over-large on that McGuinness variant?

And two month’s reviews where you use the “aping” joke. Good joke.

Ultimate Spider-Man #132 – That’s Kitty? I don’t read the Ultimate comics. I always love me some SI art though. We Canucks gotta stick together (Byrne’s British, so he can go away). But, still…that foot on Kitty? Ouch!

Speaking of going away…
Humberto Ramos…please do that…

Wolverine Saga – Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of Klaus Janson’s art…but…WOW!!! Did he ever nail this one!!!

What the hell is going on with Lilandra in the War of Kings cover?

Yeah, all this talk of butt shots, and yet somehow War of Kings gets a pass. It would be instructive for the male and female characters to swap poses on that cover.

I’d say it’s a reminder that Lilandra needn’t conform to any concept of human anatomy, but really that’s just the No-Prize justification. Peterson needs a slap on the wrist for that junk.

I thought both the Panther covers were Campbell. Misattributed in the solicitation?

About the Universal War One cover, I shall say that the issue is even more impressive. I read it in french and it knocked my socks off!

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

that ghost rider cover is a swipe from devon aoki/miho in sin city, right?

And on the subject of swipes I’ll be damned if that’s not Adrian Brody on the cover of X-Men noir.
Though maybe that’s homage, not swiping.

Love the X-Factor cover.

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