Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with the great Mike Zeck, who did dozens of brilliant covers for G.I. Joe comics. Thanks to reader Keil for the suggestion! This was by far the hardest list so far to narrow it down to five – not so much because they’re all good (which they are), but because so many of them repeat similar themes, so it is often a matter of choosing my pick out of each of the various themes, ya know? In any event…
Here are the top five…
NOTE: Due to the blog’s server being down last night and this morning, I was unable to get this up until now. My apologies.
No honorable mentions because there are just so many of them – you could pretty much throw a dart at a row of Zeck covers and come away with a worthy cover.
5. G.I. Joe #34
This is the example of Zeck’s “uniquely angled” covers. There are a lot of other good examples of these, such as #24, #28, #37, #44, Special Missions #4, Special Missions #5 and Special Missions #6. This is my favorite of the bunch, but #28 is definitely a strong contender.
4. G.I. Joe Special Missions #1
This is an example of Zeck’s “soldiers with their backs against the wall, blazing guns with sneers on their mouths.” This is used on #41, #47 (sort of) and Special Missions #2
These covers are always really bad ass.
3. G.I. Joe #52
This is an example of “dynamic Storm Shadow covers.” Zeck had four really dynamic Storm Shadow covers. I’m going with this Quick Kick one, but you could easily make an argument for the Destro vs. Storm Shadow cover from #38 for this spot. #42 and 46 were the other Storm Shadow covers.
2. G.I. Joe #40
This is an example of another one of Zeck’s specialties – the close-up cover. Zeck often would zoom in to get some real POWER to the proceedings. He would often mix these in with his “unique cover angle” covers and also the “soldiers with backs against the wall sneering” covers, as you can see with the Roadblock cover above. The previous issue, #39, is a real contender with this one for best close-up cover. #39 has a tense look at Stalker camouflaged in the jungle. I love the tenseness of that cover, but I think in the end, the power of this cover beats the tenseness of that cover. Other great Zeck close-up covers include #45 and #48 (which are also unique cover angle covers) plus #55 and #64 (which was the silly Cobra Commander in armor cover, but still, it was, in fact, a close-up cover).
1. G.I. Joe #61
Another “soldiers with their backs against the wall, blazing guns with sneers on their mouths,” but damned if it isn’t framed about as beautifully as an artist can frame a cover. Zeck had a really great stretch from #61-63, showing the problems of these three members of G.I. Joe.
That’s the top five! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!