Retroactive: The Flash 2004 & Uncanny X-Men 2011


In Retroactive I’ll take you on a visual comic cover tour of the past covering all the covers for a particular series. Each entry will cover an entire year and I’ll always have one comic from DC and one comic from Marvel. At the end of each edition of Retroactive I’ll select my overall favourite cover for that year for each series. Last time on Retroactive we covered The Flash 2003 and Uncanny X-Men 2010. If you need a refresher, just click HERE. Below you’ll find the two series that I’m currently covering. Click on that specific logo to be instantly taken directly to that series. The last section is reserved for my Top Picks from each year. Click the logo or travel to the fourth page to view them.

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The Flash 2004
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Uncanny X-Men 2011
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My Favourite Covers
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8 thoughts on “Retroactive: The Flash 2004 & Uncanny X-Men 2011

  1. There are 3 Flash covers that made my choice extremely difficult.
    – Flash # 204: First of all, the tagline foreshadows the presence of a “cold – blooded killer”, but the cover doesn’t show the villain this tagline is alluding to: this artistic choice gives the cover a mysterious vibe I deeply appreciate.
    Secondly, the background has a creepy atmosphere that is quite unusual for this series: you’d expect it in a Bat – issue, not in a Flash one.
    Thirdly, I love the fact that some stalactites cover both the arms of the Flash and the title upon him. It’s details like this that make the difference between a simply good cover and an awesome one.
    – Flash # 205: Even in this case we have a spooky image that would be perfect for a Bat – issue (in fact, Batman appears in it), but it’s not that frequent for a Flash one. The fog, the masterful use of shadows upon the Flash’s body, Batman impending over him as if he were a villain instead of being an ally… this cover has a lot of marvellous details, so I really couldn’t exclude it from the podium.
    – Flash # 215: First of all, there is Green Arrow, who is one of the very few characters that make me buy an issue for his presence on the cover alone.
    Secondly, the tagline is so enticing that it deserves a medal alone.
    Thirdly, I love the energy this cover conveys. Flash and Green Arrow showing raging faces, their fists being closed and ready to punch, Green Lantern and Hawkman using all their force to hold them… the cover artist managed to create a heated fight scene without showing a single act of violence, and that speaks volumes of how talented he is.
    My podium is:
    Bronze medal: Flash # 205
    Silver medal: Flash # 215
    Gold medal: Flash # 204
    Choosing the other gold medalist was a much easier task: as soon as I saw UXM # 532, I instantly understood it would have won the 1st prize.
    First of all, in the foreground there is a sexy lady holding a submachine gun: this would be more than enough to get the gold medal in my personal ranking.
    Secondly, the background show many other delightful action packed details. A sniper holding a shotgun, an explosion, a shooting gun… this cover is so full of action that it makes you feel thrilled even before starting to read the issue.
    Thirdly, I love the decision of colouring the background with warm colours and Emma’s outfit with cool ones. This artistic choice makes her stand out in a very eye – catching way.
    When a cover tells you a lot of things about the interior pages without spoiling too much and is also accurated from an aesthetic point of view, you know you’ve got something truly special in front of you. I know Greg Land is not a very appreciated artist, but I put the gold medal around his neck without the shadow of a doubt.

    • “Thirdly, I love the fact that some stalactites cover both the arms of the Flash and the title upon him. It’s details like this that make the difference between a simply good cover and an awesome one.”
      I can’t believe I missed that detail. You have a real eye for details. For me, my runner-up was another Michael Turner cover in the form of #207, which I also have a t-shirt of. Third goes to Paul Bowler’s #1 pick, Flash #208, which is an awesome “legacy” cover.

      “Choosing the other gold medalist was a much easier task: as soon as I saw UXM # 532, I instantly understood it would have won the 1st prize.”
      This cover has so much going on it is a visual feast for the eyes. It just misses earning the silver medal, falling to the might of UXM #531. I love the visual of the scientist with the various test tubes containing the images of the original five X-Men. It is not only an eye-catching image but it hints at the use of their actual DNA in the very issue.

      Thanks, as always, for sharing your selections!

      • “For me, my runner-up was another Michael Turner cover in the form of #207, which I also have a t-shirt of.” Great choice! By the way, there’s another cover I deeply appreciated: Flash Vol. 2 # 214. I find it extremely enticing.
        “Thanks, as always, for sharing your selections!” Thank you as well for your compliments and for your reply! : )

  2. Flash Vol 2 #208 is a terrific, nostalgic, cover mixing all versions of the Flash, love it! Uncanny X-Men #544 is another cover with nostalgic overtones, as it features the original X-Men emblazoned in the X image for the final issue. A great retroactive, two very different, yet similar themed covers, great stuff!

  3. Ah, the year I started reading comics. Uncanny X-Men 534.1 was the first X-Men team book issue I ever bought. Fully agreed with the cover you picked for the year – it feels like one of the good movie posters from back when people knew how to make movie posters; showing the major players for the arc and looking spectacular in the process. The Annual would be my second choice.

    For the Flash covers, I’m split between the one you picked and 207. The one you picked is the more emotional cover for sure and works in some of the same ways that Uncanny X-Men 535 does. On the other hand, the glowing powers on 207 are great and it really catches your attention. One thing’s for sure though, 2004 was a good year for Flash covers.

    • “Ah, the year I started reading comics. Uncanny X-Men 534.1 was the first X-Men team book issue I ever bought.”
      So what you are saying is that Marvel’s Point One initiative actually worked on you? Strange numbering aside, at least there is that. 🙂

      “For the Flash covers, I’m split between the one you picked and 207.”
      As was I. I actually own #210 in comic form and have #207’s image in t-shirt form. It was quite a task to pick just one but I’m still happy with my selection all these weeks later.

      Thanks for sharing!

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