Every so often, I take the comics I read in a given week and sort them into two stacks. In one stack are those that have a cover decently expressive of the interior. In the other are those that say little to nothing or are misleading.

It is a big week this time, totalling 21 comics, so bear with me.

American Dream #2–American Dream fights two crystal monsters on a pier while guys with guns look on. Really, that is the climax of this issue. Admittedly, American Dream doesn’t drive a motorcycle during the fight. However, that also probably doesn’t mislead anyone terribly. This one works.

Avengers Classic #12–‘Tis a fun-filled issue of Avengers fighting Moloids, and then briefly the Mole Man, the Red Ghost, and an infernal machine. Sure, the Red Ghost is not on the cover and the machine is also not referenced, but the story is mainly about the Avengers versus Moloids and the overall danger that is being caused by the Mole Man. If that weren’t enough, the back-up features this time showcase the Moloids. Let’s put this one in the first stack.

A brief aside: Avengers Classic has frequently had covers indicative of the interior. Good-bye, Avengers Classic. Your issues were fun, but your contribution to these entries will be missed.

Avengers: The Initiative #13–Prodigy, Batwing, Sunstreak, Annex, Boulder/Butterball, and Gorilla Girl stand (or float) around on the cover. As the new recruits, they are the stars of the issue, especially Butterball. However, more people play significant parts and more happens than them just being present. This one is close, but not quite.

The Brave and the Bold #13–Like the above, this is a 13th issue that isn’t quite good enough. Batman, Jay Garrick, and killer samurai are the stars, sure. But that is part of the problem. There are multiple samurai. Also, Batman is nowhere close to being that knocked down. The cover makes you both expect an imposing new villain (not a mob of androids) and Batman down for the count (which he never is). So, it is representative, but does too much misdirection.

Captain America #38–The cover depicts the Red Skull within a mock poster stating “Vote 3rd Wing for a new America” (except done to look somewhat Russian and written mostly in capital letters). The slogan is a part of the issue. The Red Skull himself does not appear at all, and definitely is not the 3rd wing candidate the cover makes him to be. Even if that political aspect were a major point in the issue (and it isn’t), this is still too misleading.

Countdown to Mystery #8–Doctor Fate is trapped within the Black Diamond and is at the mercy of Eclipso! Oh n–wait, that’s not right. Like always, the stories remain separate. Eclipso and Fate just do not interact. Fate is trapped somewhere briefly; I guess that counts a little.

DC/Wildstorm DreamWar #2–Here is a cover that simple depicts a giant brawl between a bunch of DC heroes and a bunch of Wildstorm heroes. Essentially, the inside story is nothing but the two sides fighting. However, not all of those on the cover are shown inside. Were you actually wanting to see a Nightwing/Grifter confrontation? Sorry. Grifter is nowhere to be found (unless you count the Wildcats comic preview in the back). I would have given this one to them if it depicted the right characters. And, honestly, I don’t really see the point to doing otherwise.

Dynamo 5 #13–Huh. Lots of 13s. Anyway, the cover just shows the team standing around, looking slightly off-camera. As Dynamo 5 covers go, in regards to the Cover Count, this is one of the weakest so far. If I counted the back cover, this title would probably always make it, since there is a plethora of information back there. But that would be a little unfair, since most comics use the back cover for ad space, and the back cover cannot be seen until one picks it up and starts looking (and maybe not even then).

The End League #3–Essentially, this cover just showcases three characters that briefly appear within the story inside. None of these characters are referred to by name, so their names not being on the cover makes a certain amount of sense, I suppose. Only one of the three gets speaking lines. So, none of them are really that important. Not going to cut it.

Fantastic Four #557–The Fantastic Four face off against a giant star-spangled robot. In the background is a shadow of something that looks vaguely like Galactus, in reference to the text blurb that says “WHO IS THE ANTI-GALACTUS?” Now, first off the FF do not fight the robot (named C.A.P.). Reed is the only member to do so, and only fights from within the Anti-Galactus, which is a machine, not a person. The final text blurb on the cover, “Plus: Alyssa makes her move”, is significant. Unfortunately, everything else about the cover is just misleading.

Flash #240–As your eyes go down the cover, you should notice what happens. Something involving something called “The Dark Side Club”, Wally West versus Gorilla Grodd, Jay Garrick versus a mysterious attacker, and the kids being threatened by another mystery character. The Dark Side Club do play a part, as two members of that group are part of the mystery strike referenced in that third panel there. Wally does fight Grodd. And Jay… okay, he doesn’t actually fight someone mysterious in a physical confrontation. He does try to confront Spin (the villain), but ends up trapped in rock. That panel is still essentially true, in its own way. Even if you don’t agree, it’s my blog! Woo-hoo!

Ghost Rider #23–I provided the cover to show something that will never make it. Just… no.

The Incredible Hercules #117–Normally, covers of people just standing around don’t fall into the first stack. However, the gathering of the five gods on the cover is the main focus of the issue, with most of the rest being taken up by explanations of those deities. It’s fine, though you probably would not guess from a casual glance.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull #1–The cover is designed like an Indiana Jones movie poster. As such, it touches on all the important characters and at least one important concept. However, it fails to tie any of it together.

Justice League of America #21–In a nutshell, the cover, well, covers the second half of the comic. The Human Flame and Libra appear, defeat Red Arrow and Hawkgirl, and leave a fair amount of fire behind. The cover expresses that sequence of events in more of a symbolic fashion, as opposed to what actually occurs, but it’s still pretty good.

Justice Society of America #15–Although the image depicted does not exactly occur, the issue is almost entirely about a battle between Gog (or so he is called) and the JSA. It may be mildly misleading, but is still pretty faithful to the comic itself.

Marvel Illustrated: The Iliad #6–The mini series hits a turning point as Petroclus, close comrade of Achilles, dies in battle after taking Achilles’s place. On the cover, we see him leading the Greek army into battle. There are two problems here. One, you have no way of knowing which army that is unless you read the issue. Two, Patroclus is poorly defined. If one were to open the comic and read the recap page, they might think the cover depicts Achilles himself (which is actually somewhat amusing in-context). So, the cover is eye-catching and fairly true to the story, but a bit vague. Very close, but not quite.

The Mighty Avengers #14–This issue is almost exclusively about the Sentry. From the cover, though, I would have assumed the Vision. Indeed, the Vision does play a role (though whether he is a Skrull–as the cover depicts–is still questionable). However, his significance can only be found toward the end. It’s a nice homage cover and might get someone flip through the comic. It just doesn’t suit the first pile.

Superman/Batman #48–Superman and Batman face off against the force of destruction that is the All-American Boy! Seeing this cover, one might get the feeling that Batman and Superman will be defeated at some point. More importantly, though, there is more to this issue than that conflict. The inclusion of Amanda Waller, the battle being in Smallville, and the All-American Boy’s origin are all other important aspects, none of which are included on the cover.

Tangent: Superman’s Reign #3–To be honest, I do not know who is squatting in front of Batman on that cover. I do know that that character does not appear inside and that Batman himself is not a focal character.

X-Men: Divided We Stand #2–This comic is divided into five stories. The main characters of four of them are shown on the cover. The fifth story is unrepresented and the others lack any kind of story reference.

In total, the count comes to 6:15. Getting more comics means the second pile increases more than the first, it seems.

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