Retroactive: Teen Titans 1982 & Ultimate Spider-Man 2009


My Favourite Covers


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

For Teen Titans, the crown goes to: The New Teen Titans #17.

Our team is seemingly at the mercy of a major threat, a threat that comes from a very unlikely source: Francine Kane. Marking her debut in this issue, we take a look at the cover and craft our first impression of her. We see that she looks to be a rather average young woman, nothing out of the ordinary, but a woman seemingly not in control of her actions as the Teen Titans swirl around her helplessly. What on Earth could be the origin of her powers, we wonder. Then we notice the big caption above the main title: “She’s possessed!” Possessed? Possessed by what? Total catastrophe swirls around her as the various Titans desperately try to either hold on for dear life or attempt to reach her to stop the madness. I love the visual of our team as the artist has created a real depth by showcasing them on different planes of vision to create a wonderful layered effect. The various objects hurling around, twisting, and breaking apart not only make for an excellent spectacle but actually hint at the true nature of her powers. It is the realization of what all these objects have in common in relation to her power after reading the issue that takes what was already an amazing image and makes it that much more awesome.


 For Ultimate Spider-Man, the title goes to: Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 2 #2.

There is not too much that can be said about this cover. It doesn’t inform us of the issue’s contents. It doesn’t feature anyone but Spider-Man on the cover. It doesn’t even show our hero in a dynamic pose. So why makes this cover standout to me as the best of the year for Spidey? The simple answer is because of the orientation of the images and the colouring. The way the artist multiplied Spider-Man and arranged them to form a rather trippy kaleidoscope montage is nothing short of brilliant and the colouring helps sell this scene even further. Starting with the bright light at the centre and working outwards to alter the very colouring of his suit, it adds a real something special to what could have been a weaker cover in the hands of a less talented artist. Now that I think about it, perhaps I was wrong about this cover not hinting at the issue’s contents. Once we piece together the kaleidoscope (which utilizes mirrors to reflect images in multiplication) and the issue’s villain (Mysterio who is no stranger himself to the use of mirrors/illusions) we see yet another reason why this cover is truly amazing.


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

2 thoughts on “Retroactive: Teen Titans 1982 & Ultimate Spider-Man 2009

  1. I really like USM # 132.
    First of all, there’s something very unusual here: the leading character isn’t even shown, and all the attention is focused on two supporting characters, who are brutally fighting against each other.
    Secondly, the background is hugely eye – pleasing for me. Flames, an explosion from the inside of a skyscraper, a dense smoke all around the fighters, an abyss right under them… all these details help building a post – apocalyptic atmosphere, and I couldn’t ask nothing better.
    Thirdly, the colouring is exceptional. The background has been coloured by using ochre, sepia and brick red: these tones are rather infrequent for a comic book cover, and they’re combined in a masterful way.
    The other gold medal goes to Teen Titans # 26.
    First of all, the scene is set under a pouring rain: as you know, I love this artistic choice.
    Secondly, the cover artist drew the background in an extremely meticulous way: the efforts he clearly made would deserve the gold medal alone.
    Thirdly, I love the fact that the Teen Titans are in the background itself, instead of being in the foreground.
    Fourthly, this cover raises a lot of questions. Why are those children closely followed by all those police cars, as if they were dangerous criminals? How are the Teen Titans involved in this situation? And most of all, how could they fix it? You must open the book to find it out… and when a cover compels you to do that, you know you’ve got to give it the gold medal.

  2. Great cover for New Teen Titans #22 featuring Brother Blood, with all the Titans sent flying in every direction. Ultimate Spider-Man #130 is very unsettling, with Spidey sinking and drowning, this cover really plays on our fears. A great retroactive!

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