One of the most long-standing questions related to X-Men comics spawned from the various covers that were available for the first issue of the series' 1991 relanch. Cover C and cover E were fairly similar, with both featuring the exact same drawing of Wolverine, Cyclops and Iceman, albeit with different coloring.
That being said, the two covers were also fairly different. Cover C had a more traditional look, complete with a title that pops off the page, the trademark '90s top-left corner box, as well as a corner box on the bottom-right commemorating the 50th anniversary of Captain America. Cover E went with a more minimalistic approach, with no corner boxes, a simple Marvel Comics logo and a title that blends into the environment.
The thing that caught people's attention, however, is the fact that in cover C, Wolverine has only popped the claws on his right hand, whereas cover E shows both sets of claws popped. Naturally, this led people to question why such a small, yet very specific change was made.
Following publishing a piece related to the new Venom film, CBR's Brian Cronin was asked on Twitter if he had previously discussed the disparity between the two X-Men #1 covers. Cronin explained that he hadn't and simply decided to directly ask cover artist Jim Lee (who now serves as publisher and CCO for DC) why Wolverine's claws were altered.
Lee responded, saying that it actually came as a result of the aforementioned Captain America corner box. "I like Cap too much to put three claws through his head," Lee said.
I like Cap too much to put 3 claws through his head. https://t.co/LBNLXc7ZyB— Jim Lee (@JimLee) September 23, 2018
Ultimately, it just goes to show how much an artist has to consider when drawing up the cover for a comic book. Namely, how to make their art work with the aspects of the finished cover that are beyond their control.
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