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CSBG Archive

Judging (Marvel’s August) Books by Their Covers

I’ve already done DC, so now it’s Marvel’s turn. I may get a little sarcastic and mean after ploughing through DC’s covers earlier today and then making a straight run on these ones.

As always, the format:

  • Title, issue number, artist

  • Cover image
  • Comments
  • Covers are in the order they are solicited, for the most part
  • My top five are at the end of the post

Halo: Helljumper #2 by Eric Nguyen

Ah, the visual disparity between background and foreground, one of my favourite things to see in a cover! The drawings are okay on their own, but they don’t match up.

The Marvels Project #1 by Steve Epting

An iconic, theme-setting cover. I don’t recognise that masked figure (anyone know who it is out of curiosity?). It works for me.

The Marvels Project #1 variant by Geralrd Parel

An interesting montage of images that don’t quite match up. Does this hint at some major revelations in the book? That the heroes we know are a second happening after a first unknown one? Odd.

Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead #4 by Richard Isanove

Isanove continues to mimic Jae Lee’s style, but with softer lines. That computer colouring sheen of Isanove’s colouring is a constant and I’m not a big fan. The image itself is rather nice, though.

The Stand: American Nightmares #5 by Lee Bermejo

Dramatic and well drawn. Solid.

All Winners Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special by Daniel Acuna

A fun cover with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Mystic Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special by Juan Doe

Sketchy and dramtic. The Vision terrorises the city! RUN!

Marvel Comics #1 70th Anniversary Special by Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic, and variant by Frank R. Paul and Dead White


Both doing their own version of Marvel Comcis #1. I prefer the variant, which captures the feel of the original a bit better, I think. The regular cover is more exciting, though.

Anita Blake: The Laughing Corpse — Necromancer #5 by Harvey Tolibao

Giant tear ducts! Sadly, one of the better Anita Blake covers I’ve ever seen.

The Trojan War #4 by Dennis Calero

Most cover artists wouldn’t have added the great touch of Zeus in the background, which helps pull it together, placing it firmly within the realm of mythology. A striking cover.

Price and Prejudice #5 by Sonny Liew

It suits the material. What more can you ask in this case?

Riftwar #4 by Jason Chan

Decent cover. Well drawn. Not particularly interesting.

Punisher Noir #1 by Tim Bradstreet and variant by Dennis Calero


Both amazingly striking, eye-catching covers. Bradsteet’s use of photoreferences helps for the historical perspective/setting. Calero’s is very simple, but no less powerful.

Luke Cage Noir #1 by Tim Bradstreet

Is Bradstreet using a different style here? It doesn’t look as photoreferenced or clean as his normal work, and it’s really great looking. Lovely cover.

Crossfire #1 and variant by Pierre-Mony Chan


The regular cover is much stronger with more action and drama. The differing looks on the man and woman’s faces is interesting. The three women standing around is not.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #1 by Carlos Pacheco

Well drawn, but just some characters standing around with a total lack of background.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 by David Lafuente

That’s one funny looking Spider-Man. That could be attributed to a new character behind the mask, though. Otherwise, a pretty standard Spider-Man cover.

Amazing Spider-Man #601 by J. Scott Campbell

I like J. Scott Campbell. He encourages my delusions that women like to sit around at home in skimpy clothing, pressing their breasts together to better show them off to any unseen watchers.

Amazing Spider-Man #602 by Adi Granov

Why is there no ground? Usually, in car magazines with women posing on vehicles, there’s ground.

Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3 by Jae Lee

Why are their eyes glowing? Norman Osborn is one creepy looking weirdo here. Both characters look possessed or something.

Uncanny X-Men #514 by Terry Dodson

The Dark Avengers fight shitty looking robots to prove how tough they are. Not bad, really.

Dark Avengers #8 by Mike Deodato

What’s better than Wolverine versus Wolverine? Wolverine versus Girl Wolverine! Ass shot! I do like how vicious and rough this cover looks.

X-Men Legacy #227 by Terry Dodson

I love the idea of Rogue taking Ares’s battleaxe and using it against him. I don’t like the lack of background.

Dark Wolverine #77 by Leinil Francis Yu

How is Dark Wolverine standing there with only one foot on the building? Why is he glowing? Has Dark Wolverine developed new powers? FIND OUT IN THIS ISSUE!

Dark Reign: Hawkeye #5 by Clint Langley

Very good cover. A nice little twist on Bullseye as Hawkeye, and draws the viewer in by wondering how this happened to him. Really good.

Dark Reign: Young Avengers #4 by Mark Brooks

Uh oh, someone’s gone bad! Not terribly original, but intriguing and makes you want to know if Wiccan has betrayed the team for a little nookie.

Invincible Iron Man #16 by Salvador Larroca

We don’t get nearly enough “jumping away from explosion” covers. They’re dynamic and always make you want to know what’s blowing up.

Dark Reign: The Sinister Spider-Man #3 by Chris Bachalo

Great image and well executed. J. Jonah Jameson learns that ragging on the new Spider-Man isn’t exactly a smart idea. It almost makes you want to cheer on Dark Spider-Man.

Dark Reign: Mister Negative #3 by Jae Lee

A really striking, engaging picture. I do want to know why there is a power cord there, though.

Thunderbolts #135 by Francesco Mattina

This cover makes me want to read this issue. What else need be said?

Skrull Kill Krew #5 by Mario Alberti

Very interesting and eye-catching. The dull colours don’t help, but there’s something very appealing about the composition. Great use of negative space and a solid idea.

Dark Reign: The Hood #4 by Marko Djurdjevic

A solid, symbolic concept that is executed well.

Ms. Marvel #44 by Sana Takeda

Not a bad image. I like the way that Ares is looking away.

Dark Reign: Lethal Legion #3 by Tommy Lee Edwards

Well drawn, nice concept, and obviously not what happens inside the comic. But who cares when it’s Tommy Lee Edwards? Not me!

Dark Reign: Zodiac #3 by Nathan Fox

Interesting image — in the sense that I have no idea what’s going on. Not sure what I think about this cover. I think it’s well drawn, but the design mystifies me a bit. There is something compelling about it.

New Avengers #56 by Stuart Immonen

Another Dark Avengers versus New Avengers image, but… by Stuart Immonen! Maybe I’m biased (actually, I know I am), but Immonen makes it better. He always makes it better.

Hulk #14 variant by Ian Churchill

We don’t know what the normal cover looks like, but it’s almost certainly better than this. Although, this is a pretty decent cover coming from Churchill, though the lack of background… *shakes head*

Agents of Atlas #9 by Leinil Francis Yu

Nicely drawn — as you’d expect from Yu — but his theme this month seems to be “people standing where they shouldn’t standing” images. Although, this one is a bit more symbolic than Dark Wolverine’s odd floating act.

Avengers: The Initiative #27 by Matteo de Longis

A dynamic design and really draws the eye to it. Bright colours, energetic figures… very well done.

Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #3 by Patrick Zircher

Beta Ray Bill: 1. Galactus: 0. Patrick Zircher’s cover: rather nice.

Captain America Theater of War: To Soldier On by Phil Noto

I like this design and Noto draws pretty well. Something about it just isn’t clicking, though.

Black Panther #7 by Paul Renaud

An oldie but goodie design and the contrast between bright, primary colours and the black helps.

Exiles #5 by Dave Bullock

Energetic drawing, but very, very, very boring idea. “Hey, look, it’s Blink throwing those energy things! WOW!”

Daredevil #500 by Marko Djurdjevic

Montage! Well drawn, fits in a lot of stuff, not a bad thing to do on a big event issue. MONTAGE!

Ghost Riders: Heaven’s on Fire #1 by Jae Lee

And the winner of “Boring-ass cover whose art doesn’t resemble the interiors one tiny bit” award goes to…

House of M: Masters of Evil #1 by Mike Perkins

A bunch of villains standing around. Some look interesting, some don’t, a pretty average cover.

Incredible Hercules #132 variant by Marko Djurdjevic

What I want to know is, who buys these boring, piece of shit variant covers? Do you idiots (those who buy them and want them) just get them because they’re variants despite not being, well, good? Is it an automatic impulse where quality or originality have no influence? I’m curious.

Incredible Hulk #601 by Ariel Olivetti

Olivetti drawing a giant Skaar? About time he’s put on a book where drawing giant, muscle-bound men is actually appropriate to the title. Decent cover.

Son of Hulk #14 by Dave Palumbo

Unknown characters standing around, looking angry and tough. Pass.

Immortal Weapons #2 by David Aja

This cover design never gets old. And neither does David Aja’s art.

Marvel Divas #2 by Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic

Less stupid T&A than the first issue, but still just the four characters standing around.

Iron Man & The Armor Wars #1 by Scottie Young

Very good drawing, but not that interesting design-wise. Still, another good Scottie Young cover.

Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #4 variant by Niko Henrichon

A solid pet-themed cover, showing Redwing out fighting crime with Falcon and Captain America. Not too exciting, but good enough.

Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #14 by David Williams

Average action sort of cover. Not bad, not great.

Marvel Adventures The Avengers #39 by Casey Jones

Funny cover. Spider-Man is a goofball. I love how each character has a different look on his face. Thor is rolling his eyes, Wolverine is scoffing, and Captain America has a look of fatherly amusement.

Mighty Avengers #28 by Marko Djurdjevic

Good action cover with a nice, tight perspective.

Models, Inc. #1 by Scott Clark

Decent fashion parody cover and a resolicit, I believe.

Punisher #8 by Mike McKone

Classic Avengers attacking the Punisher, while he looks confident? Nice. The colouring really gives this image a pop.

Secret Warriors #7 by Jim Cheung

Three characters standing around. Nice to see them keeping the broader cover design, but I’d like to see them tap Jonathan Hickamn for some covers.

Timestorm 2009/2099 #4 by Tom Raney

Okay, is that meant to be the Ghost Rider from 2099? Because it doesn’t really look that different. Add in awkward poses, lackluster drawings, and it all points to a horrible cover.

War Machine #9 by Francesco Mattina

Technically sound (pun intended), but not that exciting.

Runaways #13 by David Lafuente

Good use of logi integration and another “people running away from an explosion” cover. Two in one month!

War of Kings: Warriors #2 by Paul Renaud

dull dull dull dull dull dull dull background/foreground problems dull dull dull dull dull dull

War of Kings #6 by Brandon Peterson

They’re not even fighting in space, which I would believe! They’re fighting against indistinct weird background that makes no sense! GAH!

Guardians of the Galaxy #17 by Daniel Acuna

Is it just me or does Warlock look a lot like Ikarus here? Kind of boring cover with nothing else of note to mention.

Nova #28 by Daniel Acuna

Great cover! This is more like it! Energetic and dynamic, well composed, and full of action. Excellent.

X-Force #18 by Mike Choi and Sonia Oback

An homage that works, because of the Wolverine connection. Adding his reflection really adds an emotional element of this cover.

Wolverine Weapon X #4 by Adi Granov

Wolverine mad. Wolverine stand around like moron. Chad hate dumb cover.

Wolverine Origins #39 by Doug Braithwaite

Good action shot. The look on Wolverine’s face is fantastic.

Cable #17 by Dave Wilkins

Aside from background issues, the drawing of Cable really grabs you.

X-Factor #47 by David Yardin

Surprise! I don’t read this book and I kind of want to know how this future comes about.

Deadpool: Suicide Kings #5 by Mike McKone

Interesting idea and drawn well.

Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #2 by Arthur Suydam

Absurd Jaws homage. Made me chuckle.

Deadpool #13 by Jason Pearson

This reminds me of the Booster Gold cover for August. A t-shirt design you would never really wear.

Uncanny X-Men: First Class #2 by Roger Cruz

The new team in action, pin-up style. Not bad, not great.

X-Men Forever #6 by Tom Grummett

Engaging image that catches the eye. Not bad.

Genext: United #4 by Alex Garner

“Oh! Gambit flicking cards at us! I haven’t seen that in… well, a while, actually. Wow. It has been a while. Why couldn’t it have been longer?”

Dominic Fortune #1 by Howard Chaykin

Fun, tongue-in-cheek Chaykin cover… very nice.

Destroyer #5 by Jason Pearson

Dark, disturbing image. Nice design and, if I recall, a callback to the first issue. I love bookend covers.

Punisher: Frank Castle MAX #73 by Dave Johnson

Eye-catching image, but a little empty of meaning.

Top Five!

5. Scourge of the Gods — The Fall #2 by Aleksa Gajic

Beautiful cover! Dynamic and engaging, great composition and design. The colours are expertly done, too.

4. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #54 by Scottie Young

Great design that leads your eye down to Spider-Man and blonde girl. Kind of cute, funny, and clever.

3. Incredible Hercules #132 by Rafael Albuquerque

I love it! Funny and goofy. As a Thor fan, this cover may finally make me pick up this series that I’ve heard so many good things about.

2. Wolverine First Class #18 by Scottie Young

Wonderful design and execution. Pretty damn funny. Young sure does draw the hell out of covers.

1. Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #4 by Karl Kerschl

Sure, last month I bitched about lame homage covers and this month, we get some very good, very funny ones. I even like how this is the fourth issue and so was the Infinity Gauntlet cover this is parodying. Brilliant cover. Really.

31 Comments

FunkyGreenJerusalem

May 20, 2009 at 9:24 pm

I love it! Funny and goofy. As a Thor fan, this cover may finally make me pick up this series that I’ve heard so many good things about.

Being a blogger who loves good comics should make you pick that book up!

It’s so much better than it really has any right to be!

that Jaws homage looks A LOT like a cover done by Tony Moore for Crawlspace/ XXX Zombies

FGJ–No matter how many good books you buy, there are always going to be some that escape you. Unless you buy everything, which I can’t afford to do, sadly.

Re: The Marvels Project

“I don’t recognise that masked figure (anyone know who it is out of curiosity?)”

Looks like the Angel to me.

Do I detect Sarcasm about Larroca’s cover? Just wonderin’

I was gunna get Deadpool #13 anyway but add a great cover, hillarouis premise and a Pixies homage (“Wave of Mutalation”) and this may be the greatest comic ever!!!

“Looks like the Angel to me.”

Yup, that’s the golden age Angel. All three characters were on Marvel Comics #1 and were the company’s first “stars” until Captain America appeared.

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

jason–Nope. Explosion covers are great.

Benito–I should have known. Thanks.

On the hulk cover, the angle of the characters makes the background look like a rocky ground shot to me.

I love the Thunderbolts cover.

Is it me or is there a phallus in the background of the X-factor cover?

And what is up with Wolverine, does every Marvel comic have him in it?

In respect of Wiccan on the cover of that issue of Young Avengers, I don’t think he’ll have sold the team out for nookie. At least, not with her.

Duff Mcwhalen

May 21, 2009 at 9:37 am

Are you really that mad about the 70th anniversary variants? Am I a shit loving idiot for going with the Human Torch one, which was a well done image that was pretty relevant and replaced probably the most boring Captain America cover so far?

Mustachioed Hulk! Awesome.

That Wolverine: First Class cover is my favorite of the month. Skottie Young nailed that concept and knocked the expressions out of the park.

Also: I really like how Jae Lee rendered Norman’s hair on that Dark X-Men: The Beginning cover. It’s all…prickly. Definitely fits his demeanor.

That Thunderbolts cover looks like the artist heavily photo-referenced Ray Wise (Laura Palmer’s dad from Twin Peaks).

Some Great Stuff! Thunderbolts looks cool!( I think that is Ray Wise). Digging D.D. 500! Immortal Weapons absolutely outstanding! Marvel Adventures Amazing Spider-Man two thumbs up and a muy bueno!
Punisher 8 Classic Avengers? What? later!

re: Timestorm 2009/2099 #4

looks nothing like the Ghost Rider (or Spider-Man) 2099 i remember…

I think this month has a couple of great Jae Lee covers…and then there’s that pose-heavy, useless Ghost Riders cover. Yuck.

Isanove, too, did one of the better Jae Lee covers this month. When Lee gets tired, he oughta give that guy a call.

I found too many covers with the heroes/villains glaring out at the reader. No incentive to pick up one of THOSE comics, at all. Nicely drawn or not, they don’t say anything about the storyline.

Lockjaw at #1? Really? Because I didn’t get the Infinity Gauntlet parody at all (had to look it up after you mentioned it) and I still don’t love the thing.

Still and all, glad you’re here and posting. Thanks.

Maybe I’m just a nerd but that Nova #28 cover with the towering explosion immediately made me think of the scene in Annihilation when Ryder has to call in the strike on top of his own straggling soldiers to ensure the survival of the main force. I doubt that’s intentional, but the cover is excellent any way you look at it.

Nick Fury looks like Gordon Freeman to me from Half-Life (or is the pic Half-Life 2?) in the Thunderbolts cover with Norman Osborn/Ray Wise.

Soo…. Is this feature dead?

With me doing it, yes. Brian, though, seems determined to continue it somehow.

Aw. Shame.

It’s my favourite regular feature, though I imagine it’s quite labour and time intensive.

Yes, you are sarcastic and mean, but it’s not enough that you disrespect the many talented artists who work so hard to entertain you every month. It’s not enough that the few ‘jokes’ you cobble together are so mind-numbingly bad. What really gets me is that you would have the nerve to even comment on the drawing, coloring or layout when you clearly know so little about art. Please spare us the pain and never write about art again.

This column reminds me why I used to hate going to the comic shop on new comics day.

Truman — Actually, I gave up doing these posts because of the mind-numbing tedium of writing them. However, your comment is almost enough to make me start doing them again. Almost.

Marvel Goverment: Why doesn’t Marvel USA…conciet to congress for cyclopian eye fight paint on the streets and across the Marvel Universe.

so Olivetti just cribbed his work from Ranxerox for the Hulk cover. Still looks good though.

Well, any news then on Brian continuing the feature?

Howsabout featuring all the covers, but with comments only for the top and bottom five?

Heh, it’s funny that you always scoff at the variant covers with white backgrounds, those are my favorites(well, amongst them). It’s different, the focal point is all on character. My personal taste don’t go towards action scenes between more than two characters on a cover. For example, the Captain America: Reborn, I chose the one with him appearing to be screaming, with those nice colors amidst the white background, over that one of him on a battle field. I guess it just comes down to what looks more like a cover, and what looks more like a panel.

RIP “Judging Books by their covers”

Still R-ing in P?

*kicks can down road*

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