Epic Covers: The Riddler: Year One #1

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Time to get on my soapbox: The more time that goes by, the less impressed I am with The Batman. Was it a decent movie? Sure. But was it as great as everybody seems to think it is? Not for my money…

I wasn’t enthralled with the way the movie presented the Riddler. I’ve come to call this version “S&M Riddler,” because he looks to me like he’s wearing a raincoat with an S&M mask and glasses.

All that being said, I can give credit where credit is due. Last week’s The Riddler: Year One #1 knocked it out of the park with a great cover by Bill Sienkiewicz. It really captures the creepy, domestic terrorist, DIY supervillain vibe the movie went for with this version of the Riddler. The yellow markings almost look like they were done with a sharpie or a highlighter, and the greenish color scheme is consistent with the movie as well. And of course, you’ve got the creepy image of the Riddler in full costume in the background.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Epic Covers: Star Wars: Darth Vader #28 by Rahzzah

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

They’ve been doing a long-term storyline in Star Wars: Darth Vader where Vader teams up with one of Padme’s former handmaidens, Sabe. While I can’t say I’ve been following along, this cover for today’s issue by Rahzzah caught my attention. The Emperor tends to have that effect, doesn’t he?

Darth Vader 28, cover, 2022, Rahzzah

This cover has a lot going for it. The blocking is wonderful, placing Palpatine behind Sabe with his hand on her shoulder, like he’s a vampire or some undead creature reaching for her. The detailed fashion in which Rahzzah renders his face certainly accentuates that idea. Along those same lines, Sabe looks just like Natalie Portman. That might actually be the one thing I dislike about the image, as Sabe was played by Keira Knightley in The Phantom Menace. Do they not have the rights to her likeness?

Then you have the obvious color contrast between the two characters. Palpatine is in black, while Sabe is all in white. Good and evil, etc. The red background also gives the image a certain intensity. Of course, it helps that red is synonymous with the Sith in Star Wars.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Epic Covers: Carlos Pacheco’s Last Piece

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This week’s “Epic Covers” comes to us on an extremely sad note.

On his Twitter page, Carlos Pacheco announced last week that this cover to Damage Control #2 would be his last piece. Not because he’s going into retirement, but because he’s been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It’s a horrific disease which I saw up close for a story I did back in my newspaper days.

But Pacheco can hang his hat one a stellar career in the comic book industry that has spanned over 30 years. And here’s to going out on a high note, not to mention one that comes with a smile…

Damage Control 2, cover, 2022, Carlos Pacheco last piece

Godspeed, good sir. Our hearts are with you.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Epic Covers: Tim Drake: Robin #1 by Sweeney Boo

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This week’s Tim Drake: Robin #1 has been a long time coming. As in, more than 10 years.┬áTim’s Red Robin series, which was really good, ended when the New 52 began. Then he got that awful costume, and he was downplayed, and it was just bad, and-

I fear I’ve gotten off topic.

I always appreciate when artists create content that’s sexy without beating us over the head with it. That’s exactly what Sweeney Boo does with this variant cover for Tim Drake: Robin #1. Yes, it shows off Tim’s muscles. But it’s all in the hand being behind the ear. It creates a shy sexuality that’s fitting, given all the emphasis on Tim being bisexual over the last year. That’s something that will no doubt be explored in this new series.

Here’s to a new era of Tim Drake stories!

Tim Drake Robin 1, cover, 2022, Sweeney Boo

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Epic Covers: Venom and Batman by Clayton Crain

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Venom as a patriotic, flag-waving hero? Stranger things have happened, I suppose. At the very least, Clayton Crain juxtaposed the black and white of the Venom character with the bright colors of Old Glory for this C2E2 exclusive variant cover for 2020’s Venom: The End #1.

This cover is pretty epic on its own. But what brought it to my attention this week was the recent revision Crain did for it on his Instagram page, featuring yet another “dark” hero in the same pose with the American Flag…

Who wore it better? You make the call.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Epic Covers: The Joker #15 by Brian Bolland

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

With Batman Day coming up this weekend, it may or may not be an appropriate time to feature the Clown Prince of Crime…

With The Killing Joke in 1988, Brian Bolland cemented his status as one of the definitive Joker artists of all time. So any time Bolland draws the character, it’s noteworthy. We were treated to Bolland’s latest rendering of the character with a variant cover for The Joker #15, which came out last month.

I talked recently about my fondness for single-color backgrounds on covers. This cover meets that criteria with a basic black background. We also have the Joker’s fake eye, which is a byproduct of recent events in Batman. So the character obviously has a different look than we’re used to getting from Bolland.

But what I dig more than anything about this cover is that it’s a modern take on Bolland’s classic cover for The Killing Joke. If The Killing Joke were released today (Which it would never be…), the cover would look something like this, given the advent of smartphones.

The Joker 15, variant cover, 2022, Brian Bolland

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Epic Covers: Atom Smasher by Kaare Andrews

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I don’t normally do two installments of “Epic Covers” in a week. But this one from Kaare Andrews was enough to sway me.

I dig the point-of-view, combined with the pose Andrews puts Atom Smasher in. But I think what really clinches it for me is the texture of the character’s costume. That level of detail adds a certain realism to an image that otherwise is very unrealistic.

Black Adam the Justice Society Files Atom Smasher 1, cover, 2022, Kaare Andrews

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Epic Covers: The Avengers #59 by Mark Bagley

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I have no idea what’s happening in The Avengers nowadays. Thankfully, you don’t need that knowledge to appreciate this recent variant cover to The Avengers #59 by Mark Bagley, paying tribute to 900 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man. He’s one of the best Spidey artists of all time, so to see him drawing so many of the character’s various costumes from over the years is, to say the least, epic. We’ve got black suit Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, Iron Spider, the Superior Spider-Man, just to name a few.

Amazing, indeed.

Avengers 57, variant cover, 2022, Mark Bagley

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Epic Covers: Spidey as Green Goblin?!?

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Over in The Amazing Spider-Man, Spidey’s getting some tech help from an extremely unlikely source: Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin. Thus, the very Goblin-esque look he’s sporting on the cover of this week’s ASM #8.

I like this cover by John Romita Jr. (with Scott Hanna on inks and Marcio Menyz on colors) because it creates instant intrigue. In giving Spider-Man visual traits that line up with his arch nemesis (the glider, the green lighting and…is that the Spidey version of a pumpkin bomb?), the reader instantly has questions about what’s going on. Thus, a desire to open the issue.

I’ve been a critic of John Romita Jr’s in the past. But this one is a winner, right here. Easily the best cover of his to come out of this new ASM volume thus far.

The Amazing Spider-Man #8, cover, 2022, John Romita Jr, Scott Hanna, Marcio Menyz

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Epic Covers: Ant-Man #1 by Tom Reilly

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’ve been digging on solid color background covers lately. I showed some love to a She-Hulk one last week, it’s Ant-Man #1 by Tom Reilly.

What I dig about this is that because of the bright primary colors, the one aspect of the cover that’s not brightly colored, Ant-Man’s helmet, draws the eye. That’s obviously appropriate, especially for a first issue. The awesome design of Ant-Man’s classic helmet only adds to the awesomeness.

Ant-Man 1, cover, 2022, Tom Reilly

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.