Judging (Marvel's March) Books By Their Covers

Marvel's March 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! ___________________________________________________

Wow, what a great cover idea.

If there were Nobel Prizes for cover ideas (and there certainly should be), then this would be in the running for one!

Sadly, I do not think Hester does a very nice job with the execution of his great cover idea.


It's a fine cover by Arthur Suydum, but to be honest, I think these homage covers are a lot cooler when the images being homaged are not as famous.

The jokes are a great touch, though!___________________________________________________

Is this seriously the cover for Amazing Spider-man #540?


Not, like, a panel from inside the issue?

If it IS the cover, what the heck, Ron Garney?!?!

It's drawn fine enough, but it is quite possibly the least striking cover I have seen on a Marvel book this year.


Watch the hands, Hobgoblin!

Stinking perv.


Uhmmm....doesn't Avengers end in an S?


What a neat cover by Goran Parlov.

He uses comedic exagerration very nicely. Rare to see that pulled off well. ___________________________________________________

Speaking of exagerration not pulled off well, this Cable/Deadpool cover by Skottie Young leaves me wanting a little sturdier effort by Young.


Nice Jae Lee cover.

I'd probably be more invested if I knew the person on the cover. That's why I stopped doing these bits for the Dabel Brothers line of Marvel Comics. It got way tiresome to be all, "Yeah, don't know what's going on here" - "Don't know what's going on here" - "Don't know what's going on here"___________________________________________________

Nice cover layout by Paul Pelletier.


Strong drawing by Mike Wieringo, but I do not know if that was the best cover design he could have gone with.

It is almost subdued.


Alan Davis is really a heckuva an artist.

I don't love this cover layout, but damn, can the man draw.


Okay, you have to give it up to Daniel Way here.

He had a bad guy who possesses dead bodies.

So who does he have the bad guy possess?

One of the people killed during Civil War!

Pretty damn clever Civil War tie-in!

And Arthur Suydum's cover is pretty good, too.___________________________________________________

What I like about this Clayton Crain cover is that it looks a little less photo-manipulated than his stuff usually does.

I dig that,

However, otherwise, the images aren't exactly great, and the color tones are not very good at all.


What, did Gabrielle Dell'Otto draw this one while sleepwalking?

It is so bland and lifeless.

Not a fan.___________________________________________________

The figures are drawn kinda creepily, but the cover idea itself is pretty decent.

Did you see Al Rio is drawing Heroes for Hire now? Wow, what an appropriate choice...___________________________________________________

I think Ladronn is a fabulous artist, but lordy, his Hulk covers have just been Dullsville, USA for the past several months.

What's the deal?

His attention to detail is impressive, but he really needs to spice things up a bit.___________________________________________________

Brian Denham has had some very striking covers for this series.

I like the sheer manic energy.


Strong drawing of Man-Thing by Greg Land for this Legion of Monsters one-shot.

I think a more striking pose would have made for a better cover, but the image itself is quite strong.___________________________________________________

Surprsingly restrained (read "blah") Cameron Stewart Marvel Adventures Avengers cover.

I mean, it's well drawn and all, as Stewart is a fine, fine artist - it just doesn't jump out at all.___________________________________________________

I have been trying to think about who I think Carlos Pagulayan's new style of art reminds me of, ever since he debuted the newer style on Planet Hulk, and I think this cover has done it for me - I think he reminds me of Pat Olliffe.

Anyone else see that? ___________________________________________________

I enjoy the Marvel Adventures comics, so please do not take it as a shot against them, but I really am surprised that Patrick Scherberger hasn't moved on to "bigger" titles by now.

He's a good artist.___________________________________________________

Decent Frank Cho cover.

I like the layout a lot.

Execution is, well, it's Frank Cho - he's remarkably consistent.


Finch is another consistent performer.

He is going to give you a striking, extremely rendered cover.

If you do not like extremely rendered art, then you're not going to dig it.


This Greg Horn Ms. Marvel cover is all sorts of wrong.

I do like the finger pointing. Horn must be very proud of how well that turned out (I would be if I was a computer-art guy - that's a really difficult effect to pull off).___________________________________________________

Salvador Larocca made this cover look about as appealing as one can possibly make a cover that consists entirely of an explosion.


Fairly uninspired pose cover by Paco Medina.

Nicely drawn, though!___________________________________________________

Let's see...divide by seven, multiply by .10...carry the one....okay, got it!

Chris Claremont is aiming New Excalibur at an audience of 37 people.

Decent job of Laroccas at arranging the deck chairs on the cover, though.___________________________________________________

The idea of Hulk having Cap's shield and Thor's hammer on a cover is neat.

That is all.


Very cool idea by Mike Avon Oeming, but I would have liked her expression to be a bit more natural. The eye effect is good, but it reads more as "glazed over" than as the "intentful" look I believe he meant for it to have.


Yeah, it's pretty standard Bradstreet fare, but it's WELL DONE standard Bradstreet fare!


Really clever idea for a cover, but Olivetti makes it look way too oddly cartoon-y.


Really well done cover by Angel Medina!

If he can pull off "restrained," like this cover (and he has rarely shown the ability TO pull off "restrained"), he would be a really good artist.


Pretty funny Greg Horn cover.


I like the way John Watson makes Pietro look utterly pathetic on this cover.

That's well done on his part.

Crystal's hair?

Not so well done.

Oh, and what an odd choice on how to demonstrate her powers.


Name me a character who better fits into the category of "If anyone actually remembered this character, they would kill him/her off during a story" than Hybrid.

Decent cover by Aaron Lopresti (who Marvel seems to be using quite oddly - ONE arc of Hulk? Shouldn't they be giving him something to, oh, I dunno, draw?).___________________________________________________

Nice cover by outgoing artist Takeshi Miyazawa.

David Hahn has some big shoes to fill.

Oh, and how does drawing BITE CLUB make one think an artist is appropriate for Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane?

"Oh man, he draws lesbian vampires so well! And the way he showed that decapitation was priceless! We need to get him on Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, stat!"___________________________________________________

Very cool Kaare Andrews cover.


Is this a new cover?

If so, isn't that kinda funny? That there hasn't been a good enough Sandman cover in the forty years the character has been aroun to use for the cover of a trade.


Pretty strong cover design by Paul Gulacy.

And he executes it fairly well, as well.


I like how the costumes look realistic without looking silly (which is a very difficult tightrope to walk), but otherwise, I am not a fan of Marko Djurdjevic's layout on this cover. I love the little circles featuring the other characters in the title, but the main featured characters, while drawn well individually, so not combine to form a good image.

It looks very collage-y.


Is that Sue's belly popping out of her costume there?

Odd choice by Salvador Larocca.

And that's the second cover in a row that his Sue has had odd facial expressions.

Oh, and is Reed translucent or is the cloud translucent and in front of him?___________________________________________________

Good cover layout by Greg Land.


Man, Daredevil is awfully pissed that Spider-Man is bad at double dutch, isn't he?


Nice cover concept by Brandon Peterson, but his design work has been surprisingly bland on this series so far.


Would you count this Yanick Paquette cover as an homage?


Not enough comic characters have gigantic swords.


Very nice cover layout by Andrew Currie, but man, his figure drawings are just really bad.

His figures make Beavis and Butthead look refined.___________________________________________________

Mike Choi is pulling a Yellow Power Ranger with Sonia Oback on this X-23 cover!

I pity the people who have the slightest idea what I'm referring to.___________________________________________________

Clever Baron Zemo cover by Tom Grummett.

Hey, does anyone know the deal with stuff like Grummett here with his work with Gary Erskine, writing it as a big "G E." Do pencilers clear stuff like that with their inkers first? ___________________________________________________

HONORABLE MENTIONS!___________________________________________________

David Williams provides probably the best cover work that I have seen from him so far, with this strong Hulk/Power Pack cover, providing nice attention to detail in the kid's faces, although they appear a bit TOO glossy (the only reason this isn't a top five cover).


If Captain America's supporting cast and major villains got their own film (and we all pray they do), this Steve Epting cover would make a perfect movie poster, wouldn't it?


Like the Thunderbolts cover, Marko Djurdjevic does a great job at making the costume look realistic, while not dorky looking.

The pose is better here, too, but perhaps not an original enough idea to merit a top five inclusion. It's still fine cover. ___________________________________________________

Humberto Ramos' style fits in very well with the Runaways.

I assume someone has addressed this somewhere already, but this cover isn't a spoiler, is it?___________________________________________________

I think David Mack could draw a cover like this blindfolded with one arm tied behind his back.

But it is still a darn fine cover.___________________________________________________

What I dig most about this Marko Djurdjevic cover is the personality he gives Scarlet Witch on this cover. It is often really hard to do subtle emotions in painted works, as they generally lend to the more extreme sides of emotions.

Here, though, I have no idea what Scarlet Witch is really thinking on this cover, but I mean that in a good way.

The non-character artwork is great, as well. Very effectively setting a mood.

If Angel didn't look so dorky, this would be much higher. ___________________________________________________

TOP FIVE!!___________________________________________________

5. Plotted out on a graph, Simone Bianchi's choices of writers looks like a freefall.

Morrison to Johns to Loeb.

I kid, I kid!

Very striking cover. ___________________________________________________

4. Pablo Raimondi does an excellent job with this cover of both providing a striking visual work, but also make it work in the context of the story in the issue.

___________________________________________________3. I am a sucker for effective uses of negative space, and this David Aja cover uses the white background to great effect here.


2. What a delightfully wacky cover idea, and Chris Eliopoulos pulls the idea off extremely well.


1. Marko Djurdjevic provides an eye-grabbing cover for Blade, including another uniquely clever idea (cross in chest), a la the cover featuring Wolverine's claws.

Here, though, unlike that cover, the effect comes off very naturally. This is one heckuva cover.___________________________________________________

Well, that's it for me! Feel free to share YOUR prejudices (and your top fives)!!

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