It's time once again for "Covers Redux," where I look at an original Marvel comic cover and compare it to the cover of the book that reprinted that very issue! Often, there will be differences between the two, sometimes subtle, sometimes more obvious! You can play along at home, too, by posting in the comments any differences you spot that I miss! Now, I don't worry about things like changes in coloring (although I may mention if I preferred one coloring job over the other), what I'm really looking for are changes in the art itself. Let's begin!
First up, here's Amazing Spider-Man #124 and the cover reprint in Marvel Tales #101.Let's look at things individually... first, there's Jameson... he doesn't seem to have been altered at all. The Man-Wolf, on the other hand, seems to have been moved just slightly, even reduced a tiny bit (he's much larger on the original). There's been a few changes in the broken glass around him, too. The Spider-Man figure has been moved to the right, note how he's overlapping the Man-Wol even more. What I think happened here is a stat was made of the original cover art, and then the figures were cut out from that, with some of the background remaining with the Man-Wolf (notably the skyline between the right arm and leg), and an all-new background was drawn for the figures to be pasted onto. What's odd about this is that I can't find Romita's signature on the original cover, but it's there on the reprint! Perhaps Romita's original signature was cropped out of the original... or perhaps he was involved with the reworking of the cover for the reprint (one might note that the curtain has the exact same design as the original, even if it's billowing differently). The Grand Comics Database doesn't have any information about the change, so this is all highly speculative!
Next up, we have Tales to Astonish #97 and the reprint in Marvel Super-Heroes #52. Obviously, the biggest changes here are that the image has been shifted down, mostly to accommodate the larger masthead on the reprint book. The different coloring makes it hard to tell, but it seems like the art wasn't really altered in any way. Note that the first line of the original blurb (which was shifted down) has been changed, plus the addition of a new blurb for the Namor story was added. I have to say, I prefer the Hulk's coloring on the original, but the rest of the coloring on the reprint.
We're back with Spidey again, with Amazing Spider-Man #92 and the reprint in Marvel Tales #73. The stat used for this reprint cover appears to have had reproduction issues, as the lines are all much thicker on the reprint book (part of this may be from whoever provided the original scan to the Grand Comics Database). It's hard to say for sure, but I don't think Gwen's dress was really changed, except that perhaps it was recolored simply because so much detail got lost in the stat that coloring it anything close to the original was problematic. It does appear that some of Iceman's ice slide may have been redone, as there's significantly less detail than the original (or perhaps it was just lost when the stat was made).
Next up, we have Fantastic Four #34 and the reprint in Marvel's Greatest Comics #26. The entire piece of art has been shifted down a smidge, and of course the back of Gideon's chair has been replaced with a blurb (kind of clever, that). The question mark blurb has all new text, and the bigger burst has been entirely replaced.
Next we have Avengers #15 and the reprint in Marvel Triple Action #9, and obviously we're looking at an all-new cover by Gil Kane here. Each has its merits! Interestingly, Kane drew Giant-Man with the original cowl instead of the clunky helmet that Kirby had him in.
We'll wrap up this installment with Silver Surfer #10 and the reprint in Fantasy Masterpieces #10... the entire cover has been reduced and shifted down, so there was some art added on the right side. It's interesting that despite this, it was still decided to leave the background Surfer image so it was still over the logo (speaking of that background image, it's obviously been reduced and pasted in separately, as it's more centered on the reprint cover than the original, and speed lines were added).