(Guest columnist Matt H. is filling in for regular Best Covers columnist Andy B. this week. If you, too, have an interest in writing a Best Covers column — perhaps because you think you could do a better job… to which I say, GOOD LUCK, CHUM — just send us an email!)
Andy needed a break from the tremendous mental labor of choosing the four best covers each week and I was dragooned into service. Or maybe it was more like impressment, since this is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. In any case, I must say they are big shoes to fill. Literally. The man has clown feet.
X-MEN LEGACY #269
Cover by Mark Brooks
Seeing all of the covers laid out in their full-color glory can be an overwhelming experience so when a cover jumps out at you, it’s a winner. X-Men Legacy #269 at first blush looks to be just another A vs. X book. “Oh look, it’s Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue. Ho-hum.” Then you start thinking, wait, they have a history right? Didn’t Rogue steal her powers for a while? Then you look closer and realize, “Oh, it’s not just Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue it’s Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue’s comic book!” She’s literally ripping through the front cover with an angry look on her face. Rogue is either in pain, terrified, or both. Ms. Marvel don’t take no mess!
Cover by Shane Davis
Speaking of angry, I hear the Hulk has some expertise in that area. In Incredible Hulk #10, Hulk has vowed to Stay Angry! Andy has some ground rules I am bound to follow, namely a "punch to the face" is an automatic nomination. But this is not your generic punch to the face, oh no.
Hulk is pummeling a cybernetic bear. That’s right, the number one threat to America (™ Stephen Colbert) is now part cyborg. What I enjoy is that Hulk is hitting the bear so hard one of its claws has flown off and some metal booger is flying out of its nose. Now that is how teach a cybernetic bear some manners. Always blow you nose before a fight, otherwise it’s just embarrassing.
Cover by Mike Choi
In both of those comics you know what you’re getting, a big fight between whoever is one the cover. In FF #19 you also know exactly what you’re getting: weirdness. I love that two kids are riding a rhinoceros across the savannah and not only are they not impressed, they look downright bored. They did plan ahead though, one brought his Nintendo DS and the other packed a juice box.
I wonder how that conversation went: “Do we need any snacks?” “No, we can always eat the rhino but we might get thirsty.” I appreciate that she went old school and put the straw through its appointed opening, no cop-out jamming it through the bottom for her. I also love that riding a rhino was so boring he needed a video game. What do you think he’s playing? My money’s on Tetris. I hated that game.
Cover by Jock
In a world of busy comic covers filled with actual discernible images, sometimes going the other way makes you stand out. Scalped #59 is the penultimate issue of a comic that has always gone its own way. At first blush you may simply think, “It’s orange and black, are they celebrating the Orioles surprising competence?” But you, sir or madam, would be mistaken.
A closer look reveals that the Crazy Horse Casino is on fire, and the fire is so big it fills the entire cover. Someone is burning it all down and a quick flip to the last pages reveals that Scalped is going out not with a whimper but a bang… Well, several actually.