Daily Archives: February 26, 2008

The Not-So Secret Origin of a Cover Design

As I did some web surfing this week to look at what new releases were to lie in wait for me at the comics shop this week, I found the adjacent cover image. It’s the cover for Justice Society of America #13, illustrated by super-hero genre superstar Alex Ross, who also just happens to be the co-writer of the current story arc, “Thy Kingdom Come.” Ross has been the cover artist for this series from the start, and his further creative participation in this storyline stems from the fact that it flows from Kingdom Come, a 1996 Elseworlds limited series that explored an unfortunate vision of the future of the DC Universe.

The JSA cover immediately caught my eye, but it wasn’t due to the richly detailed and shining painting Ross provided. Nor was I stopped in my digital tracks by Ross’s shift in his approach to cover design… not really, anyway. What made my synapses start firing rapidly was the sense of nostalgia that was ignited at the same time.

While longtime DC readers might recognize the approach Ross has adopted for the cover design, newer readers and those unfamiliar with what passed for super-hero events in the early 1980s might not.

Consider this your education.

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Will the Real Brian Bendis Please Stand Up?

Brian Michael BendisBrian Michael Bendis. He’s been a cornerstone of Marvel’s creative efforts for the past several years, even serving as the single most vital creator in the publisher’s stable of talent as the 21st century got underway. He remains a cornerstone of Marvel’s comics, and there’s been no sign that the professional pairing is going to change in any way in the near future. There was a time when any mention of his name in connection with a new project had me chomping at the bit to check it out. While I still read his work today, I haven’t been really excited about Bendis’s comics in some time, though.

The bloom is off his particular rose, but the question arises: why? Have I just moved on to focus on other voices? Has his work grown repetitive? Has it weakened? I find it difficult to choose just one answer, and I think that perhaps they all apply. To hash it all out, perhaps a subjective examination of recent issues of Bendis’s current ongoing projects will be of help.

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