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What constitutes a bad comic book cover? The better question for this year is: what doesn’t? After having a slew of great covers, there are still a ton of bad ones. In this feature, a continuation of my Top Ten Worst Covers of 2010 feature, I pick the top ten worst covers of 2011 based on their simplicity or poor artistry… and it has gotten worse since last year.
10. Ultimate Captain America #1: I had to do a double-take at seeing Captain America brandishing a huge gun, but this is the Ultimate universe. But even after that off-putting though, Captain America is drawn very stiff with little emotion on his face and the classically done-to-death for no good reason closed eyes. Admittedly, the background is nice. I like the patriotic imagery and the setting sunset behind our hero. But the most important element of the cover should be the title character, and he does everything but look good.
9. Walking Dead #87: The Walk Dead may be a “hot” series, but the covers have never been notable with bland artwork and no real emotions on the character’s faces other than boredom, which is exactly what the onlooker feels after looking at this uninspiring cover… time three!
8. The Infinite #2: Liefeld’s artwork has been on the chopping block often, and unfortunately most of his Infinite covers have that uninspiring and uncreative look of a bad comic from the 90’s. The really odd quirk about this cover in particular is the obstruction of our blond beauties eye, and the hilarious do sported by the beef-cake on the right. Sorry, but the 90s’ called and even they don’t want that hair back.
7. 5 Ronin #1: All Ronin covers follow the same standard procedure of a character in-between two white strips. The first issues background design was very cartoonish, looking almost like a robot from IDW’s Transformers, making a terrible contrast with the series samurai in the foreground.
6. Astonishing Thor #3: I hate Thor’s idiotic expression at his hammer. I can just imagine him uttering “Whaaaaaaaaa….?”
5. Deadpool #33.1: This is another color that has no creativity, just a lead character with a terrible orange-checkered backdrop. But this cover goes the extra mile, looking like the bottom half of the cover was not completely inked in.
4. The Bodysnatchers #1: The character design on this cover is clunky and drawn poorly. The hair looks shell-shocked and is drawn in a wooden way with a character design completely covered in a bland brown. The nice contrast between the brown and green is the only reason this cover is not number one on this list of terrible covers.
3. Batman Beyond #1: DC came out with a slew of covers back in 2011 that seemed to be an excuse to be lazy. They would feature the title character and a white backdrop, the ultimate lazy and bland cover that shows no thought behind it. Especially this cover, which gives Batman so many shiny ripples in his costume it looks like it needs to be washed.
2. Batman, Incorporated #7 (Frazer Irving Variant Cover): Irving has made many a masterpiece in his Xombi and Batman and Robin series, but this variant cover is atrocious as was his Batman and Robin cover from last year. The expressions are too surreal for my tastes with awkward mouths and an oddly-shaped lead character hiding in the background. His gothic style was ill-suited here.
1. Astonishing X-Men #37: Every face is overwhelmingly exaggerated in the worst possible way. Wolverine is given some of the worst treatment with an over expressive face and rippling, unrealistic arms that belong to the 90s’. The cartoonish and animated qualities of the characters are just too awkward and off-putting on this cover.
Some of these covers are terrifyingly bad or bland, and guarantee that customers will be keeping their money in their pockets and walking away from these intimidating titles.