Retroactive: The Flash 1982 & Uncanny X-Men 1990


My Favourite Covers


Okay, so our journey through the past is complete for this week but which covers reign supreme?

For Flash, the crown goes to: The Flash #316. It may be a cover that doesn’t really tell us anything about the contents of this issue but sometimes a cover can be great nonetheless. On this one we have our hero racing back and forth at super speed, a blur, a man in motion, a man who is clearly enjoying himself as is evident by the big smile across his face. It could be considered a pretty generic image but what makes it unique is the fact that the Flash is running so fast that he is actually interacting with the other elements of the cover. The DC logo has slid over, the Comics Code Authority and the box containing the issue number and price are hurtling and spinning about, and the very title of this book has merged with the blazing trial that follows the Flash in his wake. All in all, it sells the fact that he is indeed the Fastest Man Alive as he breaks the fourth wall and interacts with these objects much to our surprise while creating quite a kinetic cover indeed.

For Uncanny X-Men, the title goes to: Uncanny X-Men #257. Now this is a woman who means business…and her business is deadly serious. Here we have in all her glory the woman formerly known as Psylocke but now brainwashed to be the villainous Lady Mandarin. Grasped in her arms is the victim of her latest attack, her former ally, Wolverine. We are not used to seeing Wolverine so helpless, so out of it, as he lays motionless on the floor, his eyes consisting of nothing more than a blank stare. Protruding from one of Lady Mandarin’s hands is a psychic blade which could hint at why Wolverine is how he is: if you can’t beat this man physically then attacking him mentally seems to be the method best used to defeat this seemingly undefeatable foe. I also love how her long cape flows off the page, how this central scene is highlighted by a spotlight, and the look on her face, so sinister, so intense, looking almost as if she is going to leap off the page and into our homes to dispatch her next target: us. It is a strong visual and one that not only hints at what is going to unfold but makes us wonder if the X-Men can bring Psylocke’s true identity back to the surface and rescue their old friend from the fate that has befallen her before she inflicts any more damage on our heroes. UXM257________________________________________________________

So that’s it for this week. Agree/Disagree? Which covers are your personal favourites from this week? Comment below!

9 thoughts on “Retroactive: The Flash 1982 & Uncanny X-Men 1990

  1. Marvel and DC characters could be divided in 4 categories:

    – the positive supporting characters;
    – the negative supporting characters, also known as “villains”;
    – politically correct superheroes who don’t kill and don’t even have any weapon;
    – antiheroes who have a lot of weapons and use them to kill their enemies.

    The characters belonging to the 4th category are by far the ones I like most. When an antihero, also known as “vigilante”, meets a politically correct superhero, the situation becomes very interesting, because usually both of them want to catch the same villain, but they tend to screw up each other’s plans instead of teaming up in order to catch the crook.
    Flash # 314 is a perfect example of what I just wrote: the politically correct superhero meant to catch the crook alive, but the vigilante arrived first, and he handled the situation his way.
    Also, notice that the antihero is not shown: all we can see is his left hand, holding a still smoking gun which has the power to evaporate. This artistic choice helps building a mysterious atmosphere, and I deeply appreciate it.
    I also love the upset crowd behind the Flash, because their presence makes the scene even more dramatic.
    As for the X – Men, I pick UXM # 262. A giant gun, a very nice horror vibe created by the creepy aliens in the background, the title being covered by their tentacles, the way light and shadows are combined on the moustached mutant’s face and chest… this cover has a lot of eye – pleasing details, so I give it the first place crown without hesitation.
    Silver medal for UXM # 264, because the fight scene is so heated and the body of the Beast convey so much energy that this cover makes you feel thrilled even before starting to read the issue.
    Bronze medal for UXM # 267. Gambit obviously fell into the erotic trap of a femme fatale: I love this kind of female character, so a cover foreshadowing the presence of a femme fatale will always get a medal in my personal ranking.
    P.S.: Yesterday I heard this wonderful song on the radio, and I decided to share it with you and your readers:

    • “Flash # 314 is a perfect example of what I just wrote”
      As soon as I saw the cover to that issue I knew instantaneously that you would select it. Coincidently it is my runner-up. I really like the effect of how this anti-hero didn’t simply shoot the crook dead but completely “eradicated” him.

      “As for the X – Men, I pick UXM # 262.”
      Solid choice. I also like the mystery of who that woman is coming through the fog.

      “Silver medal for UXM # 264”
      I love how the Beast is drawn in a way that it creates the illusion that he is on a different layer from the rest of the scene and he is going to leap off the page. My runner-up would have to go to #260 though. Dazzler’s “fan” is utterly creepy as is his unhealthy obsession that is on full display.

      “Yesterday I heard this wonderful song on the radio, and I decided to share it with you and your readers:”
      Thanks for sharing and for providing your choices as well! 🙂

      • “I also like the mystery of who that woman is coming through the fog.” Nice catch GothamRogue, that had passed me by! Now I’m even more convinced that this image is a gold – medal – deserving cover.
        “Thanks for sharing and for providing your choices as well!” Thank you too for your reply! : )

  2. I really like that cover for The Flash #316 as well, with the Flash zooming around the cover. It doesn’t give much idea about the story, but its still a great display of the Flash’s powers. Also reminds me of the speed effect we’ve just seen for the new Flash TV series in the trailers, very exciting!

    I choose Uncanny XMen #269 with Rogue Vs Ms Marvel. I always liked the duality the characters have shared, so them fighting on the cover like this is great. Rogue is one of my fave X-Men characters as well, so nice to see her the focus of a cover.

    Great retroactive! Have a brilliant weekend 😀

    • “Also reminds me of the speed effect we’ve just seen for the new Flash TV series in the trailers, very exciting!”
      Yes! The Arrow/Flash teaser was perfect but the 5 minute trailer was beyond awesome.

      “I choose Uncanny XMen #269 with Rogue Vs Ms Marvel.”
      Every time I see Rogue and Ms. Marvel together I always harken back to the classic FOX animated X-Men series and the fond memories that it provided for me growing up.

      I hope you had an excellent weekend and thanks for sharing your selections.

  3. From a period where the X-Men had one of their all-time greatest run of covers, I chose Uncanny X-Men #268. One thing of which Jim Lee is a master is the heroic pose. And, here we have three great characters, two of which are special guests, striking an awesome pose. Love it! Also, that issue was my first real introduction to Black Widow.

    • “One thing of which Jim Lee is a master is the heroic pose.”
      You can sure say that again.

      I take a look at this cover now and can’t help to think that here’s the future of the Avengers franchise. To imagine that one day Wolverine would be on that storied team must have been unthinkable back then.

      Thanks for sharing your choice. 🙂

  4. Gambit’s first appearance! I agree with you on the best X-Men cover for the year, but for my personal tastes Gambit’s first appearance was more important.

    That Flash cover you chose as the top pick is pretty good, although personally I lean toward the musical note picture.

    • “I agree with you on the best X-Men cover for the year, but for my personal tastes Gambit’s first appearance was more important.”
      I try to put aside my opinions about the importance of contents inside the issue and try to grade the cover as an entity onto itself. Most of the times I succeed with my intention but there are rare occurrences. I have to admit though that this cover is not only important but pretty awesome looking as well. You really can’t go wrong selecting any of the covers this year for UXM, they are all so good.

      Thanks for providing your choices. It is appreciated. 🙂

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