Retroactive: TMNT 1989 & Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 2002


My Favourite Covers


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

For TMNT, the crown goes to: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #18.

Taking one look at this cover and you have to admit that this is one gorgeous image, packed with detail and filled with many amazing moments. The first thing we notice is the heroic quartet, each Turtle standing in an epic pose, brandishing their weapon of choice. Positioned in the middle of them is an unknown Chinese warrior, ripped muscles, eager for more combat, three long scratches across his chest which just adds to his cool factor. Directly beneath the group lay the defeated bodies of the warrior lot who dared to seek the life of villainy while to their left is a collection of lovely ladies, dressed in regal outfits with a multitude of expressions. Did the Turtles save these damsels in distress or is there something else going on here? One looks angry, another doesn’t know what to make of this unusual fighting team, while yet another inches them closer to her presumably to thank them. They seem to be living in the lap of luxury but much like the bird above them, were they simply “pretty things” wanting for nothing but kept prison in a metaphorical cage? As we dwell on that, we can’t help but notice the giant purple dragon floating in the air, unleashing a devastating blast of fire. While acting as a very cool backdrop, our heroes seem oblivious to the danger behind them which could signify that the inclusion of this dragon could be more symbolic in nature than literal as the Purple Dragons are a gang of humans who have plagued the Turtles over the years. Add all these elements together and you get a cover that is something special and one deserving to be called the best of the year.

  For Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., the title goes to: Hellboy: The Third Wish #2.

This is an image that is simple yet effective. It is a cover that utilizes colouring and shadows to perfection, one that stands with us to due to its powerful imagery. Standing at the centre of the cover is Hellboy himself, his hands tied in chains, his emotion sullen yet calm. The situation he finds himself in is truly one that would lead the weak of heart into a panicked frenzy as our hero appears to not only have his hands tied but he has been thrown into the middle of an ocean, sunken to the bottom of it as various sea life swim about. Behind him is a massive whale while below his perch are various fish, their white beady eyes giving them a real creepy vibe. Of course a Mignola cover would not be complete without the inclusion of skulls which are mixed in with barnacles and a crab claw. The purple hue on the creatures and the water itself works in stark contrast to Hellboy whose red pops off the page. The use of warm vs cool colours works well in displaying that Hellboy does not belong in this apparent watery grave, that water and Hellboy don’t mix, that he is completely out of his element. Add that to the series’ title of the Third Wish and Hellboy looks to be in need of a miracle to get out of this situation alive, a miracle which we can’t wait to see unfold within the comic’s very pages.


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

5 thoughts on “Retroactive: TMNT 1989 & Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 2002

  1. I completely agree with the Turtle cover you chose.
    Special mention for TMNT # 19.
    First of all, it’s set in the sewer system: as you know, I love this setting.
    Secondly, I love the artistic choice of showing Raphael in a very bad shape: every single detail of his outfit and of his body language (open mouth, half – closed hands and so on) makes us understand that he’s going through a very bad patch. This cover grabs our attention not only because we feel sorry for Raphael, but also because it makes us wonder how did he end that way.
    Thirdly, I love the light effects upon his body, as I love the highly eye – pleasing tone of blue used for the background.
    As for Hellboy, I pick B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth #3. I appreciate the artistic choice of splitting the cover into two parts, the upper one coloured with warm colours, the lower one coloured with cool ones. I also like some details of the character at the centre of the cover: face partially swathed in shadows, sceptre coloured with a gorgeous tone of yellow, red eyes ominously emerging from the darkness… yes, this cover definitely deserves the gold medal.
    P.S.: While I’m writing this comment, I’m listening to this wonderful song:

    • “Special mention for TMNT # 19.”
      And I would direct special attention to #20. That shot of the Triceraton is intense. His outfit is torn from battle, both hands wielding weapons, one for long distance and one for up-close combat. I’m certainly excited to witness this titanic confrontation.

      “As for Hellboy, I pick B.P.R.D.: Hollow Earth #3.”
      We were so close but in the end I awarded my runner-up prize to Hollow Earth #2. I love how our heroes are put in such a small panel compared to the overwhelming army of creatures that look to do battle with them. And like your cover, it also has a warm/cool contrast to spate the heroes from the villains.

      Thanks, as always, for sharing your selections and providing your excellent analysis. Also thanks for the song. It had my head bobbing to the rhythm. 🙂

  2. Well TMNT #18 is a great looking wrap around cover. Nice and colourful and makes good uses of all the characters. I like the dragons flame breath as well. Hellboy: The Third Wish is a wonderfully dark and atmospheric cover, with the moon in the back ground and Hellboy and the big cats in the foreground, brilliant!

    • Hellboy: Third Wish #1 is an awesome choice. It uses shadows and colouring to its advantage and I love the creepiness of the lions mixed in with the skulls.

      Thanks for providing your choices! It is appreciated.

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