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Judging (Marvel’s January) Books By Their Covers

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

Marvel’s January solicits have been up for quite awhile, and before we see NEXT month’s this week, let’s now 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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OH MAN!

Check it out!! You know how this series features zombie versions of Marvel characters?

Well, look at this!! The cover to this comic by Arthur Suydam is an homage to famous past Marvel cover, only it is featuring a ZOMBIE on the cover!!

Man, that’s clever.

By the by, for the record, please note that I lay none of this really on Suydam’s feet. What’s he going to do – tell them to stop paying him to do these covers?
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Remember the last time Wasp was turned into a creature?

That was such a silly idea.

Pretty cool Bagley cover.
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Interesting cover, in that the cover design is quite clever on Horn’s part, but the drawing of Ms. Marvel is one of the worst ones I’ve seen by Horn yet.

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Do you think Moon Knight’s gigantic hands will be explained in the comic?

Like maybe it’s a dream?

Pretty darn weird-looking cover by Suydam, but I guess we should just be happy it is not a zombie homage, eh?
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The cover layout by Greg Land is quite good, but everything else is spotty at best – iffy perspectives and an odd-looking physique for Ka-Zar.

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I really like Juan Santacruz’ drawing here of the Hulk and the Silver Surfer…

Here’s my question, though – what, exactly, is happening on this cover?

Are they falling backwards?
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A much nicer Leonard Kirk drawing of the Thing than last month’s Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four.

This is a fun cover by Kirk.
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Like the old Civil War covers, it’s kind of hard to judge covers when they’re following a specific theme like these Iron Fist covers.

That being said, this Kaare Andrews cover is cool-looking.
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Very fun looking Gurihiru cover for this team-up cover.

Oh, and let me note how impressed I was by Marcelo Dichiara’s artwork in the first issue of Iron Man/Power Pack. Good stuff.
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While doing the Mythos comics, I think some of Paolo Rivera’s innate design sense was sacrificed in favor of “draw famous Marvel characters realistically!,” which often got some odd results.

Here, he has been given more freedom, and I think it is a very nice, strong cover.
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Well, its a nice drawing by Ed McGuinness, I suppose.

It’s just that we seem to have seen this particular homage a loooot.

Oh well.
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I am totally loving the fluidity of this Juan Bobillo cover.

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It often seems like Mike Deodato has in his mind certain effects, rather than actual cover ideas.

You know, like, “Hey, I should work on some 3-D-esque effects for my next cover”

That’s not a BAD thing, by the by. Just something I’ve noticed with his covers.
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Nice Lan Medina cover.

Just eerie enough – and the hands are prominent enough for it to not be lost on a casual glance.
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Not a big fan of this Michael Turner cover, although I’ll give him the Thing – that was an interesting approach he took as to how the Thing would age.

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Uhmm…Francis Tsai?

Did you mean for it to look like Psylocke was stoned on the cover?

I mean, I dunno, that might have been unintentional, but boy is it weird.

Also, not for nothing, but when you do a “who will be on the new team?” cover, and you feature a character (the Rogue above Beak) who has never been in the book before, sorta kills the mystery aspect of it.
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I get that, presumably, we’re supposed to think, “Oh, something’s wrong – Captain Marvel can no longer fly! He’s screwed!”

And for that, Ed McGuinness does a nice job.

I just think it’d be funnier if he’s halfway down before he’s all, “Oh wait, I can FLY! DUH!”
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Definitely an “America – FUCK YEAH!” cover from Alex Ross.

I view a lot of Ross covers as “FUCK YEAH!” type covers.

Like, “Standing all somber in front of a black background – FUCK YEAH!”
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Steve Epting does a nicer job with his cover.

Is that an homage to something?
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Hilarious Black Panther cover by Salvador Larocca.

It’s also a useful tool for identifying morons – see how many people look at it and think that this is what Storm’s actual new look is – far, far too many.

“Comprehension iz hard.”
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Yay! Taskmaster! Huzzah!

Decent enough Stefano Caselli cover.
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Another nice, throwback cover by Ron Frenz for Spider-Girl.

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Oh Anita Blake covers, why must you vex me so?

Ah well, Brett Booth is just giving them what they want, right?
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Decent cover design for Zombie by Kyle Hotz.

Commenter Dave says it is an homage to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie poster. That’s interesting!
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So wait, can their powers hurt each other, or what?

Either way, decent Billy Tan cover.

By the by, Paco Diaz is now going by Paco Diaz Luque. Anyone know why?
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Eric Nguyen pulls off “people reflected in a monster’s eyes” a lot better than Greg Horn did.

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This Nic Klein cover has got to be an homage to something, right?

Because otherwise, what an odd layout decision.

Did Reggie Hudlin come up with Tom Foster? If so, people should give him credit for that. It’s a fine idea.
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Decent Jimmy Cheung Warbound.

When will Korg meet Thor!??!!?

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Is this, like, a protest by Suydam?

“If I ain’t drawing zombie homages, I don’t know WHAT to do with the characters on the covers!”
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Interesting Simone Bianchi cover.

Not really GOOD, but interesting!!

The poses seem off, the claws seem too big, but it at least stands out from other covers!
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Is this a NEW drawing by John Romita, Jr.?

If so, then WOW!!

If he really drew this in his OLD style, that’s impressive as all heck.

If it is just an old drawing he did, never mind.
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I like how sharp Beast’s ear looks on this David Finch cover.

And if this is not a cover detail, how funny is it to have Wolverine JUST off panel?
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NO WAY! Ultimate Sinister is back!!

Awesome!!

He is my favorite character ever!!

That artist is Larocca? Really – seems like an odd cover for him.
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I don’t think I want to know what source Greg Land used for that Invisible Woman drawing…

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Clever idea, and, of course, nice execution of the idea by the great Stuart Immonen.

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I like the intensity and the dynamism of this Madureira cover.

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It took them long enough to do an Ultimate War Machine!!!

Where’s my Ultimate Deathcry?!!?

Get Robert Kirkman on it immediately!!

It IS a neat cover by Ferry, by the by.
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Something seems to be a bit off on this Cary Nord cover.

Maybe some of the Hulk’s mass should be mushed a bit?
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What an AMAZING job Marko Djurdjevic did on Sue Storm on this cover. That’s just brilliant.

But his Thing is a bit…off.

Still, that Sue drawing is wonderful – to be life-like, while still maintaining dynamic character work with her face? Awesome.
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Chris Weston Kaare Andrews also does a nice job with facial expression on this cover.

And it transforms what would be a totally boring cover into quite an interesting one.
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Pretty cool Tony Harris cover for this “Before the Bite” storyline.

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Good cover by Shawn Moll.

Definitely stands out.
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Nothing much to say about Olivetti’s cover here.

I don’t like it, really, but it isn’t awful, either.
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Very nice Bradstreet cover.

All I ask from him is to mix things up a bit each month, and he did so.

Not even a LOT, just like, have the Punisher point a gun rather than be standing there listlessly.
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I love the old school cover layout Gulacy is using for this Penance cover.

Good stuff.
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What is Echo doing on this New Avengers Annual?

Is that actually accurate? Is that a good starting pose for martial arts or something?

Otherwise, neat Cheung cover.
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A strong David Finch cover.

When he gets more fluid with his artwork, it really works a lot better.
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Very nice Nic Klein cover.

He and Djurdjevic really nail that “odd perspectives” approach well.
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HONORABLE MENTIONS!!
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Very nice Jimmy Cheung cover.

He credits Byrne, though. When did Byrne do this same type of cover? During his run with Roger Stern?
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Very nice Adi Granov Nova cover.

I like it when Granov mixes things up nicely.
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I love how eerie this Patrick Scherberger Francis Tsai cover is.

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I’ll admit – I’m a bit biased towards cool Tommy Lee Edwards artwork.

There’s probably not THAT much to this cover, but boy, do I like me some Edwards art.
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I loves me some Gerald Parel, too.

This is, what, the cover to Iron Man #1? I know this image looks familiar…
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Another strong Skottie Young cover for Deadpool.

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Salvador Larocca manages to pull off something that is quite difficult – make the movie-style Spider-Man outfit look cool in a drawing.

Nicely done.
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This Eric Canete cover JUST missed for me.

Still, he’s designed the heck out of these Mandarin covers.
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TOP FIVE!!
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5. Tan Eng Huat’s art in this Surfer mini-series has been excellent – so much so that I was all, “Why not just let HIM draw the darn cover?!?”

But then I saw Paul Pope’s cover…

Never mind!!
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4. Marko Djurdjevic’s odd perspectives really light up his covers.

This Thunderbolts cover is a good example of this effect.
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3. Djurdjevic is back again with this smartly designed Daredevil cover.

Clever covers are neat.
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2. Brilliant Breitweiser cover.

Get this man on a prominent book, Marvel!!!
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1. Practically a note perfect cover from Farel Dalrymple and Paul Hornschemeier.

The amount of story they manage to plug into this cover without making it incoherent is stunning.
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Well, that’s it for me this month! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your Top Fives)!

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