Awesome Red Comic Book Covers, because … why not?

The color RedWe like red. There, we’ve said it. Out of the bag, it is.  Here are some of our favorite comic book covers that are soaked in red. What a beautiful color.

Amazing Spider-man #50: Iconic image. Our pick for best Spider-man cover. Yes, ever. What’s inside? 1st appearance of Kingpin and a soul searching that leads Peter Parker to throw away his suit and figure he is done with vigilantism for good.  Of course, he is sucked back in because — “WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY!”

Amazing Spider-man

The Avengers #57: Pretty much as red as you can get. No other colors on this cover other than black and white and they only serve as shadow and light respectively. What’s inside? The 1st appearance of The Vision (who is a very cool character … most of the time).

First appearance of The VIsion

Frank Miller’s Ronin # 1: Frank Miller’s art took a weird turn in Ronin. His personal project was pretty far out there compared to the more mainstream work he had done on Daredevil. We were already fans when we picked up Ronin as back issues because The Dark Knight Returns had just come out and we wanted to find anything by Frank that we could get our hands on. Anyway, besides the billowing eastern get-up, we like the look of this cover with all the thatching and, of course, the wonder color red.

Frank Miller, comic book

Mage: The Hero Discovered #10: Issue number 7 of Mage was the first comic book we ever bought. The maxi-series is still one of our favorites. The technology today is so much more advanced than in 1985, but the vibrancy of the four-color printing on Baxter paper that was the rage in the 1980s blew us away. This issue also has a lot of red in it and for that we are grateful.

Matt Wagner, Comico, and Mage

Punisher War Zone #1: The 1990s was the Dreadful Decade of the Gimmick. We will write a future post on that but suffice it to say that after a fantastic run of experimental, creator-driven stories and art in the 1980s, the early 1990s were all about the collectability side of the comic book hobby. Pure garbage was coming out right and left and in order to hook the consumer, comic book publishers turned to technologies that were already making an impact on the ugly step-sister of the collectibles hobby (sports cards) for flash and pizzazz that they hoped would compensate for the terrible stories inside. Covers often became the only reason to buy a comic book. Chromium and lenticular surfaces were big “wows” as were die cuts like this comic. Of course, the prices jumped like crazy for the increasingly not-so-special “special” books. The $2.25 price tag on this issue was a dollar more than the average cover price in 1992 when this was released. That was a lot back then. Anyway, we have to admit we really liked this cover. Still do.

The Punisher War Zone (1992 series)

Mister X Volume 3 #4: This comic book came to our attention because we had fallen in love with Stig’s Inferno and since Vortex was the publisher of both, there was an ad for Mister X in one of the Inferno issues. It was some of the most stylish stuff we’d seen to date and the covers were fantastic. Later, the rights to the series migrated to Caliber Comics. We bought those issues but still haven’t read them – no idea why, just haven’t. Anyway, this is one of many good covers and it’s also our favorite of the outstanding red ones (Volume 1 #1 and Volume 1 #12 (the later of which is our favorite cover overall by creator Dean Motter) are also fantastic). Take a look at all of the covers in this gallery.

Mister X in Caliber Comics

Rocketeer Adventures #2: This is a reprint of Dave Stevens’ fan-favorite comic book from the 1980s. We love the art, the stories, and we are even proud to admit we love the Rocketeer movie (even though it was Disney-fied). This gorgeous Art Deco cover demonstrates why the Rocketeer is a comic worth admiring.

IDW publisher, Rocketeer

So, there you have it. This was just a small snapshot of some fantastic red-colored covers that we love. Which one do you like best? You’re welcome to comment on other red covers you really like.

Thank you and good night!

Mister X Cover Gallery (and a nod to Patrick Cowley)

We’ve spoken about Mister X before and would like to return for a moment. After all, Mister X, his surrounding cast of characters and environs are just so interesting, darling.

Mister X Comics by Dean Motter

The character Mister X first appeared in comic-book form on the cover of Vortex #2 (Vortex was an anthology comic published by Vortex Comics in the early 80’s). Following shortly after was the first self-titled series which ran through 14 issues. Volume 2 completed in 13 issues, and Volume 3 presented 4 issues. We have included the covers for Mister X: Condemned as well (there are other stories and appearances that we will try to “cover” in future posts). Condemned was published by Dark Horse in 2008 whereas the other volumes were published by Vortex Comics in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The actual first published appearance of Mister X was on a record cover for a single titled Megatron Man by a dude called Patrick Cowley. We had never heard of him before, that we recall, so we did a bit of research.

Pop synth music

Patrick Cowley was a forerunner of  the style of synthesized dance music that helped lay the groundwork for bands such as Pet Shop Boys and New Order. He did his biggest work in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Pretty progressive stuff given the era it was written in. Not really our cup of tea, but here is one of the songs off Megatron Man.

Mister X, Dean Motter Comic BooksBack to Mister X…why do we like it? Dean Motter‘s creation combined elements of crime noir from the 1930’s, sharp light and dark contrasts in heavily stylistic art, a fascinating play with what Motter dubbed “antique futurism,” and a cerebral but disturbing psychology. It’s too bad that like so many other great stories from the 1980’s, the implosion of the independent, creator-driven comic books, robbed Mister X from get the attention the stories were due. We’re appreciative that Dean Motter hasn’t entirely abandoned his magnificent creation and hope to see more work in the future.

Anyway, you’ve asked and we have complied. A cover gallery of Mister X volumes 1, 2, and 3, and the Condemned mini-series have been added.

Take a look.

If you missed them the first time around, there are some additional Mister X pictures and details worth checking out.

Mister X

Mister X comicsWe have focused much of the attention on this site towards popular movies and music. Returning now to weightier matters, the next phase will include the addition of new resources on comics. The first of what is to come is a picture gallery of Mister X comics. Mister  X is the brain child of Dean Motter, a specialist in “antique futurism” storytelling (meaning stories that are told from the present about the future from the past’s perspective. more on that below). Mister X is the quintessential mystery man. Who is he? Where does he come from? What’s behind those dark glasses? What little we know about him is that he claims to be the architect of Radiant City, an experiment in modern construction where architecture was considered as the primary theme in developing a Utopian community. The thought was that the buildings and city themselves would create  a positive psychological impression on its denizens thereby increasing their productivity and happiness. Tragically, the opposite effect occurred and the residents of the city began going insane. Murders and suicides became commonplace. The dark subculture of the seedy night club world emerged with a cast of gangsters and other not-nice people. Mr. X desperately attempts to fix the abomination he created but finds there are forces working against him. Obsessed with his mission, he injects himself with an anti-sleep serum to allow him to work 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, insomnia has its price and Mr. X must deal with his own delusions and demons.

Mister X Vortex Comics

Why we like Mister X: The film noir and futurist storyline recall the era of seamy city tales of hard concrete and steel where detectives and femme fatales moved through the night on nefarious missions of personal gain and debauchery. It’s an odd thing. Dean Motter writes present stories that could have filled the pages of  pulp novels from the past that then portend of the future that Motter already knows doesn’t exist. He asks us to pretend. We are taken back to the days when art deco was in its prime, women were called dames, and men wore pants up past the bottom of their rib cages (and were still considered cool). In this world, we are asked to step into an alternate future — one which a writer in the 30’s might have conjured up without possibly knowing what would actually happen in reality.  This isn’t a story told about the future. It’s a story told about our future time, but by someone that can only image what it might be like in the context of the era he or she lives in. Make sense? If not, don’t worry. We lost our sense of conciseness about a paragraph ago and we aren’t going to bother re-writing it. Thus the irresponsibility of an unmoderated blog. Here’s to freedom of speech. Cheers.

On to the gallery

Read an interview with Dean Motter from Graphic Novel Reporter