Retroactive: Nightwing 2003 & Fantastic Four 1964


My Favourite Covers


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

For Nightwing, the crown goes to: Nightwing Vol. 2 #83.

This cover instantly won me over. While it utilizes only four colours (red, yellow, blue, and black), it uses them to a greater effect then some artists can do with the whole spectrum at their disposal. What we see unfolding before our very eyes is actually two separate scenes. On top we have our hero gracefully swinging through the night sky. I absolutely love the colouring of the sky in particular with the reds and yellows swirling about to create a breathtaking vista. Then we take a gander at the lower portion which shows Nightwing trying to hide in the shadows, holding his shoulder which is dripping in blood. Our hero is hurt and vulnerable as an unknown figure enters the room, his gun drawn. Upon closer inspection of the silhouetted figure, we can make out the familiar hat of a police officer which only makes the entire scene even more intriguing. Who shot Nightwing? Was it this policeman? What is Nightwing doing sneaking around in this building? Where in fact is he? I don’t know why but I get a feeling that this could in fact actually be police headquarters. Will he manage to get by without any further confrontation? Those questions combined with the excellent use of shadows and lighting make this truly an exception cover but did we expect anything less from the simply amazing J.H. Williams III?


 For Fantastic Four, the title goes to: Fantastic Four #26.

This action-packed, star-studded cover captures our imaginations as we try to visualize what will be taking place inside the issue. We are promised the “great conclusion of the epic battle between the Thing and the Hulk!” Arguably Marvel’s two biggest heavy hitters duking it out is something special indeed and our minds try to figure out who would truly win in such a titanic battle. The one thing we know for sure is that any showdown between the two would certainly cause lots of property damage and place countless citizens’ lives in danger. Recognizing this, the two teams that each character belongs to have entered the fray in order to not only end the fight but to mitigate the damage and danger. Speaking of dangerous situations, the Hulk stands at the top of a building which is being constructed, throwing giant steel beams at his opponent, beams that are missing the Thing and hurtling downwards to the street below. Seeing the Avengers and the rest of the Fantastic Four racing to the top ups our anticipation while Thor swinging his hammer and Captain America launching his shield to try to end the conflict crafts some real dynamic action and creates a real sense of urgency that this battle needs to end now. It gets us excited on so many levels while also compelling us to buy the issue due to it premise alone, the hallmark of a really great cover.


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

3 thoughts on “Retroactive: Nightwing 2003 & Fantastic Four 1964

  1. I really like Nightwing Vol. 2 # 86.
    First of all, it shows one of my favourite clichés: the leading character riding a motorcycle.
    Secondly, I really dig the scene as a whole. Dick could have made his presence felt by throwing his sticks among those crooks, as he usually does, but he decided to be more aggressive than usual, and to run over them with a motorcycle. As you know, I love when a politically correct superhero goes nasty and acts like an antihero, so this is another reason why this image instantly won me over.
    Thirdly, I love the fact that Nightwing is doing something extremely dangerous and violent with a perfectly calm facial expression. The contrast between the calmness he conveys and the brutality of his behavior is a huge plus of this cover.
    Of course the orange sky is another detail I deeply appreciated, and it definitely is the icing on the cake.
    The other gold medal goes to Fantastic Four # 29.
    First of all, it shows a character I have a soft spot for: the Watcher. I’m a big fan of What if? stories, so my eyes shine each time I see him.
    Secondly, the background all around him is extremely beautiful and accurated: the efforts the cover artist made to draw all those windows deserve the gold medal alone.
    Thirdly, I love the tagline: It started on Yancy Street. What is this tagline referring to? How is the Watcher involved in it? Is this an origin story or a What if? story? You have to open the book to find the answers… and when a cover makes you want to do that, you know you’ve found the winner of the 1st prize.

  2. Nightwing vol 2 #78 is a hauntingly macabre cover, with Nightwing depicted with a skull face and hands, very creepy. Wow, loving these Fantastic Four covers, spoilt for choice here. I settled on Fantastic Four #25 Hulk vs the Thing, what a classic cover!

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