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You can’t tell the players without a program

May 26, 2010

These are a few variations of an oft-repeated cover design, one that I’ve always liked and one that gives you more of an idea of what characters are going to be turning up on the inside of a book.  It’s just putting headshots in the cover margins — a real simple way to structure things.  I was first exposed to it as a kid with the third Super Powers toy tie-in miniseries.  Here’s issue #1 from that:

This sort of thing obviously comes in handy during the big crossover/team-up events.  A prime example would be the frequent JLA/JSA meldings:

Now that I’ve been able to pick up older issues I associate this design a lot with Kirby’s covers.  He used it some with his Fourth World titles, though he was also using it during his tenure at Marvel.  Here’s The Fantastic Four #54, but note that this one lacks identifying names to go with the headshots:

And here’s a last example – with this Journey into Mystery cover, there are no margins in which to place the headshots, so they’re just hovering over the image proper:

I could throw in a lot more instances where this has been used, but I think these get the point across.  As I said, I sort of appreciate covers like this, though I can see how others might find them pretty lame.  When was the first time that this sort of cover was trotted out?  I don’t know.  I’d be interested in an answer to that question, but I just haven’t had the time to look into it too deeply.

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