Underrated Covers

This subject comes up a lot online, be it as click bait in the form of “best cover” or simply as a way to generate comments. Regardless, it's always a fun topic for people to engage in. So, in my own desperation to keep to a weekly schedule, I figured I needed something that requires much less research. So here are some covers that I personally really like and don't feel get enough love. These are a mix of variants and regular covers, some may be old hat while others might be new to you.

 

Superman Unchained #4 Guillem March 1:25 Variant

Recently I ended my quest to find a 9.8 of this book, so now I can talk about it. I've learned my lesson in regards to talking about a book before I have one, or multiple copies.

It's true that this book has a rather large print run in comparison to other variants for this issue. But let's face it, there's not many Silver Banshee covers. Much less good Silver Banshee covers if we're being completely honest.

While any heat Silver Banshee may have had due to the Supergirl TV show has long since died off, there's no reason to think that a much better attempt at the character won't happen someday.

 

 

G.I. Joe Vol 1 # 43

This cover is an old one, and probably one of the earliest covers to make an impact on me artistically/visually. While the idea of a skeleton with a machine gun isn't anything new, even in the 80's, it's the way it's drawn and composed… the use of lighting and shadows to frame it.

Covers like this are why Mike Zeck's is considered a master illustrator. While Zeck is a well known name among many comic collectors. I don't think he or his work has really received the recognition it truly deserves. He's probably best known for his work on Secret Wars #8. But his largest contribution to comics, in my opinion, was his work on GI Joe and the first Punisher mini series.

 

 

Uncanny X-Men #257

How could I put together any comic cover list and not include Jim Lee. While many would argue this isn't even one of his 10 best cover I'd completely disagree.

While it lacks the excessive rendering many covers around this time had. It's the composition and shadows that really make this a striking cover.

Subject matter wise, sitting on a rack, I wanted to read this book. Wolverine zonked out, Psylocke in the crazy Mandarin armor, I need to read this! Sadly with a lot of modern covers, which are mostly just pin-ups that don't relate to the story, an image like this makes me long for the days when covers were a glimpse inside. Not just beautiful and random.

 

 

JSA Classified #3 Second Print Variant

This is hands down one of my all time favorite covers. The image itself is light hearted and fun, but when combined with a joke about which printing it is, it's just magnified.

Years from now I firmly believe collectors will be tracking this one down. In part because while it's a second printing, the silver coloring is something DC Comics does for later than second printings. Second printings typically have a red coloring added, as I'm sure many are aware of.

In addition to the above mentioned reason I love this cover there's an even more obvious one for those who've been following this column over the past few years. I'm a big fan of both characters featured.

 

 

Unstoppable Wasp #1 1:25 Torque Variant

While I'm not really a fan of the character, I love this cover. It works so well on several different levels and is just pure comic fun to look at. More than anything, when i look at it, i'm reminded if more comics had covers with this level of brilliance… well, variant ratios wouldn't be necessary in order to push sales. Issue 1 would have sold just fine if this was the sole cover. Granted, at prices in the $75-$100 range, an argument could be made that it's not underrated. However an argument could also be made that the book should be worth considerably more.

 

That's it for this week! I'll be back next week with some sort of barely legible ramblings about comics.

 

 

9 comments

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    I carried that G.I. Joe around in my school backpack for days. Loved that cover. One of the first comics I bought.

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    What you said about Mike Zeck… amen brother!

  • gideontged

    “Sadly with a lot of modern covers, which are mostly just pin-ups that don’t relate to the story…” This is what upsets me the most in modern comics. Uncanny 234 or 251 would be in my picks. both have the same color scheme almost, were just striking, and i HAD to know what the heck was going on!

  • Peter Renna

    Awesome Skot. Don’t remember that G.I. Joe, but now I have another book to file in my mental rolodex to keep an eye out for. And I’ve always loved that Uncanny 257. Jim Lee baby.

    And I totally agree about missing the days when the cover gave you at least a hint of what was inside. I think a lot of it has to do with this mercenary system when it comes to covers at the big 2. They just get artists to draw whatever they want, which is great as an art fan. But gone are the days when the interior artist was also allowed to do the cover art. Hiring someone outside of the writer/artist team to do the wrapper is why we get that disconnect.

    Plus Marvel doesn’t care. They take a hot artist and slap some random X-23 cover featuring this months theme of silly hat variants and they can sell 20% more copies of Moon Girl or whatever arbitrary title they decide to assign the cover to.

  • Avatar

    I agree Peter. It drives me crazy when Marvel does a great cover for a character that has absolutely nothing to do with that title.

    Zeck is awesome. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him do two sketches for my friend (Hawkeye and Punisher). Both were magnificent. Makes me want one for myself. 🙂

  • Avatar

    Btw is it just me or is March really hit or miss? I really like a lot of his Gotham City Sirens covers for example but haven’t really been digging the recent stuff I’ve seen.

    • Avatar

      I think every cover artists has a few misses in a run but in my general opinion he’s done a pretty good job with the current run of Harley Quinn Cover As. Like Hughes lately though I think he’s definitely trying to mostly avoid the pinup style covers he kind of became known for on some variants.

  • accustomfigures
    Avatar

    I just saw Zeck last weekend at Comic Con Revolution Chicago. He had the biggest line and he was super nice. He was only signing, so I passed because I don’t care about signatures, but I should have grabbed a print. He was out of my favorite cover, Amazing Spiderman #285 with the Punisher about to blow some shit up, but he did have all the rest. If you see him at a con don’t pass. His prints were really nice oversized of all his covers. Even that GI Joe. I should have nabbed Punisher #1 or Deathlok. I’m an idiot.

  • Avatar

    OMG! That UXM 257 is one of my favorite covers, EVER!

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