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Judging (Marvel’s July) Books By Their Covers

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

Marvel’s July 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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Strong Annihilation cover by Matt Wilson.

My pal Cayman tells me the pun for Phyla-Vell’s name (and how silly is it that, since she was created by Peter David, I knew her name most likely was SOME sort of pun) is that, since her brother was Genis, she’s Phyla, as Genus is a scientific classification of life, and so is Phylum.

That is quite lame.

Please, someone, tell me that isn’t where her name came from!! Tell me it was just a random coincidence! Tell me it wasn’t a pun at all!!! Please!!!!!!
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Nic Klein? This is the same fellow who drew that New Warriors cover I didn’t like last month, right?

This cover is a lot cooler. Good stuff.
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I am really impressed with the backgrounds of this cover by Clint Langley, but I am not a fan of the main character.

That weapon, especially, does not look particularly cool.
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Funny cover by Phil Hester.

Clever stuff right there.
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I was stuck for this Ron Garney cover, so I asked for help, and Cayman supplied his reaction to this cover…

“Oh Anna Nicole, I was so sure the baby was mine.”
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Decent Jimmy Cheung cover – the slanted nature really works for the cover.

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Not as much of a fan of this Avengers/Transformers cover, though.

That being said, Cheung is such a solid artist that he makes it still decent.
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Aaron Lopresti looks pretty rushed on this cover.

Not a good look for Lopresti’s art.
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Surprsingly uninspired Blade cover by Marko Djurdjevic.

It’s usually Blade where he is at his most creative.
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This is a strong cover by Epting.

I think this would make for a better original Captain America #25 cover than the one he originally did.
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Interesting cover by Epting here, too.

Sin looks quite imposing.
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Skottie Young looks like he is riffing on Bill Sienkiewicz here, and I like the result.

While quite often, Young’s results are not to my liking, I love the fact that he’s constantly trying different things. That impresses me a ton. I like an artist willing to try new things with his style.
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So wait, looking at these two Champions #1 covers (and let’s see if they end up being called Champions when all is said and done), and I noticed an interesting difference between Steve McNiven and Barry Kitson’s cover…

The one lady’s “C” is open to show off her breasts in McNiven’s piece, but covered with cloth in Kitson’s piece.

What’s the deal? Is the C, like, removable when she’s in different moods? Pretty creepy.

Otherwise, both covers are pretty decent.
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Nice, moody cover by Sean Phillips.

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This is the second Djurdjevic cover where it just doesn’t seem like he has the same unique energy he usually brings to his covers.

This looks like a standard type of cover.

That isn’t to say that it wasn’t very well drawn – it was. It just wasn’t a standout cover in my book.
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Again, with the overly graphic cover!!

Come on, Carmine Di Giandomenico!! Give it a rest!
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Pretty amusing cover by Paul Pelletier.

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Sweet Jae Lee drawing.

That being said, I’d really prefer for him to have some more variety in his cover designs for Dark Tower.
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Holy crap, this Tomm Coker cover is weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeird.

What the heck, Coker?!?
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There’s so much wrong with this Michael Turner cover that I do not know even where to begin, so I’ll just pick my number one complaint.

Mr. Fantastic looks terrible.
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Pretty laid back, but decent cover by Gurihiru.

But no Sumerak?!?! What gives?!?!
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Aren’t there, like, seven team members on the Fantastic Five?

I still dig the idea of a universe built solely around the concept of “What if the future of Marvel Comics revolved around plotlines of comics written by Tom DeFalco in the 90s?”
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Pretty bland Todd Nauck cover here.

Not a bad drawing, but not impressive for a cover.
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A bit busy, but overall, a pretty good Clayton Crain cover.

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Not bad Leonard Kirk cover.

Cool point to the first person to tell me what comic this is homaging!
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Is there anything more bizarre than Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev teaming up to do HALO comics?!?!

That being said, it IS a nice cover by Maleev.
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Right up there with Maleev drawing Halo is Takeshi Miyazawa drawing a Heroes for Hire cover!

Heroes for Hire covers are supposed to be SLEAZY, not ADORABLE!

Garsh, Marvel, don’t you know ANYthing?!
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Nice Pearson cover.

One cool point to the first person to tell me what writer wrote the comic book story that Weird Science, the film, was based upon!
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Fairly bland Carlo Pagulayan cover for a first issue.

What’s up with Pagulayan? He have any projects lined up?
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Seriously, this cannot be Michael Golden.

This is some Invasion of the Body Snatchers stuff going on right here…
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Very clever cover concept by Patrick Scherberger.

Isn’t it funny to see that drawing STILL being homaged, what, forty years later?
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Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic?

Wow…that is too much talent for one gene pool, so I’m presuming she is Marko’s wife, right?

Pretty cool cover.
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Strong Frank Cho cover.

I’m loving the way his covers have been popping out as of late.
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Too bright, Greg Hildebrant!! Too bright!!!!

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Okay, come on, the rivets popping out of the door as she explodes it – that is a pretty darn cool cover effect, isn’t it?

Well played, Greg Horn, well played!
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At what point does Arthur Suydam just start doing zombie homages of his previous zombie homage covers?

I tell you, the day is coming soon!!!
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Illuminati Gone Wild!!

Clever cover by Jimmy Cheung.

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Leinil Francis Yu is amazing as an artist – he is just a total crapshoot.

You might get an awesome cover, you might get a sketchy weird cover – you have no idea WHAT you’re going to get!!

Few artists are truly THAT unpredictable.
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I love Skottie Young’s energy on this cover, but I think it is just a little TOO busy.

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A huge improvement over #1’s cover by Nic Klein.

If it weren’t for the darkness of the cover (which sorta obscures the coolness of the work), I think this would be in contention for Top Five!

And it’s a drawing of freakin’ NIGHT THRASHER, for crying out loud!
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This Scott Kolins cover is a nice counterpoint to Young’s New X-Men cover. Both covers are dynamic scenes, but this Kolins one is a lot clearer and less busy than Young’s cover, and I think it makes for a better cover.

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Now THIS is how you do an “Official Handbook” cover! Well done, Oeming!

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I gotta give Marvel editors some credit. If they manage to approve Ariel Olivetti’s Punisher War Journal covers without giggling a little bit, then they are strong people.

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Venom is practically the perfect thing for Clayton Crain to draw, because he naturally is so dark that he fits in well with Crain’s computerized art (which works best with dark drawings).

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Could it be?!? ANOTHER clever Greg Horn cover?!?

Perish the thought, but there it is!
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Very nice cover design by Mike Wieringo.

A nice twist on a typical superhero concept (the hands put together cliche). This is the sort of thing that Djurdjevic is usually so good at.
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Not a BAD cover by Kei Kobayashi, but nor is it a particularly strong one, either.

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Here, I think Takeshi Miyazawa is being a bit TOO clever for his own good with this cover.

I appreciate the thought, though!!
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Nice Ron Frenz cover, I hope it isn’t just another homage, as it is a good cover concept.

Although, I do not know if he should want to highlight his face drawings – some of those characters look absolutely bizarre.
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Pretty cool Esad Ribic cover.

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Wow.

I can’t hardly believe it.

Eric Powell drawing a M.O.D.O.K. cover.

It should be utter brilliance.

However, I just can’t get into it that much.

Certainly not a BAD cover, but nothing too impressive, either.
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Good Djurdjevic cover.

Nice takeoff on the concept of exactly who are the heroes in this current scenario.
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Totally dislike the costume redesign, but I dig the Coipel cover.

When’s the last time Coipel drew a comic book? It’s been awhile, no? New Avengers Annual? Or that one issue of New Avengers, maybe?

In any event, we ought not to see any delays on this book for awhile, as Coipel should have had plenty of time to get started on this puppy.
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Nice creepy looking villain on this cover by Mark Bagley Stuart Immonen.

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OMIGOD!! A snake has buried its way into Warpath’s arm!!! OH NO! THE HORROR!! THE HORR…oh, that’s just supposed to be a vein?

Weird, Larocca, very weird.
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Nice moody piece here by Kaare Andrews.

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Certainly a striking cover piece by Dave Finch.

A bit too rendered for my tastes, but it definitely is a striking cover.
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Now I know why we don’t see sequentials by John Watson.

Just like how supermodels should almost always just pose, and not try to act, so should John Watson stick to drawing people posing – not acting.
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Yikes!

Not loving this Stephane Roux cover.

Roux looks a lot better on Birds of Prey covers.
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Strong Ed McGuinness cover here.

Very good pose for a cover.
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Interesting Pablo Raimondi cover.

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Eric Nguyen really gives an eerie quality to his covers.

I dig it.
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I do not want Humberto Ramos to draw this book anymore.

Please! I’ll take ____ (fill in name of bad X-Men artist)____ back!!!
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HONORABLE MENTIONS!!
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This Paul Smith cover is quite cool.

I think they should have been having Silver Surfer appear in Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four for months already. Heck, I’d just rename the book “Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four…featuring Silver Surfer.”
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This Tim Bradstreet cover would be higher if it weren’t for the “sure as heck looks like lightboxing” for the photos on the cover.

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Another strong cover by Gerald Parel.

Not quite as strong as last month’s cover, though.
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Fairly basic cover by Marko Djurdjevic, but the background motif he has for these covers is quite interesting.

Interesting enough to raise a pretty standard (though very well-drawn) figure piece to honorable mention status.
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What is the point in hiring Art Adams to draw covers for you and then tell him to basically imitate old Kirby covers?

LAME!!

Great cover, though.
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Like this month’s Pete Woods’ Amazons Attack! cover, Ferry uses angles to create a very cool feel.

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TOP FIVE!!
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5. JLA fans this month know the feeling – to have Michael Turner draw the previous month’s cover, and then to see a beauty of a cover like this from Gabriele Dell’Otto (JLA fans got a neat Gene Ha cover).

As my pal Cayman told me, “How come THIS isn’t a poster instead of Turner’s cover?”
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4. Perhaps I am biased towards swashbuckling covers, but this Marko Djurdjevic cover really hits all the right notes for me – I love the placement of the swords, almost splitting the cover up into frames. Good stuff.

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3. ANOTHER Gabriele Dell’Otto cover in the top five!

What a strongly designed piece. So powerful.
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2. I love it when Simone Bianchi

A. Draws in color

and

B. Comes up with different cover designs

This Wolverine cover achieves both.

Great cover.
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1. This Adi Granov cover would be in the top five on normal merits alone, but then Granov had to go out and be, according to my calculations, the first cover artist to actually pull off the “hands coming right at you” effect.

Congrats, Mr. Granov!
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Well, that’s it for me! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top five)!!

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