Judging (Marvel's April) Books By Their Covers

Marvel's April solicits have been up for awhile now, so let's make some prejudgments based just on the covers (as we all love to make prejudgments, don't we?).

Let's begin! ___________________________________________________

Interesting Marko Djurdjevic cover for this 70th Anniversary variant, but I do have to wonder what's the deal - if 60s Marvel characters count for these covers, why not have Black Panther be the variant for, you know, Black Panther #1?


I can only imagine how unenthused Ron Lim must be about drawing these types of Anita Blake covers.

I'm with you, Ron! I'm with you!___________________________________________________

See, Billy Tan! Cap's current costume CAN look cool!

Well done, Adi Granov!___________________________________________________

Nice straightforward Barry Kitson cover.

I wonder how long the Hitch revamp of the FF costumes will last. I don't think it will be very long. It seemed to very much "his" thing, so when he leaves the book, I think they'll be gone soon after.

That's not a knock on the designs, I think they're fine, I just don't think they will last. ___________________________________________________

Kitson does a much cooler job on the second part of the story.

Very striking cover! ___________________________________________________

Gotta give Joe Quesada credit, he's pulling out all the stops to help Amazing Spider-Man!

Having Joe Quesada draw your covers is a huge boon for ANY book.

This is a pretty cool cover by Quesada.___________________________________________________

"Damn it, Mephisto! What now?!?"

Seriously, nice cover by Ron Frenz introducing Spider-Girl to the Spider-Man Family fold.___________________________________________________

Kenneth Rocafort certainly has a flair for the dramatic, doesn't he?


Not digging either Storm OR Emma on this Simone Bianchi cover.

Both are actually kinda frightening.___________________________________________________

So wait, is Night Thrasher supposed to be with Justice and the others?

Ramos' design doesn't seem to indicate that, but I THINK that's what he's intending.


Decent Alex Ross cover.

I like the cover split, but I don't know if any one of the three slivers stands out that much, and the background color is kinda garish.___________________________________________________

Did someone bet Ariel Olivetti that he couldn't do a cover made up of just old 90s X-Men images?

What a weird cover.___________________________________________________

I think J. Scott Campbell gets a real bum rap sometimes. I mean, commercially, he's a total star, but critically, I think he gets knocked too much. The guy is a very talented artist.

This is a nice cover.___________________________________________________

I'm not exactly sure what Deadpool is doing on this cover (is he grabbing Cable's shoulders?), but overall, it does stand out.

Olivetti is good at making his figures pop on his covers.___________________________________________________

Great drawing by Mitch Breitweiser, but I don't think it really rises beyond "pin-up."

It's a great pin-up, though!___________________________________________________

Okay cover by Stuart Immonen.

Not one of his best, really. It reminds me of an early 90s Marvel cover. Something you'd see during the summer when a title had six issues in three months.___________________________________________________

You have to love the energy pouring out of Djurdjevic's covers.


What the hell?!?!? A Noir take on Daredevil?!!? That is sacrilege!! What's next, Sin City Noir?!?! Spirit Noir?!?

Some books just don't mix with the noir concept, Marvel!


Good noirish cover by Tomm Coker, though.___________________________________________________

Cute cover by Jason Pearson.


And another good cover by Pearson for the start of the Destroyer.


When I think of the three most badass super villains in the Marvel Universe, my mind automatically goes the Trinity....Doom...Magneto...Princess Python.

Thank you, Roger Cruz, for making my dream a reality!___________________________________________________

I love that Deadpool is suddenly popular enough for his own mini-series concurrent to his ongoing series!

Hopefully that means Deadpool Classic Vol. 3 will be out soon (with Deadpool #11 FINALLY reprinted!).

I dig this Mike McKone cover, it plays to Deadpool's surreal qualities well.___________________________________________________

I don't think Deodato quite pulls off the depiction of action on this cover.

Doom is handled well, but Iron Patriot doesn't actually seem to be pushing him. ___________________________________________________

Strong Daniel Acuña cover.

He has the ominous feel down pat.___________________________________________________

Lee Bermejo kicked this cover's ass.

Very strong, bold work from Bermejo. ___________________________________________________

I think they just took an old Pasqual Ferry Ultimate FF cover and added grey to Reed's hair.


Come on, archery fans, let's hear it?

Does Clint Langley pull it off?

After Green Arrow Year One, Andy Diggle should write every archer.___________________________________________________

Well designed cover by Pasqual Ferry.


I'm not as impressed with the design on this Tim Green cover.

The characters almost appear randomly placed.___________________________________________________

Very fun looking cover courtesy of the always fun Dave Bullock!


For the second month in a row, I love the expressions on this Hitch FF cover.

You see, the key thing is when you're doing the "photo realistic" art like Hitch is to make the expressions still feel like they're being drawn, and Hitch has done that very well the last two covers. They're realistic without looking like ACTUAL static photos.

Fluidity is almost always the key difference between good photo-realistic work and awful photo-realistic work. ___________________________________________________

You have to love the brassiness of actually naming another comic book Fantastic Force.

Decent Hitch cover, but I think the decent part comes strictly from him drawing them - the layout and design of the cover is extremely bland. It's just his skills as an artist that makes this bland design still look cool. ___________________________________________________

I'm sorry, Chris Eliopoulos, I don't get the joke!

Franklin is putting a mean sign on the back of H.E.R.B.I.E., but unbeknown to him, a sign is being placed on HIS back...but it's not a mean sign! Doesn't that sorta defeat the joke?___________________________________________________

I like how Salvador Larocca almost depicts for us the exact point where Star-Lord goes from being okay to being totally screwed - right after that lightning flash!

Cool cover.___________________________________________________

Darn it, Suydam, last month you showed off how detailed you could be! I'd love to see more of that!

This is still a pretty good cover, but I like the Suydam from last month. ___________________________________________________

Very good placement of the guest stars by David Williams.


If Alex Garner just made all of his covers, like, 20% less shiny, I think it would improve them all a whole lot.

All New She-Hulk...that's pretty funny.___________________________________________________

Sean Phillips continues to really match the noir feel he's going for on these covers.


Patrick Zircher gets the story across well, but I don't know if that merits the less than striking cover design.


Certainly not a BAD cover by David Mack, but I haven't seen an absolutely striking Kabuki cover in a few issues.


Imposing cover by Tommy Ohtsuka.

He conveys the terrifying nature of the bad guy quite well on this cover.___________________________________________________

Is Jon Buran trying to make a statement by making it appear as though Hulk is on a whole other cover? Like the FF are so unimportant to him that's he acting like they're not even there?

Think that's what he's going for?


Nice return of Patrick Scherberger to Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man for the fiftieth issue.


It's amazing to me how well John Watson is aping these other Marvel covers.


I've been enjoying Greg Tocchini's covers for this series a lot the last few months, but for the finale, the cover layout just seems to sort of be, like, "just there."

After a number of clever arrangements, this one is a bit disappointing.___________________________________________________

I get that Jay Anacleto, like last issue, is trying to convey the sort of tackiness of this era in Marvel history, but unlike last issue which wonderfully conflicted the tacky with the mundane to show how sharp the contrast must have been, this cover just shows the tacky, and it's not as cool.


You just gotta love Greg Land's cover arrangements.

If you didn't, you would perhaps weep at the sight of them...


Great pair of covers by David Williams.

The mixture of styles is PARTICULARLY impressive.___________________________________________________

This Khoi Pham piece looks more like interior work than a cover.


Not a bad Billy Tan cover.

The design certainly helps the cover overall.___________________________________________________

Darnit, Jo Chen, what's with the full pants?!?!

I mean, you remembered the correct way to have her facing, but demerits for the pants.___________________________________________________

Diogenes Neves draws an interesting group here, although I wonder why Wolfsbane is missing.

In addition, Karma does not look Asian, like, at ALL.___________________________________________________


This is how bad ass this Daniel Acuña cover is - Gladiator punched that one Nova and his legs fell off!!


Cool cover homage by Mike McKone.


Terrible, terrible TERRIBLE cover homage by Mike McKone!!


I think perhaps the style of Lucy in the Sky's powers appeals to Ramos' pencils, because this is one of the best Runaways covers he's done recently.


This one-shot just does not have enough words in the title.

How "Dark Reign" was not part of the title is beyond me.

The cover itself, though, is quite good. Djurdjevic did a nice job. ___________________________________________________

Mario Alberti breaks out a grittier side for this Skrull Kill Krew cover.

I dig it!___________________________________________________

Andy Blase's cover reminds me a bit of the late, great Mike Wieringo.


I LOVE the creepy eye expression Bermejo has going on this The Stand cover!


Mitch Breitweiser captures the Sub-Mariner's demeanor very well on this cover.


Jimmy Cheung uses the design limitations of the cover very well on this cover, by actually working the cramped space into the art. Clever.


Wow, I guess there's no more red body paint left?

Maybe THAT's what Maleev has her legs crossed...___________________________________________________

I almost admire the fact that Alex Ross has the fabric fold there.

It's almost a bit of an achievement to have that there.___________________________________________________

Nice offbeat cover by Francesco Mattina.


Hehe...while this looks like a fairly bad photoshop job, it does look pretty funny!

So good job by Leinil Francis Yu. ___________________________________________________

Denis Bajram goes from an incredibly striking cover last issue to just a dude.

Kind of a let down right there. ___________________________________________________

Weird cover layout by Francesco Mattina.

And the facial expressions on the right - so odd.___________________________________________________

Cool Brandon Peterson cover, although I got sort of a kick out of seeing Lilandra being in basically the same pose Nightcrawler was in on last month's Peterson cover (different angle, but same pose).


Peterson's Darkhawk here is suitably eerie looking.

I dig it.___________________________________________________

Strong cover layout by Doug Braithwaite.

I particularly dig the spittle from Wolverine's mouth.___________________________________________________

Pretty cool Bianchi cover, although I wonder exactly how Wolverine is holding his footing on the plane.


Cool idea by David Williams.

We've seen Wolverine do this actual routine in a comic, right?

Anyone recall where?___________________________________________________

Awesome C.P. Smith cover.

He sure as hell gets across the whole "noir" angle.___________________________________________________

That's one shiny Wolverine by Nelson.


While I'm sure the book will be cool, I'm not too impressed by Ron Garney's cover here.

If you're going to do a riff on the whole "Wolverine holding his claws out" cover, you have to come up with a clever angle, and not just "Wolverine holding his claws out."___________________________________________________

I like Frank Martin's drawing of Wolverine here.

I don't know if many of these Wolverine tie-in books are going for covers beyond "Here's a drawing of Wolverine! Done!" but at least it is a good drawing.___________________________________________________

I love the expressions Yardin gives the Madroxes.

What's really impressive to me is the fact that Yardin is not alone there - a lot of other artists have made a point of giving different Madroxes different expressions. It's definitely appreciated.___________________________________________________

It's interesting that Roger Cruz decided to give Cyclops a bit of a package and not Angel.

In any event, this is a decent cover in what will be a very cool looking quadtych saying good bye to a very fun book by Jeff Parker and Roger Cruz.___________________________________________________

See? This is what I love about Clayton Crain.

He just EMBRACES this crazy crap.

"You know how Stryfe is kinda lame? Well, let's just take that to the NEXT LEVEL!"

I might not like the results, but I love how he gets there.___________________________________________________

Oh man, Danger just radiates lame, doesn't she (it?)?

So I think Lee Bermejo deserves extra credit for somehow making the cover even kind of cool looking.___________________________________________________

An origins book for Wolverine?

What a clever concept!!

Cool Tex cover.___________________________________________________

I like the expression on this Adrien Floch cover, but I think it is might not be all that striking of an overall cover design.


HONORABLE MENTIONS___________________________________________________

Great finale cover by Stuart Immonen.


I'm unfamiliar with Christopher Shy's work. It looks a lot like Tomm Coker.

Anyhow, this is a strong return to the 2099 titles.___________________________________________________Probably doesn't stand out enough to make the Top Five, but wow, what an amazing design of the Wicked Witch by Skottie Young.

___________________________________________________Not as cool as the previous issue's covers, but still a cool pair of covers by Ed McGuinness.


Salvador Larocca does a great job here using all the computer effects available to him to make a cool looking cover.


I love so much of this David Williams' cover, except for Batroc's movement lines - I think they should not be directly down like that. I think more of a twist to them makes a lot more sense.

Still, the rest of the cover is out of sight. A great piece of cover art.___________________________________________________

Awesomely clever Clayton Henry cover.

He's bound and determined to make Ant Man look cool, isn't he?___________________________________________________

Gabriele Dell'Otto knows that Mexican Wrestlers are awesome!


It's a tough Top Five this month, some great covers.

I love this Marcos Martin cover, but I think I may love it more as a drawing than I do as a cover.

Still, in a lesser month (like the last couple of months) this would be Top Five easily.___________________________________________________

TOP FIVE___________________________________________________

5. Dang, that's one striking cover by McNiven!

The Red Skull wearing Cap's costume?

Awesome idea.___________________________________________________

4. Why is everyone so mad at that shiny thing in the middle of the cover?!

Great Alan Davis work.___________________________________________________

3. I am unfamiliar with Rafael Grampa's work, but woah, what an awesome cover this is!

Reminds me a little of the great Claire Wendling.___________________________________________________

2. If this cover was any more appropriate for the themes that Duane Swierczynski was looking to explore, then it would have come out in 1953.

What an awesome cover by Dave Johnson. The sand dripping is perhaps the best of the lot.___________________________________________________

1. Sonny Liew wins the internet with this amazingly clever Pride and Prejudice cover.

I absolutely adore this cover.___________________________________________________

Okay, that's it! Feel free to share YOUR Top Fives and YOUR prejudices!

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