ISSUE #42: 2019 Films Part 5

 

From rainy Music City, I welcome you back, CBSI, to another edition of Cover Tunes! This week, we wrap up our 2019 film-related covers segment with part five.

Aside: Luckily, my articles do not revolve around the true speculative market. To me (and to many of you) this is exactly why they are entertaining to write and read; because there is no pressure in these books. They exist as features simply because they deserve to be admired and appreciated, nothing more. It is merely a celebration of the hobby and its creative contributors that can be enjoyed inexpensively.

With that said, about a dozen or so of these little gems have gotten hot over the past year and, in a couple of cases, become minor keys (having nothing to do with their featured nature, here). Instead, it is largely to do with luck and is mostly incidental. If a book from one of my articles gets hot, it’s merely because the art is awesome or because it probably should have been hot from the beginning OR because we received some later unexpected news of a TV or film project.

However, when they begin their featured life in a Cover Tunes article, these books are largely worthless and fairly easy to acquire at relatively inexpensive prices; normally under $10. Thus, buy them ONLY if they suit your fancy and you want them for the PC. I am NOT suggesting you go and buy up 20 of the cheapest copies on ebay in hopes of future retirement as the majority of them will never be worth much more than you paid. That, dear friends, is the beauty of them.

Inasmuch, let’s dive in to this week’s choices. We close out the 2019 film-related covers segment, this week, with a glance at some unsung Spiderman gems in honor of the upcoming Far From Home film, an overlooked Masters of the Universe cover for a MOTU film that is still due for a December 18th release, a Birds of Prey cover that rocks even though the film has now been pushed to a 2020 release, and a selection for the kids with a nod to the Sonic the Hedgehog film that should hit theaters on November 8th. We’ll save Star Wars for later in the year.

 

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SPIDERMAN

 

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Marvel Team-Up: Spider-Man and Iron Man #9 (1972 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – May, 1973

ARTIST: John Romita Sr.

 

So, here we have a nice, early Team-Up cover with the obvious anvil-over-the-head relationship between Peter and Tony that is bound to continue to some degree in the upcoming Spiderman: Far From Home film. This is an awesome Romita Sr. cover for a fraction of what Romita covers on ASM would cost and it highlights the pairing of these two characters in a dynamic and classic moment. It is difficult to separate Romita’s depiction of Spidey from anything other than what most consider to be the definitive version of the character as it did define the design as an eternal icon of comics; simple and elegant.

This one does, of course, sport an overabundance of trade dress, but like all books from this era, that is nearly impossible to escape This is an easy get for under $10 in mid-grade. Obviously, like any Bronze Age book, higher grades will cost you, exponentially.  

 

The Amazing Spider-Man #323 (1963 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – November, 1989

ARTIST: Todd McFarlane

 

Similar to the Team-Up cover, above, I’ve featured this as a classic cover that ties in nicely to Spidey’s link to the Avengers. Like Romita Sr., McFarlane helped to redefine the look of Spiderman and for many, his version of the web slinger is just as, if not more iconic than Romita’s. I don’t think I’d go that far, but McFarlane’s work on the character is highly regarded, highly sought after and an important stepping stone along the Spiderman timeline. This one has all earmarks of Todd’s best Spidey cover work with that incredibly intricate line work and attitude while still maintaining that signature “sketchy” feel. I love this cover and pick it up whenever I find it below $5, which is quite often.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man #43 (1999 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – September, 2002

ARTIST: John Romita Jr.      

 

Romita Jr. definitely has his detractors and his supporters. Of course, he will forever be in the shadows of Sr., but that does not mean that there aren’t pieces worth honoring and this, in my opinion, is one of them. Quite simply one of my favorite Spidey covers with brooding darks and great mood, cool linework, layout and composition and a very unique look that is (love it or hate it) very JR Jr.

 

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HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

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He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #6 (2012 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – March, 2013

ARTIST: Dave Wilkins

 

Okay, here’s the one I’ve never understood. This cover is freaking epic! Everyone goes ape over the #1 Wilkins Skeletor 1:25 variant for this series (and rightly so… it is an absolutely amazing cover). However, why is this #6 regular cover that is in the same series, with Skeletor featured prominently on the cover AND by the same artist not worth anything? It is an absolutely gorgeous cover and has a fairly low print run of 16,441 (as opposed to 27,665 of issue #1 which means there were as many as 1100 copies of the 1:25. Not particularly rare in comparison to other high-dollar variants).

Raws of the #1 variant sell for $750-$1000. Can’t afford that? Well, neither can I. Good news is that if you’re like me, you can snag this #6 for $5. Now, perhaps I just don’t know anything about comics and I should just hang ‘em up, but this #6 is close to as, if not JUST as beautiful. It’s just not as rare. Sometimes, I don’t understand this hobby and why certain comics get ignored. I hope that people who own the variant of #1 or are searching for one also have a copy of this #6. I think it’s only a matter of time before people latch back on to this one (and this entire beautiful little run, actually), especially as the movie approaches. I find it in the bins all the time. Hopefully, you can, too.    

 

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BIRDS OF PREY

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20b (2016 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – March, 2018

ARTIST: Adam Hughes

Were you like me and just couldn’t pass up the Hughes cover for the upcoming Detective #1000? I had vowed to avoid all things Tec#1000 and had sworn off store variants for the year, but Hughes’ upcoming Catwoman cover was nearly impossible to resist. Clicking the paypal button to buy that one coupled with a rare GEN-13 TPB I found with a great Hughes cover on it, last week, prompted a reminder of this above cover (Thanks to Topher for reminding me of it, as well).

Somehow, this one managed to never get talked about and I’m not sure I understand why. Perhaps it is the ensemble nature of the cover as group shots don’t get nearly as much love as single character studies, but that decidedly does not stop this particular BoP cover from rocking. It isn’t just a gratuitous girly cover. And, while I love me some Bhughebies, this cover shows off Hughes’ ability to complete a full composition with impeccable lighting and shadow, beautifully intricate background detail (in all layers), and masterful figural pose and layout. There is amazing perspective which may, perhaps, be Hughes’ best.

Simply, this cover should be worth more and it may get some legs as the film approaches. The print run on this particular issue is about 10,000 more copies than the issues around it (as people saw the Hughes variant coming), but it is still low in comparison to other mainstream DC titles at 25,000 split over two covers. Thus, I wouldn’t sleep on it for long.

 

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SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

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Sonic the Hedgehog #2 (1993 Mini-Series)

PUBLISHED: Archie Publications – April, 1993

ARTIST: Scott Shaw

 

This is just classic Sonic and if you can’t afford a #1 or that SEGA promo ashcan, this is the next best option with an equally simplistic and iconic Sonic cover. It can be easily gotten for $10 or less and it is a nice, early Sonic. Not a whole lot else to say about such a simple cover other than that it has great perspective and a nice clean rendering of a character that has such an iconic design we even know him in silhouette.  

If you want that same SEGA promotional preview (just not in miniature form), check out Justice League Europe #33 or Detective #639 which were published December, 1991 and contain the same content. There may be other DC books from December of ‘91 that had it, as well, but those are two I’m certain of and both can be gotten for $5.

 

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There you have it, folks. Another week in the books. Drop a comment and let me know what you thought. I hope you all have some luck in the bins, this week. Next time, we look at a little sword and sorcery! Until then, be good to each other, thanks as always for reading and happy hunting.

 

2 comments

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    Couldn’t agree more on the BoP cover. I missed it when it came out and couldn’t believe that I was able to get three copies for under $10 off the bay. Great cover.

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