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Saturday, May 28, 2011 

Covers alone don't make Capt. America more readable than it is now

USA Today's written about some patriotic covers Marvel's publishing for Captain America and a few other books, to coincide with the upcoming movie (Hat tip: Colossus of Rhodey):
It turns out that there's a little bit of Captain America in all of us.

Timed to the upcoming July 22 release of the Captain America: The First Avenger movie — starring Chris Evans as the star-spangled superhero —Marvel Comics is releasing a series of variant covers for its July superhero titles with an "I Am Captain America" theme.

The covers, done by a bunch of notable comic-book artists, all depict real-world American heroes — with a dash of Cap thrown in, such as a shield or that very recognizable "A."

Joe Quesada, Marvel's chief creative officer, came up with the "I Am Captain America" concept, according to the publisher's editor in chief, Axel Alonso. Quesada also drew a stunning version of a firefighter in the heat of the moment that adorns the variant cover for Wolverine issue 12.
But do covers alone guarantee that the story inside will be worthy and respectable? If history from this past decade is any suggestion, the sad answer may be no. Why, for that awful story written by Jon Ney Reiber in 2002, one of the covers bore the caption "fight terror", but in the end, the whole story was little more than apologist, blame-America propaganda.

Also, not all the covers feature crimefighting figures. There's one with a little league baseball pitcher, another with an ice skater, and even one with a freight truck driver, but are those heroes in the same way as a police officer and a firefighter? Not really. They could symbolize some of the best things about American sports and entertainment, for example, but hardly heroes in the sense of army and firefighting personnel. Whatever, there's no telling if the stories for the books they wrap around will be anywhere near as good, and if recent publishing history says anything, it's that chances are slim to none.

And Quesada's name alone could be enough to discourage many knowledgeable people from trying them out.

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Well, we haven't had cover bait-and-switch lulz in a while. Thanks, Marvel, for coming through, as always.

Avi, I think you're missing one telling point: they're putting Captain America on the cover of all the superhero comics, not just Cap's book.

That's not a "salute to America's heroes." That's a cheap sales trick intended to trick the unwary who wander to the comics shop/section after seeing the movie into buying comics unrelated to the movie. Classic bait-and-switch.

Using "America" to sell it reeks of an even cheaper gimmick. Joey Q probably wet himself laughing at the thought of tricking some patriotic kid in flyover country into giving his summer job money for a worthless piece of crap whose cover has nothing to do with the book inside.

Which could well be the case - if kids bought comics any more. Thanks to people like Joey Q, though, that won't be an issue.

I see what you mean. Also, they haven't said they're actually going to publish stories with an emphasis on patriotism and heroism in any of the books themselves, another reason why the cover drawings do little to help the comics.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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