Friday, April 06, 2012

Cover Redux!

So, here's a new feature I've been wanting to get to for some time now! As some of you may know, when I go to comic book conventions, often I do most of my comics purchases out of the cheap boxes -- they used to be quarter boxes, nowadays it's at least 50 cent boxes. Often, I'll end up getting some Marvel reprint titles, like Marvel Triple Action, Marvel Tales, Marvel's Greatest Comics, etc. because, hey, it's still good comics, even if it's reprints! Well, at some point I realized that many of the reprint books had either modified the original cover art for the reprint, or in some cases, created all-new art! So, what I'll be doing each time this feature comes up is present four sets of covers -- original and reprint -- and comparing them and seeing what kind of changes were made, if any. In some cases, there's just going to be minor coloring variations, and I may not even mention those (it's different if the coloring completely changes the art, such as the original being colored for night, and the reprint is colored for day). And I'll even make this interactive -- if you spot differences I didn't, please mention them in the comments! I may even post one set of covers and challenge you to find any differences! So, click on the jump and let's begin!

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So here we have Avengers #58, and the reprint in Marvel Super Action #19. At first, it looks like the art was merely reduced in size to accommodate the UPC code and larger logo area -- except that if you compare the two Black Panther figures, you'll see that they didn't reduce him quite as much as the other Avengers! Also look at the Vision's cape in the background -- on the original, it billows out from the neck, while on the reprint, it's all angled curves (even looking as though the cape attaches at Vizh's nipple line and not at his throat)!

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This one's a bit more obvious to spot, isn't it? I mean, look at the background on Amazing Spider-Man #62, and it's nonexistent, but on the cover for Marvel Tales #45, there's all kinds of background there! But that's still not all the changes! Much of Medusa was redrawn for the reprint -- note there's more detail to her hair, and her left arm is repositioned. There's also other places on Medusa's costume where the shading is subtly different. Of course, they also completely relettered the blurb on the bottom!

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This one I may be asking for you guys to look at, because I can't really see a lot of variations other than coloring. As we go through more of these, you'll see that there seemed to be a real problem when it came to the coloring on the Scarlet Witch's costume, rarely coming that close to the original coloring. Also, old Jade-Jaws was definitely colored with a darker, more emerald shade of green in the original, but the reprints always make him a brighter green -- and the pants are almost aggressively purple! Actually, now that I look at it more, the image is reduced slightly on the reprint so that the Hulk's fist isn't hidden by the UPC code, and the art is extended on the left side (hopefully just on a stat, and not the original). Most of the reprints seem to have used stats and not the original cover art or films, because often the finer details are lost, and the whole image looks like it was inked with too thick a brush or pen.

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X-Men, of course, is one of those titles at Marvel that went to reprints while continuing the numbering -- you'll see that with Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos in future installments, too (I know some of the Marvel westerns had this happen, too, but once I got all of these covers collected and put side-by-side and realized I'd forgotten the westerns, I didn't have the heart to get back to those and do the same work there, as well as get them inserted into the group order so that I don't feature the same book twice in one installment)! Anyway, let's look at the differences. immediately, the fact that the background got added to -- at least so far as a back wall is concerned -- is noticeable. The coloring on Dominus's armor almost makes it look like a different character! Also note the difference in coloring of Dominus' raybeam, as well as Cyclops' eyebeam! Neither cover features Cyke's eyebeam colored the way we're accustomed to seeing it since the 1980s, eh?

So, have any of you spotted other differences that may have been made to the art itself? Let me know in the comments!

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