10 Worst Covers
Let me preface this article by stating that art is subjective and that you, the reader, may not necessarily consider some of these covers the “worst ever” or even bad in general. Heck, some of you may have even really enjoyed some of these covers. In which case let me sincerely apologize now for your lack of taste :). Just kidding.
Anyway, whether a cover is disliked because of the art, the layout, the company or philosophical stances (right now somewhere in Italy, Milo’s neck hairs are standing up), there are literally thousands upon thousands of comic book covers from which this article could draw upon. As such, I overlooked the many self-published/small press books that litter the comic landscape because that is a different beast altogether. These guys can’t afford to pick and choose from the deep pools of art talent available or may not have the resources to do any better. Kudos to them for trying at least.
Again, these may not necessarily make your own personal list but I could only bear so much and my reserves of eyebleach were running low. I present to you my take on the 10 worst comic book covers:
Unity #1 V2 Sketch Cover, Phantom Variant
What is the meaning of life? I don’t know but I do know that a variant should actually be a variant of something. Changing the title color and slapping your logo on there doesn’t count. I believe this was also a promotion where budding artists could send their work in to have a chance at a cover shot too. Why they couldn’t do that on a regular sketch cover is beyond me. A variant of a blank space? C’mon Phantom, you can do better.
Fantastic Four vol.1 #375
Remember the 90s when we were all having a blast collecting books and speculating? Yea, didn’t think so. This to me kind of symbolizes everything that went wrong:
Prismatic cover – Check! With Doom in prismatic camouflage so you get your money’s worth.
Bumped up cover price for 375th Anniversary Spectacular – Check! 375th Anniversary y’all!!!
Liefeld influence – Check! Guns that look like embellished shapes and the pouches, so many pouches.
Costume change – Check! Nice leg bands Sue! I think Sue Storm changed costumes like 20 times in the 90s. And nice mask, Thing.
Deathmatch #1, Phantom Variant
Speaking of the 90s … this cover is so reminiscent of that time period I had to throw it up here. Seriously, this looks like Boom! picked a random Image team title from the 90s and said “let’s run with it!”. I strongly believe that the cover team was hungover and took the finished art piece, slapped some neoprene stickers on it, and called it a day. I mean this color scheme just screams 90s (keep in mind that this book was released in 2012). Red title? Let’s pair it with a yellow generic graphics effect since red and yellow match, ok? What – we need more yellow? Ok, let’s add a blurb on the side with any font size that doesn’t fit the space – in red of course. Don’t forget to cover the head of the guy in the corner with the issue number. And just in case they won’t know what issue number this is, let’s remind them by putting it over the title! How about we be original and use a head sketch instead of a UPC or logo? Sure, as long as we don’t forget our own logo. Well done team, let’s go get drunk again.
Avengers vol.1 #392
Got an artist that’s so-so? No problem. Just ink everything out and say it’s due to the effect of the characters jumping out of some dimensional wormhole or something. Still doesn’t hide the fact the Swordsman looks like Gumby. At least you can’t see their eyes. Seriously.
Namor, The Submariner #26
Namor is a handsome devil, I mean just look at that mug in the corner. Unless you totally draw him in a totally unflattering style. And use lighting principles from the 4th, maybe 3rd grade. And attach his arm at a weird angle. But let’s forget about that and just splatter some ink in the background. The coup de grace? The codpiece.
Gambit vol.3 #1
Speaking of handsome devils, how do you turn one of the most charming rogues in the Marvel Universe into a meth head cosplayer? Did they just run out of male models that day and decided to use someone’s cousin? Hey Jesse, you busy today? C’mon down bro, we got cheeseburgers! Oh wait, this was right around the time that Marvel emerged from bankruptcy – mystery solved.
Silk #3, Larry’s Comics Exclusive Black Cat Variant / Archie #1, M&M Comics Exclusive
Odysseus looked up to the skies in vain when confronted with having to choose between Charybdis and Scylla (Greek mythology yo!). I feel the same when it comes to these two covers. Both are horrible as part of that unending chain of Amazing Spider-man #300 swipes (maybe Phantom couldn’t do better?). Really, what does Archie have to with Spider-man? At least Nauck draws better than Foreman right? Except for that right leg though. It reminds me of this:
Marvel Music – Billy Ray Cyrus
You know, I’m not even sure if this has an issue number. It’s so bad, Marvel probably decided against it so that there would be no chance of adding to Billy’s legacy. I mean he’s already getting dinged enough for his offspring.
At least Rob Liefeld didn’t draw him … speaking of which…
Captain America vol.2 #2
Ah, Rob Liefeld – so much to say, so little space. Volumes upon volumes could be written about his “art”. The same applies for his covers – there were so many to choose from, I had to put on the goggles. And they did nothing. Incongruous floating hand and female head, misshapen shield, misaligned body proportions, who knows with the neck, but at least he couldn’t do Cap any worse right?
Now imagine if he drew Billy Ray Cyrus. Same pose and everything. Would have been epic.
Get an internationally renowned artist they said. It’ll be good they said. I mean what could go wrong? In my research, this cover has almost universally been picked as the ugliest cover ever. I mean, someday, aliens will visit our world and proceed to blow us up because of this cover (OK, that’s exaggerating, but this and the Kardashians will probably be up there in the reasons why). I don’t know what the story is about, but I would assume it has to do with Wolverine deciding to inject synthol into his arms and then getting veneers from Miley Cyrus’ dentist. In payment, he has to hunt down the giant-eared mutant bats that have been plaguing the dentist’s country estate. At least it’s not a lion.
Jennifer Blood #21
I’ve never read this book, but I can tell Mike Mayhew is a fantastic artist. So why include this cover? Aside from the ghastly Dynamite logo (looks like it belongs on a supermarket sale sign), this is another in a long line of covers that just don’t seem to understand the way the human body works. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a complaint about it being sexist blahblahblah, as it looks like Mr. Mayhew is genuinely conveying that Jennifer Blood is dodging bullets (and looking good while doing it). For some reason, it just doesn’t look right to me. But the kicker for me is the foot. Where is her right foot??? I hate when covers cut off a small part of the body (unless it’s a wraparound of course). Like “Oops, we ran out of
Catwoman #39, Harley Quinn Variant
“But Khoi Cakes, there’s Catwoman & Harley Quinn on the cover – we love this cover!” Admittedly, I am not the biggest Catwoman or Harley Quinn fan (the blasphemy!), but take a close look at this cover. Colors can make or break your piece and it looks like the colorist forgot the color. You’ve got two of the most vibrant characters in the DC universe and somehow Harley looks like a zombie and Catwoman looks like her makeup was applied by a Youtuber. Plus it looks like the colorist was going for the airbrush T shirt art effect that Trey likes to wear so much. Still love this cover? Don’t you think Catwoman and Harley Quinn deserve better? And Catwoman’s missing a part of her foot, hmph!
OK, I can only harm myself so much. Until your next serving of Khoi Cakes, peace.