I’ll say it again here, there’s not many people out there in the comic book world that can craft a cover like Brian Bolland can! Most well known for his spectacular artwork in perhaps the greatest Batman story ever told ‘The Killing Joke’, Bolland continuously delivered truly epic covers throughout the 1980s! Here’s another amazing one for DC’s ‘Vigilante’, an anti hero that really hasn’t gotten enough respect over the years imo. Annual number 2 hit the shelves in November, 1986 and still impresses today!
Here’s a visually stunning cover from the nearly forgotten ‘Falcon’ 4 issue mini-series from 1983! I’ve always loved this one & this sweet series had four super memorable covers. This one by Paul Smith, whom I just love so much for his work on the X-Men in the eighties, always stuck with me as I found it intriguing that the mutant hunter Sentinels had a chance run in with The Falcon, was he a mutant? This again proves how effective, emotionally resonant, and truly memorable a simplistic cover can truly be…
Now I have to revisit the series To find out exactly what was really up with this issue! Its been way too long…
So sooner or later The Joker was bound to get tired of Gotham and Batman! 1987’s Superman #9 has one hell of an awesome cover by John Byrne and the story is pretty fun as The Joker stops by Metropolis to make people go crazy with his deadly laughing gas! He’s also managed to bring along a robot Superman with a freakin’ nuclear bomb inside, thats when Superman steps onto the scene! He easily foils the Joker’s plan asking point blank why he came to Metropolis, Joker simply laughs and says “Ooh Superman…Why not?”
What I really love here is just seeing seeing The Joker on the cover of a Superman comic, something we rarely, if ever, had seen before this. It’s always great I think when we see a traditional villain of one superhero square off against another. Byrne captures the Joker in his own unique way here on this amazing cover I want on a t-shirt! My only issue is I wish The Joker had been able to give Superman a better run for his money!
Who knew everyone’s favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira was also down with the Christmas holiday cheer?! Yeah! Well back in 1987 DC comics indeed released her special holiday adventures, ‘Elvira’s Haunted Holidays’ part of her “House of Mystery” series. This however is not only a collection of spooky X-mas tales but they also feature the iconic bombshell as the main character of the creepy adventures! This classic cover, drawn by José Luis García-López kicks off the month here with some true Christmas spirit of this largely forgotten one shot comic book!
Oh how I love me some 1980’s Mike Zeck comic book covers!! He did a ton of rad covers in the 80’s for G.I. Joe and here is easily in my opinion one of his best. Issue number 38 from 1985’s cover proves that often times keeping things simple is the best recipe for something memorable. Here we’ve got an excellent depiction of big baddie Destro as he’s facing off with Cobra’s most popular ninja badass Storm Shadow! This one is a total classic and you can feel the tension between these two iconic villains, one of my fave ‘Joe covers by one of the best comic book artists ever…
So for the time being I’ve taken a break from buying comic books weekly as they are pretty damn pricey these days and honestly there really weren’t too many titles that really grabbed and made it worth the weekly cash drop. As a huge fan of The Incredible Hulk ever since I was a little kid, I’ve got to admit I do miss reading about the adventures of the “Jade Giant” and really couldn’t get into the whole “Totally Awesome Hulk” stuff. The Banner Hulk was killed off a couple years back and it seemed perhaps that the original green goliath was gone for good (or at least for the time being as no one is ever really dead in Marvel Universe). Well now there’s a new HULK book out called The Immortal Hulk and my curiosity has been sparked as the first issue dropped in June and it’s been referred to as a return to form for the Banner Hulk. I’ll probably wait for the trade but I’ve gotta say this Variant cover by Sal Buscema sure does give me the goosebumps longing for a nostalgic old school Hulk adventure!!!
There are certain comic book covers that just pop right off the page at you when you see ’em & Master of Kung Fu #75 is one ’em! This cool cover way back from 1979 shows again just how damn good of an artist the master Mike Zeck is! This one shows Shang-Chi doing battle with a giant fish man that looks straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft story. I love the simplicity of some covers and this one gets straight to the point with an amazing underwater struggle facing the Master of Kung Fu. There are some truly jaw dropping covers in the Master of Kung Fu comic book back catalogue & Zeck’s done a great deal of them, ah those good ol’ days…
I always loved this particular comic book cover by John Byrne way back from 1985! Alpha Flight #22 is a fun issue with a great simplistic cover. I love when team titles have issues where you get either a solo adventure or a pair together, in this case two of my favorites the mutant twins Northstar and Aurora! I love how frustrated they both look while in the clutches of The Pink Pearl.
Alpha flight was an excellent title and I highly suggest the entirely charming John Byrne run of the series. Now the cool thing about this is that you might think the Pink Pearl was simply a one off villain but in fact she has sine appeared several other times through the years most recently briefly in The Logan Legacy. John Byrne too had his act fully together with these 80’s Alpha Flight comic covers too! This one though has always been a fav of mine!
Everyone knows that Kraven’s Last Hunt is a simply incredible Spider-man tale but what I love about it also is the the role The Vermin plays in it all! Let’s face it-the Vermin is a totally freaky and awesome villain who never gets the respect he truly deserves! Maybe it’s because he chooses to spend all of his time the schleppin’ around sewers with his rat minions! This cover from 1987 also drawn by Mike Zeck really does justice to this creepy ass character. Just the atmosphere of the filthy corroded sewer, the dripping pipes and of course the brilliant image of Spidey in his classic black costume just adds to the horror of it all. Just posting this is making realize I need to dig this series out of my comic box and read it again!! One of the best ever…this cover kinda makes me wonder if Neil Marshall got some inspiration for “The Descent” the spelunking horror masterpiece from this here cover?!
Today is Bill Sienkiewicz’s Birthday and it’s as good a reason as any to celebrate the man’s existence as one of the best comic book artists of all time! To say his artwork is unique would probably be the biggest understatement you could come up with in the comic book universe. His jagged, frantic and often abstract work is unmistakable. Whenever you’d get a comic book cover or let alone an entire issue filled with his artwork you always knew you were in for a treat.
His work became a staple in the early 80’s where he drew black and white back up stories of Moon Knight in The Incredible Hulk magazine size comic books. He continued on with some of his most famous work for titles like The New Mutants and the legendary Elektra: Assassin miniseries amongst many others. So happy birthday Bill! Thanks for the incredibly original art all these years-Here’s hoping for much more of it in 2014! Here are a few of my personal favorite pieces of his comic book art!