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Judging (Marvel’s August) Books By Their Covers

by  in Comic News Comment
Judging (Marvel’s August) Books By Their Covers

Marvel’s August Solicitations are up, so now is as good a time as any for us to make prejudgments based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgments, don’t we?).

Let’s begin!
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How big is Colossus supposed to be, anyways?

I vaguely recall something about how he is a lot taller in his armored form.

Is that true?

If that’s true, then I guess this Humberto Ramos cover makes some sense.

Kitty Pryde could use a costume.
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For the most part, I enjoy this Eric Nguyen cover.

However, what the heck is that look on Professor X’s face?!?!

Is that supposed to be intense concentration?

It looks like Nguyen just photoshopped a picture of a constipated clown.
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Strong, solid cover by Pablo Raimondi.

I especially love how discreet the X on the viewscope is.
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The first Marko Djurdjevic cover of the month!

And it is a pretty good one.

A bit too standard.
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Does Marvel just not like crediting past covers when they do homages?

As someone else mentioned, you no longer see the “After ___” tagline anymore on Marvel covers.

And that’s weird, as this Ed McGuinness cover is obviously an homage to the Jim Lee cover for Uncanny X-Men #268, right?

And since you’d figure that Ed McGuinness isn’t all, “I am just not gonna credit him!,” then it seems like it is an editorial thing (like erasing Salvador Larocca’s loving tribute to John Romita and Ross Andru on the cover of the Sensational Spider-Man Annual)

Also, while I am not saying they SHOULD, has there ever been a definitive answer on the whole “How was Black Widow a little girl during World War II?” angle?
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Clever enough concept, but I think this Chaykin cover is a little too graphic.

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Strong group action here on this Ed McGuinness cover.

A lot of characters in there without it being cluttered. Very nice work.
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I’m not loving this Staz Johnson cover, but I am impressed with his ability to dramatically change his style of art.

I never would have guessed that this cover was drawn by Staz Johnson.
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John Watson is so much better when doing pose covers than when doing covers that evoke action.

See? This cover looks kinda dorky.

While THIS one is awesome…

When he is in his wheelhouse, Watson is one of the best cover artists out there.
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This David Finch cover is basically just the same thing as the Watson cover, right?

Not a fan of either, I’m afraid.
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Wasn’t it Salvador Larocca who drew that Ultimate Fantastic Four cover where the Thing looks like a dinosaur or something?

So it’s nice to see him do a good job with Thing on this cover.

I hope that there is some cover text on the book – like “From the pages of the Fantastic Four!”

I love it when they do stuff like that.
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Certainly not a BAD Yanick Paquette cover, but nor is it all that striking of a cover.

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Stuart Immonen is fitting right in on the Ultimate Spider-Man covers.

Talk about a seamless transition!
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This Greg Land cover isn’t bad, but it’s not just me, right? Everyone’s face seems weird, no?

Like, is Wasp, like, voguing?!
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Decent Pasqual Ferry cover.

But what is the Surfer DOING, exactly?

Also, anyone know why Pasqual Ferry stopped going by Paschalis Ferry? I remember when he made a fairly big deal out of changing his work name to Paschalis, back when he was working on Heroes for Hire – but it just changed back, seemingly out of nowhere! Anyone know what went on there?
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The strong angles work pretty well on this Gabriele Dell’Otto cover.

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Using a different viewing angle doesn’t help as much on this Olivier Coipel one, though.

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Wow, super bland Terror, Inc. cover by Jelena Djurdjevic.

That is an amazingly boring cover design.
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Meanwhile, her husband uses an interesting cover design to make this cover stand out.

The idea and the angles used combine for a pretty striking cover.
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Less impressive is this Super-Villain Team-Up cover.

Ah well! When you draw 13,302 covers a month, there are bound to be some duds mixed in there.
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Holy schnikes, Leinil Francis Yu!!

What the heck is up with Namor’s chest and torso?!

Is it, like, a plot line that Namor is totally emaciated? Or is that just a stylistic choice?

Wolverine looks cool, though!
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I do not know where this ranks on the scale of compliments, but this Khari Evans cover is better than the Frank Cho Shanna covers.

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The other Heralds often get pissed at Surfer, as they have to keep playing the instrumental part of the song over and over until Surfer crowd surfs back on to the stage.

Having Silver Surfer crowd surf IS pretty darn clever, Esad Ribic!
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This Spider-Man/Red Sonja cover is one of the best I have seen from Michael Turner in quite some time.

No real major problems with it, really.
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Very strong Leonard Kirk cover, as Parker and Kirk keep the Agents of Atlas in our collective consciousness!

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Other than the iffiness of Mary Jane’s facial expression (is she SMILING?), this Joe Quesada cover is pretty darn cool.

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Yikes, Clayton Crain!

What the heck is going on with the anatomy on this cover?
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Surprisingly bland Jo Chen cover.

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Surprisingly decent Ariel Olivetti cover.

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You’d think for the 50th issue, Tim Bradstreet would mix things up a bit, no?

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Very nice job here by Michael Avon Oeming, creating a sense of suspense and intrigue.

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Is that seriously the cover for Omega Flight #5?

Not, like, a panel or something?

If so, pretty weak there, Mr. Kolins. I know you can do better – you have already in this series.
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Pretty interesting Skottie Young cover.

I especially like the way he uses the black on the cover. Nicely turned.
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This cover by Nic Klein is very interesting to me.

Rarely do you see a cover where an artist gives some characters very interesting, well-defined facial expressions – and then others, total blanks.

Usually it’s either one or the other – everyone is blank or everyone is given interesting facial features.

The girl on the left is totally bland, while the girl on the right is bursting with character.
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This cover strikes me as though Adi Granov just thinks a woman wearing Nova’s costume is enough for the cover to be interesting.

And he might have been right if it weren’t for the fact that we just HAD a whole Nova CORPS, so seeing a woman in a Nova uniform isn’t all that interesting.

So I think he should have done more to make the cover interesting.

I said repeated interesting way too many times.
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GROUP SHOT POSE OFF!!!!!!!!!!

New Excalibur looks positively fierce in their pose-off group shot…

They most likely have this in the ba…OH DEAR LORD!

NOOO!!

The Hood just dropped Magnum on them!!

Oh, it is all over! The Leinil Francis Yu drawn bad guys win the pose-off over Scot Eaton’s New Excalibur.
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Greg Horn’s first problem was having the background be purple.

What the heck is up with THAT?

The next problem was having the cover be totally boring.

The first problem is easier to resolve.
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Interesting Esad Ribic cover.

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This Jelena Djurdjevic cover is way confusing.

Weird angles and a weird way to have the Musketeer hold his sword.
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“Okay, Dean Wormer! You let us off of Double Super Secret Probation, or the kid gets it!!”

Anyone ever watch that sequel mini-series Disney did to Treasure Island back in the 80s?
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I totally dig Patrick Scherberger’s stuff, but either this cover is a re-solicit, or else his work is getting a bit repetitive.

As it turns out, this IS a re-solicit being used as the cover of one of those flip-books. Patrick supplied me with the ACTUAL cover…

Nice, fun cover.

Thanks for sharing, Patrick!
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FINALLY, a cover that I can see where Michael Golden’s prodigious artistic talents are being put to good use!

Still not a great cover, but a big step-up.
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Cool Carlo Pagulayan cover.

Before Gary Frank bolted for DC, what was Marvel doing, exactly, with Pagulayan? Didn’t he draw most of Planet Hulk? You’d think they’d have something for him to do during World War Hulk.
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Pretty nondescript Kirk cover here.

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Some Kind of Wonderful?!

Now we’re really dredging the bottom of the barrel!

That being said, well drawn cover by Jason Pearson.
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Decent John Romita Jr. cover.

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Read my mind! What older series does this cover remind me of? I can’t recall…Lone Wolf & Cub, maybe?

Decent Aja cover.
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They’re all nicely drawn and all, but together, this Gary Frank cover just doesn’t look all that finished, really.

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Marvel Comics heats up the summer with this Sana Takeda cover. So sweet it makes you taste cheesecake, this hard-bodied superhero crew group shot even features a peak at Misty Knight’s thong!!

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Pretty decent Texeira cover.

Nice to see them having him draw a cover.
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Nice cover by Paolo Rivera.

I know I’ve given Peter David’s run on Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man some teasing, but I’ve also given it mostly favorable notices, so I am sorry to see him leaving the book.
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Nice Wieringo impression by Clayton Henry!

Good stuff.
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Cute Gurihiru cover.

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Pretty lame Michael Turner cover.

But a big step up from his previous cover.
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Pretty nice book design by Jae Lee.

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TOO MUCH BLOOD!!! TAKES ONE AND TWO!

Take one!!

First, Carmine Di Giandomenico continues his oddly graphic Battlin’ Jack Murdock covers…

Next, Jae Lee has a dude whose arms are all bloody…

The Lee stuff isn’t all that bad, I’m just getting bored with coming up with stuff to say about Lee’s (well-drawn, and all) Dark Tower “single character posing” covers.
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Okay, now this is just getting creepy.

Sean Phillips’ Criminal covers for this story arc really look as though they are just old Sleeper covers.
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So, with the Champions now being called The Order, that is good news when it comes to those little “breast windows” that they had on Steve McNiven’s cover to #1!

O-shaped windows show more cleavage than C-shaped ones!

Everything worked out for the best!

In all seriousness, nice cover by Barry Kitson.
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Generally speaking, this Epting cover is a cool movie-esque cover. Sharon Carter looks really good.

Falcon on fire, though, is a bit much.
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Cool Skottie Young cover.

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By the way, a cool point to the first person who gets the (super obscure) Heroes for Hire reference from before!
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Did you hear that Thor #1 is going to have not one, but TWO Suydam Zombie variants?

Zombie covers are getting so lame.

It was driven into the ground months ago – now, it’s in the center of the Earth or something.
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Hehe…this one is pretty weird, but overall, I dig this Jason Pearson cover.

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Welcome to Dullsville…Population: This Marko Djurdjevic Scarlet Witch cover.

It’s well drawn and all, but unlike the Black Knight cover, there’s nothing dynamic going on here.
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Using the Spider-Man suits Iron Man made is a great idea.

This cover, though, is not as striking as I would have hoped for from Jimmy Cheung.
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Pretty good Phil Hester cover.

Nice layout, in particular.
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I really hate Wraith’s silly-looking gun.

Sorry, Clint Langley! I know that wasn’t your idea!
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Good Ron Frenz cover.

Definitely draws your eyes in.
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HONORABLE MENTIONS!!
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The angled shot on this Nic Klein cover really works well. It makes the weird characters featured here seem even weirder.

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Very imposing cover by Matt Wilson.

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I just lurve Art Adams’ artwork.

Some very nice storytelling work on this cover.
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TOP FIVE!!
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5. What a nice job by Gerald Parel of making the American flag look almost sinister.

It gives this cover a certain intriguing quality that I was really impressed by.
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4. Hilarious work here by Paul Smith.

I love his facial feature work.
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3. This story doesn’t sound that interesting to me, but damned if Nick Dragotta doesn’t squeeze as much coolness out of it as is possible!

Very nice cover.
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2. This has got to be one of the coolest last issue covers that I’ve seen.

Great job by Marko Djurdjevic. What artist could beat Djurdjevic??!
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1. Why none other than himself!

This is a perfect example of what to look for in an anniversary cover!

SUCH a cool cover.
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Well, that’s it for me! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top five)!!

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