ISSUE #54: Girls Assemble!

 

WARNING: MAY CONTAIN AVENGERS: ENDGAME SPOILERS!

 

Welcome back, CBSI’ers, to another installment of Cover Tunes. I assume that the vast majority of you spent the weekend watching and dissecting all things Avengers: Endgame like I did (and am still doing). The three-hour epic was largely quite a satisfying conclusion to the 21-film juggernaut that has been the MCU since the first Iron Man film hit back in 2008. It’s actually hard to believe it has been that long. Sure, this film has its hiccups, but the fact the movie largely delivered on expectations that for some viewers were almost unfairly high, it definitely hit the mark. Pleasing everyone after 21 films of build-up is an almost impossible task. However, it seems to have beaten those insurmountable odds and for that alone it should be commended.  

AGAIN, May contain Avengers: Endgame spoilers… you’ve been warned. I will not specifically spoil any actual plot for Endgame, but if you are in the spec game even the slightest little bit, you’d have to be living under a rock to have not seen A-Force-related titles spiking in value. Stephanie Hans’ variant for A-Force #1 and Savage She-Hulk #1 are the primetime candidates, at the moment, but there are plenty of other sweet covers, too. We’ll take a look at a few, this week.

What I’m about to write will probably not be popular with some people, but I have to admit, when I first saw the all-girl moment in Endgame, I cringed. It was the only moment in the movie where I was like, “Really?!” I felt it was forced (no pun intended). I am frankly sick of the anvil-over-the-head feminism in TV and film, these days. The strength of female heroes should be subtle and not forced on audiences. If done in that manner, broader audiences will more fully embrace those characters (see Laura Kinney/X-23 in comics and in Logan for a perfect example of how to do this correctly).

With that said, I truly hope that Marvel will roll this team out (either individually or together) in the manner that these characters deserve and not make it an out-and-out feminism parade. Women deserve to have these characters treated respectfully rather than gratuitously. I don’t know how much of the original A-Force lineup will see screen time as Marvel/Disney moves forward, but there are certainly some cool possibilities if they do. Here are a few covers highlighting some of the original core members. (NOTE: I’ve omitted Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel on account of my featuring her covers quite often in Cover Tunes in the past).      

 

A-Force #7 (2016 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – September, 2016

ARTIST:  Ben Caldwell

I had to include one of my favorite A-Force covers, this week. I’m not sure I even entirely know why I love this cover so much. It is a very common cover and pops up in dollar bins all the time. I think it’s the framing of the cover that I like so much along with the far eastern feel of the inking and color work. It is striking and has an amazing palette. I always feel like it’s a variant cover when I see it, but of course it’s not. Either way, it’s a great Nico Minoru cover that ISN’T a Runaways cover.

NOTE: Please, see the quick hits at the bottom of the article for an amazing Runaways Nico cover.

 

A-Force #8B (2016 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – October, 2016

ARTIST: Rahzzah (Rahzzah Murdock)

Big shout to Clint Joslin who had this on his Artist Spotlight, last week for Rahzzah. It is such an amazing cover that I cannot even fathom why it’s a dollar bin dig. As such, I wanted to give this one just a little extra lovin’ beyond Clint’s inclusion of it. This was a “B” cover and was cover price on release day. It was the 50th Anniversary Black Panther cover, so not technically A-Force related, specifically. However, since we could see any female heroes on the eventual “screen team,” even Shuri is possible, especially if she takes over the Black Panther mantle. Anyhow, this is such a gorgeously macabre cover, I can only describe it as perfect.

 

She-Hulk #29 (2005 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – July, 2008

ARTIST: Mike Deodato Jr.

So, She-Hulk series have been plagued by a lot of bad covers over the years. The design of the character lends itself to either looking awesome or awful. There seems to be no in between. The really good early covers from Byrne and others from the first two series (Savage and Sensational) are pretty pricey, these days. So, rather than force one of the other (lower-priced) mediocre covers in here, I decided to just focus on one of the slightly more modern books of which there a variety of amazing covers by Granov, Horn, Deodato and others.

With that, I give you this incredibly sexy cover by Deodato that I never hear anyone mention. However, I didn’t JUST choose it because of how hot it is. I chose it because of the depth, perspective and the impeccable use of lighting. So few covers actually include shadows where they should be and it shows an understanding by the artist of the light source on their compositions. It also adds great dimensionalism and sense of space. Additionally, I am a sucker for the inclusion of trade dress into the actual art. This one does it really well.

Deodato so often gets overlooked much like Land and Granov, but he has some unbelievable covers like this one, for instance. For other great Deodato covers in this run, check out #23 in the quick hits, below. #24 is pretty great, as well. I almost chose both of them. All can be had for cover price or less.

 

Dazzler #32 (1981 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – June, 1984

ARTIST: Bill Sienkiewicz

I already covered Sienkiewicz’s Dazzler #28 in Issue #13 of Cover Tunes (which I believe is one of his best ever covers), but his entire little run on the title is amazing. Regardless of whether Blaire ever becomes Thor, this character will see action in her own series (along with Tigra) on Disney Streaming, soon. This cover is all sorts of dynamic and, while extremely impressionistic, captures an amazing action moment as only Sink can. From an A-Force perspective, the inclusion of Medusa and the Inhumans on this cover made it the obvious choice, this week.    

 

Marvel Age #69 (1983 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – December, 1988

ARTIST: Bret Blevins

Speaking of Medusa… man-oh-man do I love this cover. I wish it weren’t on a Marvel Age since there is so much trade dress. However, the art on this one transcends all the clutter and is an unsung masterpiece. The layout is superb and the flow and movement of the piece is exquisite. It is simple, clean and effective: moody and slightly impressionistic. No line is out of place. I have admittedly never seen this in person, but I can’t wait to find myself one.

NOTE: This issue was essentially the advertisement for the upcoming Graphic Novel for the Inhumans which is also absolutely gorgeous. See below for that one as a “quick hit.”

 

 

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QUICK HIT

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The Inhumans: A Marvel Graphic Novel #nn (1988)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – May, 1988

ARTIST: Bret Blevins

Man, this is a thing of beauty not only from an artistic perspective, but from a color and layout perspective, as well. This was hot, briefly, prior to the lackluster TV show, but now can be had for $15 or less.

 

Runaways #8 (2003 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – January, 2004

ARTIST: Jo Chen

I covered this one already in Cover Tunes Issue #11. Click to see the full description of this unbelievable cover.

 

She-Hulk #23 (2005 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – January, 2008

ARTIST: Mike Deodato Jr.

This is a great, gritty and visceral cover that shows amazing emotion. Again, this has excellent inclusion of the title trade dress and fantastic use of light and shadow. The best work on this cover may be the line work on the wet wooden planks. I wish this one didn’t have the barcode. Oh well. It was a tough call between this one and the #29 I chose, above. Thus, I’m featuring both.

 

*****

 

And there we are for another week. I hope there was a little something in here for everyone’s tastes. Until next week, see Endgame a second time, be well, thanks for reading and happy hunting.

 

 

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