Friday, March 29, 2013

"No! Not YOU!"

You've seen them before. The covers where Our Heroes are recoiling in shock because of some unexpected revelation involving a character who is positioned in such a way that we can't identify them. It's admittedly a little odd that our brave protectors, who have probably faced down threats that would have most of us scurrying for cover, are stunned nearly speechless by the sight before them. You'd think that Psycho-Man had his "Fear" dial cranked up to full. I wonder how they react to bill collectors?

Let's take a look at some of these cases, and see if their consternation is justified. One cover that quickly came to mind for me was this one from Amazing Spider-Man:

Looks like a New Yorker in boots. Gee, Spidey, I bet you don't see that every day. Then again, you tend to mostly swing over rooftops--and maybe your alter-ego just keeps his head down when he walks, counting on his spider-sense to keep him from running into pedestrians. Oh, who am I kidding--a woman in boots has stopped you dead in your tracks, you weenie. Let's find out who she is (as if we didn't know):

That's right, your dead girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, has apparently come back to life and is standing in your apartment. (Your really bare apartment, I might add. Do you sleep stuck to the ceiling or something?) You find out later that she's a clone of Gwen, which probably turns out to be a good thing--after all, dating a zombie is not an option.

Then we have the Avengers--Earth's mightiest heroes, who don't look so mighty in front of a guy with a hoodie:

The situation is even more disturbing than it looks, since this cover is slightly out of sync. The Avengers and Mantis actually found out the guy's identity about ten issues before this one:

Libra, one of the Zodiac cartel, and claiming to be the father of Mantis. Maybe he came back ten issues later and commandeered the issue's cover because Mantis forgot Father's Day?

Here's Captain America and the Falcon, who can't believe the identity of the masked rabble-rouser who's been stirring up unrest in Harlem:

At first glance, you'd think Cap and the Falcon were terrified by armpits.  But I have to admit, their adversary should always consider walking around with a hood, since it would be an improvement from what he usually wears:

Really? Cap sensed all along that the Red Skull was Harlem's own personal Hate Monger? Not exactly how you'd expect a villain who's wielded the Cosmic Cube to occupy his time. What's next for the Red Skull--stealing purses from little old ladies?

Maybe the Fantastic Four will be less aghast at their shadowy foe, since they outnumber him. But they seem ready to bolt back to that pogo plane of theirs:

Calm down, Ben. This isn't the Over-Mind, for Pete's sake. It's just a Kree watchdog you've faced before:

The Sentry, who actually faces the FF on an island, not the surface of the moon.  Hey, don't be so surprised.  These covers are already sucking us in with the "No! Not You!" approach--obviously no one behind the scenes is bothered by taking a few extra dramatic license pills.

And while drama is never in short supply where the Silver Surfer is concerned, you have to admit that this reaction is a little over the top even for him:

But this cover is all tongue-in-cheek, since even the bravest among us would probably dread facing:

And indeed, the Surfer's dread is justified, as Impy takes him through one of the most taxing "battles" of his life.  Admit it--how cool would it have been if Gwen had given Peter a pie in the face?


Matt Celis said...

"No! Not you!" covers are among my favorite comics

My all-time favorite is when the cover declares "Hulk Goes Wild!" or "The Torch Goes Wild!" or "Namor Goes Wild!" and so on. Those are truly pulse-pounding and senses-shattering!

Matt Celis said...

Also gotta love how frequently Stan Lee would have Spidey, Cap, or Mr. Fantastic declare, "I should have known!" in situations where there was really no evidence to support the statement. Fun stuff from back when comics didn't take themselves so seriously.

Anonymous said...

How about "He's deadlier/more dangerous than ever!" Or, "How can someone so big move so fast?"

Comicsfan said...

What a wild idea for a future post! :D

Anonymous said...

Hey, apropos of nothing, but what about a post about Squirrel Girl? In my opinion, she's the most interesting character Marvel's come up with since Dave Kraft's take on Scorpio.

Matt Celis said...

Those are classics as well. "I've never seen anyone move so fast" is a variation on the "so big/so fast" line.

Another great one, although limited to Spidey comics, is how often he ignores his Spidersense and decides it must be "going haywire" because he sees no obvious danger...uh, if it were obvious you wouldn't NEED a Spidersense! Hallmark of lazy writing when that one gets used over and over.

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