ISSUE #55: Random Sample

 

Welcome back to another fresh Cover Tunes, CBSI. So, here we are in the afterglow of Avengers: Endgame and what do we do, now? It’s as if the air has been let out of the balloon. We have all been invested for eleven years and now that we finally have closure, it’s time to find a new girlfriend. Yeah, we’re getting Spiderman, but that’s more like an after credits scene at this point than it is a piece of the puzzle.

Well, based on this week’s market, it appears that it’s all about that which the future phases of the MCU might hold. Guardians 3 spec seems to be the rage, right now: Beta Ray Bill and Quasar. Honestly, though, for me, I am a little burned out on this quick FOMO spec and would rather look at a few other things, instead. The more it seems as though every book will eventually be a key, the more it seems they will all be worthless, eventually. The “special” nature of that which makes a key is being watered down. As such, I find I go backwards now and am hunting for either tried-and-true keys and/or covers I just like regardless of value: books I’d be proud to own if the whole thing were to fall apart, tomorrow.    

So, Last week’s issue unearthed a few especially excellent She-Hulk covers that I find in dollar bins quite frequently. As a result, this past week, I went digging pretty hard for some other loot and came across some dope covers I’d forgotten about. Here are a few great ones…

 

Action Comics #813 (1938 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – May, 2004

ARTIST: Michael Turner

 

I could probably feature a Turner cover in almost every issue of Cover Tunes. The funny thing is, he had a lot of covers I don’t really like, yet there are SO MANY that I do like. What’s also funny is that I don’t generally gravitate towards artists like this who exaggerate women’s features like J. Scott Campbell, etc., however, in the case of Turner there is something about them I rather like. His style has been copied by many, but never truly duplicated. This particular cover has a darker tone to it than most Turner covers and is particularly striking against the white backdrop. Turner certainly likes capes and this one is a prime example of using the motif to frame a moment, succinctly. This one is an easy get at cover price or less.

 

Catwoman #2 (2002 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – February, 2002

ARTIST: Darwyn Cooke

 

Ahhh, the red-headed step children of this particular Catwoman series that are issues #1-#43 (read as, the covers NOT by Adam Hughes). There is a myriad of amazing covers from the earlier half of this run prior to Hughes turning it into one of his classic runs. From Cooke to Pope to Jock to Palmiotti and others, there are a trove of gems in there. I particularly like the Cooke covers on #1-#4, though. As such, I’ve already featured the #1 to this series about a half year ago, but this series continues to pop up around me at shops and reminds me how many great covers it has in it. Even my wife loves them (which is saying something). She asked that I specifically include one, this week. I wouldn’t want to disappoint her, right?

This one is simple and clean art that really pops and has the air of Golden Age to it as Darwyn’s covers often do. HOWEVER… while I like the Cooke covers a ton, I also like a few of the other so much that I’m throwing one into the “Quick Hits” section at the end. Check that one out, too.

 

Avengers #9 (2017 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – September, 2017

ARTIST: Alex Ross

 

I’ve held on to this one for a long time. I’ve had a poster of this cover up on my wall for a year because it is quite frankly one of the best modern compositions in comics. The depths of the sky and use of subtle lighting cues are both remarkable, even for Ross. If I sound like a broken record when I praise Alex Ross it is simply because he deserves any-and-all superlatives I can give him. As we mostly focus on his recent amazing covers on Immortal Hulk and Savage Sword of Conan (and maybe Marvels Remastered), I try to remind myself of other great covers of his that often go virtually unnoticed. This is one of those covers.

When it came out, no one talked about it and my guess is that it was because it was part of the Secret Empire onslaught. The near-perfect proportions and foreshortening along with the strength of the layout and positioning make this a favorite. To be fair, I also very much like the design of Foster-Thor, so I’m a little biased. If there’s any flaw I can point out at all, it’s that this is perhaps not Ross’ best cape rendering as it looks a bit “solid” and I wish (like the poster version) it didn’t have the banner at the top. However, I am certainly willing to overlook those for such an incredible piece of art. Dollar bins all day long. Sad.  

 

Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas #1 (2008 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – July, 2008

ARTIST: Adi Granov

Nah, nothing at all sexy about this cover… WHAT?!?! Definitely NOT for the kids, this one is risque even for Marvel and there is no mystery about why I chose it, I shouldn’t think. I could try and gloss over it and attempt to talk about the artistic merits behind this one, but that would just undermine all that is awesome about it. Granov needs more love. Maybe not quite as much love as Tony Stark is getting on this cover, but close. Dollar bins at an LCS near you. Shiny!  

 

 

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FOR THE KIDS

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Star Wars: Clone Wars #6 (2008 Series)

PUBLISHED: Dark Horse Comics – May, 2009

ARTIST: Le Tang

 

So, for all of her insane popularity, these days, Ahsoka doesn’t have very many covers. Those she does have are not very flattering, but this one is an exception. The style is quite different than I am used to, but I rather like it. The rigidity and choppy quality of the paint slash style give it an animated feel without being straight animation. Thus, it lends itself to the feeling one gets from the show without seeming like it came directly FROM the show. It is bold and has fantastic mood, as a result. A few Star Wars covers is all we have from this artist, Le Tang. I’d like to see more. Padawan Tano looks formidable and focused, here, and very much the feature of this cover. I also like that the trade dress is in red which propels all of Ahsoka’s reds and oranges immediately to the eye. This one is a little tough to find, but won’t set you back more than cover price when you run across it (unlike her first appearance in #1).

 

 

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QUICK HITS

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Catwoman #33 (2002 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – September, 2004

ARTIST: Paul Gulacy, Jimmy Palmiotti, Laurie Kronenberg

 

I normally don’t give artist credit to colorists, but that explosive background deserves to be acknowledged. Everyone killed it on this cover.

 

*****

 

And there we have the end of another week. I hope you enjoyed this one and that you’ll drop a comment to let me know what you’re all thinking. Until next week when I take a look at some old Gold Key covers, be well, thanks for reading and happy hunting.

 

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